The Chapel Royal is an 18th-century place of worship in the centre of Brighton, part of the English city of Brighton and Hove. Built as a chapel of ease, it became one of Brighton's most important churches, gaining its own parish and becoming closely associated with the Prince Regent and fashionable Regency-era society. It remains an active church.HistoryIn the 18th century, Brighton was a small town based on a declining fishing industry and still suffering the effects of damage caused by the Great Storm of 1703. Its population in the middle of the century was approximately 2,000. Its fortunes improved after a doctor from nearby Lewes, Richard Russell, wrote a treatise encouraging the use of seawater as a cure for illness, in particular glandular swellings. He recommended bathing in the sea and drinking the water at Brighton. This form of medical therapy became popular, and helped make the town a fashionable place to visit. Brighton became increasingly popular throughout the rest of the century, but received its next significant boost when the Prince Regent, son of King George III, made his first visit in 1783. By 1786 he had a home in the town—a rented farmhouse near the Old Steine, inland from the coast—and he later commissioned the architect John Nash to build a palace, the Royal Pavilion, for him on the site. The Prince was an infrequent churchgoer, and Brighton's only Anglican church, St Nicholas, was a long way from his home and up a steep hill. Furthermore, the ever-increasing number of visitors and residents caused overcrowding in the church. In 1789 the new Vicar of Brighton, Revd Thomas Hudson, decided to resolve these problems by building a new chapel near the Prince's house. He hoped to encourage the Prince to attend, and thereby worship more often than he had in the past, and considered that a more central chapel would relieve the pressure on the parish church.