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  #41  
Old 10-08-2010, 05:06 AM
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King Edward VII had a good relationship with his younger son George but there are those who claim that this was based more on the son never challenging or disagreeing with the father than a genuinely close relationship.

Edward and his elder son Albert Victor were not particularly close. The father had little patience with the more timid nature of the older son and was irritated by his slowness. In turn Albert Victor knew that his father considered him not up to scratch and a friend who attended university with him is on the record as saying he [Albert Victor] was somewhat afraid of his father.
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  #42  
Old 10-09-2010, 01:02 AM
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Thanks, Warren! No worries.

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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
And to go and have a tense and non communicative relationship with your own children? I just don't get the disconnect.
He famously said "I was afraid of my father, my father was afraid of his mother, and I'm going to make damn sure my children are afraid of me!" He certainly made sure of that. I don't get it either. Way to screw up your kids, dude! I think it was way beyond the usual "Victorian" upbringing: he played the kids off against each other by comparing them, and by some accounts allowed the other children to mock the future George VI's stutter, even encouraged it. He also made no secret of the fact that he thought David was a cad.

I have read some accounts where he was shown to be proud of his children, but I certainly think he had a cruel streak. Both Albert and David were afraid of him. He was more at odds with David over things like clothing and his party lifestyle. I think he was disappointed with Albert's timidity, which he probably actively encouraged all the same.

Even after George V became king the family lived in the relatively small York Cottage at Sandringham. While no hovel, it was certainly cramped and fraught, and courtiers apparently complained about how crowded it all was.

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King Edward VII had a good relationship with his younger son George but there are those who claim that this was based more on the son never challenging or disagreeing with the father than a genuinely close relationship.
This certainly bears out the "I was afraid of my father" quote. I think George V was more actively aggressive toward his sons -- he wasn't just distant, but also made particularly the two oldest feel that he was disappointed with them.

I remember reading somewhere (I've forgotten where now, which is annoying) a letter from George V that said something along the lines of "Bertie is still stuttering and we are all thoroughly fed up with it". I bet the bearer of the stutter was even more frustrated by it!
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  #43  
Old 10-09-2010, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
He famously said "I was afraid of my father, my father was afraid of his mother, and I'm going to make damn sure my children are afraid of me!" He certainly made sure of that. I don't get it either. Way to screw up your kids, dude! I think it was way beyond the usual "Victorian" upbringing: he played the kids off against each other by comparing them, and by some accounts allowed the other children to mock the future George VI's stutter, even encouraged it. He also made no secret of the fact that he thought David was a cad.
We have to remember too that this was the era also where "children are seen and not heard". the Father was the oracle of family life and those of us that grew up back then can still remember the phrase "wait till your father gets home". Today its widely accepted that what a child grows up with, its how he'll be in adult life most likely unless the pattern is broken. Even today I've met people that have the attitude towards someone with a problem should it be stuttering or drinking too much or having an alternate lifestyle or eating too much sour cream and it is "well.. all they have to do is STOP doing it".

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I have read some accounts where he was shown to be proud of his children, but I certainly think he had a cruel streak. Both Albert and David were afraid of him. He was more at odds with David over things like clothing and his party lifestyle. I think he was disappointed with Albert's timidity, which he probably actively encouraged all the same.
I wouldn't say cruel but at that time and in the family we're talking about, the child is the reflection of the parents and that's what they want to encourage and methods they used perhaps to discourage, they went about the wrong way. We have to remember also that Daddy didn't oversee homework or drive to soccer games and Mommy didn't sit up all night with a sick kid.. they had nannies. They had governesses and a plethora of people that looked after them.


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Even after George V became king the family lived in the relatively small York Cottage at Sandringham. While no hovel, it was certainly cramped and fraught, and courtiers apparently complained about how crowded it all was.


This certainly bears out the "I was afraid of my father" quote. I think George V was more actively aggressive toward his sons -- he wasn't just distant, but also made particularly the two oldest feel that he was disappointed with them.

I remember reading somewhere (I've forgotten where now, which is annoying) a letter from George V that said something along the lines of "Bertie is still stuttering and we are all thoroughly fed up with it". I bet the bearer of the stutter was even more frustrated by it!
These are just my thoughts but thank you for them. I really want to read into this more. Can you recommend a book?

(goes fishin for her library card)
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  #44  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:59 PM
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We have to remember too that this was the era also where "children are seen and not heard". the Father was the oracle of family life and those of us that grew up back then can still remember the phrase "wait till your father gets home".
True. It was the custom for people of that class to be less direct in the raising of their children. Winston Churchill kept a picture of his nanny, a Mrs. Everest, by his bed until the day he died. Nonetheless I think it's important to make a disctinction between the norm and what even back then was regarded as somewhat harsh treatment. Not everyone in those days had an adversarial or fearful relationship with their parents.

There is a lot of evidence that George V's children did have such a relationship with their father (and to a lesser extent their mother). It's not wise to construe a pattern for a person's entire life in hindsight because of what happened to them as a kid, but I think it's important to take it into consideration.

Likewise I think it's easy to cast aspersions on what very well have been a normal Victorian childhood. But I don't think that's the case when it came to George V's parenting. I think he was a bit of a gruff, domineering bugger, to be frank.

Now... Books. I'm in a similar position, wanting to find out more about this period in royal history. At the moment I'm looking forward to reading the Shawcross biographies of the Queen Mother and of George VI. This book also looks very interesting.

I managed to borrow the Wheeler-Bennett biography of George VI from my uni library, more out of idle curiosity than anything else. It's a good book to dip into but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it. It's useful as a basis for research but I agree with the review quoted here that it's more of a "sanitised sarcophagus" of words. It's too careful and impersonal to paint a very good picture of the King.

It was published in 1958. It seems that the best royal biographies come out years after the fact. I'm not after tabloid titterings, but near-hagiography is just as difficult to read. I hope that later biographies have more access to historical resources and context, but I haven't read any yet.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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  #45  
Old 12-20-2010, 08:39 PM
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Hi all!

I'm a newbie to this forum, but I've been lurking because I'm fascinated with British royalty.

George VI is my favorite monarch for many different reasons, but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this:

MPs want quick release of Queen Mother's papers | Politics | The Observer

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Some documents from the period have already entered the public domain, giving an indication of the royal couple's views. In the spring of 1939 George VI instructed his private secretary to write to Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax. Having learnt that 'a number of Jewish refugees from different countries were surreptitiously getting into Palestine', the King was 'glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin.' Halifax's office telegraphed Britain's ambassador in Berlin asking him to encourage the German government 'to check the unauthorised emigration' of Jews.
I'm not going to leap to any judgments based on one piece of information and I don't believe that George VI was a Nazi sympathizer (in my opinion, his support of appeasement was borne out of naivity and a genuine desire to avoid war). However, I have to admit that the above is disturbing to me. If it's true that George VI supported the Jews remaining in Germany and tried to prevent them from leaving, then IMO that makes him far worse than his brother, who was a known Nazi-sympathizer. Have the papers referenced in the article ever been revealed? Has anything else ever been uncovered regarding his possible anti-semitic leanings?

Thanks
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  #46  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:34 PM
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To be fair to George VI that was a common view held by many people - that the Jews were Germany's problem and they should have to deal with them.

The Australia foreign minister (I think it was) said exactly that when the ship that sailed the world and ended up going back to Germany made the comment along the lines of 'why should we have to take their Jews?'.

Anti-Semitism was very strong and no one really thought that the Nazis would actually murder them.

George was a product of his own times and anti-Semitism was part of those times.

It is important when judging Edward VIII and his visit to Nazi Germany and meeting with Hitler and George VI and comments like those above to remember that they were pre-WWII and very much in keeping with many people in Britain, Europe and around the world.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:47 AM
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I know you're right, but it's still disappointing; I'm sure there were some enlightened people out there. That said, I don't think that comment means George VI was anti-semitic (though he may have been). I read on this Australian Rabbi's blog:

OzTorah » Blog Archive » Prayer for the Queen – Ask the Rabbi

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George VI was highly regarded by all his subjects, including the Jews; his first public statement was a Chanukah message to Jews in the British forces. He called Chief Rabbi J. H. Hertz “my Chief Rabbi”, and there is a (probably apocryphal) story that during the Second World War when he asked the Chief Rabbi if the allies would win, Dr. Hertz replied, “Yes, Your Majesty – but you might like to put the colonies in your wife’s name for safe keeping!”.
In any case, while I may be disappointed in that letter, I still agree with the general consensus that George VI was a genuinely good man and a great king
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  #48  
Old 12-21-2010, 01:25 AM
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George VI was apparently on good terms with Jews on a personal level given the article that Betsypaige included in her post. Given that the letter was written by the King in the late spring of 1939, I believe that his words reflected what was contained in the White Paper of 1939. There was a concern that unlimited immigration by Jews to Palestine would cause problems, economic and otherwise, in that region.

White Paper of 1939 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't think that anyone believed that the Nazis would ultimately decide to try to murder every Jew in Europe. If that was known as early as 1939, the countries who refused entry to Jews might have acted differently.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:43 AM
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Mermaid, I'd never heard of the White Paper before - that's something I want to do more research on. I've just finished reading Sarah Bradford's The Reluctant King (fantastic job, by the way -a great biography) and it touched on the immigration issue, but just touched on it. I can only imagine peoples' horror when they discovered the Nazis' atrocities.

As an aside, I've always loved the Queen, but now when I think of her, I think that she is a living legacy to her father. She's an awful lot like him and from what I've read, her entire reign has been modeled after him. I said this in the King's Speech thread, but I'm hoping Americans will want to know more about George VI now.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:34 PM
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That is a very good book, I agree. Sarah Bradford's a sound royal biographer, definitely. Another excellent book on George VI is A Spirit Undaunted: the Political Role of George VI by Robert Rhodes James. It's mainly about George VI's role in the years leading up to and including World War II. This book is a bit rare. I got mine on eBay.


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I've just finished reading Sarah Bradford's The Reluctant King (fantastic job, by the way -a great biography) and it touched on the immigration issue, but just touched on it.
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  #51  
Old 12-22-2010, 09:35 AM
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That is a very good book, I agree. Sarah Bradford's a sound royal biographer, definitely. Another excellent book on George VI is A Spirit Undaunted: the Political Role of George VI by Robert Rhodes James. It's mainly about George VI's role in the years leading up to and including World War II. This book is a bit rare. I got mine on eBay.
Mermaid, my local libraries had several good books on George VI and/or Queen Elizabeth, several of which are old and I never expected to see. I took out Frances Donaldson's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth - I know it's old (1977, I think), but I think she does an outstanding job. Plus, I was just stunned by the color photos taken during WWII. I also took out Robert Lacey's book on the Queen Mother - it's mostly photos, but there's some text as well. I loved reading how, one night, the King and Queen closed the doors behind them after an evening with friends, but the door didn't close well and all those people saw the couple holding hands, skipping down the hallway to their apartments. Then again, I'm a sucker for their marriage; I truly think that's an epic love story even though his brother's is more famous.

One book I'm thinking of ordering on Amazon is Denis Judd's biography of George VI; have you read that?

One thing I find fascinating is that George VI had these wonderful relationships with his prime ministers, with Roosevelt, with Truman and Eisenhower. His rep as Duke of York was that he was rather slow of mind, but I'm finding out that while he may not have been quick, this man was no dummy.
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  #52  
Old 12-23-2010, 09:56 PM
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This is all rather amazing to me. I'd always thought that David and Bertie were close............I'd no idea that David ridiculed and tortured his brother to this extent. Then the idea that he would, along with others, plot for Bertie to be skipped over? Incredible............and how fortunate that it all came to nothing. Who knows how Prince George would have been as king, but we know how his older brother did......and, of course, the Queen has been remarkable. It's funny, just having read some of Wilson's other articles, it's clear the only Windsor he seems to have any use for is the Queen. He clearly sees the Duke of Windsor as something of a traitor and cruel to boot and George VI as a hot-tempered, haughty, no-goodnik.

What's amazing to me is that, after the crisis of the Abdication, there would be any thoughts to skipping over Bertie and thereby making the line of succession something of a mockery.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:06 PM
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I read this article some of its factual and some not:

1) As children Bertie and Edward were close although its true that Edward was favored as the eldest and the heir. In fact, until Bertie and David went to school it was the three oldest children (including Mary) that were particularly close. I think the taunting was more of what an older brother does to a younger brother. From what I read, Mary ruled the both of them.
2) Elizabeth (the Duchess of York) was actually quite fond of David until Wallis Simpson made an appearance. She and Bertie certainly weren't in the same social circle (more homebodies than club people) but the Yorks did socialize with Edward when he was with Thelma. I think Elizabeth (and a lot of other people) felt that Wallis separated Edward from Bertie but I think some of that had to do with divergent interests (at this point David was/had become) very close George, Duke of Kent. Also, why you (Wallis) want to socialize with someone (The Duchess of York) who disapproves of you? I wouldnt And really, Bertie was happy with his family life. But of course, there were a lot of other things, you should check out the Queen Mother's relationship with the Duchess of Windsor to see specific examples of the two personalities of the women clash.
3) There was some talk of bypassing Bertie but they was quickly passed over. Plus the DoK had a questionable past with some of his romances and drug history.
4) I don't believe David made fun of Bertie when they were young. He certainly did mock up as they matured; paticularly once Wallis came on the scene. Since David felt that he was done wrong by his family (in regards to Wallis HRH's title) he basically demeaned them all.
5) George V was a demanding and non emotional father this is true --- he made sure Bertie wore braces to correct his knock knees; made him write right handed when Bertie was a natural left hander.
6) Its interesting to note that Bertie didn't stammer until an event happened in his life. I want to say Edward VII died (it could have been sooner). Bertie was very close with his grandfather, who is reported to have considered Bertie his favorite grandson.
7) A lot of info reported after the Abdication is true: Edward was not welcomed back to England...there was some concern he was scheming behind the scenes. He might have thought he could act as Regent for Princess Elizabeth, but Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wouldnt' have let that happen. Even if she didn't want Mountbatten to take control. And actually, at this point, the Duke of Kent is dead...and the Abdication pretty much changed the path of the career of the Duke of Gloucester (Harry another brother) who was now tied to England in case he needed to act as Regent for Princess Elizabeth. Plus Edward was not truthful when negotiating his financial settlement.

Really, the introduction of Wallis and the Abdication truly changed and damaged the relationship between the brothers.

Like I said, some of its factual (based on the books I have read The Relucatant King by Sarah Bradford) but a lot of it poetic license by the author.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
I read this article some of its factual and some not:

1) As children Bertie and Edward were close although its true that Edward was favored as the eldest and the heir. In fact, until Bertie and David went to school it was the three oldest children (including Mary) that were particularly close. I think the taunting was more of what an older brother does to a younger brother. From what I read, Mary ruled the both of them.


2) Elizabeth (the Duchess of York) was actually quite fond of David until Wallis Simpson made an appearance. She and Bertie certainly weren't in the same social circle (more homebodies than club people) but the Yorks did socialize with Edward when he was with Thelma. I think Elizabeth (and a lot of other people) felt that Wallis separated Edward from Bertie but I think some of that had to do with divergent interests (at this point David was/had become) very close George, Duke of Kent. Also, why you (Wallis) want to socialize with someone (The Duchess of York) who disapproves of you? I wouldnt And really, Bertie was happy with his family life. But of course, there were a lot of other things, you should check out the Queen Mother's relationship with the Duchess of Windsor to see specific examples of the two personalities of the women clash.


I've read that Elizabeth had been friendly with Edward for awhile - there were even rumors that she wanted to be with him, not Bertie (rumors that I don't buy at all). I have Shawcrosses' biography of the Queen Mother and her letters indicate there was a great deal of friendly affection between her and Edward (even if they didn't hang out together due to lack of common interests). I don't think any one person can separate siblings - maybe Wallis had something to do with it, but if so, it was Edward's choice. If he had wanted a relationship with Bertie and even his other siblings, he would have maintained one.......but he didn't.

3) There was some talk of bypassing Bertie but they was quickly passed over. Plus the DoK had a questionable past with some of his romances and drug history.
4) I don't believe David made fun of Bertie when they were young. He certainly did mock up as they matured; paticularly once Wallis came on the scene. Since David felt that he was done wrong by his family (in regards to Wallis HRH's title) he basically demeaned them all.

David basically shut himself off from his entire family, not even just Bertie, and I find that sad. I find him to be, the more I read about him, not just selfish, but cruel and callous.

5) George V was a demanding and non emotional father this is true --- he made sure Bertie wore braces to correct his knock knees; made him write right handed when Bertie was a natural left hander.

I really symapthize with the Windsor children - poor Bertie had the worst of it, with his physical ailments, didn't he? It's clear that George V loved his children (based on some of his letters to them), but I'm not sure what he hoped to gain by treating his children like he did. I guess he thought he was doing right by them in that they would grow up to be dutiful and disciplined, but he ended up damaging them.

6) Its interesting to note that Bertie didn't stammer until an event happened in his life. I want to say Edward VII died (it could have been sooner). Bertie was very close with his grandfather, who is reported to have considered Bertie his favorite grandson.

I thought that he started stammering around 7 or 8 based on general overall treatment by his father. I do think Bradford's biography may have mentioned that the stammering started after Bertie and the rest were reunited with their parents after a long trip. They'd stayed with their loving grandparents for months and clearly it wasn't easy going back to living with George V.

7) A lot of info reported after the Abdication is true: Edward was not welcomed back to England...there was some concern he was scheming behind the scenes. He might have thought he could act as Regent for Princess Elizabeth, but Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother wouldnt' have let that happen. Even if she didn't want Mountbatten to take control. And actually, at this point, the Duke of Kent is dead...and the Abdication pretty much changed the path of the career of the Duke of Gloucester (Harry another brother) who was now tied to England in case he needed to act as Regent for Princess Elizabeth. Plus Edward was not truthful when negotiating his financial settlement.

From what I've read, Bertie felt as if having his brother in England would be like a medieval king having a rival claimant on the throne - and I can't blame him. Here he'd be trying to do his job and at the same time his brother would be pandering to the public, trying to win their affection and undermine him at the same time. The fact that Edward lied about his finances, continually harrassed his brother while he was trying to settle in as King - really, he was a royal pain in the behind. As I've read about George VI's illnesses, it's really quite heartbreaking. I get the idea that he could really only do his job intermittently - but I'm glad they never named a regent. What a tragedy to be that sick and incapacitated at such a young age.


Really, the introduction of Wallis and the Abdication truly changed and damaged the relationship between the brothers.

Like I said, some of its factual (based on the books I have read The Relucatant King by Sarah Bradford) but a lot of it poetic license by the author.
There are so many things to be regretful about re: the Abdication, but the poisoning of the brotherly relationship is right at the top - it's a tragedy, it really is.

One reason I have an affection for George VI is that I can completely identify with him. I'm shy and insecure and I completely understand how hard it must have been for him (though I don't stammer) to speak to the public, knowing that millions are listening to him and probably judging him. As much as he must have disliked being King, he worked very hard at it (something I greatly respect; the idea that Edward even in his brief time as King just shirked his duties and was careless about his papers is pretty awful) and he taught his daughter well.

Question: In the introduction to Bradford's book and in other articles I've read, it's been mentioned that George VI has gotten slighted by history, that his reptutation has been diminished since his death. Why do you think this is? From what I've read via books and on-line articles, he's always described as being courageous, dignified, dutifiul, etc. Obviously he helped boost the morale of Britain during the war years - and he had grand relationships with his PMs, Presidents Roosevelt and Eisenhower, etc.. So, one would think that history would remember him well. I know a few historians don't think much of him, but just as many do, so it can't be that. Is it simply because he died young? That the Queen Mother lived so long that people think she was the power and he just a something of a wimp? That he was dull (in the view of some) and hot-tempered? Or maybe those statements are incorrect and history has remembered him well......I grant that he's not that "famous", but I think I'd rather be beloved (as he is) than famous (as, for instance, his brother is)
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:38 PM
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I haven't read Judd's book, Betsy. When was it published? I agree that Albert and Elizabeth's relationship was truly an "epic" one. Their lives certainly didn't turn out to be what they expected; but because of their mutual concern for each other, things turned out very well. Speaking of his "slowness of mind": perhaps he was one of those individuals who takes a while to absorb information but had a mind "like a steel trap" once it was in there. Some people can be very quick to learn things, but it's a superficial kind of learning--like cramming for an exam. Other people can be "slower" but do more with the information once they learn it and mull it over. I think it shows a lot that he had good relationships with the people with whom he worked most closely. In his case, familiarity did not breed contempt.

I have the book by Lacey about the Queen Mother. I find that Lacey has a real gift for communicating someone's "spirit" to the reader. It's like we've met someone when we read one of his books. The early book on Diana, Princess of Wales, is perhaps my favourite of the bios that were put out about her in 1982. He really captured the feeling of that era.


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His rep as Duke of York was that he was rather slow of mind, but I'm finding out that while he may not have been quick, this man was no dummy.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Betsypaige View Post
Question: In the introduction to Bradford's book and in other articles I've read, it's been mentioned that George VI has gotten slighted by history, that his reptutation has been diminished since his death. Why do you think this is? From what I've read via books and on-line articles, he's always described as being courageous, dignified, dutifiul, etc. Obviously he helped boost the morale of Britain during the war years - and he had grand relationships with his PMs, Presidents Roosevelt and Eisenhower, etc.. So, one would think that history would remember him well. I know a few historians don't think much of him, but just as many do, so it can't be that. Is it simply because he died young? That the Queen Mother lived so long that people think she was the power and he just a something of a wimp? That he was dull (in the view of some) and hot-tempered? Or maybe those statements are incorrect and history has remembered him well......I grant that he's not that "famous", but I think I'd rather be beloved (as he is) than famous (as, for instance, his brother is)

I believe he has been slighted by history because of the romantic situation around his brother. People prefer the love-story angle - forgetting the love story of George and Elizabeth but the great sacrifice of throne for love has seen Bertie portrayed in a bad light.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:46 AM
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I haven't read Judd's book, Betsy. When was it published? I agree that Albert and Elizabeth's relationship was truly an "epic" one. Their lives certainly didn't turn out to be what they expected; but because of their mutual concern for each other, things turned out very well. Speaking of his "slowness of mind": perhaps he was one of those individuals who takes a while to absorb information but had a mind "like a steel trap" once it was in there. Some people can be very quick to learn things, but it's a superficial kind of learning--like cramming for an exam. Other people can be "slower" but do more with the information once they learn it and mull it over. I think it shows a lot that he had good relationships with the people with whom he worked most closely. In his case, familiarity did not breed contempt.

I have the book by Lacey about the Queen Mother. I find that Lacey has a real gift for communicating someone's "spirit" to the reader. It's like we've met someone when we read one of his books. The early book on Diana, Princess of Wales, is perhaps my favourite of the bios that were put out about her in 1982. He really captured the feeling of that era.
I think Judd's book was published in 1983....... I've been pleasantly surprised to see the amount of info out there on George VI, but granted none of the books are recent (Bradford's bio being 1989).

I agree with about his brand of intelligence; frankly, the one thing I've always believed in is hard work. If you work hard, then that's a sort of intelligence........and the King had to work very hard to learn the ropes of his new role. It seems he learned those ropes rather quickly given that he had absolutely no training for the role; I can't imagine how intimidating that must have been.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I believe he has been slighted by history because of the romantic situation around his brother. People prefer the love-story angle - forgetting the love story of George and Elizabeth but the great sacrifice of throne for love has seen Bertie portrayed in a bad light.

I agree, Ilovebertie (love the name!) - and I was guilty of that myself when I was younger. I don't know how it is in England, but in America (and Americans are awful at history) the Windsor's love story is seen as the great sacrifice - what they did for love. I also think there is a notion in America that it's unfair for someone to have to sacrifice their own personal happiness in order to serve their country - but that's a more complex issue relating to the fact that we don't have a royal family. I don't think Americans understand the necessity for the monarchy or what, in fact, role the royal family plays in British life.

I also think a few things have contributed to George VI not getting his due:

1) The fact that he reigned during WW II. Although he's beloved for his behavior at this time (among other things), what it comes down to is that the King has no real power so history books focus on a few individuals who did have the power: Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin - later, Truman. Now it's true that George VI had very good relationships with 3 out of the 4 I mentioned, but in terms of impact on the world, he's just going to get overshadowed.

2) The fact of his wife. There's no doubt that Queen Elizabeth gave him the self-confidence and support he needed to do his job - she was remarkable in that regard - but I get the impression that it's somehow become the default position that he was so weak that she had to prop him up and was, in fact, the power behind the throne. Well IMO, from what I've read, that's just not fair. Physically, the King wasn't weak, but actually appears to have been morally strong and very determined to do his duty to the people and the country he loved. Shawcrosse and others make it perfectly clear that QE relied as much on the King as he did on her....

3) The fact of his daughter. Unfortunately, George VI died relatively young and didn't reign for very long. QE II has been on the throne for nearing 60 years and she's all most people remember.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:36 PM
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Regarding George VI and his stammer...I've read in various books and articles that it and his stomach problems had it's basis very early on from the treatment he recieved from a Nanny that must have played too many games of Ice Hockey in goal w/out the proper protective equipment (I'm Canadian, so... ). She would give him his bottle when out in a Pram and she made sure to go over the really bumpy parts of the path, so he really didn't get that early nutrition he should have and in turn, that created his stomach/health issues.

I also read she loved David so much, that she would pinch him to make him cry and fussy before taking him to his Parents for the nightly visit, which in turn made the then Duke and Duchess of York rather uncomfortable w/their son. She was so in love w/David, that her treatment of Bertie was due to jealousy. In time, it was all discovered or reported and she was sacked, but the time that had happened, the damage had been done.

Now my question is...If all of this is true, and it's been mentioned in quite a few books and articles I've seen over the years, how much of this could have been the foundation we'll say, for George VI's stammer to form and the other issues we now know about?

Just something to add to the discussion. :)
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:48 PM
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If it did not cause his stammer, it certainly contributed to any insecurities the young prince might have had to begin with and undoubtedly magnified his perceived self failings. It is amazing how we carry baggage through life which was inflicted, knowingly and unknowingly, while we are young. Thankfully, getting older and wiser helps one to shed this emotional baggage.
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