George V. of Great Britain
(03.06.1865 - 20.01.1936)
place of birth: Marlborough House, London
Kingdom: His Majesty the King,
Frederick Ernest Albert, King George V, was born 3 June 1865
as the second son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. He was the
first British monarch belonging to the House of Windsor which he
created from the British branch of the German House of
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. In addition to being King of the United Kingdom and
other Commonwealth Realms, George V was also Emperor of India and the
first King of the Irish Free State. He reigned from 6 May 1910 until
his death in 20 January 1936.
After being educated at home by the Rev. J. N.
Dalton, George became a
naval cadet at Dartmouth. By 1889 he was commander of a torpedo boat.
However, in January 1892, his naval career came to an end when his
older brother, Prince Edward, died of pneumonia. Edward had been
engaged to marry his German cousin, Princes Mary of Teck. It was now
decided she should marry George instead. George was now heir to the
throne and it was decided that he could no longer risk his life as a
naval commander. He was granted the title, the Duke of York and became
a member of the House of Lords. George was also given a political
education that included an in-depth study of the British Constitution.
However, unlike his father, he did not learn to speak any foreign
languages. As Duke of York he married Princess Mary in 1893. Mary had
six children: Edward VIII (1894- 1972), George VI (1895-1952), Mary
(1897-1965), Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), George Duke of Kent
(1902-1942) and Prince John (1905-1919).
The outbreak of World War One created problems for the
royal family because of its German background. Owing to strong
anti-German feeling in Britain, it was decided to change the name of
the royal family from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. To stress his
support for the British, the king made several visits to the Western
Front. On one visit to France in 1915 he fell off his horse and broke
his pelvis. In 1917 George V took the controversial decision to deny
political asylum to Tsar Nicholas II and his family after the Bolshevik
Revolution. People where shocked by George's unwillingness to protect
his cousin but his advisers argued that it was important for the king
to distance himself from the autocratic Russian royal family. Some
people questioned this decision when it became known that the
Bolsheviks had executed Tsar Nicholas, his wife and their five
children. George V died of influenza on 20 January 1936. His eldest son
Edward succeeded him as King.