George V

King-Emperor George V

George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War 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 to 1891, he served in the Royal Navy. On the death of Victoria in 1901, George's father became King Edward VII, and George was made Prince of Wales.
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  • 1936
    George V was interred at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 28 January 1936.
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  • 1935
    George never fully recovered. In his final year, he was occasionally administered oxygen. The death of his favourite sister Victoria in December 1935 depressed him deeply.
    In 1935, George said of his son Edward: "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself within 12 months", and of Albert and Elizabeth: "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."
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    By the silver jubilee of his reign in 1935, he had become a well-loved king, saying in response to the crowd's adulation, "I cannot understand it, after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow."
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  • 1932
    In 1932, George agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event that became annual thereafter.
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  • 1931
    In the wake of a world financial crisis, the King encouraged the formation of a National Government in 1931 led by MacDonald and Baldwin, and volunteered to reduce the civil list to help balance the budget.
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    In 1931, the Statute of Westminster formalised George's position as "the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
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  • 1926
    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".
  • 1924
    In 1924, George appointed the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, in the absence of a clear majority for any one of the three major parties.
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  • 1922
    By the end of 1922, Ireland was partitioned, the Irish Free State was established, and Lloyd George was out of office.
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  • 1921
    Political turmoil in Ireland continued as the Nationalists fought for independence; George expressed his horror at government-sanctioned killings and reprisals to Prime Minister David Lloyd George. At the opening session of the Parliament of Northern Ireland on 22 June 1921, the King, in a speech part drafted by Lloyd George and General Jan Smuts, appealed for conciliation.
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  • 1918
    The Tsar and his immediate family remained in Russia, where they were killed by Bolsheviks in 1918.
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  • 1917
    Prince Andrew was a nephew of Queen Alexandra through her brother King George I of Greece, and Princess Andrew was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg, one of the German princes granted a British peerage in 1917.
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    When Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, George's first cousin (their mothers were sisters), was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917, the British government offered political 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 would be seen as inappropriate.
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    On 17 July 1917, George appeased British nationalist feelings by issuing a royal proclamation that changed the name of the British royal house from the German-sounding House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor.
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  • 1914
    On 18 September 1914, the King – having considered vetoing the legislation – gave his assent to the Home Rule Bill after it had been passed by Westminster, but its implementation was postponed by a Suspensory Act due to the outbreak of the First World War.
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    Desperate to avoid the prospect of civil war in Ireland between Unionists and Nationalists, George called a meeting of all parties at Buckingham Palace in July 1914 in an attempt to negotiate a settlement.
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  • 1913
    On 18 December 1913, he shot over a thousand pheasants in six hours at the home of Lord Burnham, although even he had to acknowledge that "we went a little too far" that day.
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  • 1911
    George and Mary's coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911, and was celebrated by the Festival of Empire in London.
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    His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords.
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  • 1910
    On 6 May 1910, King Edward died, and George became king.
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  • 1905
    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.
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  • 1901
    On 9 November 1901, George was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
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    In 1901, George and May toured the British Empire.
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    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.
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  • 1894
    In October 1894, George's uncle-by-marriage, Tsar Alexander III, died and his cousin, Tsar Nicholas II, ascended the Russian throne.
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  • 1893
    They married on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London.
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    She married Ferdinand, the heir to the King of Romania, in 1893.
  • 1892
    The death of his elder brother effectively ended George's naval career, as he was now second in line to succeed to the throne, after his father. George was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney by Queen Victoria on 24 May 1892, and received lessons in constitutional history from J. R. Tanner.
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    On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia, leaving George second in line to the throne, and likely to succeed after his father.
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  • 1891
    In November 1891, George's elder brother Albert Victor became engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck.
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    During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters then on the North America station, before his last active service in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92.
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  • 1881
    In 1881 on a visit to Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm, and was received in an audience by the Emperor Meiji; George and his brother presented Empress Haruko with two wallabies from Australia.
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  • 1877
    As their father thought that the navy was "the very best possible training for any boy", in September 1877, when George was 12 years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon.
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  • 1865
    He was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley.
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