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George VI

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George VI
George VI in the uniform of a field marshal
Formal photograph, c. 1940–1946
King of the United Kingdom
and the British Dominions
Reign11 December 1936 – 6 February 1952
Coronation12 May 1937
PredecessorEdward VIII
SuccessorElizabeth II
Emperor of India
Reign11 December 1936 – 15 August 1947
PredecessorEdward VIII
SuccessorPosition abolished[a]
BornPrince Albert of York
(1895-12-14)14 December 1895
York Cottage, Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died6 February 1952(1952-02-06) (aged 56)
Sandringham House, Norfolk
Burial15 February 1952
Royal Vault, St George's Chapel;
26 March 1969
King George VI Memorial Chapel, St George's Chapel
Full name
Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor
FatherGeorge V
MotherMary of Teck
Years of service1913–1919 (active service)

George VI (born Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor;[1] 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He became king when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson. George was married to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon from April 1923 until his death.

He was succeeded as monarch by his elder daughter, Elizabeth.

George had a stutter.[2] This made it very difficult for him to carry out many of the public duties of a king which required him to make speeches. He was treated by an Australian speech and language therapist called Lionel Logue.[2] The story of this part of George's life was made into a movie in 2010 called The King's Speech.[2] Colin Firth played the role of George, and Geoffrey Rush played the role of Logue.

George became a very popular king throughout the British Empire. He won admiration during World War II (1939–1945), in which he stayed at Buckingham Palace during the most intense months of the Blitz. The Palace was bombed more than twice but he still remained, becoming a symbol of resistance and "fighting spirit". He enjoyed a close working relationship with his wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, inviting him to join the Royal Family on Victory in Europe Day (1945) to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis.

After World War II ended, his health began to decline which meant he couldn’t do many duties as king so Princess Elizabeth took them on in his place. A heavy smoker, George died of lung cancer and was given a state funeral. He was 56 years old.

British Prime Ministers[change | change source]

Family[change | change source]

George VI was the son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was the younger brother of Edward VIII, who gave up the throne to marry an American divorced woman, Wallis Simpson. In April 1923, George married his beloved wife Elizabeth, who later became known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. They had two children, Princesses Elizabeth (later Elizabeth II) (1926–2022) and Margaret (1930–2002).

Death and funeral[change | change source]

George VI died on 6 February 1952.[3] Crowds began to gather in London in the early hours of the morning of the funeral. Thousands saw the event on television. Shortly after 9:00am, the funeral procession arrived at Westminster Hall. More than 300,000 people paid their respects to his body which lay in state for three days.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. George VI continued as titular Emperor of India until 22 June 1948.

References[change | change source]

  1. "No. 26689". The London Gazette. 14 December 1895. p. 7267.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Stuttering and the King's Speech". Stutteringhelp.org. 2011 [last update]. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  3. "No. 39458". The London Gazette. 6 February 1952. p. 757.

Other websites[change | change source]