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Born in 1865, George V served as king of the United Kingdom from 1910 to 1936, during World War I. He was succeeded by his son, George VI, following his death.
George VI - King's Speech (1:21)
Edward VIII - Becoming King (1:32)
As a boy, King George VI had a rough relationship with his father, King George V. The strain on their relationship as father and son has been seen as a cause of King George VI's stammer.
As the health of King George V declined, Prince Edward, then Prince of Wales, was next in line for the throne. This worried the King due to Edward's rebellious nature and lack of interest in marriage.
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The reign of George V saw many changes within the British Empire. Rebellion in Ireland in 1916 resulted in an independent Irish parliament and later a geographic division along religious lines. The post–World War I period also brought change to the empire itself as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa demanded and received the right of self-governance and formed the Commonwealth of Nations in 1931. India followed, achieving some degree of self-determinism in 1935.
World War I also brought changes to George V’s health. After his serious fall from a horse in 1915, he experienced breathing problems. His heavy smoking didn’t help, and by 1925 he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A few years later, he fell seriously ill with an inflammatory disease. He never fully recovered, and in his final year he was often administered oxygen. On the evening of January 15, 1936, George complained of a cold and retied to his bedroom. It was apparent he was gravely ill, and the doctor was summoned. The king slipped in and out of consciousness for five days. After receiving an injection of morphine and cocaine by the royal physician, he died on January 20, 1936.
In 1935, King George V celebrated his Silver Jubilee, to much public rejoicing. He had become a popular king by cultivated good relationships with the Labour Party and unions during the economic depression of the 1930s. While he lacked intellectual curiosity and sophistication, he was hardworking, deeply devoted to Great Britain and widely admired by the British people. He established a standard for British royalty that reflected the values and virtues of the upper middle class rather than the aristocracy. Though he probably never understood or fully appreciated the changes that occurred in his empire, he used his influence as a voice of reason and moderation to help Britain weather the changes of the early 20th century.
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They rule the Royal House of Windsor, and they can trace their bloodlines back through thousands of years of monarchy and leadership. The British Royal Family, with Queen Elizabeth II at the head of the throne, lead Britain's constitutional monarchy. As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and is honored for 60 years on the throne, the Royal Family has never been more popular. They go by the terms "His and Her Royal Highness," yet they are admired for their style, down-to-earth personalities, media savvy, and their devotion to humanitarian causes. All eyes are on Princes William and Harry as they carry on their family legacy into the 21st century.
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