Elisabeth Christine became queen dowager upon the death of Frederick the Great on 17 August 1786. She wasn't present at the death of her spouse and hadn't seen him since January of that year, but was given public sympathy for his death because of the popularity she enjoyed among the public, to all of whom, according to Spalding, she was "so dear in her affliction."
William ceased his active service in the Royal Navy in 1790. When Britain declared war on France in 1793, he was eager to serve his country and expected to be given a command but was not, perhaps at first because he had broken his arm by falling down some stairs drunk, but later perhaps because he gave a speech in the House of Lords opposing the war.
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