The newborn Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge’s great-great-grandfather was King George VI:
King George VI was born as the second son of King George V (then Duke of York) and grew up being third in line to the throne, after his father and older brother Edward. For over 40 years he was not expected to be king. However his older brother loved a married American woman, Wallis Simpson, and wanted to marry her when she got her second divorce. This scandal forced him to choose between the crown and the woman, and he chose the woman! (Bless his heart!). After their fathers’s death in January 1936, King Edward VIII ruled the British Empire for less than a year from January 1936 to December 1936, before he abdicated in favor of King George VI.
1936 went down in history as the “Year of 3 kings”!
King George VI was born Albert Frederick Arthur George on 14th of December 1895, the anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband). The queen was rather distressed with the news of the baby, but it was all turned into a positive when the name Albert was chosen. That said, his mother was not fond of the name Albert, and hoped his last name George would replace it at some point.
His mother’s wish came true on the 11th of December 1936, when Albert took the regnal name George, to emphasize continuity with his father (King George V) and restore confidence in the monarchy, after the abdication crisis had rocked the boat royally, so to speak.
George got married in 1923 to a Lady, not a Princess. At the time it was thought of as a modernising gesture. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was the daughter of an Earl, and George initially had to pursue her vigorously, due to the fact that she was reluctant to making the sacrifices necessary to become a member of the royal family. She was used to a quiet family life, and was not easily persuaded to give that up. She finally agreed to the marriage, thinking they eventually would be a less prominent part of the royal family.
When George became King in 1936, he and Elizabeth had two daughters, Princess Elizabeth (age 10) and Princess Margaret (age 6). The little family was promptly brought to the center of attention, during a time of growing likelihood of war.
In the spring of 1939 King George and Queen Elizabeth visited Canada and the US, and formed a strong bond of friendship with President Roosevelt. In September 1939 Britain declared war on Nazi-Germany. The Royal couple stayed in London during the war, through blitzen and bombings. They held a high public profile throughout the war, and provided morale-boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom. King George succeeded in restoring the popularity of the monarchy.
During King George VI’s reign the dissolution of the British Empire accelerated. George VI was the last emperor of India, when India entered the The Commonwealth as a republic. After World War II, Great Britain ceased being the leading empire of the world, USA and The Soviet Union emerged as the new super powers.
George played tennis doubled up with a black man in Jamaica in 1927. He was appalled when he was asked during a visit in South Africa in 1947 to shake only white hands. In January 1946, George addressed the United Nations at their first assembly, which was held in London, and reaffirmed “our faith in the equal rights of men and women and of nations great and small”. I argue that George was a man of modern socialistic views and of great political talent 😀
King George died on the 6th of February 1952, only 56 years old. He did not recover from lung surgery after removing a malignant tumor in the fall.
If you are curious about my Pretty Data project, and interested in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, please get in touch, as I’m still hoping to sign up more helpers with my project! Warning: you’d have to be pretty crazy about imagery, somewhat interested in history, and have a (more or less secret) crush on royalty!…lol
The files I’m sharing have been altered by me! As such, the files are free for your personal use and enjoyment. Go to the folder below to download high quality copies.
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The original, unaltered files I have used can be found here: