In 1878, when the emperor was incapacitated by the shot of an assassin, the prince acted for some months as regent.
Though encouragement was given to the idea that he might return to the House of Commons, where he continued to retain his seat for Birmingham, he was quite incapacitated for any public work; and this invalid condition was protracted throughout 1907, 1908 and 1909.
During 1765 he seems to have been totally incapacitated for public business.
He commanded in the battle of Fair Oaks (May 31, 1862), and was so severely wounded as to be incapacitated for several months.
It may be questioned, indeed, whether even had his powers been unimpaired he could have carried out any decided policy on any question with a cabinet representing interests so various and conflicting; but, as it happened, he was incapacitated physically and mentally during nearly the whole period of his tenure of office.