King George V: Expert discusses decision to change name
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George V also allegedly once said he wanted to make sure his children were “frightened” of him. Tomorrow night, the second installation of the documentary mini-series ‘The Queen’s Lost Family’, about George V and his children, will be broadcast on Channel 4. The series gives an inside look into the chaotic lives of the Royal Family from the 1920s to the end of World War 2.
Tomorrow’s episode will focus on the love life of George V’s children, as well as the death of King and the subsequent abdication crisis of 1936.
George V was known to have a slightly tense relationship with his children, due to his strict nature.
His fourth child, Prince Henry, went as far as to call him a “terrible father”, according to historian Hugo Vickers.
George V himself made comments himself, according to Randolph Churchill, that might alarm people today.
Mr Churchill claimed George V was strict, to the extent that his children were terrified of him and that this was deliberate.
He claimed the King remarked to the Earl of Derby: “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 with me.”
However, there is no direct source for the quotation, and it is likely that George V’s parenting style was a little different from that adopted by most people in his position at the time.
George V had six children, the most notable being the two eldest: King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne after less than a year in 1936, and King George VI, his second-eldest son who stepped up after the abdication.
George’s next eldest was his only daughter Princess Mary, then was Prince Henry, then was Prince George, who died in a military air crash at the age of 39, and finally Prince John, a boy who struggled with ill health and sadly died at the age of just 13.
George VI was the Queen’s father and he sadly died of coronary thrombosis aged just 56 after a lifetime of smoking, and she succeeded him aged 27 in 1952.
When George V was born he was not expected to ever become King because he had an older brother, Albert, who died of the flu in 1892 aged 28.
At this point, George was made the Duke of York by Queen Victoria and his naval career essentially ended.
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The family lived in York Cottage on the Sandringham estate, where they lived more like a comfortable middle-class family than royalty.
The future King preferred a simple, quiet life in contrast to the lively social life pursued by his father.
Upon the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, his father Edward VII became King.
As Prince of Wales, George was part of a huge tour of the British Empire, and was given access to many documents of state by his father, who wanted to help train his son to be ready to take over.
King George V delivers the Royal Christmas Message in 1932
Just nine years after Queen Victoria died, King Edward VI died in 1910, and George V ascended to the throne.
He presided over a time of turbulence including World War 1, Irish partition and the Great Depression.
Meanwhile, his children married off; Princess Mary married Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood in 1922, the future George VI married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, Prince George married Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark in 1934 and Prince Henry married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott in 1935.
Sadly his youngest son Prince John died in 1919 after his epilepsy and general health deteriorated greatly.
However, the future Edward VIII did not marry before George V died and, after he became King in 1936, Edward made it clear he intended to marry a woman who was considered inappropriate for the head of the Church of England.
Wallis Simpson was an American woman who was divorced twice before she married Edward.
The King abdicated the throne after being told it was impossible for him to remain King and marry the woman he loved.
The couple became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and remained very bitter about how they had been treated.
This will all be delved into in tomorrow’s episode of ‘The Queen’s Lost Family’, which will air on Channel 4 at 7pm.
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