George V, King of Great Britain and Emperor of India

   The second son of Edward VII and among the most conscientious and popular of British monarchs. He served in the Royal Navy from 1877 to 1892, a career path suddenly closed to him by the sudden death of his older brother and his consequent emergence as heir to the throne. With the death of Edward VII in May 1910, George V followed his coronation with a trip to Ireland and Wales and fives months later made the first visit to India of a reigning monarch, although he had visited the country in 1905 as the Prince of Wales. On the advice of his constitutional advisors, he intervened in the political crisis over the Parliament Act of 1910–1911 and urged compromise during the Irish Home Rule crisis in 1912–1914. During World War I, he insisted that the royal household abide by national rationing guidelines and personally donated £100,000 to the war effort. He made seven visits to the front in Belgium and France and hundreds of visits to hospitals and factories, and he personally awarded 58,000 military decorations. To top it all off he changed the family name from the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the English Windsor.
    Judd, Denis. The Life and Times of George V. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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