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George V

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George V

George V
Coronation portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1911
King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India (more ...)
Reign 6 May 1910 – 20 January 1936
Coronation 22 June 1911
Imperial Durbar 12 December 1911
Predecessor Edward VII
Successor Edward VIII
Prime Ministers See list
Spouse Mary of Teck
Edward VIII
George VI
Mary, Princess Royal
Henry, Duke of Gloucester
George, Duke of Kent
Full name
George Frederick Ernest Albert
House House of Windsor from 1917
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha before 1917
Father Edward VII
Mother Alexandra of Denmark
Born (1865-06-03)3 June 1865
Marlborough House, London
Died 20 January 1936(1936-01-20) (aged 70)
Sandringham House, Norfolk
Burial 28 January 1936

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

George was a grandson of Prince of Wales. On his father's death in 1910, he succeeded as King-Emperor of the British Empire. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.

As a result of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations. He was plagued by illness throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Marriage 2
  • Duke of York 3
  • Prince of Wales 4
  • King and Emperor 5
    • National politics 5.1
    • First World War 5.2
    • Later life 5.3
    • Declining health and death 5.4
  • Legacy 6
    • On-screen portrayals 6.1
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 7
    • Titles and styles 7.1
    • British honours 7.2
      • Military appointments 7.2.1
    • Foreign honours 7.3
      • Honorary foreign military appointments 7.3.1
    • Honorary degrees and offices 7.4
    • Arms 7.5
  • Issue 8
  • Ancestry 9
  • Notes and sources 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

Early life and education

George was born on 3 June 1865, in Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley.[1]

George as a young boy, 1870

As a younger son of the Prince of Wales, there was little expectation that George would become king. He was third in line to the throne, after his father and elder brother, BritanniaHMS at Dartmouth, Devon.[4]

For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on Royal Navy. He travelled the world, visiting many areas of the British Empire. During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters then HMS Thrush on the North America station, before his last active service in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92. From then on, his naval rank was largely honorary.[10]


George, 1893

As a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Ferdinand, the heir to the King of Romania, in 1893.[11]

In November 1891, George's elder brother King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria.

On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of

George V
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 3 June 1865 Died: 20 January 1936
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Edward VII
King of the United Kingdom
and the British Dominions

Name of title changed by the
Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927
Emperor of India
Succeeded by
Edward VIII
New title
Name of title changed by the
Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927
King of Great Britain, Ireland
and the British Dominions

British royalty
Preceded by
Prince Albert Edward
later became King Edward VII
Prince of Wales
Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Rothesay

Succeeded by
Prince Edward
later became King Edward VIII
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
St Michael and St George
Grand Master of the Order of

Title next held by
Edward, Prince of Wales
Preceded by
The Lord Curzon of Kedleston
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by
The Earl Brassey

External links

  • Clay, Catrine (2006), King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War, London: John Murray,  
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33369, retrieved 1 May 2010 (Subscription required)
  • Sinclair, David (1988), Two Georges: The Making of the Modern Monarchy, London: Hodder and Stoughton,  


  1. ^ His godparents were the Princess Louise stood proxy) (The Times (London), Saturday, 8 July 1865, p. 12).
  2. ^ Clay, p. 39; Sinclair, pp. 46–47
  3. ^ Sinclair, pp. 49–50
  4. ^ Clay, p. 71; Rose, p. 7
  5. ^ Rose, p. 13
  6. ^ Keene, Donald Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912 (Columbia University Press, 2002) pgs. 350–351
  7. ^ Rose, p. 14; Sinclair, p. 55
  8. ^ Rose, p. 11
  9. ^ Clay, p. 92; Rose, pp. 15–16
  10. ^ Sinclair, p. 69
  11. ^ Pope-Hennessy, pp. 250–251
  12. ^ Rose, pp. 20–21, 24
  13. ^ Pope-Hennessy, pp. 230–231
  14. ^ Sinclair, p. 178
  15. ^ a b c d e f Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33369, retrieved 1 May 2010 (Subscription required)
  16. ^ Clay, p. 149
  17. ^ Clay, p. 150; Rose, p. 35
  18. ^ Renamed from Bachelor's Cottage
  19. ^ Clay, p. 154; Nicolson, p. 51; Rose, p. 97
  20. ^ Harold Nicolson's diary quoted in Sinclair, p. 107
  21. ^ Nicolson's Comments 1944–1948, quoted in Rose, p. 42
  22. ^ The Royal Philatelic Collection, Official website of the British Monarchy, retrieved 1 May 2010 
  23. ^ Rose, pp. 53–57; Sinclair, p. 93 ff
  24. ^ Clay, p. 167
  25. ^ Phillip Buckner, "The Royal Tour of 1901 and the Construction of an Imperial Identity in South Africa." South African Historical Journal 2000 (41): 324–348. Issn: 0258-2473
  26. ^ Rose, pp. 43–44
  27. ^ Judith Bassett, "'A Thousand Miles of Loyalty': the Royal Tour of 1901." New Zealand Journal of History 1987 21(1): 125–138. Issn: 0028-8322; W. H. Oliver, ed. The Oxford History of New Zealand (1981) pp. 206–208
  28. ^ Rose, p. 45
  29. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27375. p. 7289. 9 November 1901.
  30. ^ Previous Princes of Wales, Household of HRH The Prince of Wales, retrieved 1 May 2010 
  31. ^ Clay, p. 244; Rose, p. 52
  32. ^ Rose, p. 289
  33. ^ Sinclair, p. 107
  34. ^ Massie, Robert K. Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War (Random House, 1991) pgs. 449–450
  35. ^ Rose, pp. 61–66
  36. ^ The driver of their coach and over a dozen spectators were killed by a bomb thrown by an anarchist, Mateo Morales.
  37. ^ Rose, pp. 67–68
  38. ^ King George V's diary, 6 May 1910, Royal Archives, quoted in Rose, p. 75
  39. ^ Pope-Hennessy, p. 421; Rose, pp. 75–76
  40. ^ Rose, pp. 82–84
  41. ^ Wolffe, John (2010), "Protestantism, Monarchy and the Defence of Christian Britain 1837–2005", in Brown, Callum G.; Snape, Michael F., Secularisation in the Christian World, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, pp. 63–64,  
  42. ^ Rayner, Gordon (10 November 2010) "How George V was received by the Irish in 1911", The Telegraph
  43. ^ "The queen in 2011 ... the king in 1911". the Irish Examiner. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  44. ^ Rose, p. 136
  45. ^ Rose, pp. 39–40
  46. ^ About one bird every 20 seconds
  47. ^ Windsor, pp. 86–87
  48. ^ Rose, p. 115
  49. ^ Rose, pp. 112–114
  50. ^ Rose, p. 114
  51. ^ Rose, pp. 116–121
  52. ^ Rose, pp. 121–122
  53. ^ Rose, pp. 120, 141
  54. ^ Rose, pp. 121–125
  55. ^ Rose, pp. 125–130
  56. ^ Rose, p. 123
  57. ^ Rose, p. 137
  58. ^ Rose, pp. 141–143
  59. ^ Rose, pp. 152–153, 156–157
  60. ^ Rose, p. 157
  61. ^ Rose, pp. 138–139, 147–148
  62. ^ Nicolson, p. 308
  63. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30186. p. 7119. 17 July 1917. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  64. ^ Rose, pp. 174–175
  65. ^ At George's wedding in 1893, The Times claimed that the crowd may have confused Nicholas with George, because their beards and dress made them look alike superficially (The Times (London), Friday, 7 July 1893, p. 5). Their facial features were only different up close.
  66. ^ Nicolson, p. 310
  67. ^ Clay, p. 326; Rose, p. 173
  68. ^ Nicolson, p. 301; Rose, pp. 210–215; Sinclair, p. 148
  69. ^ Rose, p. 210
  70. ^ Crossland, John (15 October 2006), "British Spies In Plot To Save Tsar",  
  71. ^ Sinclair, p. 149
  72. ^ Pope-Hennessy, p. 511
  73. ^ Pinney, Thomas (ed.) (1990) , Vol. 5The Letters of Rudyard Kipling 1920–30, University of Iowa Press, note 1, p. 120, ISBN 978-0-87745-898-2
  74. ^ Rose, p. 294
  75. ^ "Archduke Otto von Habsburg", The Daily Telegraph (London), 4 July 2011 
  76. ^ Nicolson, p. 347; Rose, pp. 238–241; Sinclair, p. 114
  77. ^ Prochaska, Frank (1999). "George V and Republicanism, 1917–1919". Twentieth Century British History 10 (1): 27–51.  
  78. ^ Kirk, Neville (2005). "The Conditions of Royal Rule: Australian and British Socialist and Labour Attitudes to the Monarchy, 1901–11". Social History 30 (1): 64–88.  
  79. ^ Nicolson, p. 419; Rose, pp. 341–342
  80. ^ Rose, p. 340; Sinclair, p. 105
  81. ^ a b Rose, pp. 373–379
  82. ^ Twentieth Century British History 2 (1): 1–25 (Subscription required). Philip Williamson disputes Bogdanor, saying the idea of a national government had been in the minds of party leaders since late 1930 and it was they, not the King, who determined when the time had come to establish one, in Williamson, Philip (1991) "1931 Revisited: the Political Realities", Twentieth Century British History 2 (3): 328–338 (Subscription required).
  83. ^ Sinclair p. 154
  84. ^ Nicolson, pp. 521–522; Rose, p. 388
  85. ^ Sinclair, p. 1
  86. ^  
  87. ^  
  88. ^ Rose, p. 392
  89. ^ Rose, pp. 301, 344
  90. ^ Ziegler, pp. 192–196
  91. ^ Arthur Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, to Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, 9 July 1929, quoted in Nicolson p. 433 and Rose, p. 359
  92. ^ Pope-Hennessy, p. 546; Rose, pp. 359–360
  93. ^  
  94. ^  
  95. ^ Rose, pp. 360–361
  96. ^ Bradford, Sarah (1989), King George VI, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 149,  
  97. ^ Pope-Hennessy, p. 558
  98. ^ The Times (London), 22 January 1936, p. 7, col. A
  99. ^ The Times (London), 21 January 1936, p. 12, col. A
  100. ^ Rose, p. 402
  101. ^ a b Watson, Francis (1986), "The Death of George V", History Today 36: 21–30 
  102. ^ Ramsay, J. H. R. (28 May 1994), "A king, a doctor, and a convenient death",   (Subscription required)
  103. ^ Steinberg, Michael (2000), The Concerto, Oxford University Press, pp. 212–213,  
  104. ^ Windsor, p. 267
  105. ^ The cross surmounting the crown, composed of a sapphire and 200 diamonds, was retrieved by a soldier following later in the procession.
  106. ^ The Times (London), Tuesday, 28 January 1936, p. 10, col. F
  107. ^ Rose, pp. 404–405
  108. ^ e.g.
  109. ^ Andrew Pierce (4 August 2009), "Buckingham Palace is unlikely shrine to the history of jazz", The Telegraph (London), retrieved 11 February 2012 
  110. ^ Clay, p. 245; Gore, p. 293; Nicolson, pp. 33, 141, 510, 517
  111. ^ Harrison, Brian (1996) The Transformation of British Politics, 1860–1995 pp. 320, 337
  112. ^ Gore, John (1941) King George V: A Personal Memoir pp. x, 116
  113. ^ Cannadine, David (1998) History in our Time p. 3
  114. ^ Harrison, p. 332; American reporters noted that the king "if not himself a characteristic example of the great British middle class, is so like the characteristic examples of that class that there is no perceptible distinction to be made between the two." Editors of Fortune, The King of England: George V (1936) p. 33
  115. ^ Rose, p. 328
  116. ^ Harrison, pp. 51, 327
  117. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac White, Geoffrey H.; Lea, R. S. (eds.) (1959) Complete Peerage, London: St Catherine's Press, vol. XII, pp. 924–925
  118. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27293. p. 1762. 12 March 1901.
  119. ^ Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (eds; 1999) Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, London: Debrett's Peerage, vol. 1, p. cv
  120. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25773. p. 102. 5 January 1888.
  121. ^ Rose, p. 18
  122. ^ Clay, p. 139
  123. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27262. p. 4. 1 January 1901.
  124. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27289. p. 1417. 26 February 1901.
  125. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28380. p. 3859. 31 May 1910.
  126. ^ "New Titles in the R.A.F." (pdf),  
  127. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27263. p. 83. 4 January 1901.
  128. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27383. p. 8644. 6 December 1901.
  129. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27389. p. 8982. 20 December 1901.
  130. ^ a b c d e Photograph of King George V taken August/September 1897, Victoria and Albert Museum
  131. ^ a b c d e f g h Written Answers to Questions: Column 383W, Hansard, 10 March 2010 
  132. ^ Estonian State Decorations, Office of the President, retrieved 28 March 2013 
  133. ^ Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas, Presidência da República Portuguesa, retrieved 28 March 2013 
  134. ^ The Times (London), Saturday, 2 February 1901, p. 5
  135. ^ The Times (London), Monday, 27 January 1902, p. 5
  136. ^ The Times (London), Friday, 7 February 1902, p. 12
  137. ^ a b Boucher, Maurice (1973) Spes in Arduis: a history of the University of South Africa, Pretoria: UNISA, pp. 74 and 114
  138. ^ The Times (London), 1 June 1901, p. 3
  139. ^ The Times (London), 22 August 1901, p. 3
  140. ^ The Times (London), Saturday, 12 October 1901, p. 5
  141. ^ The Times (London), Wednesday, 16 October 1901, p. 3
  142. ^ Velde, François (19 April 2008), "Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family", Heraldica, retrieved 1 May 2010.

Notes and sources


Name Birth Death Spouse Children
Edward VIII
Later Duke of Windsor
23 June 1894 28 May 1972 Wallis Simpson None
George VI
(Albert Frederick Arthur George)
14 December 1895 6 February 1952 Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon Elizabeth II
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood 25 April 1897 28 March 1965 Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood
The Honourable Gerald Lascelles
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester 31 March 1900 10 June 1974 Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott Prince William of Gloucester
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Prince George, Duke of Kent 20 December 1902 25 August 1942 Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Prince Michael of Kent
Prince John 12 July 1905 18 January 1919 Never married None


Coat of arms of George as Duke of York 
Coat of arms of George as Prince of Wales 
Coat of arms of George V in the United Kingdom (except Scotland) 
Coat of arms of George V in Scotland 

As Duke of York, George's arms were the royal arms, with an inescutcheon of the arms of Saxony, all differenced with a label of three points argent, the centre point bearing an anchor azure. As Prince of Wales the centre label lost its anchor. As King, he bore the royal arms. In 1917, he removed, by warrant, the Saxony inescutcheon from the arms of all male-line descendants of the Prince Consort domiciled in the United Kingdom (although the royal arms themselves had never borne the shield).[142]


Honorary degrees and offices

Honorary foreign military appointments

Foreign honours

Military appointments

British honours

His full style as king was "His Majesty George V, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India" until the

  • 3 June 1865 – 24 May 1892: His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales
  • 24 May 1892 – 22 January 1901: His Royal Highness The Duke of York
  • 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1901: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York
  • 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
    • in Scotland: His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay
  • 6 May 1910 – 20 January 1936: His Majesty The King
    • and, occasionally, outside of the United Kingdom, and with regard to India: His Imperial Majesty The King-Emperor

Titles and styles

Titles, styles, honours and arms

On screen, George has been portrayed by:

On-screen portrayals

Numerous statues of King George V include Seafarers UK).

[116] Nevertheless, he invariably wielded his influence as a force of neutrality and moderation, seeing his role as mediator rather than final decision maker.[115] He was by temperament a traditionalist who never fully appreciated or approved the revolutionary changes under way in British society.[114] He was unintellectual and lacked the sophistication of his two royal predecessors: on returning from one evening at the opera he wrote, "Went to [108] George preferred to stay at home pursuing his hobbies of stamp collecting and game shooting, and lived a life that later biographers would consider dull because of its conventionality.

George V Canada 1-cent stamp 1930
Trilingual plaque commemorating the opening of Jerusalem, by Herbert Samuel, High Commissioner of Palestine, 1924
Statue of King George V in Brisbane City Hall


[107] As a mark of respect to their father, George's four surviving sons,

At the procession to George's Lying in State in Westminster Hall, part of the Imperial State Crown fell from on top of the coffin and landed in the gutter as the cortège turned into New Palace Yard. The new king, Edward VIII, saw it fall and wondered whether it was a bad omen for his new reign.[104][105] Edward abdicated before the year was out, leaving his brother Albert, Duke of York, to ascend the throne (taking the regnal name George VI).

The German composer Paul Hindemith went to a BBC studio on the morning after the King's death and in six hours wrote Trauermusik (Mourning Music). It was performed that same evening in a live broadcast by the BBC, with Adrian Boult conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the composer as soloist.[103]

The Radio Times page for the day of the funeral, showing no programmes scheduled, and the words "Arrangements will be announced over the microphone"

By 20 January, he was close to death. His physicians, led by Lord Dawson of Penn, issued a bulletin with words that became famous: "The King's life is moving peacefully towards its close."[99][100] Dawson's private diary, unearthed after his death and made public in 1986, reveals that the King's last words, a mumbled "God damn you!",[101] were addressed to his nurse when she gave him a sedative on the night of 20 January. Dawson wrote that he hastened the King's death by giving him a lethal combination of morphine and cocaine. Dawson noted that he acted to preserve the King's dignity, to prevent further strain on the family, and so that the King's death at 11:55 p.m. could be announced in the morning edition of The Times newspaper rather than "less appropriate ... evening journals".[101][102]

each time he became conscious it was some kind inquiry or kind observation of someone, some words of gratitude for kindness shown. But he did say to his secretary when he sent for him: "How is the Empire?" An unusual phrase in that form, and the secretary said: "All is well, sir, with the Empire", and the King gave him a smile and relapsed once more into unconsciousness.[98]

George never fully recovered. In his final year, he was occasionally administered oxygen.[96] On the evening of 15 January 1936, the King took to his bedroom at Sandringham House complaining of a cold; he never again left the room alive.[97] He became gradually weaker, drifting in and out of consciousness. Prime Minister Baldwin later said,

The First World War took a toll on George's health: he was seriously injured on 28 October 1915 when thrown by his horse at a troop review in France, and his heavy smoking exacerbated recurring breathing problems. He suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pleurisy. In 1925, on the instruction of his doctors, he was reluctantly sent on a recuperative private cruise in the Mediterranean; it was his third trip abroad since the war, and his last.[89] In November 1928, he fell seriously ill with septicaemia, and for the next two years his son Edward took over many of his duties.[90] In 1929, the suggestion of a further rest abroad was rejected by the King "in rather strong language".[91] Instead, he retired for three months to Craigweil House, Aldwick, in the seaside resort of Bognor, Sussex.[92] As a result of his stay, the town acquired the suffix "Regis", which is Latin for "of the King". A myth later grew that his last words, upon being told that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, were "Bugger Bognor!"[93][94][95]

Declining health and death

George's relationship with his eldest son and heir, [87][88]

"No means test for these 'unemployed'!" by Maro, 1935. The Silver Jubilee of King George V was celebrated across Britain, but with the country in a financial depression not everyone approved of the public expense associated with the royal family.

He was concerned by the rise to power in Germany in 1933 of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. In 1934, the King bluntly told the German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch that Germany was now the peril of the world, and that, if she went on at the present rate, there was bound to be a war within ten years; he warned the British ambassador in Berlin Eric Phipps to be suspicious of the Nazis.[84] By the silver jubilee of his reign in 1935, he had become a well-loved king, saying in response to the crowd's adulation, "I cannot understand it, after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow."[85]

In 1932, George agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event which became annual thereafter. He was not in favour of the innovation originally but was persuaded by the argument that it was what his people wanted.[83]

In the wake of a world financial crisis, the King encouraged the formation of a National Government in 1931 led by MacDonald and Baldwin,[81][82] and volunteered to reduce the civil list to help balance the budget.[81]

In 1926, George hosted an

[80] and took exception to suggestions that the strikers were "revolutionaries" saying, "Try living on their wages before you judge them."[79] against taking inflammatory action,Stanley Baldwin Conservative the King advised the government of General Strike of 1926 During the [78][77] The King and his leading advisers were concerned about the rise of socialism and the growing labour movement, which they associated with republicanism. Their concerns, although exaggerated, resulted in a redesign of the monarchy's social role to be more inclusive of the working class and its representatives—a dramatic change for George, who was most comfortable with naval officers and landed gentry. In fact the socialists no longer believed in their anti-monarchical slogans and were ready to come to terms with the monarchy if it took the first step. George took that step, adopting a more democratic stance that crossed class lines and brought the monarchy closer to the public. The King also cultivated friendly relations with moderate

Before the First World War, most of Europe was ruled by monarchs related to George, but during and after the war, the monarchies of Austria, Germany, Greece, and Spain, like Russia, fell to revolution and war. In March 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Smuts, appealed for conciliation. A few weeks later, a truce was agreed. Negotiations between Britain and the Irish secessionists led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. By the end of 1922, Ireland was partitioned, the Irish Free State was established, and Lloyd George was out of office.

King George V in 1923

Later life

[74] In May 1922, the King toured Belgium and northern France, visiting the First World War cemeteries and memorials being constructed by the

Two months after the end of the war, the King's youngest son, [72]

When Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark) and other members of the extended Russian imperial family were rescued from the Crimea by British ships.

[67] In

King George V (right) and his physically similar cousin Emperor Nicholas II in German military uniforms in Berlin before the war.[65]

On 17 July 1917, George appeased British nationalist feelings by issuing a royal proclamation that changed the name of the British Princess Marie Louise and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein dropped their territorial designations.

From 1914 to 1918, [62]

"A good riddance"
A 1917 Punch cartoon depicts George sweeping away his German titles.

First World War

The 1910 general elections had left the Liberals as a minority government dependent upon the support of meeting of all parties at Buckingham Palace in July 1914 in an attempt to negotiate a settlement.[59] After four days the conference ended without an agreement.[15][60] On 18 September 1914, the King – having considered vetoing the legislation[61] – gave his assent to the Home Rule Bill after it had been passed by Westminster, but its implementation was postponed by a Suspensory Act due to the outbreak of the First World War.

[56] permanently removed – with a few exceptions – the power of the Lords to veto bills. The King later came to feel that Knollys had withheld information from him about the willingness of the opposition to form a government if the Liberals had resigned.Parliament Act 1911 The subsequent [55], the Lords let the bill pass on hearing of the threat to swamp the house with new peers.December 1910 election After the [54] Asquith attempted to curtail the power of the Lords through constitutional reforms, which were again blocked by the Upper House. A constitutional conference on the reforms broke down in November 1910 after 21 meetings. Asquith and

George inherited the throne at a politically turbulent time.[48] People's Budget had been rejected the previous year by the Conservative and Unionist-dominated House of Lords, contrary to the normal convention that the Lords did not veto money bills.[49] Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith had asked the previous king to give an undertaking that he would create sufficient Liberal peers to force the budget through the House. Edward reluctantly agreed if the Lords rejected the budget after two successive general elections. After a general election in January 1910, the Conservative peers allowed the budget, for which the government now had an electoral mandate, to pass without a vote.[50]

A half-sovereign minted during George's reign (Bertram Mackennal, sculptor)

National politics

George and Mary's big game hunting in Nepal, shooting 21 tigers, 8 rhinoceroses and a bear over 10 days.[44] He was a keen and expert marksman.[45] On 18 December 1913, he shot over a thousand pheasants in six hours[46] at the home of Lord Burnham, although even he had to acknowledge that "we went a little too far" that day.[47]

George objected to the anti-Catholic wording of the Accession Declaration that he would be required to make at the opening of his first parliament. He made it known that he would refuse to open parliament as long as he was obliged to make the declaration in its current form. As a result the Accession Declaration Act 1910 shortened the declaration and removed the most offensive phrases.[41]

[40] Later that year, a radical propagandist, [39] George had never liked his wife's habit of signing official documents and letters as "Victoria Mary" and insisted she drop one of those names. They both thought she should not be called Queen Victoria, and so she became Queen Mary.

On 6 May 1910, [38]

The King in Coronation Robes by Sam Begg

King and Emperor

[37] From November 1905 to March 1906, George and May toured

On 9 November 1901, George was created Jacky Fisher.[34]

In Australia, the Duke opened the first session of the [28]

Painting of the Duke opening the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901

In 1901, George and May toured the Afrikaners resented the display and expense, the war having weakened their capacity to reconcile their Afrikaner-Dutch culture with their status as British subjects. Critics in the English-language press decried the enormous cost at a time when families faced severe hardship.[25]

As Duke and Duchess of York, George and May carried out a wide variety of public duties. On the death of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, and for much of the rest of that year, he was styled His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York.

George at Montreal and Quebec, 1901

In October 1894, George's uncle-by-marriage,

[23] George and May had five sons and a daughter.

The Duke and Duchess of York lived mainly at York Cottage,[18] a relatively small house in Royal Philatelic Collection into the most comprehensive collection of United Kingdom and Commonwealth stamps in the world, in some cases setting record purchase prices for items.[22]

The death of his elder brother effectively ended George's naval career, as he was now second in line to succeed to the throne, after his father.[15] George was created Duchess of York.

Country house, partially obscured by greenery, viewed from across a pond. The observable frontage comprises five gables, with a turret between the four gables on the left and the rightmost gable.
York Cottage at Sandringham House: George and his wife lived here from 1893 to 1926.

Duke of York


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