Prince George: Following footsteps

Our little toddling Prince has some big shoes to fill. There have been six King George’s in the British Monarchy and our story begins with Queen Anne. There have been difficult times and great times, victorious times and times of tragedy. I have chosen to write about three of the greatest King George’s of the British monarchy, the Kings who I believe inspired the name for our future King.

The first King George:
King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (3).jpg
Queen Anne was married to George of Denmark, the first George in our history. Sadly, she died without and heir and so the throne was passed to Sophia’s son George of Hanover. King George I was grandson of King James I who was the first king of both Scotland and England. This first King George was German and didn’t make any effort to join in with British culture. During his reign came Sir Robert Walpole England’s first Prime Minister.

After George II and George III and George IV came George V:

Full-length portrait in oils of George V

King George V was the first King of Windsor, changing his name to be more English. As a young man he was destined to serve in the navy, and was stationed in Malta. There, he grew close to and fell in love with his first cousin, Marie of Edinburgh, however when he proposed she was guided by her mother to decline. Later in George’s life, Albert Victor, George’s older brother died of pneumonia, leaving George second in line to the throne. It is after this that George found Mary of Teck and the two grew close during their shared period of mourning. A year after Albert Victor’s death, George proposed to May and was accepted. Throughout their lives, they remained devoted to each other. George found himself unable to express his feelings easily to her, however they often exchanged loving letters and notes of endearment.

After so many years of George’s the name became established as truly and British and a great part of our Nations history and Royal family. The final George I have chosen is one very close to living memory, the unexpected King of England, who became King after his brother abdicated for love after just 325 days as King. This final King George is perhaps the most inspirational, many of you may already know him from the ‘King’s Speech’ with Colin Firth. I hope I help you get to know him a little bit better.

King George VI:

King George VI of England, formal photo portrait, circa 1940-1946.jpg

This final King, who was the last King that we have had, is father to our own beloved Queen Elizabeth, and to her, sadly gone, sister Princess Margaret. His actual name was Albert after Queen Victoria’s husband and the love of her life, similarly King George chose someone he loved to marry. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon rejected two proposals, supposedly because she did not want to make the sacrifices necessary to be part of the royal family, however after courting for a while she finally agreed. This appeared very modernising as though she came from nobility she was not a royal, similarly Prince William chose to marry Kate Middleton, who was not even from nobility. King George suffered a stammer and hated public speaking although with the help of Lionel Logue he overcame this problem and his words helped the British public through the difficult time of war. His family did not abandon the people, they stayed, they visited people in bombed areas. On 13 September,two German bombs exploded in a courtyard at Buckingham Palace while they were there. The Queen famously declared: “I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel we can look the East End in the face.”

Our Prince George follows the First, the Devoted and the Good. Of course overall there have been six George’s, not all of them perfect but many of them living through great change in our country, the name becoming a symbol of confidence, greatness and Britishness. Perhaps our future King will be not only be good, not only be devoted to his country and to his people but perhaps he will be, great.

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Have a wonderful day

Kensington Palace

1st photo: Kensington palace,  2nd Studio of Godrey Kneller, 3rd, Coronation portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 4th Formal portrait, c. 1940–46

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