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  #21  
Old 11-23-2009, 11:19 PM
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George VI was the last King of Ireland as well as the last Emperor of India but an article I read said within hours of being King, the Irish Parliament altered his powers and rights as King of Ireland. Does anyone know what the parliament did exactly?
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2009, 12:24 AM
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They removed all of his official roles except to sign off on ambassadors and treaties.
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  #23  
Old 11-24-2009, 08:36 PM
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Wbenson,

Thank you for the response.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:04 PM
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Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | UK News :: Prince Charles: My grandfather was cut off from his family

Prince Charles told today how his grandfather King George VI became withdrawn and cut off from the rest of the Royal Family because of a speech problem.

"His stammer cut him off I think in so many ways from his parents and his brothers and sisters and drove him into himself as I suspect so many stammerers will understand," the Prince said.
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2010, 02:30 PM
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I heard a radio report on National Public Radio a few weeks ago which stated that there might be a genetic cause for a stammer. This would contradict past beliefs that forcing a child to write with his or her right hand, instead of the left hand, can cause stammering. I think I read somewhere that King George VI was naturally left-handed, and being forced to use his right hand was believed by some to give rise to his stammer.
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2010, 04:16 PM
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My parents would agree with the left hand right hand thing because I was born a left-hander and was forcibly changed in 3rd class. Prior to that I never stammered or had any trouble speaking. Since being changed I often stammer and have other orientation troubles that only appeared after the change was forced on me. Three other students were changed in my class and all have the same problems and none of us had any problems beforehand e.g. we would be able to identify our right from our left 100% of the time before being changed but now (over 40 years later) will often get confused and would probably only get it right 60% of the time without thinking.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:25 PM
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This is my first post here, and I thought I'd share some insight I've gained into George VI recently, while researching something else.

I've been poring over some entries on the BBC's People's War, a sort of online oral history project. There are some fascinating stories there. Incidentally, I've discovered that you can't come away from these recollections without sensing that Winston Churchill and George VI (and the Queen Mother) held an important place in the memory of everyday people as leaders who "set the tone", so to speak.

There are also a few first-hand accounts of people meeting George VI at medal ceremonies and so on. After reading a couple I ran a search for entries "George VI" and "King George," just out of interest. It's interesting, the words that pop up frequently -- "shy", "quiet", "small," "slight".

One woman (with a very interesting life story, by the way) mentions here
that the King's stutter, when he spoke to her while he was inspecting her workplace (something to do with the UN I think), was "severe".

Quote:
One day, early in 1946, King George VI came on a visit of inspection, and he asked me several questions about our work. He was quite short, seemed very shy, and had a severe stammer. The Daily Sketch - a popular newspaper at the time — took a photograph showing the two of us together!
Another entry records more childish recollections of the war: gas masks, school, air raid shelters, rationing, and a sighting of the king:
Quote:
Sure enough, the small slight figure of King George VI, wearing the uniform of Marshal of
the Royal Air Force, presently came down the drive with a group of
high-ranking RAF officers. After salutes and handshakes he got in the
car. Someone in the crowd called "Three cheers for the King!" and he
smiled shyly and acknowledged our rather thin cheers as the car pulled
away.
Link.

I think it's significant that so many of these recorded memories describe George VI as shy, quiet, small. I don't think he was especially short, going with the average height of the time -- he doesn't seem lilliputian in photographs, although he is thin. In any case, I think this idea of "smallness" might have been suggested by his obvious shyness. Also, people may have expected so important a figure as the King to be larger than he was. Doesn't this sort of thing happen a lot -- people being surprised by how short Hollywood actors seem in the flesh?

Quote:
Then one day hundreds and hundreds of men lined up in the big field next to our house. A smallish man in uniform came to see them and talk to them and we heard it was King George VI.
Link.

The King wasn't immediately "regal" or larger than life in these memories -- the overall impression he made was of a man who shied away from the limelight.

While some of these oral histories might not be as reliable as other sources, they provide anecdotal insight, not just into the King but the way people experienced him, as a quiet, firm monarch.

Quote:
On getting to the bar a party of senior officers were standing and having a drink. When we ordered a pint of ale, a quiet voice said ’I will get those for gentlemen’ and much to our surprise we recognised him as His Majesty King George VI who chatted to us for several minutes.
Link.

What is almost as striking as the constant references to George V's shyness are the public's adoration for him. He was seen by many as a courageous figure: making speeches despite his stutter, touring bombed areas -- especially alongside the Queen, who was much more outgoing. I did find a couple of more annoyed recollections, connected entirely with having to stand in the blasting heat or pouring rain for hours, waiting for the King to inspect the troops. I imagine that sort of thing would be an ordeal for everybody involved.

So what have I learnt from this? In public George VI was shy, quiet, reserved, possibly even withdrawn. Yet he was still as "accessible" as a monarch can be, touring bombed parts of London. He was a slight man and this evidence shows that he never "got over" his crippling shyness and his terrible stammer.

To endure public life and the war like that, when even making a speech would have been excruciating... I think George VI, raised as he was to be the "spare heir", ridiculed by his siblings for his stammer, was admired by the public partly because of this. He kept on, quietly visiting bomb sites and troops, while the country was at war. He wasn't brash or showy like his brother, but he did what needed to be done.

Very interesting. I highly recommend checking out the People's War site -- it's a great resource.
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  #28  
Old 09-27-2010, 04:29 PM
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Thank you for sharing this information! Welcome to The Royal Forums!

George VI was IMO the personification for what a monarch should be particularly during War. He puts his brother the Duke of Windsor again IMO to shame for his particular actions during the War.
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  #29  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:08 PM
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The stature of a man is measured by his actions, not his height. I think George VI was a wonderful monarch who led his country through very tough times.
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  #30  
Old 09-27-2010, 07:00 PM
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Thank you for your information. This is a site that I will be checking out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
This is my first post here, and I thought I'd share some insight I've gained into George VI recently, while researching something else.
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  #31  
Old 09-28-2010, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
George VI was IMO the personification for what a monarch should be particularly during War. He puts his brother the Duke of Windsor again IMO to shame for his particular actions during the War.
I absolutely agree. He showed enormous fortitude and inner strength in leading his country through the war. He may have been a quiet man but he showed much more strength than his brother. He was a courageous man with a tremendous sense of his devotion of duty. He changed the way the British people looked at their monarch, too.

I have read commentaries (such as in this book) that say Edward VIII would have been just as "effective" a war leader in terms of symbolism, but I don't know if I agree with that. Even disregarding the possibility that he was a Nazi sympathiser (ugh), he didn't seem to have the same determination. How can you fault the bravery of a man who, despite the fact that he was clearly not comfortable in public, went on doing what he did day in and day out?

I remember what Churchill wrote on his funeral wreath for the King: "For Valour," the words on the Victoria Cross. He died far too early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
The stature of a man is measured by his actions, not his height. I think George VI was a wonderful monarch who led his country through very tough times.
Nothing but agreement here also. As I said before I think descriptions of the King as "short" were mostly a function of his obviously shy and withdrawn nature. He was certainly quite slight and shorter than his father, but he was taller than his brother. He was also taller than Winston Churchill, who was truly of below average height. Go Winston! I bet no one ever called Winston Churchill short to his face, and I guess the same went for the King. These are people who are larger than life in memory.

The Google LIFE archive is another great historical resource. It contains many photos from the photographic archives of LIFE magazine, most of which have never been published. You can search it by going to that link or doing a google image search that contains the text "source:life". They're all quite large.

The King and Queen at Epsom in 1937

The King and Queen outside St. Paul's Cathedral in 1942

Oh and thanks, glad to be here.
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  #32  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:51 AM
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Isayoldboy,

Welcome to the Forums!
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2010, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
Isayoldboy,

Welcome to the Forums!
Thanks! Glad to be here.

Here is a short article about the 1939 visit that George VI and the Queen made to the US on their way back from Canada. This was a very important meeting diplomatically, an instrument of soft power.

The press made a huge thing at the time because FDR served up hot dogs to the King. I guess that's along the same lines of serving fish and chips at Buckingham palace, but that sort of friendly stunt was very characteristic of Franklin D. Roosevelt IMO. He worked very hard at orchestrating the visit -- he wanted to win over even the most ardent isolationists. After a visit to Mount Vernon the King and Queen went back to Hyde Park for an informal weekend.

When FDR served up a plate of cocktails to the consternation of his mother he said "My mother thinks you should have a cup of tea—she doesn’t approve of cocktails.”
The King said "Neither does my mother," and took one.

Both Roosevelts later spoke very highly of the King and Queen. The visit did a lot for cooperation between the two countries, too. Eleanor Roosevelt later commented on how "brave" the two seemed -- they certainly faced worse odds that the Americans but carried themselves off with typical restraint.

Not such an extensive article, but worth it for the picture of FDR driving a very queasy-looking King and Queen. I think he was a bit of an erratic driver.

You can also read about the visit at the FDR Library website.

And a longer article with the cocktail quote, here.

Hope this is interesting to some of you. By the way, is there a separate thread for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother? I couldn't find one, only one on her jewelry.
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  #34  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:59 AM
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@Isayoldboy,

Thanks for posting the links to the royal couple's visit to the States. This visit truly cemented the friendly alliance between Great Britain and the United States.
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  #35  
Old 10-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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A better version of a portrait from 1943, by Yousuf Karsh. Karsh was a wonderful photographer and he produced some truly iconic portraits.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3159/...7f4_z.jpg?zz=1
.
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  #36  
Old 10-07-2010, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
By the way, is there a separate thread for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother? I couldn't find one, only one on her jewelry.
Yes, here, in the main British Forum.
The Queen Mother's thread is not in the British Royal History subforum as her lifespan extends into the "contemporary" period.

->
To ensure we comply with the legalities regarding copyright, photographs taken before say 1930 which are not 'public domain' should be presented as url links to where the images are hosted rather than being directly attached to the Forums. We have previously been the subject of copyright complaints so it's important that we remain within the law.
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  #37  
Old 10-07-2010, 03:49 PM
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George certainly resembled his mother
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:58 PM
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I've always fond it quite odd that George VI and his siblings had a rather difficult relationship with their parents, George and Mary.

By all accounts, Edward VII (despite his failings as a husband) was a good father who had a great relationship with his sons. In fact, when he died George V felt as if he had lost his best friend. I believe we all know the problems with Alexandra's smothering.

And to go and have a tense and non communicative relationship with your own children? I just don't get the disconnect.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:09 PM
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Well I don't find it that odd . I tend to believe that , exactly because of his mother's smothering, he somehow needed to put a distance between himeslf and his sons , in order to keep balance , if you can get what I mean. Anyway I an not surprised to find out that the family had communication problems and other issues - IMO the royal families are just like ordinary families and suffer from the same issues , we only need to add the crown to their lives
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:32 PM
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From what I have read, the children had a decent relationship with Queen Mary, which improved as they and she got older but the Queen was reluctant to interfere with her husband's dealings with their children. By all accounts, George V was a loving and doting grandfather, so it might just be typical of a generational difference. I can speak from experience that the man who raised me was not the same person who doted on his grandchildren.
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