You must be­lieve me when I tell you that I have found it im­pos­si­ble to carry the heavy bur­den of re­spon­si­bil­ity and to dis­charge my du­ties as King as I would wish to do with­out the help and sup­port of the woman I love

Country Life Every Week - - My Week -

Ge­orge VI, who suc­ceeded to the throne, was an­other younger brother. That was not the only qual­ity that he shared with Ge­orge V. Like him, he was mod­est in his do­mes­tic tastes and loved fam­ily life. Al­though his fa­ther’s hor­ror of the First World War had caused him to de­velop an un­ex­pected de­gree of paci­fism by the end of his life, his son also found him­self to be a war leader: his be­hav­iour dur­ing the Sec­ond World War was much the same as Ge­orge V’s had been in 1914–18. He and Queen El­iz­a­beth set an ex­am­ple of for­ti­tude, duty and self-de­nial.

Af­ter the Sec­ond Word War, the monar­chy was prime among the in­sti­tu­tions hav­ing to adapt to In­dian in­de­pen­dence and the loss of em­pire. The ar­rival of El­iz­a­beth II to the throne in 1952 gave both the na­tion and the monar­chy the tonic that they needed. Here was a ra­di­ant young Queen who per­son­i­fied the coun­try’s new destiny as it be­gan the dif­fi­cult process of rein­ven­tion. On Fe­bru­ary 6, the an­niver­sary of her ac­ces­sion, she will have pro­vided sta­bil­ity for 65 years, dur­ing some­times gloomy and frac­tious times. A nat­u­ral conservative, she adopted the idea of monar­chy pi­o­neered by Ge­orge V—whom she called ‘Grandpa Eng­land’—and de­vel­oped by Ge­orge VI, com­bin­ing iron duty with devo­tion to fam­ily and an un­com­pli­cated re­li­gious faith.

Is the House of Wind­sor still a cas­tle? Cas­tles are de­signed to keep peo­ple out.

Ed­ward Vlll’s ab­di­ca­tion speech, De­cem­ber 11, 1936

Top left Ed­ward VIII broad­casts to the na­tion in 1935. Top right: The Bri­tish press didn’t break the story about the King’s re­la­tion­ship with Wal­lis Simpson un­til the day be­fore the ab­di­ca­tion was an­nounced. Above: The cou­ple were made Duke and Duchess of Wind­sor. Ge­orge VI pur­chased San­dring­ham and Bal­moral from his brother

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