Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on December 14, 1895. He served as king of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth for more than 15 years after his brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne. He became the first Head of the Commonwealth and the final Emperor of India. Despite having to endure the Second World War during his reign and his failings, he was brave and resolute in his efforts to restore the people’s faith in the monarchy. Today, we honor him.
Albert Frederick Arthur George
Bertie, Industrial Prince
December 14, 1895
February 6, 1952 (age 56)
Albert Frederick Arthur George was born to Prince George, Duke of York (later King George V), and Duchess of York (later Queen Mary) at York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, United Kingdom. When he was of age, he enrolled as a naval cadet at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, in 1909, and even though he placed last in his class on the final exam in 1911, he continued on to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He spent six months in 1913 working on the training ship H.M.S. Cumberland off the coast of Canada and in the West Indies. He transferred from the Royal Navy to the Royal Air Force after the Royal Air Force was founded and Cranwell’s responsibilities were transferred from the Admiralty to the Air Ministry.
He was the Officer Commanding the Boys’ Wing’s Number Four Squadron at Cranwell until August 1918. He spent a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, studying history, economics, and civics under historian R. V. Laurence in October 1919. On June 4, 1920, his father gave him the titles of Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney. After Edward’s abdication on December 11, 1936, he reluctantly ascended to the throne under the reign name George VI in the hopes of restoring the monarchy’s legitimacy in the wake of the turbulent events that had occurred since his father’s passing. He made two overseas visits to France and North America to obtain a strategic advantage because the Second World War was about to start, casting a shadow on his early reign. He stayed with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his visit to America in the White House and at his house in Hyde Park, New York. He and Roosevelt became close friends during the trip. The royal couple was warmly welcomed by the general populace, and the tour was a major political success, which helped to forge the coalition for the impending war. In 1940, he opposed Churchill’s selection as prime minister, but they eventually became good friends and frequently had lunch together to discuss the war. He invited Churchill to appear with the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet the public during the Victory in Europe Day festivities. When India eventually became a republic in 1950, he lost his monarchy there, but he continued to rule Pakistan until his death.
He proposed to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the object of his affections twice, in 1921 and 1922. She turned down his proposal both times because she didn’t want to make the necessary compromises to become a member of the royal family. On April 26, 1923, in Westminster Abbey, they were wed after she finally said yes to his third proposal. Princess Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, and Princess Margaret was born on August 21, 1930, to George VI and his wife Elizabeth. He was, sadly, discovered dead in bed at Sandringham House in Norfolk on February 6, 1952. He passed away in his sleep from coronary thrombosis.
He spends six months in the West Indies and along Canada’s east coast as a trainee on H.M.S. Cumberland.
He becomes an officer in charge of boys at the Cranwell training facility for the Royal Naval Air Service.
The day after becoming eligible to fly for the R.A.F., he receives a promotion to squadron leader.
He assumes additional royal responsibilities, such as representing his father in coal mines, factories, and railyards, and is given the titles Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney.
After Edward’s abdication, he assumes the throne as George VI at the coronation at Westminster Abbey.
Nine parliamentary bills receive Royal Assent during his trip to Canada and the U.S. with the Queen, and he also ratifies two international accords with the Great Seal of Canada.
Why We Love George VI
He was a king of the people
He was a king for all and loved by everyone. He was known for his time in the navy and his service to his people.
He worked at improving himself
He was uncomfortable addressing people in public and would stammer when faced with such a situation. He sought help to improve the problem and things got better as time went on.
He was a loving husband
He loved his wife dearly. She became his backbone, and they both were able to lead and give the people a sense of trust.
5 Surprising Facts
He grew up under strict discipline
George V, his father, was well known for being a strict parent.
He didn’t leave during the war
He and his queen were urged to leave London for their own safety during the Second World War, but they refused, showing their spirit of unity — even after Buckingham Palace was destroyed.
First reigning monarch to visit the U.S.
He entered America for the first time as a reigning British monarch.
He would stammer
As he grew older, speaking in front of people was a torment for him.
The first king to talk on radio
King George VI was the first monarch to address the public live on the radio.
George VI FAQs
Did George VI have a lung removed?
Yes, one of his lungs was removed due to lung cancer.
Was George VI a good king?
He was widely loved and respected by his subjects.
How long did George VI live after his surgery?
He only lived for five months after his surgery.
George VI’s birthday dates