George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert), 1865–1936, king of Great Britain and Ireland (1910–36), second son and successor of Edward VII. At the age of 12 he commenced a naval career, but this ended with the death (1892) of his elder brother, the duke of Clarence, which made him the eventual heir to the throne. In 1893 he married Victoria Mary, daughter of the duke of Teck. While his father was king (1901–10), George visited many parts of the British empire, developing an interest in imperial affairs that he maintained throughout his own reign. After his coronation (1911) he went to India for a coronation durbar in Delhi. Within the limitations of his constitutional position, he occasionally played a decisive personal part in political controversies, acting as moderator in the debates over the Parliament Act of 1911 (see Parliament) and the Irish Home Rule Bill of 1914 and later helping in the formation of the national government of 1931. In 1917, during World War I, he abandoned his German titles and changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. The celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his accession (May 6, 1935) showed the affection in which he was held by the British people. On his death (Jan. 20, 1936) George was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII. His second son, on the abdication of Edward, took the throne as George VI.
See biographies by H. Nicolson (1952) and K. Rose (1983); M. Carter, George, Nicholas and Wilhelm (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies