George V of Britain - Encyclopedia




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GEORGE V. [GEORGE FREDERICK ERNEST ALBERT], king of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, emperor of India (1865-), second son of King Edward VII., was born at Marlborough House, London, on the 3rd of June 1865. When four years old, he and his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, two years his senior, were placed under the tutorship of John Neale Dalton, then curate of Sandringham. In 1877 the two princes became naval cadets on the "Britannia" at Spithead, where they passed through the ordinary curriculum, and in 1879 they joined H.M.S. "Bacchante" under the command of Captain Lord Charles Scott, making a voyage to the West Indies, in the course of which they were rated midshipmen. After a month at home in 1880 they returned to the ship to make another prolonged cruise in H.M.S. "Bacchante," in the course of which they visited South America, South Africa, Australia, the Fiji Islands, Japan,Ceylon, Egypt, Palestine and Greece. A narrative of this voyage, The Cruise of H.M.S. "Bacchante," compiled from the letters, diaries and notebooks of the princes, was published in 1886. At the close of this tour in 1882 the brothers separated. Prince George, who remained in the naval service, was appointed to H.M.S. "Canada," commanded by Captain Durrant, on the North American and West Indian station, and was promoted sub-lieutenant. On his return home he passed through the Royal Naval College at Greenwich and the gunnery and torpedo schools, being promoted lieutenant in 1885. A year later he was appointed to H.M.S. "Thunderer" of the Mediterranean squadron, and was subsequently transferred to H.M.S. "Dreadnought" and H.M.S. "Alexandra." In 1889 he joined the flagship of the Channel squadron, H.M.S. "Northumberland," and in that year was in command of torpedo boat No. 79 for the naval manoeuvres. In 1890 he was put in command of the gunboat H.M.S. "Thrush" for service on the North American and West Indian station. After his promotion as commander in 1891 he commissioned H.M.S. "Melampus," the command of which he relinquished on the death of his brother, Albert Victor, the duke of Clarence, in January 1892, since his duties as eventual heir to the crown precluded him from devoting himself exclusively to the navy. He was promoted captain in 1893, rear-admiral in 1901, and vice-admiral in 1903. He was created duke of York, earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney in 1892, and on the 6th of July 1893 he married Princess Victoria Mary (b. 26th May 1867), daughter of Francis, duke of Teck, XI. 24 a and Princess Mary Adelaide, duchess of Teck, daughter of Adolphus Frederick, duke of Cambridge. Their eldest son, Prince Edward Albert, was born at White Lodge, Richmond, on the 23rd of June 1894; Prince Albert Frederick George was born at Sandringham on the 14th of December 1895; Princess Victoria Alexandra on the 25th of April 1897; Prince Henry William Frederick Albert on the 31st of March 190o; Prince George Edward Alexander Edmund on the 10th of December 1902; and Prince John Charles Francis on the 12th of July 1905. The duke and duchess of York visited Ireland in 1899, and it had been arranged before the death of Queen Victoria that they should make a tour in the colonies. On the accession of King Edward VII. (1901) this plan was confirmed. They sailed in the "Ophir" on the 16th of March 1901, travelling by the ordinary route, and landed at Melbourne in May, when they opened the first parliament of the Commonwealth. They then proceeded to New Zealand, returning by way of South Africa and Canada. An official account of the tour was published by Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace as The Web of Empire (1902). In November 1901 the duke was created prince of Wales. On the death of Edward VII. (May 6, 1910) he succeeded to the Crown as George V., his consort taking the style of Queen Mary.

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