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- Early Life
- Ascension to the Throne
- House of Windsor
- Death and Legacy
Key Facts And Information
Let’s know more about George V of England!
King George V was the King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 1910 until his death in 1936. Initially, he intended to join the British Navy, but his brother Albert’s unexpected death put him on the throne. Despite his weak demeanour, he gained the loyalty of the middle class and many in Great Britain through his persistent dedication to his country. He became king in 1910 and played an active part in supporting the troops throughout World War I.
- George V was the second son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark, and the grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. On 3 June 1865, George Frederick Ernest Albert of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was born. George, the second royal son, began his career in the navy and was not anticipated to ascend to the throne. Tutors and nannies educated him and his older brother, Albert, in their early years.
- George and Albert enlisted in the navy training academy when they were 12 years old. Albert moved on to Trinity College, whereas George stayed in the Royal Navy and planned to make it his career. Albert died unexpectedly of influenza in 1892. George departed the Royal Navy to take up the role of heir-apparent. He was given the title Duke of York, as well as a political education, and was appointed to the House of Lords.
- George proposed to May a year after Albert Victor’s death, and she accepted. They married on 6 July 1893 in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. They stayed committed to each other throughout their lives. George admitted that he struggled to express himself verbally, but they frequently exchanged romantic letters and affectionate notes.
- They had five sons, Prince Edward, Prince Albert, Prince George, Prince Henry and Prince John, and Princess Mary throughout their marriage.
- Prince John, their youngest son, was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child and was kept apart from the royal family for the most part. His health deteriorated as he grew older, and he died at the age of 13 after suffering a seizure.
- According to most accounts, George was a tough parent to all of his children, but was particularly harsh with his rebellious son Edward, remarking once that he hoped his second son, Albert, would inherit the kingdom.
- When Edward abdicated the throne in 1936 and Albert was proclaimed George VI, his request was granted.
ASCENSION TO THE THRONE
- On 6 May 1910, Edward VII died. George became king and immediately faced a constitutional crisis, known as the budget controversy of 1910. Tories in the House of Lords rejected the budget offered by Liberals in the House of Commons in an unprecedented action. The Tories backed down after George V promised to produce enough Liberal lords in the House of Lords to approve the bill. The threat anticipated future moves in which George V would favour the middle class over the gentry.
- George V had to deal with strikes and industrial unrest early in his reign, but it was the problem of Home Rule in Ireland that kept him up at night in the run-up to World War I. Regardless of how complicated and explosive this situation was, it was nothing compared to the July Crisis of 1914, which followed the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo. It has been said that King George ignored the impending calamity, however this is not the case. In June and July, he was just as informed about what was going on in the Balkans as his ministers.
- The situation changed dramatically towards the end of July, and evidence implies that the monarch was aware of it before the cabinet: he didn’t want to go to war. He tried everything in his constitutionally restricted power to avoid disaster, but once it became evident that war was inevitable, he was certain that Britain would come out on top.
- When World War I broke out in July 1914, George V went to considerable lengths to personally encourage the troops, making several visits to the front and military hospitals. His horse tumbled over him on one of these visits, breaking his pelvis and causing him pain for the rest of his life.
- The British Empire under George V underwent significant changes throughout his reign. In 1916, a rebellion in Ireland culminated in the formation of an independent Irish parliament and, subsequently, a religiously based territorial separation. Following World War I, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa wanted and were granted the right of self-governance, resulting in the formation of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1931. India followed suit, obtaining self-determination in 1935.
HOUSE OF WINDSOR
- In 1917, in response to widespread anti-German prejudice in the United Kingdom, George V changed his Germanic name to Windsor (after the castle of the same name). Following the Bolshevik Revolution, he made the controversial decision to grant political asylum to his cousin and ally Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
- The Press Office at Buckingham Palace, as well as the organisation of public interactions and the monarchy’s commitment to communicate with the public, are all products of the First World War. By the end of the war, in 1918, King George V had become the most accessible king in British history, thanks to the conflict and the introduction of the popular press.
- Many in the United Kingdom were horrified, but he thought it was necessary to differentiate himself from Russia’s autocratic administration. George V was one of the few European kings who had escaped revolution and bloodshed at the conclusion of World War I.
- In the 1920s, life did not become much easier. The world had been reduced to shambles, and restoration would take years. Furthermore, the fighting had accelerated seismic societal shifts.
- As of 1918, women over 30 who satisfied specific property requirements were eligible to vote. Ireland was partitioned at the end of 1922, and the monarch appointed James Ramsay MacDonald, Britain’s first Labour prime minister, in 1924.
- The General Strike of 1926 was the culmination of postwar industrial turmoil. When it was alleged that people on strike were revolutionaries, His Majesty answered that their critics should try living on their wages before passing judgement, demonstrating his empathy.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- George V’s health deteriorated as a result of World War I. He had lung issues after a violent fall off a horse in 1915. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1925 as a result of his extensive smoking. He became gravely unwell with an inflammatory condition a few years later.
- He never entirely recovered, and he was frequently given oxygen in his final year. George complained of a cold on the evening of 15 January 1936, and retreated to his bedroom. He appeared to be seriously unwell, so the doctor was summoned. For five days, the monarch was in and out of consciousness. On 20 January 1936, he died after getting a morphine and cocaine injection from the royal physician.
- To tremendous public delight, King George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1935. During the 1930s economic slump, he cultivated solid connections with the Labour Party and labour unions, and as a result, he became a popular king.
- While he lacked intellectual curiosity and sophistication, he was a tireless worker who was genuinely committed to the United Kingdom and was greatly respected by the British public. He set a standard for British royalty that resembled the upper middle class’ ideals and virtues rather than the aristocracy’s. Despite the fact that he likely did not completely comprehend or grasp the changes that transpired in his kingdom, he utilised his influence as a voice of reason and moderation to assist Britain in weathering the early 20th-century transformations.