Jump to content
  • King George V of the United Kingdom was born on June 3, 1865.

    Beatriz Camino

    King George V of the United Kingdom was born on June 3, 1865.

    George V (3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 1910 until 1936.

    Early Life & Accession to the Throne

    George was born on June 3, 1865, in London, as the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Alexandra, Princess of Wales. His father was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest son, while his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. Initially, George had little expectation of becoming king, being third in line after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. George and Albert Victor were educated together, but neither excelled academically, prompting their father to have them trained in the Navy, where they toured the British Empire colonies.

    Upon their return, Queen Victoria complained about her grandsons’ inability to speak French or German, leading to a six-month stay in Lausanne to learn another language, which was ultimately unsuccessful. After Lausanne, the brothers parted ways: Albert Victor attended Trinity College, Cambridge, while George continued his naval career, travelling throughout the British Empire. During this time, he fell in love with his cousin, Princess Marie of Edinburgh. However, their mothers opposed the match, and Marie rejected George’s proposal.

    In November 1891, Albert Victor became engaged to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (May), but died of pneumonia in 1892, leaving George second in line to the throne. George and May grew close during their mourning period and married on July 6, 1893, having five sons and a daughter.

    George’s naval career ended with his brother’s death, and he was made Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney on May 24, 1892. When Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901, George’s father became King Edward VII and George inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall, later becoming known as the Duke of Cornwall and York. A few months later, he was made Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. From November 1905 to March 1906, George and May toured British India, followed by a trip to Spain for King Alfonso XIII’s wedding to George’s cousin, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. At the wedding, they narrowly escaped assassination when a bomb killed their coach driver and over a dozen spectators.


    George V became king on 6 May 1910 after the death of Edward VII and his coronation with Queen Mary took place on 22 June 1911. They visited Ireland in July 1911, where they were warmly received, and later that year, they travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar, where George was presented as the Emperor of India and declared the capital shift from Calcutta to Delhi.

    The king ascended the throne during political turmoil, with tensions over the People’s Budget and the power of the House of Lords. He reluctantly agreed to dissolve Parliament, leading to the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the Lords’ veto power. The Liberals, now a minority government, depended on the Irish Nationalist Party’s support, leading to contentious debates over Irish Home Rule. A 1914 conference to avoid civil war in Ireland ended without resolution, and the issue was suspended due to World War I. During the war, George changed the royal house name to Windsor in response to anti-German sentiment.

    That same year, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, George’s first cousin, was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917. At first, the British government offered political asylum to the Tsar and his family, but fears that revolution might come to the British Isles led George to think that the presence of the Romanovs would be inappropriate. Consequently, Nicholas and his family remained in Russia, where they were killed by the Bolsheviks.

    Post-war, George only left the UK for official visits to Belgium, northern France, and Italy. In the meanwhile, political turmoil in Ireland continued as the Nationalists fought for independence. The king advocated for conciliation and witnessed the partitioning of Ireland and the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.

    Concerned about the rise of socialism and the growing labour movement, George also fostered relationships with Labour politicians and trade unions, enhancing the monarchy’s popularity. In 1926, he hosted an Imperial Conference that acknowledged the autonomy of British Dominions, formalised by the Statute of Westminster 1931, making the monarch a symbol of the British Commonwealth’s unity. A year later, George agreed to deliver a Royal Christmas speech on the radio, an event that became annual thereafter.


    The First World War severely affected George’s health, worsening his chronic bronchitis and leading to a serious injury in 1915. In 1925, he took his last recuperative trip abroad. He fell seriously ill with septicaemia in 1928, and his son Edward took over many duties. George spent three months in Bognor, Sussex, in 1929 but never fully recovered. On January 15, 1936, he became gravely ill and died five days later at Sandringham House. George V was buried at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 28 January 1936. Edward abdicated before the end of the year and Albert ascended the throne as George VI.


    George V 1917 Sovereign London Mint AU58, rarest of the reign for LondonGEORGE V 1911 GOLD PROOF TWO POUNDS, CORONATION ISSUEGeorge V. Crown. 1928. Extremely Fine.

    George V 1923-S Sovereign Sydney Mint, low mintage R4, MS62GEORGE V, 1935 SILVER PROOF CROWN, STRUCK FOR THE SILVER JUBILEE PF63George V 1922-S Sovereign Sydney Mint, NGC MS63


    View Related Coins



  • Create New...