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We are proud to have shared some of these ordeals with you, and we know also that together we shall all face the future with stern resolve and prove that our reserves of will-power and vitality are inexhaustible.

There is great comfort in the thought that the years of darkness and danger in which the children of our country have grown up are over and, please God, for ever.

We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain, if the victory which they died to win does not lead to a lasting peace, founded on justice and established in good will.

To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow; and then take up our work again, resolved as a people to do nothing unworthy of those who died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours.

This is task to which now honour binds us. In the hour of danger we humbly committed our cause into the Hand of God, and He has been our Strength and Shield.

Let us thank Him for His mercies, and in this hour of Victory commit ourselves and our new task to the guidance of that same strong Hand.

Find out more about The Queen's work representing the UK at home and abroad. From the bottom of my heart I thank my Peoples for all they have done, not only for themselves but for mankind.

As Patron of the British Red Cross I send my warmest congratulations to the staff and volunteers of the Society of the occasion of its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary.

Right now, there is a real chance to ensure that the urgent steps that the world must take to prevent future zoonotic disease pandemics are designed in a way that also helps to eradicate the illegal wildlife trade.

Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation.

Local communities are able to share local knowledge and understanding. Let local realities guide global responses. As many organisations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world.

The dedication to service of countless nurses, midwives and other health workers, in these most challenging of circumstances, is an example to us all.

Skip to main content. Published 8 May Share this article:. Related content. In the Vigil of the Princes , Prince Albert and his three brothers the new king, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester , and Prince George, Duke of Kent took a shift standing guard over their father's body as it lay in state , in a closed casket, in Westminster Hall.

As Edward was unmarried and had no children, Albert was the heir presumptive to the throne. Less than a year later, on 11 December , Edward abdicated in order to marry his mistress, Wallis Simpson , who was divorced from her first husband and divorcing her second.

Edward had been advised by British prime minister Stanley Baldwin that he could not remain king and marry a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands.

He abdicated and Albert became king, a position he was reluctant to accept. He wrote in his diary, "When I told her what had happened, I broke down and sobbed like a child.

On the day of the abdication, the Oireachtas , the parliament of the Irish Free State , removed all direct mention of the monarch from the Irish constitution.

The next day, it passed the External Relations Act , which gave the monarch limited authority strictly on the advice of the government to appoint diplomatic representatives for Ireland and to be involved in the making of foreign treaties.

The two acts made the Irish Free State a republic in essence without removing its links to the Commonwealth. Across Britain gossip spread that Albert was physically and psychologically incapable of handling the kingship.

He worried about that himself. No evidence has been found to support the rumour that the government considered bypassing him in favour of his scandal-ridden younger brother, George.

Albert assumed the regnal name "George VI" to emphasise continuity with his father and restore confidence in the monarchy. He had been introduced as "His Royal Highness Prince Edward" for the abdication broadcast, [54] but George VI felt that by abdicating and renouncing the succession, Edward had lost the right to bear royal titles, including "Royal Highness".

George VI was forced to buy from Edward the royal residences of Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House , as these were private properties and did not pass to him automatically.

George VI's coronation at Westminster Abbey took place on 12 May , the date previously intended for Edward's coronation.

In a break with tradition, his mother Queen Mary attended the ceremony in a show of support for her son. Two overseas tours were undertaken, to France and to North America, both of which promised greater strategic advantages in the event of war.

The growing likelihood of war in Europe dominated the early reign of George VI. This public association of the monarchy with a politician was exceptional, as balcony appearances were traditionally restricted to the royal family.

In May and June , the King and Queen toured Canada and the United States; it was the first visit of a reigning British monarch to North America, although he had been to Canada prior to his accession.

The official royal tour historian, Gustave Lanctot , wrote "the Statute of Westminster had assumed full reality" and George gave a speech emphasising "the free and equal association of the nations of the Commonwealth".

The trip was intended to soften the strong isolationist tendencies among the North American public with regard to the developing tensions in Europe.

Although the aim of the tour was mainly political, to shore up Atlantic support for the United Kingdom in any future war, the King and Queen were enthusiastically received by the public.

They officially stayed in Buckingham Palace throughout the war, although they usually spent nights at Windsor Castle. It makes me feel we can look the East End in the face.

They were subject to British rationing restrictions, and U. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remarked on the rationed food served and the limited bathwater that was permitted during a stay at the unheated and boarded-up Palace.

In , Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, though personally George would have preferred to appoint Lord Halifax.

Throughout the war, the King and Queen provided morale-boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom, visiting bomb sites, munitions factories, and troops.

The King replied: "You should worry, when I meet him, I always think he's after mine! In , crowds shouted "We want the King!

In an echo of Chamberlain's appearance, the King invited Churchill to appear with the royal family on the balcony to public acclaim.

George VI's reign saw the acceleration of the dissolution of the British Empire. The Statute of Westminster had already acknowledged the evolution of the Dominions into separate sovereign states.

The process of transformation from an empire to a voluntary association of independent states, known as the Commonwealth , gathered pace after the Second World War.

In he ceased to be King of India when it became a republic within the Commonwealth and recognised his new title of Head of the Commonwealth ; he remained King of Pakistan until his death.

Other countries left the Commonwealth, such as Burma in January , Palestine divided between Israel and the Arab states in May and the Republic of Ireland in In , the King and his family toured Southern Africa.

The stress of the war had taken its toll on the King's health, [96] [97] made worse by his heavy smoking [98] and subsequent development of lung cancer among other ailments, including arteriosclerosis and Buerger's disease.

A planned tour of Australia and New Zealand was postponed after the King suffered an arterial blockage in his right leg, which threatened the loss of the leg and was treated with a right lumbar sympathectomy in March His elder daughter Elizabeth, the heir presumptive, took on more royal duties as her father's health deteriorated.

The King was well enough to open the Festival of Britain in May , but on 23 September , his left lung was removed by Clement Price Thomas after a malignant tumour was found.

On 31 January , despite advice from those close to him, the King went to London Airport [b] to see Elizabeth and Philip off on their tour to Australia via Kenya.

It was his last public appearance. In the words of Labour Member of Parliament George Hardie , the abdication crisis of did "more for republicanism than fifty years of propaganda".

During his reign his people endured the hardships of war, and imperial power was eroded. However, as a dutiful family man and by showing personal courage, he succeeded in restoring the popularity of the monarchy.

The George Cross and the George Medal were founded at the King's suggestion during the Second World War to recognise acts of exceptional civilian bravery.

George held a number of titles throughout his life, as successively great-grandson, grandson and son of the monarch.

As sovereign, he was referred to most often as simply The King or His Majesty. In his position as sovereign, George automatically held the position of Commander-in-Chief.

As king, he bore the royal arms undifferenced. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see George VI disambiguation. King of the United Kingdom from to , last Emperor of India to King of the United Kingdom.

Formal photograph, c. St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria , the cause of his illness remains unknown.

After a final relapse in , a regency was established. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them.

As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker , who was both Rector of St James's and Bishop of Oxford.

Prince George grew into a healthy, reserved and shy child. The family moved to Leicester Square , where George and his younger brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany , were educated together by private tutors.

Family letters show that he could read and write in both English and German, as well as comment on political events of the time, by the age of eight.

Apart from chemistry and physics, his lessons included astronomy, mathematics, French, Latin, history, music, geography, commerce, agriculture and constitutional law, along with sporting and social accomplishments such as dancing, fencing, and riding.

His religious education was wholly Anglican. It may with truth be said, A boy in England born, in England bred.

However, in the Prince died unexpectedly from a lung injury at the age of 44, and his son George became heir apparent to the throne and inherited his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh.

Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks later the King created George Prince of Wales. In the spring of , as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at St James's Palace , but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, Lord Bute , who would later serve as Prime Minister.

The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the throne when his grandfather, George II, died suddenly on 25 October , two weeks before his 77th birthday.

The search for a suitable wife intensified. George remarkably never took a mistress in contrast with his grandfather and his sons , and the couple enjoyed a happy marriage until his mental illness struck.

In , George purchased Buckingham House on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace for use as a family retreat.

St James's Palace was retained for official use. He did not travel extensively and spent his entire life in southern England. In the s, the King and his family took holidays at Weymouth, Dorset , [20] which he thus popularised as one of the first seaside resorts in England.

George, in his accession speech to Parliament, proclaimed: "Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Britain.

Although his accession was at first welcomed by politicians of all parties, [e] the first years of his reign were marked by political instability, largely generated as a result of disagreements over the Seven Years' War.

George surrendered the Crown Estate to Parliamentary control in return for a civil list annuity for the support of his household and the expenses of civil government.

Bute's opponents worked against him by spreading the calumny that he was having an affair with the King's mother, and by exploiting anti-Scottish prejudices amongst the English.

Wilkes was eventually arrested for seditious libel but he fled to France to escape punishment; he was expelled from the House of Commons , and found guilty in absentia of blasphemy and libel.

Later that year, the Royal Proclamation of placed a limit upon the westward expansion of the American colonies.

The Proclamation aimed to divert colonial expansion to the north to Nova Scotia and to the south Florida. The Proclamation Line did not bother the majority of settled farmers, but it was unpopular with a vocal minority and ultimately contributed to conflict between the colonists and the British government.

In , Grenville introduced the Stamp Act , which levied a stamp duty on every document in the British colonies in North America. Since newspapers were printed on stamped paper, those most affected by the introduction of the duty were the most effective at producing propaganda opposing the tax.

Lord Rockingham, with the support of Pitt and the King, repealed Grenville's unpopular Stamp Act, but his government was weak and he was replaced in by Pitt, whom George created Earl of Chatham.

That year, John Wilkes returned to England, stood as a candidate in the general election , and came top of the poll in the Middlesex constituency.

Wilkes was again expelled from Parliament. He was re-elected and expelled twice more, before the House of Commons resolved that his candidature was invalid and declared the runner-up as the victor.

George was deeply devout and spent hours in prayer, [46] but his piety was not shared by his brothers. George was appalled by what he saw as their loose morals.

In , his brother Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn , was exposed as an adulterer, and the following year Cumberland married a young widow, Anne Horton.

The King considered her inappropriate as a royal bride: she was from a lower social class and German law barred any children of the couple from the Hanoverian succession.

George insisted on a new law that essentially forbade members of the Royal Family from legally marrying without the consent of the Sovereign. The subsequent bill was unpopular in Parliament, including among George's own ministers, but passed as the Royal Marriages Act The news confirmed George's opinion that he had been right to introduce the law: Maria was related to his political opponents.

Neither lady was ever received at court. Lord North's government was chiefly concerned with discontent in America. To assuage American opinion most of the custom duties were withdrawn, except for the tea duty, which in George's words was "one tax to keep up the right [to levy taxes]".

In Britain, opinion hardened against the colonists, with Chatham now agreeing with North that the destruction of the tea was "certainly criminal".

The detailed evidence of the years from to tends to exonerate George III from any real responsibility for the American Revolution.

The American War of Independence was the culmination of the civil and political American Revolution resulting from the American Enlightenment.

Brought to a head over the lack of American representation in Parliament, which was seen as a denial of their rights as Englishmen and often popularly focused on direct taxes levied by Parliament on the colonies without their consent, the colonists resisted the imposition of direct rule after the Boston Tea Party.

Creating self-governing provinces, they circumvented the British ruling apparatus in each colony by Armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen broke out at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April After petitions to the Crown for intervention with Parliament were ignored, the rebel leaders were declared traitors by the Crown and a year of fighting ensued.

The colonies declared their independence in July , listing twenty-seven grievances against the British king and legislature while asking the support of the populace.

Among George's other offences, the Declaration charged, "He has abdicated Government here He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

George III is often accused of obstinately trying to keep Great Britain at war with the revolutionaries in America, despite the opinions of his own ministers.

He died later in the same year. Lord Gower and Lord Weymouth both resigned from the government. Lord North again requested that he also be allowed to resign, but he stayed in office at George III's insistence.

As late as the Siege of Charleston in , Loyalists could still believe in their eventual victory, as British troops inflicted heavy defeats on the Continental forces at the Battle of Camden and the Battle of Guilford Court House.

The King drafted an abdication notice, which was never delivered, [57] [64] finally accepted the defeat in North America, and authorised peace negotiations.

The Treaties of Paris , by which Britain recognised the independence of the American states and returned Florida to Spain, were signed in and He told Adams, "I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.

With the collapse of Lord North's ministry in , the Whig Lord Rockingham became Prime Minister for the second time but died within months.

The King then appointed Lord Shelburne to replace him. In , the House of Commons forced Shelburne from office and his government was replaced by the Fox—North Coalition.

The King disliked Fox intensely, for his politics as well as his character; he thought Fox was unprincipled and a bad influence on the Prince of Wales.

He was further dismayed when the government introduced the India Bill, which proposed to reform the government of India by transferring political power from the East India Company to Parliamentary commissioners.

The bill was rejected by the Lords; three days later, the Portland ministry was dismissed, and William Pitt the Younger was appointed Prime Minister, with Temple as his Secretary of State.

On 17 December , Parliament voted in favour of a motion condemning the influence of the monarch in parliamentary voting as a "high crime" and Temple was forced to resign.

Temple's departure destabilised the government, and three months later the government lost its majority and Parliament was dissolved; the subsequent election gave Pitt a firm mandate.

It proved that he was able to appoint Prime Ministers on the basis of his own interpretation of the public mood without having to follow the choice of the current majority in the House of Commons.

Throughout Pitt's ministry, George supported many of Pitt's political aims and created new peers at an unprecedented rate to increase the number of Pitt's supporters in the House of Lords.

They were expected to attend rigorous lessons from seven in the morning, and to lead lives of religious observance and virtue.

By this time George's health was deteriorating. He had a mental illness, characterised by acute mania, which was possibly a symptom of the genetic disease porphyria , [76] although this has been questioned.

The source of the arsenic is not known, but it could have been a component of medicines or cosmetics.

At the end of the parliamentary session, he went to Cheltenham Spa to recuperate. In November he became seriously deranged, sometimes speaking for many hours without pause, causing him to foam at the mouth and making his voice hoarse.

George would frequently repeat himself, and write sentences with over words at a time, as well as his vocabulary becoming more complex, possible symptoms of bipolar disorder.

In the reconvened Parliament, Fox and Pitt wrangled over the terms of a regency during the King's incapacity.

While both agreed that it would be most reasonable for George III's eldest son George, Prince of Wales, to act as regent, to Pitt's consternation Fox suggested that it was the Prince of Wales's absolute right to act on his ill father's behalf with full powers.

Pitt, fearing he would be removed from office if the Prince of Wales were empowered, argued that it was for Parliament to nominate a regent, and wanted to restrict the regent's authority.

Instead, he worked toward abolition in an individual capacity. After George's recovery, his popularity, and that of Pitt, continued to increase at the expense of Fox and the Prince of Wales.

George seemed unperturbed by the incident, so much so that he fell asleep in the interval. The French Revolution of , in which the French monarchy had been overthrown, worried many British landowners.

France declared war on Great Britain in ; in the war attempt, George allowed Pitt to increase taxes, raise armies, and suspend the right of habeas corpus.

The First Coalition to oppose revolutionary France, which included Austria, Prussia, and Spain, broke up in when Prussia and Spain made separate peace with France.

A brief lull in hostilities allowed Pitt to concentrate effort on Ireland, where there had been an uprising and attempted French landing in

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George did not consider the peace with France as real; in his view it was an "experiment". An invasion of England by Napoleon seemed imminent, and a massive volunteer movement arose to defend England against the French.

George's review of 27, volunteers in Hyde Park, London , on 26 and 28 October and at the height of the invasion scare, attracted an estimated , spectators on each day.

Should his troops effect a landing, I shall certainly put myself at the head of mine, and my other armed subjects, to repel them.

In , George's recurrent illness returned; after his recovery, Addington resigned and Pitt regained power. Pitt sought to appoint Fox to his ministry, but George refused.

Lord Grenville perceived an injustice to Fox, and refused to join the new ministry. This Third Coalition , however, met the same fate as the First and Second Coalitions, collapsing in The setbacks in Europe took a toll on Pitt's health and he died in , reopening the question of who should serve in the ministry.

Grenville pushed through the Slave Trade Act , which passed both houses of Parliament with large majorities. After Fox's death in September , the King and ministry were in open conflict.

To boost recruitment, the ministry proposed a measure in February whereby Roman Catholics would be allowed to serve in all ranks of the Armed Forces.

George instructed them not only to drop the measure, but also to agree never to set up such a measure again. The ministers agreed to drop the measure then pending, but refused to bind themselves in the future.

Parliament was dissolved, and the subsequent election gave the ministry a strong majority in the House of Commons. George III made no further major political decisions during his reign; the replacement of Portland by Perceval in was of little actual significance.

In late , at the height of his popularity, [] already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism , George became dangerously ill.

In his view the malady had been triggered by stress over the death of his youngest and favourite daughter, Princess Amelia.

Despite signs of a recovery in May , by the end of the year George had become permanently insane and lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle until his death.

Liverpool oversaw British victory in the Napoleonic Wars. The subsequent Congress of Vienna led to significant territorial gains for Hanover, which was upgraded from an electorate to a kingdom.

Meanwhile, George's health deteriorated. He developed dementia , and became completely blind and increasingly deaf. He was incapable of knowing or understanding that he was declared King of Hanover in , or that his wife died in His favourite son, Frederick, Duke of York , was with him.

George was succeeded by two of his sons, George IV and William IV , who both died without surviving legitimate children, leaving the throne to the only legitimate child of the Duke of Kent, Victoria , the last monarch of the House of Hanover.

George III lived for 81 years and days and reigned for 59 years and 96 days: both his life and his reign were longer than those of any of his predecessors and subsequent kings.

George III was dubbed "Farmer George" by satirists, at first to mock his interest in mundane matters rather than politics, but later to contrast his homely thrift with his son's grandiosity and to portray him as a man of the people.

There was unprecedented growth in the rural population, which in turn provided much of the workforce for the concurrent Industrial Revolution. He had the King's Observatory built in Richmond-upon-Thames for his own observations of the transit of Venus.

When William Herschel discovered Uranus in , he at first named it Georgium Sidus George's Star after the King, who later funded the construction and maintenance of Herschel's foot telescope , which was the biggest ever built at the time.

George III hoped that "the tongue of malice may not paint my intentions in those colours she admires, nor the sycophant extoll me beyond what I deserve", [] but in the popular mind George III has been both demonised and praised.

While very popular at the start of his reign, by the mids George had lost the loyalty of revolutionary American colonists, [] though it has been estimated that as many as half of the colonists remained loyal.

The Declaration's wording has contributed to the American public's perception of George as a tyrant. Contemporary accounts of George III's life fall into two camps: one demonstrating "attitudes dominant in the latter part of the reign, when the King had become a revered symbol of national resistance to French ideas and French power", while the other "derived their views of the King from the bitter partisan strife of the first two decades of the reign, and they expressed in their works the views of the opposition".

Building on the latter of these two assessments, British historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such as Trevelyan and Erskine May , promoted hostile interpretations of George III's life.

However, in the mid-twentieth century the work of Lewis Namier , who thought George was "much maligned", started a re-evaluation of the man and his reign.

Butterfield rejected the arguments of his Victorian predecessors with withering disdain: "Erskine May must be a good example of the way in which an historian may fall into error through an excess of brilliance.

His capacity for synthesis, and his ability to dovetail the various parts of the evidence In , when Great Britain united with Ireland , he dropped the title of king of France, which had been used for every English monarch since Edward III's claim to the French throne in the medieval period.

He then continued as duke until the Congress of Vienna declared him "King of Hanover" in Before his succession, George was granted the royal arms differenced by a label of five points Azure , the centre point bearing a fleur-de-lis Or on 27 July Upon his father's death, and along with the dukedom of Edinburgh and the position of heir-apparent, he inherited his difference of a plain label of three points Argent.

In an additional difference, the crown of Charlemagne was not usually depicted on the arms of the heir , only on the Sovereign's. Following the Acts of Union , the royal arms were amended, dropping the French quartering.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see George III disambiguation. Please do not move this article until the discussion is closed.

King of Great Britain and Ireland from to Coronation portrait by Allan Ramsay , St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Main article: Atlantic slave trade. George I of Great Britain 4. George II of Great Britain 9.

Princess Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Celle 2. Frederick, Prince of Wales John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 5.

Princess Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach 1. Princess Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Halle 3.

Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha Charles William, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst 7. Princess Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst Princess Sophia of Saxe-Halle.

However, Lightfoot had married Isaac Axford in , and had died in or before , so there could have been no legal marriage or children.

The jury at the trial of Lavinia Ryves , the daughter of imposter Olivia Serres who pretended to be "Princess Olive of Cumberland", unanimously found that a supposed marriage certificate produced by Ryves was a forgery.

Official website of the British monarchy. Royal Household. Retrieved 18 April The London Gazette. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online ed.

Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 October Subscription or UK public library membership required. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The National Archives. Retrieved 14 October The Crown Estate. Retrieved 7 November The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April Department of State, Treaty of Paris, VIII, pp.

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Later that year, Edward abdicated to marry the American socialite Wallis Simpson , and George became the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

War with the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan followed in and , respectively. George was seen as sharing the hardships of the common people and his popularity soared.

Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Blitz while the King and Queen were there, and his younger brother, the Duke of Kent , was killed on active service.

George became known as a symbol of British determination to win the war. Britain and its allies were victorious in , but the British Empire declined.

Ireland had largely broken away , followed by independence of India and Pakistan in George relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June and instead adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth.

He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign and died of coronary thrombosis in He was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.

Two days later, he wrote again: "I really think it would gratify her if you yourself proposed the name Albert to her.

The Queen was mollified by the proposal to name the new baby Albert, and wrote to the Duchess of York: "I am all impatience to see the new one, born on such a sad day but rather more dear to me, especially as he will be called by that dear name which is a byword for all that is great and good.

He often suffered from ill health and was described as "easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears". He had a stammer that lasted for many years.

Although naturally left-handed , he was forced to write with his right hand, as was common practice at the time. Prince Albert moved up to third in line to the throne, after his father and elder brother.

In he came bottom of the class in the final examination, but despite this he progressed to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

Edward became Prince of Wales, with Albert second in line to the throne. He spent three months in the Mediterranean, but never overcame his seasickness.

He did not see further combat, largely because of ill health caused by a duodenal ulcer , for which he had an operation in November He completed a fortnight's training and took command of a squadron on the Cadet Wing.

Albert wanted to serve on the Continent while the war was still in progress and welcomed a posting to General Trenchard 's staff in France.

On 23 October, he flew across the Channel to Autigny. Prince Albert qualified as an RAF pilot on 31 July and was promoted to squadron leader the following day.

In October , Albert went up to Trinity College, Cambridge , where he studied history, economics and civics for a year, [26] with the historian R.

Laurence as his "official mentor". He represented his father, and toured coal mines, factories, and railyards.

Through such visits he acquired the nickname of the "Industrial Prince". However, he was physically active and enjoyed playing tennis. His series of annual summer camps for boys between and brought together boys from different social backgrounds.

In a time when royalty were expected to marry fellow royalty, it was unusual that Albert had a great deal of freedom in choosing a prospective wife.

An infatuation with the already-married Australian socialite Lady Loughborough came to an end in April when the King, with the promise of the dukedom of York, persuaded Albert to stop seeing her.

He became determined to marry her. After a protracted courtship, Elizabeth agreed to marry him. They were married on 26 April in Westminster Abbey.

Albert's marriage to someone not of royal birth was considered a modernising gesture. During the trip, they both went big game hunting.

Because of his stammer, Albert dreaded public speaking. The Duke and Logue practised breathing exercises, and the Duchess rehearsed with him patiently.

The Duke and Duchess had two children: Elizabeth called "Lilibet" by the family who was born in , and Margaret who was born in The close and loving family lived at Piccadilly , rather than one of the royal palaces.

King George V had severe reservations about Prince Edward, saying "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in twelve months" and "I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne.

In the Vigil of the Princes , Prince Albert and his three brothers the new king, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester , and Prince George, Duke of Kent took a shift standing guard over their father's body as it lay in state , in a closed casket, in Westminster Hall.

As Edward was unmarried and had no children, Albert was the heir presumptive to the throne. Less than a year later, on 11 December , Edward abdicated in order to marry his mistress, Wallis Simpson , who was divorced from her first husband and divorcing her second.

Edward had been advised by British prime minister Stanley Baldwin that he could not remain king and marry a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands.

He abdicated and Albert became king, a position he was reluctant to accept. He wrote in his diary, "When I told her what had happened, I broke down and sobbed like a child.

On the day of the abdication, the Oireachtas , the parliament of the Irish Free State , removed all direct mention of the monarch from the Irish constitution.

The next day, it passed the External Relations Act , which gave the monarch limited authority strictly on the advice of the government to appoint diplomatic representatives for Ireland and to be involved in the making of foreign treaties.

The two acts made the Irish Free State a republic in essence without removing its links to the Commonwealth. Across Britain gossip spread that Albert was physically and psychologically incapable of handling the kingship.

He worried about that himself. No evidence has been found to support the rumour that the government considered bypassing him in favour of his scandal-ridden younger brother, George.

Albert assumed the regnal name "George VI" to emphasise continuity with his father and restore confidence in the monarchy. He had been introduced as "His Royal Highness Prince Edward" for the abdication broadcast, [54] but George VI felt that by abdicating and renouncing the succession, Edward had lost the right to bear royal titles, including "Royal Highness".

George VI was forced to buy from Edward the royal residences of Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House , as these were private properties and did not pass to him automatically.

George VI's coronation at Westminster Abbey took place on 12 May , the date previously intended for Edward's coronation. In a break with tradition, his mother Queen Mary attended the ceremony in a show of support for her son.

Two overseas tours were undertaken, to France and to North America, both of which promised greater strategic advantages in the event of war.

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