24 Facts About King George V

1. King George V was by temperament a traditionalist who never fully appreciated or approved the revolutionary changes under way in British society.

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2. King George V established a standard of conduct for British royalty that reflected the values and virtues of the upper middle-class rather than upper-class lifestyles or vices.

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3. King George V was not an intellectual; on returning from one evening at the opera, he wrote in his journal, "Went to Covent Garden and saw Fidelio and damned dull it was.

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4. At the procession to King George V's lying in state in Westminster Hall part of the Imperial State Crown fell from on top of the coffin and landed in the gutter as the cortege turned into New Palace Yard.

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5. King George V became gradually weaker, drifting in and out of consciousness.

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6. In 1932, King George V agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event that became annual thereafter.

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7. In 1926, King George V hosted an Imperial Conference in London at which the Balfour Declaration accepted the growth of the British Dominions into self-governing "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another".

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8. In 1924, King George V appointed the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, in the absence of a clear majority for any one of the three major parties.

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9. King George V cultivated friendly relations with moderate Labour party politicians and trade union officials.

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10. In May 1922, the King George V toured Belgium and northern France, visiting the First World War cemeteries and memorials being constructed by the Imperial War Graves Commission.

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11. On 4 August 1914 the King George V wrote in his diary, "I held a council at 10.45 to declare war with Germany.

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12. King George V was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.

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13. King George V wore the newly created Imperial Crown of India at the ceremony, and declared the shifting of the Indian capital from Calcutta to Delhi.

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14. King George V made it known that he would refuse to open parliament unless it was changed.

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15. King George V objected to the anti-Catholic wording of the Accession Declaration that he would be required to make at the opening of his first parliament.

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16. King George V had never liked his wife's habit of signing official documents and letters as "Victoria Mary" and insisted she drop one of those names.

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17. King George V presented thousands of specially designed South African War medals to colonial troops.

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18. King George V inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall, and for much of the rest of that year, he was known as the Duke of Cornwall and York.

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19. King George V's married Ferdinand, the future King of Romania, in 1893.

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20. King George V travelled the world, visiting many areas of the British Empire.

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21. King George V was third in line to the throne, after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor.

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22. King George V was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley.

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23. King George V was born on 3 June 1865, in Marlborough House, London.

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24. In 1917, King George V became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment.

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