George V of the United Kingdom
Overview
George V was King of the United Kingdom
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War (1914–1918) until his death in 1936.

George was a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. From 1877 until 1891 he served in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. On the death of Victoria in 1901, George's father became King Edward VII, and George was made Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

.
Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1910    George V becomes King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII.

1911    George V and Mary of Teck are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1911    King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India.

1913    Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. She is trampled, never regains consciousness and dies a few days later.

1917    King George V of the United Kingdom issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family will bear the surname Windsor.

1919    King George V of the United Kingdom proclaims Armistice Day (later Remembrance Day). The idea is first suggested by Edward George Honey.

1921    The Southwark Bridge in London, is opened for traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1922    At Windsor Castle, King George V receives the colours of the six Irish regiments that are to be disbanded – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the South Irish Horse, the Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Quotations

No more coals to Newcastle, no more Hoares to Paris.

Said in December 1935 following the furore that erupted over the Hoare-Laval Pact|Hoare-Laval Pact.

Encyclopedia
George V was King of the United Kingdom
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War (1914–1918) until his death in 1936.

George was a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. From 1877 until 1891 he served in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. On the death of Victoria in 1901, George's father became King Edward VII, and George was made Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. On his father's death in 1910, he succeeded as King-Emperor
King-Emperor
A king-emperor, the female equivalent being queen-empress, is a sovereign ruler who is simultaneously a king of one territory and emperor of another...

 of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar
Delhi Durbar
The Delhi Durbar , meaning "Court of Delhi", was a mass assembly at Coronation Park, Delhi, India, to mark the coronation of a King and Queen of the United Kingdom. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire. The 1911...

.

As a result of the First World War, other empires in Europe fell while his expanded to its greatest extent. In 1917, he became the first monarch of the House of Windsor
House of Windsor
The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom...

, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a German dynasty, the senior line of the Saxon House of Wettin that ruled the Ernestine duchies, including the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha....

 as a result of anti-German public sentiment. His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, and the Indian independence movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911
Parliament Act 1911
The Parliament Act 1911 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is constitutionally important and partly governs the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords which make up the Houses of Parliament. This Act must be construed as one with the Parliament Act 1949...

 established the supremacy of the elected House of Commons of the United Kingdom over the unelected House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

. He appointed the first Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 ministry in 1924 and in 1931, the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

 recognised the dominions of the empire as separate, independent kingdoms within the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. 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

George was born on 3 June 1865, at Marlborough House
Marlborough House
Marlborough House is a mansion in Westminster, London, in Pall Mall just east of St James's Palace. It was built for Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, the favourite and confidante of Queen Anne. The Duchess wanted her new house to be "strong, plain and convenient and good"...

, London, as the second son of the Prince
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Princess of Wales
Princess of Wales
Princess of Wales is a British courtesy title held by the wife of The Prince of Wales since the first "English" Prince of Wales in 1283.Although there have been considerably more than ten male heirs to the throne, there have been only ten Princesses of Wales. The majority of Princes of Wales...

, Albert Edward
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 and Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

. His father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

. As a son of the Prince of Wales, George was styled His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales at birth. He was baptised in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

, on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, Charles Longley.

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, Prince Albert Victor. George was only seventeen months younger than Albert Victor, and the two princes were educated together. John Neale Dalton
John Neale Dalton
Canon John Neale Dalton KCVO CMG was a chaplain to Queen Victoria and tutor to King George V of the United Kingdom.-Life history:...

 was appointed as their tutor in 1871. Neither Albert Victor nor George excelled intellectually. As their father thought that the navy was "the very best possible training for any boy", in September 1877, when George was twelve years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia
HMS Prince of Wales (1860)
HMS Prince of Wales was one of six 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate three-decker line-of-battle ships of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1860...

 at Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes...

.

For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on HMS Bacchante
HMS Bacchante (1876)
HMS Bacchante was a Bacchante-class ironclad screw-propelled corvette of the Royal Navy. She is particularly famous for being the ship on which the Princes George and Albert served as midshipmen....

, accompanied by Dalton. They toured the colonies of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, South Africa and Australia, and visited Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean, Egypt, and East Asia. In Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm. Dalton wrote an account of their journey entitled The Cruise of HMS Bacchante. Between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton records a sighting of the Flying Dutchman, a mythical ghost ship. When they returned to Britain, Queen Victoria complained that her grandsons could not speak French or German, and so they spent six months in Lausanne
Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to learn another language. After Lausanne, the brothers were separated; Albert Victor attended Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, while George continued in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. He travelled the world, visited many areas of the British Empire, and served actively until his last command in 1891–1892. From then on, his naval rank was largely honorary.

Marriage

As a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the third Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and reigned from 1893 to 1900. He was also a member of the British Royal Family, the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha...

, who was stationed in Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

. There, he grew close to and fell in love with his uncle's daughter, his first cousin, Marie of Edinburgh
Marie of Romania
Marie of Romania was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand I of Romania.-Early life:...

. His grandmother, father and uncle all approved the match, but the mothers—the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh—both opposed it. The Princess of Wales thought the family was too pro-German, and the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked England. Marie's mother was the only daughter of the Tsar of Russia. She resented the fact that, as the wife of a younger son of the British sovereign, she had to yield precedence to George's mother, the Princess of Wales, whose father had been a minor German prince before being called unexpectedly to the throne of Denmark. Guided by her mother, Marie refused George when he proposed to her. She married Ferdinand, the heir to the King of Romania
King of Romania
King of the Romanians , rather than King of Romania , was the official title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when Romania was proclaimed a republic....

, in 1893.

In November 1891, George's elder brother Albert Victor became engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

. She was known within the family as "May", nicknamed after her birth month. May's father, Prince Francis, Duke of Teck
Francis, Duke of Teck
Francis, Duke of Teck , was a member of the German nobility, and later of the British Royal Family. He was the father of Queen Mary, the wife of King George V...

, belonged to a morganatic, cadet branch of the house of Württemberg
House of Württemberg
The Württemberg family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Württemberg. The House has its origins, according to recent research, probably in the vicinity of the Salian dynasty.-History:...

. Her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of George III, and great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. She held the title of Duchess of Teck through marriage.Mary Adelaide is remembered as the mother of Queen Mary, the consort of...

, was a male-line grand-daughter of King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 and a first cousin of Queen Victoria.

Six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

, leaving George second in line to the throne, and likely to succeed after his father. Queen Victoria still regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, and George and May grew close during their shared period of mourning. A year after Albert Victor's death, George duly proposed to May and was accepted. They married on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal
Chapel Royal
A Chapel Royal is a body of priests and singers who serve the spiritual needs of their sovereign wherever they are called upon to do so.-Austria:...

 in St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

, London. Throughout their lives, they remained devoted to each other. George was, on his own admission, unable to express his feelings easily in speech, but they often exchanged loving letters and notes of endearment.

Duke of York

The death of his elder brother effectively ended George's naval career, as he was now directly in the line of succession. George was created Duke of York
Duke of York
The Duke of York is a title of nobility in the British peerage. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of the British monarch. The title has been created a remarkable eleven times, eight as "Duke of York" and three as the double-barreled "Duke of York and...

, Earl of Inverness
Earl of Inverness
The title of Earl of Inverness was first created in 1718 in the Jacobite Peerage of Scotland by James Francis Edward Stuart for the Honourable John Hay of Cromlix, third son of the 7th Earl of Kinnoull, but became extinct upon the death of the grantee in 1740.It has been created several times in ...

 and Baron Killarney by Queen Victoria on 24 May 1892, and received lessons in constitutional history from J. R. Tanner. After George's marriage to May, she was styled Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York
Duchess of York
Duchess of York is the principal courtesy title held by the wife of the Duke of York. The title is gained with marriage alone and is forfeited upon divorce. Four of the twelve Dukes of York did not marry or had already assumed the throne prior to marriage, therefore there have only ever been eleven...

.

The Duke and Duchess of York lived mainly at York Cottage, a relatively small house in Sandringham, Norfolk
Sandringham, Norfolk
Sandringham is a village and civil parish in the north of the English county of Norfolk. The village is situated some south of the village of Dersingham, north of the town of King's Lynn and north-west of the city of Norwich....

, where their way of life mirrored that of a comfortable middle-class family rather than royalty. George preferred a simple, almost quiet, life in marked contrast to the lively social life pursued by his father. His official biographer, Harold Nicolson
Harold Nicolson
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.-Early life:Nicolson was born in Tehran, Persia, the younger son of...

, later despaired of George's time as Duke of York, writing: "He may be all right as a young midshipman and a wise old king, but when he was Duke of York ... he did nothing at all but kill [i.e. shoot] animals and stick in stamps." George was a well-known stamp collector, which Nicolson denigrated, but George played a large role in building the Royal Philatelic Collection
Royal Philatelic Collection
The Royal Philatelic Collection is the postage stamp collection of the British Royal Family. It is the most comprehensive collection of items related to the philately of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, with many unique pieces.- Early history :...

 into the most comprehensive collection of United Kingdom and Commonwealth stamps in the world, in some cases setting record purchase prices for items.

George and May had five sons and a daughter. Randolph Churchill
Randolph Churchill
Major Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer-Churchill, MBE was the son of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. He was a Conservative Member of Parliament for Preston from 1940 to 1945....

 claimed that George was a strict father, to the extent that his children were terrified of him, and that George had remarked to Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby
Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby
Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby KG, GCB, GCVO, TD, PC, KGStJ, JP , known as Lord Stanley from 1893 to 1908, was a British soldier, Conservative politician, diplomat and racehorse owner. He was twice Secretary of State for War and also served as British Ambassador to...

: "My father was frightened of his mother, I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me." In reality there is no direct source for the quotation and it is likely that George's parenting style was little different from that adopted by most people at the time.

Prince of Wales

As Duke and Duchess of York, George and May carried out a wide variety of public duties. On the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901, George's father ascended the throne as King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

. George inherited the titles of Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

, and for much of the rest of that year, he was styled His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York.

In 1901, George and May toured the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. Their tour included South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Colony of Newfoundland. The tour was designed by Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain
Joseph Chamberlain
Joseph Chamberlain was an influential British politician and statesman. Unlike most major politicians of the time, he was a self-made businessman and had not attended Oxford or Cambridge University....

 with the support of Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. Its primary goal was to reward the dominions for their participation in the South African War of 1899–1902. At every stop George ceremoniously presented thousands of specially designed South African War medals to colonial troops. In South Africa the royal party was greeted by elaborate decorations, expensive gifts, fireworks displays, and met with civic leaders, African leaders, and Boer prisoners. Despite this outward display, not all residents responded favourably to the tour. Many white Cape Afrikaners resented both the display and the expense, the events of 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 expenditures at a time when families faced severe hardship. In Australia the Duke opened the first session of the Australian Parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

 upon the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia
Constitutional history of Australia
-Emergence of the Commonwealth of Australia:After European settlement in 1788, Australia was politically organised as a number of separate British colonies, eventually six in all...

. The tour gave New Zealanders a chance to show off their progress, especially in their adoption of up-to-date British standards in communications and the processing industries, and to be honoured by the Duke for what he praised as their military values, bravery, loyalty, and obedience to duty. The implicit goal was to advertise New Zealand's attractiveness to tourists and potential immigrants, while avoiding news of growing social tensions. The visit to New Zealand focused the attention of the British press on a land few knew about. On his return to Britain, in a speech at London's Guildhall
Guildhall, London
The Guildhall is a building in the City of London, off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. It has been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its Corporation...

, George warned of "the impression which seemed to prevail among [our] brethren across the seas, that the Old Country must wake up if she intends to maintain her old position of pre-eminence in her colonial trade against foreign competitors."

On 9 November 1901, George was created Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.- Honour of Chester :The...

. King Edward VII wished to prepare his son for his future role as King. In contrast to Edward himself, whom Queen Victoria had deliberately excluded from state affairs, George was given wide access to state documents by his father. George in turn allowed his wife access to his papers, as he valued her counsel and May often helped write her husband's speeches.

From November 1905 to March 1906, George and May toured British India, where he was disgusted by racial discrimination and campaigned for greater involvement of Indians in the government of the country. The tour was almost immediately followed by a trip to Spain for the wedding of King Alfonso XIII
Alfonso XIII of Spain
Alfonso XIII was King of Spain from 1886 until 1931. His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was appointed regent during his minority...

 to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, at which the bride and groom narrowly avoided assassination. A week after returning to Britain, George and May travelled to Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 for the coronation of King Haakon VII
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 and Queen Maud
Maud of Wales
Princess Maud of Wales was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. She was a member of the British Royal Family as the youngest daughter of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark and granddaughter of Queen Victoria and also of Christian IX of Denmark. She was the younger sister of George V...

, George's sister.

King and Emperor

On 6 May 1910, King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 died, and George became King. He 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. Later that year, a radical propagandist, Edward Mylius
Edward Mylius
Edward Mylius was a French journalist jailed for criminal libel for publishing a report that King George V of the United Kingdom was a bigamist....

, published a lie that George had secretly married in Malta as a young man, and that consequently his marriage to Queen Mary was bigamous. The lie had first surfaced in print in 1893 but George had shrugged it off as a joke. In an effort to kill off rumours, Mylius was arrested, tried and found guilty of criminal libel, and was sentenced to a year in prison.

The new King and Queen's coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 took place at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 22 June 1911, and was celebrated by the Festival of Empire
Festival of Empire
The Festival of Empire or Festival of the Empire was held at The Crystal Palace in London in 1911, to celebrate the coronation of King George V...

 in London. Later in 1911, the King and Queen travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar, where they were presented to an assembled audience of Indian dignitaries and princes as the Emperor and Empress of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

 on 12 December 1911. George wore the newly-created Imperial Crown of India
Imperial Crown of India
The Imperial Crown of India was the crown of the Sovereign as Emperor of India during the time of the British Raj. The crown is housed with, but is not part of, the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.-History:...

 at the ceremony, and declared the shifting of the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

. On 15 December, he laid the foundation stone of New Delhi with Queen Mary. They travelled throughout the sub-continent, and George took the opportunity to indulge in big game hunting
Big game hunting
Big game hunting is the hunting of large game. The term is historically associated with the hunting of Africa's Big Five game , and with tigers and rhinos on the Indian subcontinent. In North America, animals such as bears and bison were hunted...

 in Nepal, shooting 21 tigers, 8 rhinoceroses and a bear over 10 days. He was a keen and expert marksman. On 18 December 1913, he shot over a thousand pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

s in six hours at the home of Lord Burnham
Baron Burnham
Baron Burnham, of Hall Barn in the Parish of Beaconsfield in the County of Buckingham, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1903 for the influential newspaper magnate Sir Edward Levy-Lawson, 1st Baronet, owner of the Daily Telegraph...

, although even he had to acknowledge that "we went a little too far" that day.

George inherited the throne at a politically turbulent time. The Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith
H. H. Asquith
Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, KG, PC, KC served as the Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916...

, led a minority government dependent upon the support of Irish Nationalists
Nationalist Party (Ireland)
The Nationalist Party was a term commonly used to describe a number of parliamentary political parties and constituency organisations supportive of Home Rule for Ireland from 1874 to 1922...

. Asquith's reforming People's Budget
People's Budget
The 1909 People's Budget was a product of then British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, introducing many unprecedented taxes on the wealthy and radical social welfare programmes to Britain's political life...

 had been rejected the previous year by the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

-dominated House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

. Asquith had asked the previous King to give an undertaking that he would create sufficient Liberal peers to force the budget through the House if it was rejected again. Edward had reluctantly agreed, with conditions, and after a general election in January 1910 and fearing the mass creation, the Conservative peers let the budget through. Asquith attempted to curtail the power of the Lords through constitutional reforms, which were again blocked by the Upper House. Like his father, George reluctantly agreed to Asquith's request to create sufficient Liberal peers after a general election if the Lords blocked the legislation. After the December 1910 election, the Lords once again let the bill pass on hearing of the threat to swamp the house with new peers. The subsequent Parliament Act 1911
Parliament Act 1911
The Parliament Act 1911 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is constitutionally important and partly governs the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords which make up the Houses of Parliament. This Act must be construed as one with the Parliament Act 1949...

 permanently removed the power of the Lords to veto money bill
Money bill
In the Westminster system , a money bill or supply bill is a bill that solely concerns taxation or government spending , as opposed to changes in public law.- Conventions :...

s. As part of his Irish policy, Asquith introduced legislation that would give Ireland Home Rule
Home Rule Act 1914
The Government of Ireland Act 1914 , also known as the Third Home Rule Bill, was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to provide self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The Act was the first law ever passed by the Parliament of...

, but the Conservatives and Unionists
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

 opposed it. Desperate to avoid the prospect of Civil War in Ireland between Unionists and Nationalists, George called a meeting of all parties at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 in July 1914 in an attempt to negotiate a settlement. After four days the Conference ended without an agreement. On 18 September 1914, the King gave his assent to the Home Rule Bill, but its implementation was postponed by a Suspensory Act due to the outbreak of World War I.

First World War

From 1914 to 1918 Britain was at war
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II
William II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe...

, who for the British public came to symbolise all the horrors of the war, was the King's first cousin. The King's paternal grandfather was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; consequently, the King and his children bore the titles Prince and Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke and Duchess of Saxony. Queen Mary, although British like her mother, was the daughter of the Duke of Teck
Duke of Teck
Duke of Teck was, in medieval times, a title borne by the head of a principality named Teck in the Holy Roman Empire, centered around Teck castle in Germany. That territory was held by a branch line of the Zähringen dynasty from 1187 to 1439, known historically as the first House of Teck...

, a descendant of the German Dukes of Württemberg. The King had brothers-in-law and cousins who were British subjects but who bore German titles such as Duke and Duchess of Teck, Prince and Princess of Battenberg, and Prince and Princess of Schleswig-Holstein. When H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 wrote about Britain's "alien and uninspiring court", George famously replied: "I may be uninspiring, but I'll be damned if I'm alien."

On 17 July 1917, George appeased British nationalist feelings by issuing a royal proclamation that changed the name of the British Royal House
Royal House
A royal house or royal dynasty consists of at least one, but usually more monarchs who are related to one another, as well as their non-reigning descendants and spouses. Monarchs of the same realm who are not related to one another are usually deemed to belong to different houses, and each house is...

 from the German-sounding House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a German dynasty, the senior line of the Saxon House of Wettin that ruled the Ernestine duchies, including the duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha....

 to the House of Windsor
House of Windsor
The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom...

. He and all his British relatives relinquished their German titles and styles, and adopted British-sounding surnames. George compensated his male relatives by creating them British peers. His cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg, who earlier in the war had been forced to resign as First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 through anti-German feeling, became Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Queen Mary's brothers became Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, GCB, GCVO, CMG , born Prince Adolphus of Teck and later The Duke of Teck , was a member of the British Royal Family and a younger brother of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V...

, and Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Major-General Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone , was a close relative of the shared British and Canadian royal family, as well as a British military commander and major-general who served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, the...

. George's cousins Princess Marie Louise
Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein
-Titles:*1872–1891: Her Highness Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein*1891–1900: Her Highness Princess Aribert of Anhalt*1900–1917: Her Highness Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein...

 and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
-Titles:*1870–1917: Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein*1917–1948: Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria-Honours:British honours*VA: Lady of the Order of Victoria and Albert...

 dropped their territorial designations.

In Letters Patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 gazetted on 11 December 1917, the King restricted the style "His (or Her) Royal Highness" and the titular dignity of "Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland" to the children of the Sovereign, the children of the sons of the Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest living son of a Prince of Wales. The Letters Patent also stated that "the titles of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness, and the titular dignity of Prince and Princess shall cease except those titles already granted and remaining unrevoked". Relatives of the British Royal Family who fought on the German side, such as Prince Ernst August of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (the senior male-line great grandson of George III) and Prince Carl Eduard, Duke of Albany and reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the fourth and last reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, two duchies in Germany , and the head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1900 until his death in 1954...

 (a male-line grandson of Queen Victoria), were cut off; their British peerages were suspended by a 1919 Order in Council under the provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917
Titles Deprivation Act 1917
The Titles Deprivation Act 1917 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which authorised enemies of the United Kingdom during the First World War to be deprived of their British peerages and royal titles. -Background:...

. Under pressure from his mother, Queen Alexandra, George also removed the Garter flags of his German relations from St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

.

When Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

, George's first cousin (their mothers were sisters), was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, the British Government offered asylum to the Tsar and his family, but worsening conditions for the British people, and fears that revolution might come to the British Isles, led George to think that the presence of the Russian royals might seem inappropriate under the circumstances. Despite the later claims of Lord Mountbatten of Burma
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 that David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, the Prime Minister, was opposed to the rescue of the Russian imperial family, the letters of the King's private secretary, Lord Stamfordham
Arthur Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham
Arthur John Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, GCB, GCVO, GCIE, KCSI, KCMG , ISO, PC , was a British soldier and courtier. He was Private Secretary to Queen Victoria during the last few years of her reign, and to King George V during most of his reign...

, suggest that it was George V who opposed the rescue against the advice of the government. Advanced planning for a rescue was undertaken by MI1
MI1
MI1 or British Military Intelligence, Section 1 was a department of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, part of the War Office. It was set up during World War I...

, a branch of the British secret service, but because of the strengthening position of the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 revolutionaries and wider difficulties with the conduct of the war, the plan was never put into operation. The Tsar and his immediate family remained in Russia, where they were murdered by Bolsheviks in 1918. The following year, Nicholas's mother (George's aunt) Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark) and other members of the extended Russian imperial family were rescued from the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 by British ships.

Two months after the end of the war, the King's youngest son, John
Prince John of the United Kingdom
The Prince John was a member of the British Royal Family, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary. The Prince had epilepsy and consequently was largely hidden from the public eye.-Early life:...

, died at the age of 13 after a lifetime of ill health. George was informed of his death by Queen Mary, who wrote, "[John] had been a great anxiety to us for many years ... The first break in the family circle is hard to bear but people have been so kind & sympathetic & this has helped us much."

In May 1922, the King toured northern France and Belgium, visiting the First World War cemeteries and memorials being constructed by the Imperial War Graves Commission. The event was described in a poem, The King's Pilgrimage
The King's Pilgrimage
The King's Pilgrimage is the title of a poem and book about the journey made by King George V in May 1922 to visit the World War I cemeteries and memorials being constructed at the time in France and Belgium by the Imperial War Graves Commission...

by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

. The tour, and one short visit to Italy in 1923, were the only times George agreed to leave the United Kingdom on official business after the end of the war.

Later life

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 Edward Lisle Strutt
Edward Lisle Strutt
Lt-Col. Edward Lisle Strutt CBE, DSO was an English soldier and mountaineer, and President of the Alpine Club from 1935–38.-Family:...

 was dispatched on the personal authority of the King to escort the former Emperor Charles I of Austria and his family to safety in Switzerland. In 1922, a Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 ship was sent to Greece to rescue his cousins, Prince and Princess Andrew. Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna of Russia. He was a grandson of Christian IX of Denmark.He began military training at an early age, and was...

 was a nephew of Queen Alexandra through her brother King George I of Greece, and Princess Andrew
Princess Alice of Battenberg
Princess Alice of Battenberg, later Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and mother-in-law of Elizabeth II....

 was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg, one of the German princes granted a British peerage in 1917. Their children included Prince Philip
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, who would later marry George's granddaughter, Elizabeth II. The Greek monarchy was restored again shortly before George's death.

Political turmoil in Ireland continued as the Nationalists fought for independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

; George expressed his horror at government-sanctioned killings and reprisals to Prime Minister David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

. At the opening session of the Parliament of Northern Ireland
Parliament of Northern Ireland
The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended...

 on 22 June 1921, the King, in a speech part drafted by Lloyd George and General Jan Smuts
Jan Smuts
Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM, CH, ED, KC, FRS, PC was a prominent South African and British Commonwealth statesman, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948...

, appealed for conciliation. A few days later, a truce was agreed. Negotiations between Britain and the Irish secessionists led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Anglo-Irish Treaty
The Anglo-Irish Treaty , officially called the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was a treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the secessionist Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of...

. By the end of 1922, Ireland was partitioned
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

, the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 was established, and Lloyd George was out of office.

The King and his top 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 Labour party politicians and trade union officials. George V's abandonment of social aloofness conditioned the royal family's behaviour and enhanced its popularity during the economic crises of the 1920s and for over two generations thereafter. The years between 1922 and 1929 saw frequent changes in government. In 1924, George appointed the first Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

, in the absence of a clear majority for any one of the three parties. George's tactful and understanding reception of the first Labour government (which lasted less than a year) allayed the suspicions of the party's sympathisers. During the General Strike of 1926
UK General Strike of 1926
The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted nine days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening...

 the King advised the Government of Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 against taking inflammatory action, and took exception to suggestions that the strikers were "revolutionaries" saying, "Try living on their wages before you judge them."

In 1926, George hosted an Imperial Conference in London at which the Balfour Declaration accepted the growth of the British Dominions into self-governing "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another". In 1931, the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

 formalised George's position as "the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations". The Statute established "that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles" would require the assent of the Parliaments of the Dominions as well as Parliament at Westminster, which could not legislate for the Dominions, except by consent.

In the wake of a world financial crisis
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, the King encouraged the formation of a National Government in 1931 led by MacDonald and Baldwin, and volunteered to reduce the civil list
Civil list
-United Kingdom:In the United Kingdom, the Civil List is the name given to the annual grant that covers some expenses associated with the Sovereign performing their official duties, including those for staff salaries, State Visits, public engagements, ceremonial functions and the upkeep of the...

 to help balance the budget.

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.

He was concerned by the coming to power in 1933 of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and the Nazis in Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. In 1934 the king bluntly told the German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch
Leopold von Hoesch
Leopold von Hoesch was a career German diplomat. Hoesch began his political career in France as the chargé d'affaires in 1923. Following the recall of the German Ambassador in 1923 after the Ruhr crisis, Hoesch was appointed acting head of the German Embassy in Paris. While in Paris, 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 his ambassador in Berlin Eric Phipps
Eric Phipps
Sir Eric Clare Edmund Phipps, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC was a British diplomat.-Family and early life:Phipps was the son of Sir Constantine Phipps, later British Ambassador to Belgium, and his wife Maria Jane...

 to be suspicious of the Nazis. By the silver jubilee
Silver Jubilee
A Silver Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 25th anniversary. The anniversary celebrations can be of a wedding anniversary, ruling anniversary or anything that has completed a 25 year mark...

 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."

George's relationship with his eldest son and heir, Edward
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

, deteriorated in these later years. George was disappointed in Edward's failure to settle down in life and appalled by his many affairs with married women. In contrast, he was fond of his second eldest son, Prince Albert
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 (later George VI), and doted on his eldest granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth; he nicknamed her "Lilibet", and she affectionately called him "Grandpa England". In 1935 George said of his son Edward: "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself within 12 months", and of Albert and Lilibet: "I pray to God my eldest son will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne."

Declining health and death

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
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , also known as chronic obstructive lung disease , chronic obstructive airway disease , chronic airflow limitation and chronic obstructive respiratory disease , is the co-occurrence of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases...

 and pleurisy
Pleurisy
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Among other things, infections are the most common cause of 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. In November 1928, he fell seriously ill with septicaemia, and for the next two years his son Edward took over many of his duties. In 1929, the suggestion of a further rest abroad was rejected by the King "in rather strong language". Instead, he retired for a brief period to Craigweil House, Aldwick, in the seaside resort of Bognor
Bognor Regis
Bognor Regis is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun district of West Sussex, on the south coast of England. It is south-south-west of London, west of Brighton, and south-east of the city of Chichester. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton east-north-east and Selsey to the...

, Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

. As a result of his stay, the town acquired the designation of '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!"

George never fully recovered. In his final year, he was occasionally administered oxygen. On the evening of 15 January 1936, the King took to his bedroom at Sandringham House
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

 complaining of a cold; he would never again leave the room alive. He became gradually weaker, drifting in and out of consciousness. Prime Minister Baldwin later said,
By 20 January, he was close to death. His physicians, led by Lord Dawson of Penn
Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn
Bertrand Edward Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn, GCVO, KCB, KCMG, PC, FRCP was a physician to the British Royal Family and President of the Royal College of Physicians‎.-Early life and education:...

, issued a bulletin with words that became famous: "The King's life is moving peacefully towards its close." 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!", were addressed to his nurse when she gave him a sedative on the night of 20 January. Dawson wrote that he had euthanised
Euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

 the King by giving him a lethal injection of cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 and morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

. Dawson noted he acted to prevent strain on the family and so that the King's death at 11:55 pm could be announced in the morning edition of The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

newspaper rather than "less appropriate ... evening journals".

The German composer Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.- Biography :Born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, Hindemith was taught the violin as a child...

 went to a BBC studio on the morning after the king's death and in six hours wrote Trauermusik
Trauermusik
Trauermusik is a suite for viola and orchestra, written on 21 January 1936 by Paul Hindemith at very short notice in honour of King George V of the United Kingdom, who died the previous night...

(Mourning Music). It was performed that same evening in a live broadcast by the BBC, with Adrian Boult
Adrian Boult
Sir Adrian Cedric Boult CH was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family he followed musical studies in England and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. His first prominent post was...

 conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Symphony Orchestra is the principal broadcast orchestra of the British Broadcasting Corporation and one of the leading orchestras in Britain.-History:...

 and the composer as soloist.

At the procession to George's Lying in State
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 in Westminster Hall, part of the Imperial State Crown
Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.- Design :The Crown is of a design similar to St Edward's Crown: it includes a base of four crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, above which are four half-arches surmounted by a cross. Inside is a velvet cap...

 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
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

, saw it fall and wondered whether it was a bad omen for his new reign. Edward would abdicate before the year was out, leaving Albert, Duke of York, to ascend the throne (taking the title George VI).

As a mark of respect to their father, George's four surviving sons, Edward
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

, Albert
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, Henry
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was a soldier and member of the British Royal Family, the third son of George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary....

 and George
Prince George, Duke of Kent
Prince George, Duke of Kent was a member of the British Royal Family, the fourth son of George V and Mary of Teck, and younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI...

, mounted the guard, known as the Vigil of the Princes
Vigil of the Princes
The Vigil of the Princes is the unofficial name given to two occasions when male members of the British Royal Family have stood guard during the lying in state of one of their relatives during a British State Funeral.-King George V:...

, at the catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

 on the night before the funeral. The vigil was not repeated until the death of George's daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, in 2002. He was interred at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

, on 28 January 1936.

Legacy

George preferred to stay at home pursuing his hobbies of stamp collecting and game shooting, and lived what later biographers would consider a dull life because of its conventionality. He was earnestly devoted to Britain and the British Commonwealth. He appeared hard working and became widely admired by the people of Britain and the Empire, as well as "The Establishment
The Establishment
The Establishment is a term used to refer to a visible dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation. The term suggests a closed social group which selects its own members...

". Anti-intellectual and lacking the sophistication of his two royal predecessors, he nevertheless understood the British Empire better than most of his ministers; indeed he explained, "it has always been my dream to identify myself with the great idea of Empire." Historian David Cannadine
David Cannadine
Sir David Nicholas Cannadine, FBA is a British historian, known for a number of books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy and Ornamentalism. He is also notable as a commentator and broadcaster on British public life, especially the monarchy. He serves as the generaleditor...

 portrays George V and Queen Mary as an "inseparably devoted couple" who did so much to uphold "character" and "family values". George established a standard of conduct for British royalty that reflected the values and virtues of the upper middle-class rather than upper-class lifestyles or vices. He was by temperament a traditionalist who never fully appreciated or approved the revolutionary changes underway in British society. Nevertheless, he invariably wielded his influence as a force of neutrality and moderation, seeing his role as mediator rather than final decision maker.

Statues of King George V include those in Hobart
Hobart
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony,Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as...

, Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 and Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 in Australia, and one by William Reid Dick
William Reid Dick
Sir William Reid, Dick was a Scottish sculptor known for his innovative stylization of form in his monument sculptures and simplicity in his portraits. He became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1921, and a Royal Academician in 1928. Dick served as president of the Royal Society of British...

 outside Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, London. The King George V Playing Fields
King George's Fields
A King George's Field is a public open space in the United Kingdom dedicated to the memory of King George V ....

 in the United Kingdom were created as a memorial. King George V Park
King George V Park
King George V Park is a soccer-specific stadium in St. John's, Newfoundland, located at the head of Quidi Vidi Lake in downtown St. John's. The stadium was built in 1925 as the National stadium of Newfoundland...

 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Stade George V
Stade George V
George V Stadium is a football stadium in Curepipe, Mauritius. The stadium holds 6,200 people.- History :The construction of the George V Stadium started in 1954 and the stadium was ready in 1955. In 2003, the old stadium was demolished and the new stadium was built the same year...

 in Curepipe
Curepipe
Curepipe is a town centrally situated in Mauritius, an island country in the southwest Indian Ocean. It is second in size and importance to Port Louis, the capital....

, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, and King George V Memorial Grandstand at Henson Park, Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, are named in his honour. Jerusalem
King George Street (Jerusalem)
King George Street is a street in central Jerusalem, Israel. It was named for King George V on December 9, 1924.-History:King George Street was dedicated in honor of the seventh anniversary of the British conquest of Jerusalem under General Allenby...

 and Tel Aviv
King George Street (Tel Aviv)
King George Street is a street in Tel Aviv. The street extends from Masaryk Square in the north to Magen David Square in the south, where it meets with Allenby Street, the Carmel Market, Nahalat Binyamin Street, and Simta Plonit...

 both have major thoroughfares named for King George V during the British Mandate for Palestine. In Paris, an avenue and an underground station
George V (Paris Metro)
George V is a station on line 1 of the Paris Métro, under the Champs-Élysées.The station was opened on 13 August 1900, almost a month after trains began running on the original section of line 1 between Porte de Vincennes and Porte Maillot on 19 July 1900. It was originally called Alma, after a...

 were named for George V; as are Avenue Georges, Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada; King George V Avenue, Sale, Victoria
Sale, Victoria
Sale is a city in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. It is the seat of the Shire of Wellington as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sale and the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland. It has a population of around 13,336, and is expected to reach a population of 14,000 soon...

, Australia; King George V Secondary School
SMK King George V
King George V School, Seremban is a day school in Malaysia.The enrollment of students is controlled by the state Education Department of Negeri Sembilan. King George V School is classified as a premier school....

, Malaysia; and King George V School, and King George V Memorial Park in Hong Kong.

Two Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 battleships, HMS King George V
HMS King George V (1911)
The first HMS King George V was a King George V-class of 1911 dreadnought, with a displacement of 23,400 tonnes and an armament of ten 13.5 inch guns in twin gun turrets and a secondary armament of sixteen 4 inch guns and had a crew complement of 870, though this increased...

 in 1911 and her namesake
HMS King George V (41)
HMS King George V was the lead ship of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy. Laid down in 1937 and commissioned in 1940, King George V operated during the Second World War as part of the British Home and Pacific Fleets...

 in 1939, were named in his honour. George V gave both his name and donations to many charities, including King George's Fund for Sailors (later known as Seafarers UK
Seafarers UK
Seafarers UK is a large national charity in the United Kingdom working to unite the maritime charity sector to address the specific needs of all seafarers and their families, from those just embarking on a career at sea to those facing distress through unemployment or homelessness and loss of...

).

On-screen portrayals

On screen, George has been portrayed by:
  • Henry Warwick in the 1918 silent film Why America Will Win
  • William Gaffney in the 1919 silent film The Great Victory, Wilson or the Kaiser? The Fall of the Hohenzollerns
  • Derek Erskine in the 1925 silent film The Scarlet Woman: An Ecclesiastical Melodrama
  • Carleton Hobbs
    Carleton Hobbs
    Carleton Percy Hobbs was an English actor with many film, radio and television appearances. He portrayed Sherlock Holmes in 80 radio adaptations between 1952 and 1969, and also starred in the radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour.Hobbs was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, into a...

     in the 1965 film A King's Story
    A King's Story
    A King's Story is a 1965 British documentary film directed by Harry Booth about the life of King Edward VIII, from his birth until abdication in 1936. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature....

  • Michael Osborne
    Michael Osborne (actor)
    Michael Osborne is a British television actor.Roles include the future George V of the United Kingdom in Edward the Seventh and Mr. Howard in Grange Hill.- External links :...

     in the 1975 ATV
    Associated TeleVision
    Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

     drama series Edward the Seventh
  • Marius Goring
    Marius Goring
    Marius Goring CBE was an English stage and cinema actor. He is most often remembered for the four films he did with Powell & Pressburger, particularly as Conductor 71 in A Matter of Life and Death and as Julian Craster in The Red Shoes...

     in the 1978 Thames Television
    Thames Television
    Thames Television was a licensee of the British ITV television network, covering London and parts of the surrounding counties on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until 31 December 1992....

     series Edward & Mrs. Simpson
  • Keith Varnier in the 1978 LWT drama series Lillie
    Lillie
    Lillie is a British television serial made by London Weekend Television for ITV and broadcast in 1978.This period serial starred Francesca Annis in the title role of Lillie Langtry...

    ,
  • Rene Aranda in the 1980 film The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu
    The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu
    ‎The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu is a 1980 comedy film, notable as the final film of Peter Sellers, David Tomlinson and John Le Mesurier. Pre-production began with Richard Quine as director. By the time the film entered production, Piers Haggard had replaced him. Peter Sellers handled the...

  • Andrew Gilmour
    Andrew Gilmour
    Andrew Gilmour was a provincial level politician from Alberta, Canada. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1917 to 1921.-Political career:...

     in the 1985 Australian miniseries A Thousand Skies
  • David Ravenswood in the 1990 Australian TV miniseries The Great Air Race
  • John Warner in the 1991 RTE
    RTE
    RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

     TV drama The Treaty
    The Treaty
    The Treaty is a 1991 Irish historical television film directed by Jonathan Lewis.The film is about the Anglo-Irish Treaty that Michael Collins bargained for with the British government in 1921. It is almost all factually accurate, and it shows how negotiations actually worked...

  • David Troughton
    David Troughton
    David Troughton is an English actor, best known for his Shakespearean roles on the British stage.- Biography :David Troughton was born in Hampstead, North London. He comes from a theatrical family: he is the son of Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton, elder brother of Michael Troughton, and father...

     in the 1999 BBC TV drama All the King's Men
    All the King's Men (TV programme)
    All the King's Men is a feature-length World War I drama by the BBC starring David Jason, first broadcast on Remembrance Sunday, 14 November 1999...

  • Rupert Frazer in the 2002 TV miniseries Shackleton,
  • Alan Bates
    Alan Bates
    Sir Alan Arthur Bates CBE was an English actor, who came to prominence in the 1960s, a time of high creativity in British cinema, when he demonstrated his versatility in films ranging from the popular children’s story Whistle Down the Wind to the "kitchen sink" drama A Kind of Loving...

     in the 2002 Carlton Television
    Carlton Television
    Carlton Television was the ITV franchise holder for London and the surrounding counties including the cities of Solihull and Coventry of the West Midlands, south Suffolk, middle and east Hampshire, Oxfordshire, south Bedfordshire, south Northamptonshire, parts of Herefordshire & Worcestershire,...

     drama Bertie and Elizabeth
    Bertie and Elizabeth
    Bertie & Elizabeth is a 2002 television film produced by Carlton Television. The film explores the relationship between King George VI and his wife Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon from their very first meeting to the King's death in the winter of 1952...

  • Tom Hollander
    Tom Hollander
    Thomas Anthony "Tom" Hollander is a British actor who has appeared in productions such as Enigma, Gosford Park, Cambridge Spies, Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean, In the Loop, Valkyrie and Hanna.-Early life:Tom Hollander was born in Bristol and raised in Oxford, Oxfordshire, the son...

     in the 2003 BBC miniseries The Lost Prince
    The Lost Prince
    The Lost Prince is an acclaimed British television drama serial, produced by Talkback Thames for the BBC and originally broadcast in two episodes on BBC One in January 2003...

    (2003)
  • Clifford Rose
    Clifford Rose
    Clifford Rose is a British classical actor.He was born in Herefordshire. He was educated at the King's School, Worcester and King's College London, before appearing in rep and with the Royal Shakespeare Company....

     in the 2005 TV drama Wallis & Edward
  • Andrew Pritchard
    Andrew Pritchard
    Andrew Pritchard was an English naturalist and natural history dealer who made significant improvements to microscopy and studied microscopic organisms. His belief that God and nature were one led him to the Unitarians, a religious movement to which he and his family devoted much energy...

     in the 2005 British TV drama documentary The First Black Britons
  • Julian Wadham
    Julian Wadham
    -Career:He has appeared on television as both Charles II and George V...

     in the 2007 TV drama My Boy Jack.
  • Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon
    Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

     in the 2010 film The King's Speech.

Titles and styles

  • 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


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 1927, when it was changed to "His Majesty George V, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India"

Honours

  • KG: Knight of the Garter
    Order of the Garter
    The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

    , 4 August 1884
  • KT: Knight of the Thistle
    Order of the Thistle
    The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order...

    , 5 July 1893
  • KP: Knight of St Patrick
    Order of St. Patrick
    The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick is a British order of chivalry associated with Ireland. The Order was created in 1783 by George III. The regular creation of knights of Saint Patrick lasted until 1921, when most of Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State...

    , 20 August 1897
  • GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India
    Order of the Star of India
    The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Order includes members of three classes:# Knight Grand Commander # Knight Commander # Companion...

    , 28 September 1905
  • GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George
    Order of St Michael and St George
    The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

    , 9 March 1901
  • GCIE: Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire
    Order of the Indian Empire
    The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1878. The Order includes members of three classes:#Knight Grand Commander #Knight Commander #Companion...

    , 28 September 1905
  • GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
    Royal Victorian Order
    The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

    , 30 June 1897
  • ISO: Imperial Service Order
    Imperial Service Order
    The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII in August 1902. It was awarded on retirement to the administration and clerical staff of the Civil Service throughout the British Empire for long and meritorious service. Normally a person must have served for 25 years to become...

    , 31 March 1903
  • Royal Victorian Chain
    Royal Victorian Chain
    The Royal Victorian Chain is an award, instituted in 1902 by King Edward VII as a personal award of the Monarch...

    , 1902
  • PC: Privy Counsellor, 18 July 1894
    • Privy Counsellor (Ireland), 20 August 1897
  • FRS: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society
    Royal Society
    The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

    , 8 June 1893

Military appointments

  • Cdt, September 1877: Cadet, HMS Britannia
    HMS Prince of Wales (1860)
    HMS Prince of Wales was one of six 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate three-decker line-of-battle ships of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1860...

  • Mid, 8 January 1880: Midshipman, HMS Bacchante
    HMS Bacchante (1876)
    HMS Bacchante was a Bacchante-class ironclad screw-propelled corvette of the Royal Navy. She is particularly famous for being the ship on which the Princes George and Albert served as midshipmen....

     and the corvette Canada
  • SLt, 3 June 1884: Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Navy
  • Lt, 8 October 1885: Lieutenant, HMS Thunderer
    HMS Thunderer (1872)
    HMS Thunderer was a British Royal Navy Devastation-class battleship.Thunder was an ironclad turret ship designed by Edward James Reed with revolving turrets, launched in 1872...

    ; HMS Dreadnought
    HMS Dreadnought (1875)
    The fifth HMS Dreadnought of the British Royal Navy was a turret ironclad battleship built at Pembroke Dockyard, Wales.-Construction:Begun as Fury in 1870, the original design was recast for heavier armour and higher speed. The renamed ship was laid down in 1872 at Pembroke Dockyard and was...

    ; HMS Alexandra
    HMS Alexandra (1875)
    HMS Alexandra was a central battery ironclad of the Victorian Royal Navy, whose seagoing career was from 1877 to 1900. She spent much of her career as a flagship, and took part in operations to deter Russian aggression against Turkey in 1878 and the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882.-Background:At...

    ; HMS Northumberland
    HMS Northumberland (1865)
    HMS Northumberland was a long-hulled broadside ironclad warship of the Victorian era, and was the third and final ship of the Minotaur class to be commissioned.-Construction:...

  • Personal Aide-de-Camp
    Personal Aide-de-Camp
    A Personal Aide-de-Camp is a senior officer of the military of any Commonwealth realm who is appointed to act as the honorary military attendant to the monarch or any of his or her viceroys...

     to the Queen, 21 June 1887
  • I/C Torpedo Boat 79; the gunboat HMS Thrush
    HMS Thrush (1889)
    HMS Thrush was a Redbreast-class composite gunboat, the third ship of the name to serve in the Royal Navy.-Design:The Redbreast-class were designed by Sir William Henry White, the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction in 1888....

  • Cdr, 24 August 1891: Commander, I/C the Melampus
  • Capt, 2 January 1893: Captain
    Captain (Royal Navy)
    Captain is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above Commander and below Commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a Colonel in the British Army or Royal Marines and to a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. The rank of Group Captain is based on the...

    , Royal Navy
  • RAdm, 1 January 1901: Rear-Admiral, Royal Navy
  • VAdm, 26 June 1903: Vice-Admiral, Royal Navy
  • Adm, 1 March 1907: Admiral
    Admiral (United Kingdom)
    Admiral is a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-9, outranked only by the rank Admiral of the Fleet...

    , Royal Navy
  • 1910: Admiral of the Fleet
    Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)
    Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10. The rank still exists in the Royal Navy but routine appointments ceased in 1996....

    , Royal Navy
  • 1910: Field Marshal, British Army
  • 1918: Field Marshal, Imperial Japanese Army
  • 1919: Chief of the Royal Air Force
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force is the highest rank in the Royal Air Force. In peacetime it was granted to RAF officers in the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff, and to retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, who were promoted to it on their last day of service. Promotions to the rank have ceased...

     (title not rank)

Arms

As Duke of York, George's arms were the royal arms
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom, and are officially known as her Arms of Dominion...

, with an inescutcheon of the arms of Saxony
Coat of arms of Saxony
-See also:*Royal Arms of England*Coat of arms of Portugal*Coat of arms of Belgium*Coat of arms of Bulgaria...

, all differenced with a label
Label (heraldry)
In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse’s chest from which pendants are hung. It is usually a mark of difference, but has sometimes been borne simply as a charge in its own right....

 of three points argent
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

, the centre point bearing an anchor azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

. 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 descendants of the Prince Consort (although the royal arms themselves had never borne the shield).




Issue

NameBirthDeathSpouseChildren
Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...


Later Duke of Windsor
23 June 1894 28 May 1972 Wallis Simpson None
George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

14 December 1895 6 February 1952 Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

Elizabeth II
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood was a member of the British Royal Family; she was the third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She was the sixth holder of the title of Princess Royal...

25 April 1897 28 March 1965 Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood KG GCVO DSO TD , styled The Hon. Henry Lascelles before 1892 and Viscount Lascelles between 1892 and 1929, was the son of the 5th Earl of Harewood and Lady Florence Bridgeman.Lascelles was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards and commanded the...

George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood
George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood
George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, KBE AM , styled The Hon. George Lascelles before 1929 and Viscount Lascelles between 1929 and 1947, was the elder son of the 6th Earl of Harewood , and Princess Mary, Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and...


The Honourable Gerald Lascelles
Gerald Lascelles
The Honourable Gerald David Lascelles was the younger son of the 6th Earl of Harewood and Mary, Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck. He was the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He was styled The Honourable Gerald Lascelles...

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was a soldier and member of the British Royal Family, the third son of George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary....

31 March 1900 10 June 1974 Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester was a member of the British Royal Family, the wife and then widow of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of George V and Queen Mary.The daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry, Scotland’s largest landowner, her brothers Walter and...

Prince William of Gloucester
Prince William of Gloucester
Prince William of Gloucester was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of George V.-Early life:...


Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is a member of the British Royal Family. Prince Richard is the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary. He has been Duke of Gloucester since his father's death in 1974. He is currently 20th in the line of succession...

Prince George, Duke of Kent
Prince George, Duke of Kent
Prince George, Duke of Kent was a member of the British Royal Family, the fourth son of George V and Mary of Teck, and younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI...

20 December 1902 25 August 1942 Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
The Duke of Kent graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 29 July 1955 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys, the beginning of a military career that would last over 20 years. He was promoted to captain on 29 July 1961. The Duke of Kent saw service in Hong Kong from 1962–63...


Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy is the youngest granddaughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck. She is the widow of Sir Angus Ogilvy...


Prince Michael of Kent
Prince Michael of Kent
Prince Michael of Kent is a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary, making him a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He is also the first cousin once removed of Prince Phillip. Prince Michael occasionally carries out royal duties representing the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside...

Prince John
Prince John of the United Kingdom
The Prince John was a member of the British Royal Family, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary. The Prince had epilepsy and consequently was largely hidden from the public eye.-Early life:...

12 July 1905 18 January 1919 Never married None

Ancestry



External links

  • Special issue of the Illustrated London News
    Illustrated London News
    The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly newspaper; the first issue appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842. It was published weekly until 1971 and then increasingly less frequently until publication ceased in 2003.-History:...

     covering King George V's death
  • Newsreel footage of King George V's coronation
  • Sound recording of King George V's Silver Jubilee speech

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