England has seen observed monarchs and royalties throughout its history. Kings and Queens have rendered everything in their power to uplift the spirits of the English people through times of war and depression. King George VI is not necessarily the most illustrious of these kings, yet his story and background is certainly a compelling one. His family, military background, unexpected coronation, and his WWII involvement has influenced England far more than most will ever know. For years, monarchs have ruled and impacted England; however, perhaps none was as unprepared yet imperative for the country’s social and jingoistic development as King George VI.
George VI was born at York Cottage, Sandringham on December 14, 1895. It was the anniversary of the Prince Consort's death and he was christened Albert Frederick Arthur George in his honor, and named Albert after his grandfather, Prince Albert. His parents were King George V and Mary of Trek. George VI was his parent's second son, behind Edward, the heir to the throne. His nickname to his family and friends was “Bertie”.
George was naturally diffident and anxious and suffered from a speech impediment, “though he never lacked bravery or enterprise, and had a strong sense of duty.” (Royal Family History) Unbeknownst to most, George VI was not the only monarch with a stutter. Charles I also suffered from the speech deformation. George was prone to tears and was often tyrannized by his nanny who pinched him before handing him to his mother, forcing his mother to give the baby back in frustration. Because his nanny would often not feed him correctly, George was often very sickly as a child. His tutors had also forced him to write with his right hand, though he was naturally left handed to add to his disquiet nature.
Though he attempted to be affectionate with his mother, tenderness was not always reciprocated. His father was perpetually harsh and critical to all of his children; he inspired fear in his children. “My father was scared of his father, I was scared of my father,” George V would threaten his sons, “and I'm dammed well going to see that they [his children] are scared of me.” In adolescence, Prince Albert was overshadowed by his handsome and popular older brother, Edward.
The outbreak of the First World War created complications for the royal family because of its German roots. Being owed to the strong anti-German feeling in Britain, it was decided to change the title of the royal family from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. To emphasize his support for the British, George V made several visits to the Western Front. In 1917 George joined the Royal Naval Air Service and later the newly formed Royal Air Force however; George did not qualify as a pilot until 1919 and therefore did not take part in the highly perilous air combat. After the war George attended Trinity College, Cambridge, but only stayed for a year. In 1920, George was named the Duke of York and carried out...