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 Britroyals

King George VI (1936 - 1952)


Name: King George VI
Full Name: Albert Frederick Arthur George
Born: December 14, 1895 at Sandringham, Norfolk
Parents: George V and Mary of Teck
Relation to Elizabeth II: father
House of: Windsor
Ascended to the throne: Dec 11, 1936 aged 40 years
Crowned: May 12, 1937 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Children: Two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret
Died: February 6, 1952 at Sandringham, Norfolk, aged 56 years, 1 month, and 22 days
Buried at: Windsor
Reigned for: 15 years, 1 month, and 25 days
Succeeded by: his daughter Elizabeth II

Second son of George V he was named Albert after his great grandfather Prince Albert. As The Duke of York he had never expected or wished to succeed to the throne. He was naturally diffident and anxious, and suffered from a speech impediment. But he never lacked bravery or enterprise, and had a strong sense of Duty. He had fought as a young naval officer at the Battle of Jutland in World War I, and was the first member of the Royal Family to learn to fly. In 1923 he married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. They had two daughters Elizabeth, know as ‘Lilibet’ who later became Queen Elizabeth II, and Margaret Rose ‘Princess Margaret’.

He became King George VI in December 1936 following the death of his father George V and the abdication of his brother. Fortified by the influence of his Queen, who swiftly acquired immense popularity in her own right, George VI coped with the aftermath of the abdication in a way that quickly restored confidence in the monarchy.

When the horrors of World War II descended shortly after­wards on Britain, and on London in particular, the royal couple rose superbly to the occasion. Initially sceptical of Winston Churchill, the King and his Prime Minister soon developed a close personal working relationship and they met regularly to discuss the progress of the War. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stayed at what they and their subjects saw as their posts all through the Blitz, and showed love and care for their people in gestures that stilled the meanest critics. They narrowly escaped death when bombs exploded beside Buckingham Palace. Their daughters served in uniform, and the identification of the Royal Family with the national will was complete.

Following the War Britain entered a time of economic austerity and the British Empire began to be replaced by the Commonwealth of Nations as former colonies including India became independent. The war effort had been crushing and the King’s health was permanently affected. He had been a heavy smoker and in 1951 had his left lung removed. He died suddenly in the winter of 1952.

King George VI's Signature

The Man behind the Kings Speech

Quotes:

‘The highest of distinctions is service to others’ - King George VI

Timeline for King George VI

Year Event
1936George VI accedes to the throne upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII
1937Frank Whittle invents the jet engine
1938Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signs agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in an attempt to stop outbreak of war in Europe
1938Nazi Germany annexes Austria
1939Germany invades Poland. Outbreak of World War II.
1940Retreating British troops evacuated from beaches of Dunkirk as Germans advance.
1940Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister.
1940Battle of Britain fought in the skies over England between the RAF and German Luftwaffe.
1940German bombers blitz London, Coventry and other major cities
1941Hitler invades the Soviet Union
1941America enters the War after Japanese air raid on US fleet at Pearl Harbour.
1942Fall of Singapore to the Japanese
1942British victory at El Alamein.
1944D-Day landings in Normandy as the Allies begin to push the German forces back across Europe.
1944Battle of Arnhem airborne landings
1945The defeat of Germany marks the end of World War II in Europe.
1945Japan surrenders, after US drops atomic bombs on two cities.
1946Start of the 'Cold War'. Churchill speaks of the 'Iron Curtain' separating Western Europe from the Communist Eastern block
1947India granted independence. Pakistan declared a separate nation.
1947Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) marries Philip Mountbatten
1948National Health Service establishes free medical treatment.
1948Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.
1949Berlin Airlift relieves the Soviet blockade of Berlin
1950-1953 Korean War
1951Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister again.
1952George VI dies.