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John Van der Kiste

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Publisher:  Alan Sutton ISBN-10:  0750934689 Type: 


Copyright:  Aug 1 1991

Sutton Publishing

A collective biography of King George V's six children, who included Edward VIII, George VI, and George, Duke of Kent

King George V and Queen Mary had six children. All except the youngest, John, lived to maturity and contributed to British public life in peace and war.

The eldest, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne for over quarter of a century, reigned as King Edward VIII for eleven months, his determination to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson leading to the abdication crisis and a long period of often bitter exile for both. The Duke of York, who reluctantly and unexpectedly succeeded to the throne as King George VI, was a shy, diffident man handicapped by a speech impediment, but with the support of his consort Queen Elizabeth and prime minister Winston Churchill, gave the nation spirited guidance during the Second World War.

Both surviving younger brothers served in the armed forces during wartime. Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was Governor-General of Australia from 1944 to 1946 and crowned his military career with promotion to the rank of Field-Marshal. George, Duke of Kent, an officer in the RAF, was tragically killed on active service in 1942. Their only sister Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, rendered unstinting work as a nurse and royal ambassador abroad.

Illustrated with over 60 photographs, this is the first book to cover the lives of the King's children as a family.

[First published 1991, revised edition 2003]
As the news of King George V's death broke across a stunned nation in 1936, people in all walks of life wondered what the reign of his eldest son would bring. 'He [George V] was really beloved for there never was a man who did his duty better,' Grand Duchess Olga of Russia wrote to Lady Astor. 'I feel the new King will do it just as well, but in a different way. It is a much easier thing being a Constitutional Monarch than any other, but it may be hard for the new King because he has many ideas of his own.'

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