George VI

George VI took over much earlier than had been anticipated when his older brother, Edward abdicated so that he could marry Mrs Simpson. George was temperamentally much better suited to the service and role required of a monarch. He supported his Ministers even in the darkest days of the Second World War and did much to promote the idea that everyone in the nation had to play their part. He was active in visiting troops and factories and encouraged his family to be seen to be active in serving the nation.

After the war, George had to appoint Attlee to become his prime-minister after Labour won a landslide victory. George in no way undermined the left wing government and went out of his way to support his ministers despite the reservations of much of the more conservative establishment. He would also see the loss of the 'Jewel in the Crown' of the Empire; India. As such, George would lose the right to call himself 'Emperor' and had to return to being just a 'King'.

George V
1895 at Sandringham
1952 at Sandringham
Acceded to Throne
Dennis Judd talks about George VI

Death of George VI (BBC Witness)

Further Reading
George VI
By Sarah Bradford
Battle Royal: Edward VIII and George VI - Brother Against Brother
By Kirsty McLeod
A Spirit Undaunted: Political Role of George VI
By Robert Rhodes James
George VI
By Dennis Judd
King George Vi His Life And Reign
By John W. Wheeler-Bennett
King George VI: The Man Behind The King's Speech DVD
Bertie and Elizabeth: The Reluctant Royals - The Story of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth
King George VI & Elizabeth - A Royal Love Story
David Starkey's Monarchy
The King's Speech


Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe