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George V

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


George V was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. He was third in the line of succession to the British throne after his father and his older brother, Prince Albert Victor. He was born during the reign of his grandmother, Queen Victoria. George served in the Royal Navy from 1877 to 1892 until the untimely death of his older brother in early 1892 placed him in line for the throne. Upon Victoria's death in 1901, George's father, Edward VII, ascended the throne, and George became Prince of Wales. In 1910, upon the death of his father, he became king-emperor.


George's reign was marked by the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically altered the British Empire's political landscape, which reached its territorial zenith at the start of the 1920s. The Parliament Act of 1911 established the House of Commons preeminence over the unelected House of Lords. The empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell as a result of the First World War (1914–1918), while the British Empire expanded to its greatest extent. As a result of anti-German public sentiment, he renamed the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor in 1917. The Statute of Westminster of 1931 acknowledged the Empire's dominions as separate, independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations.




George suffered from smoking-related health issues for a significant portion of his later reign. Edward VIII succeeded him as king upon his passing in January 1936. In December of that year, Edward abdicated and was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who assumed the regnal name George VI.


As the second son of the heir apparent, Prince George and his elder brother Prince Albert Victor joined the Royal Navy as cadets in 1877. Prince Albert Victor's untimely demise in January 1892 abruptly ended the Prince's naval career, placing him in the direct line of succession. On 3 May 1893, he became engaged to Princess Victoria Mary (May) of Teck, who had been Prince Albert Victor's fiancée. He was made Duke of York on 24 May 1892. The couple were wed on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace and spent their honeymoon at York Cottage in Sandringham, where they would reside for the next thirty-three years.




Six children were born to them during their long and happy marriage: Prince Edward, Prince Albert, Princess Mary, Prince Henry, Prince George, and Prince John.




On 23 January 1901, following the death of Queen Victoria, The Duke accompanied his father to the first Privy Council of the new reign in the Banqueting Hall of St. James's Palace, where he was the first to swear allegiance to the new King. In May of 1901, the Duke presided over opening the first Parliament of the new Commonwealth of Australia before travelling to New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. Upon his return to England, King Edward VII created him Prince of Wales on 9 November 1901. In April 1903, the heir apparent moved to Malborough House, his new London residence, with his wife. He continued his Royal Tours in 1902 when he visited Berlin. Austria in 1904, and India and Burma between 1905 and 1906.




After his father's death on 6 May 1910, the Prince of Wales was proclaimed King George V, and his coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911.




In the midst of an ongoing constitutional crisis involving the House of Lords' refusal to pass a bill limiting its powers, George V's reign began (which would remove its power to veto a Bill from the Commons).




After the Liberal government secured a promise from the King to create enough peers to overcome Conservative opposition in the Lords (and won the second election in 1910), the Lords passed the Parliament Bill in 1911 without making a large number of peers.




George was the only monarch to visit India as King-Emperor in 1911. Queen Mary, his wife, accompanied him.




The First World War broke out in 1914. The King made over 450 visits to troops and over 300 visits to hospitals to visit wounded servicemen. He also advocated for the humane treatment of German prisoners of war and conscientious objectors.




In 1917, anti-German sentiment prompted him to adopt the surname Windsor (after the Castle of the same name).




In the late 19th century, support for Irish self-government increased. The Unionists in the north and the Conservative Party opposed this. The Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin and the subsequent civil war led to the establishment of the Irish Free State (later renamed the Irish Republic) in 1922, while the six northern counties remained a part of the United Kingdom. George also played a reconciliatory role on other occasions, such as the 1926 General Strike.




In 1924, George readily accepted the first Labour administration. Following the global depression of 1929, the King persuaded the leader of the Labour Party to head a National Government comprised of all parties, which won the 1931 election.




The Statute of Westminster of 1931 established that Dominion Parliaments could now pass laws without reference to United Kingdom laws and abolished various reserve powers that the Crown and Parliament still possessed. This paradoxically increased the monarchy's significance, as the Dominions (no longer subordinated to a single supreme Parliament at Westminster) were now united in their allegiance to the Crown.


In 1932, George initiated the annual Christmas Broadcast by the monarch to the Empire (and, more recently, to the Commonwealth).


In 1935, the King celebrated his Silver Jubilee, a joyous occasion for the general populace.


On 20 January 1936, he passed away, and his eldest son Edward became King Edward VIII.