George V

George V had the misfortune of having to be the Monarch during the tumultuous days of the First World War. It was during this war that he dropped his family's German name for the more anglicised 'House of Windsor'. He would see a number of his cousins and relatives lose their empires and in the case of the Romanovs their lives. He was King as political discourse polarised in the 1920s and 1930s. As if these negative forces were not enough, he also reigned in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. Despite all these calamities, he was regarded as a strong and stable leader who at least tried to appear to keep above the political fray especially with the advent of Labour and Nationalist governments.

George had paternal but surprisingly liberal attitudes towards his subjects. He was dismayed at the arrogance that many colonial administrators could display towards the people they were supposed to be governing and looking after. George V pointedly banned the word 'native' from being uttered in his presence and wished that all his subjects be treated 'as valued friends.'

George V
1865 at Marlborough House
1936 at Sandringham
Acceded to Throne
Further Reading
King George V
By Kenneth Rose
Cousins Divided: George V and Nicholas II
By Ann Morrow
The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One
By Miranda Carter
George V (Yale English Monarchs Series)
By E.A. Smith
King George And Queen Mary - The First Windsors
David Starkey's Monarchy
Lost Prince


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by Stephen Luscombe