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George VI

George VI
Formal portrait, c. 1940–46
King of the United Kingdom
and the British Dominions (more...)
Reign 11 December 1936 – 6 February 1952
Coronation 12 May 1937
Predecessor Edward VIII
Successor Elizabeth II
Prime Ministers See list
Emperor of India
Reign 11 December 1936 – 14 August 1947
Predecessor Edward VIII
Spouse Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Issue
Detail
Elizabeth II
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Full name
Albert Frederick Arthur George
House House of Windsor
Father George V
Mother Mary of Teck
Born 14 December 1895 (1895-12-14)
York Cottage, Sandringham House, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. (aged 56)
Sandringham House, Norfolk
Burial 15 February 1952
Religion
Anglican

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

As the second son of Edward. He served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War, and after it took on the usual round of public engagements. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret.

George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry the divorced American socialite House of Windsor.

During George's reign the break-up of the formally declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth in 1949, and India became a republic within the Commonwealth the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by health problems in the later years of his reign. His elder daughter, Elizabeth, succeeded him.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Military career and education 2
  • Marriage 3
  • Reluctant king 4
  • Early reign 5
  • Second World War 6
  • Empire to Commonwealth 7
  • Illness and death 8
  • Legacy 9
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 10
    • Titles and styles 10.1
    • Arms 10.2
  • Issue 11
  • Ancestry 12
  • Notes 13
  • References 14
    • Bibliography 14.1
  • External links 15

Early life

Four kings: Edward VII (far right), his son George, Prince of Wales, later George V (far left), and grandsons Edward, later Edward VIII (rear), and Albert, later George VI (foreground), c. 1908

George VI was born at King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra). His mother was the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary), the eldest child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck.[2]

His birthday (14 December 1895) was the anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather, St. Mary Magdalene's Church near Sandringham three months later. As a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, he was known formally as "His Highness Prince Albert of York" from birth. Within the family, he was known informally as "Bertie".[6] His maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Teck, did not like the first name the baby had been given, and she wrote prophetically that she hoped the last name "may supplant the less favoured one".[7]

Albert, as he was known, was fourth in line to the throne at birth, after his grandfather, father and elder brother, Edward. In 1898, Queen Victoria issued Letters Patent that granted the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales the style Royal Highness, and at the age of two, Albert became "His Royal Highness Prince Albert of York".

He often suffered from ill health and was described as "easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears".[8] His parents were generally removed from their children's day-to-day upbringing, as was the norm in aristocratic families of that era. He had a stammer that lasted for many years, and was forced to write with his right hand although he was naturally left-handed. He suffered from chronic stomach problems as well as knock knees, for which he was forced to wear painful corrective splints.[9]

Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, and the Prince of Wales succeeded her as King Edward VII. Prince Albert moved up to third-in-line to the throne, after his father and elder brother.

Military career and education

From 1909, Albert attended the

George VI
Born: 14 December 1895 Died: 6 February 1952
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Edward VIII
King of the United Kingdom and
British dominions beyond the seas

1936–1952
Succeeded by
Elizabeth II
as queen of the Commonwealth realms
Emperor of India
1936–1947
Indian independence1
Political offices
New title Head of the Commonwealth
1949–1952
Succeeded by
Elizabeth II
Masonic offices
Preceded by
Iain Colquhoun
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
1936–1937
Succeeded by
Norman Orr-Ewing
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Juan Belmonte
Cover of Time Magazine
12 January 1925
Succeeded by
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Notes and references
1. Title abandoned 22 June 1948 (The London Gazette: no. 38330. p. 3647. 22 June 1948.)

External links

  • Bradford, Sarah (1989), King George VI, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson,  
  • Howarth, Patrick (1987), George VI, Hutchinson,  
  • Judd, Denis (1982), King George VI, London: Michael Joseph,  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Sinclair, David (1988), Two Georges: the Making of the Modern Monarchy, Hodder and Stoughton,  
  •  
  • Vickers, Hugo (2006), Elizabeth: The Queen Mother, Arrow Books/Random House,  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Bibliography

  1. ^ Rhodes James, p. 90; Weir, p. 329
  2. ^ Weir, pp. 322–323, 329
  3. ^ Judd, p. 3; Rhodes James, p. 90; Townsend, p. 15; Wheeler-Bennett, pp. 7–8
  4. ^ Judd, pp. 4–5; Wheeler-Bennett, pp. 7–8
  5. ^ Wheeler-Bennett, pp. 7–8
  6. ^ Judd, p. 6; Rhodes James, p. 90; Townsend, p. 15; Windsor, p. 9
  7. ^ Bradford, p. 2
  8. ^ Wheeler-Bennett, pp. 17–18
  9. ^ a b c  
  10. ^ Bradford, pp. 41–45; Judd, pp. 21–24; Rhodes James, p. 91
  11. ^ Judd, pp. 22–23
  12. ^ Judd, p. 26
  13. ^ Judd, p. 28
  14. ^ a b Bradford, pp. 55–76
  15. ^ a b RAF College Cranwell – Transition Years, Royal Air Force, retrieved 5 March 2013 
  16. ^ Wheeler-Bennett, p. 115
  17. ^ Judd, p. 45; Rhodes James, p. 91
  18. ^  
  19. ^ Judd, p. 44
  20. ^ Judd, p. 47; Wheeler-Bennett, pp. 128–131
  21. ^ Weir, p. 329
  22. ^ Current Biography 1942, p. 280; Judd, p. 72; Townsend, p. 59
  23. ^ Judd, p. 52
  24. ^ Judd, pp. 77–86; Rhodes James, p. 97
  25. ^ Rhodes James, pp. 94–96; Vickers, pp. 31, 44
  26. ^ Bradford, p. 106
  27. ^ Bradford, p. 77; Judd, pp. 57–59
  28. ^ Roberts, Andrew (2000),  
  29. ^  
  30. ^ Judd, pp. 89–93
  31. ^ Judd, p. 49
  32. ^ Judd, pp. 93–97; Rhodes James, p. 97
  33. ^ Judd, p. 98; Rhodes James, p. 98
  34. ^ Current Biography 1942, pp. 294–295; Judd, p. 99
  35. ^ Judd, p. 106; Rhodes James, p. 99
  36. ^ Shawcross, p. 273
  37. ^ Judd, pp. 111, 225, 231
  38. ^ Howarth, p. 53
  39. ^ Ziegler, p. 199
  40. ^ Judd, p. 140
  41. ^ Wheeler-Bennett, p. 286
  42. ^ Townsend, p. 93
  43. ^ Howarth, p. 63; Judd, p. 135
  44. ^ Howarth, p. 66; Judd, p. 141
  45. ^ Judd, p. 144; Sinclair, p. 224
  46. ^ Howarth, p. 143
  47. ^ Ziegler, p. 326
  48. ^ Bradford, p. 223
  49. ^ Bradford, p. 214
  50. ^ Vickers, p. 175
  51. ^ Bradford, p. 209
  52. ^ Bradford, pp. 269, 281
  53. ^ Sinclair, p. 230
  54. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (1 April 2002), "Mourning will be brief", The Guardian, retrieved 1 May 2009
  55. ^  
  56. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (1989), Royal Spring: The Royal Tour of 1939 and the Queen Mother in Canada, Toronto: Dundurn Press, pp. 60, 66,  
  57. ^  
  58. ^ Galbraith, William (1989), "Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1939 Royal Visit" (PDF), Canadian Parliamentary Review (Ottawa: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) 12 (3): 7–9, retrieved 14 December 2009 
  59. ^ Judd, pp. 163–166; Rhodes James, pp. 154–168; Vickers, p. 187
  60. ^ Bradford, pp. 298–299
  61. ^ The Times Monday, 12 June 1939 p. 12 col. A
  62. ^ Swift, Will (2004), The Roosevelts and the Royals: Franklin and Eleanor, the King and Queen of England, and the Friendship that Changed History, John Wiley & Sons 
  63. ^ Judd, p. 189; Rhodes James, p. 344
  64. ^ Judd, pp. 171–172; Townsend, p. 104
  65. ^ Judd, p. 183; Rhodes James, p. 214
  66. ^  
  67. ^  
  68. ^ Judd, p. 184; Rhodes James, pp. 211–212; Townsend, p. 111
  69. ^  
  70. ^ Judd, p. 187; Weir, p. 324
  71. ^ Judd, p. 180
  72. ^ Rhodes James, p. 195
  73. ^ Rhodes James, pp. 202–210
  74. ^ Judd, pp. 176, 201–203, 207–208
  75. ^ Judd, p. 170
  76. ^ Reagan, Geoffrey. Military Anecdotes (1992) p. 25 Guinness Publishing ISBN 0-85112-519-0
  77. ^ Judd, p. 210
  78. ^ Townsend, p. 173
  79. ^ Townsend, p. 176
  80. ^ Townsend, pp. 229–232, 247–265
  81. ^ Townsend, pp. 267–270
  82. ^ Townsend, pp. 221–223
  83. ^ Judd, p. 223
  84. ^ Rhodes James, p. 295
  85. ^ Rhodes James, p. 294; Shawcross, p. 618
  86. ^ King George VI, Official website of the British monarchy, retrieved 22 April 2009 
  87. ^ Judd, p. 225; Townsend, p. 174
  88. ^ Judd, p. 240
  89. ^ Rhodes James, pp. 314–317
  90. ^ Bradford, p. 454; Rhodes James, p. 330
  91. ^ Rhodes James, p. 331
  92. ^ Rhodes James, p. 334
  93. ^ Judd, pp. 247–248
  94. ^ "Repose at Sandringham", Life (Time Inc), 18 February 1952: 38,  
  95. ^ Bradford, p. 462
  96. ^ Royal Burials in the Chapel since 1805, Dean & Canons of Windsor, retrieved 15 February 2010 
  97. ^ Hardie in the British House of Commons, 11 December 1936, quoted in Rhodes James, p. 115
  98. ^ Letter from George VI to the Duke of Windsor, quoted in Rhodes James, p. 127
  99. ^  
  100. ^ Judd, pp. 248–249
  101. ^ Judd, p. 186; Rhodes James, p. 216
  102. ^ Townsend, p. 137
  103. ^ List of Companions (PDF), Ordre de la Libération, retrieved 19 September 2009 
  104. ^ Velde, François (19 April 2008), Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family, Heraldica, retrieved 22 April 2009
  105. ^ The Times, Tuesday 18 February 1896, p. 11

References

Notes

Ancestry

Name Birth Death Marriage
Date | Spouse
Children
Elizabeth II 21 April 1926 20 November 1947 Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark Charles, Prince of Wales
Anne, Princess Royal
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon 21 August 1930 9 February 2002 6 May 1960
Divorced 11 July 1978
Antony Armstrong-Jones David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley
Lady Sarah Chatto

Issue

See adjacent text
Coat of arms as Duke of York 
Coat of arms as King of the United Kingdom (except Scotland) 
Coat of arms in Scotland 
Coat of arms in Canada 

As Duke of York, George bore the Prince Andrew, Duke of York. As king, he bore the royal arms undifferenced.[104]

Arms

George held a number of titles throughout his life, as successively great-grandson, grandson and son of the monarch. As sovereign, he was referred to most often as simply The King or His Majesty. In his position as sovereign, George automatically held the position of Commander-in-Chief.

  • 14 December 1895 – 28 May 1898: His Highness Prince Albert of York
  • 28 May 1898 – 22 January 1901: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of York
  • 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1901: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Cornwall and York
  • 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Wales
  • 6 May 1910 – 4 June 1920: His Royal Highness The Prince Albert
  • 4 June 1920 – 11 December 1936: His Royal Highness The Duke of York
  • 11 December 1936 – 6 February 1952: His Majesty The King
    • 11 December 1936 – 14 August 1947 : His Imperial Majesty The King-Emperor (in regard to British India)
Royal cypher (monogram), 1949

Titles and styles

Titles, styles, honours and arms

On screen, George VI has been portrayed by, among others, Colin Firth, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role in The King's Speech, a 2010 film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

There are a number of geographical features, roads, and institutions named after George VI. These include King George VI Chase, a horse race in the United Kingdom.

The [102] He was posthumously awarded the Ordre de la Libération by the French government in 1960, one of only two people (the other being Churchill) to be awarded the medal after 1946.[103]

In the words of Labour M.P. [98] He became king at a point when public faith in the monarchy was at a low ebb. During his reign his people endured the hardships of war, and imperial power was eroded. However, as a dutiful family man and by showing personal courage, he succeeded in restoring the popularity of the monarchy.[99][100]

Statue of George VI at Carlton Gardens, London

Legacy

, who both died that year, were interred in the chapel alongside him. Princess Margaret, and the ashes of his younger daughter Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother In 2002, fifty years after his death, the remains of his widow, [96] From 9 February for two days his coffin rested in

On 31 January 1952, despite advice from those close to him, the King went to Sandringham House in Norfolk. He had died from a coronary thrombosis in his sleep at the age of 56.[93] His daughter Elizabeth flew back to Britain from Kenya as Queen Elizabeth II.

The stress of the war had taken its toll on the King's health,[86][87] exacerbated by his heavy Duke of Edinburgh, taking the place of the King and Queen. The King was well enough to open the Festival of Britain in May 1951, but on 23 September 1951, his left lung was removed by Clement Price Thomas after a malignant tumour was found.[90] In October 1951, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh went on a month-long tour of Canada; the trip had been delayed for a week due to the King's illness. At the State Opening of Parliament in November, the King's speech from the throne was read for him by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Simonds.[91] His Christmas broadcast of 1951 was recorded in sections, and then edited together.[92]

Farthing of George VI, 1951

Illness and death

. strict policy of racial segregation, and the new government instituted a the election the following year Despite the tour, Smuts lost [85]".Gestapo and referred to his South African bodyguards as "the [84] The Prime Minister of the [82] In 1947, the King and his family toured Southern Africa.

George VI's reign saw the acceleration of the dissolution of the Emperor of India, and became King of India and King of Pakistan instead. In 1950 he ceased to be King of India when it became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, but he remained King of Pakistan until his death and India recognised his new title of Head of the Commonwealth. Other countries left the Commonwealth, such as Burma in January 1948, Palestine (divided between Israel and the Arab states) in May 1948 and the Republic of Ireland in 1949.[81]

George VI (right) with British prime minister Clement Attlee, July 1945

Empire to Commonwealth

In January 1946, George addressed the United Nations at their first assembly, which was held in London, and reaffirmed "our faith in the equal rights of men and women and of nations great and small".[78]

In 1945, crowds shouted "We want the King!" in front of Buckingham Palace during the Victory in Europe Day celebrations. In an echo of Chamberlain's appearance, the King invited Churchill to appear with him on the balcony to public acclaim.[77]

Throughout the war, the King and Queen provided morale-boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom, visiting bomb sites and munitions factories, and in the King's case visiting military forces abroad. He visited France in December 1939, North Africa and Malta in June 1943, Normandy in June 1944, southern Italy in July 1944, and the Low Countries in October 1944.[74] Their high public profile and apparently indefatigable determination secured their place as symbols of national resistance.[75] While talking to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Alan Brooke at a social function in 1944 about Field Marshal Montgomery, Brooke mentioned that every time he met 'Monty' he thought he was after his job. The King replied: "You should worry, when I meet him, I always think he's after mine!"[76]

In 1940, Lord Halifax.[71] After the King's initial dismay over Churchill's appointment of Lord Beaverbrook to the Cabinet, he and Churchill developed "the closest personal relationship in modern British history between a monarch and a Prime Minister".[72] Every Tuesday for four and a half years from September 1940, the two men met privately for lunch to discuss the war in secret and with frankness.[73]

George VI (left) with Field Marshal Montgomery (centre), Belgium, October 1944

[70] In September 1939, Britain and the self-governing Dominions, but not Ireland, declared war on

Second World War

[63][62] The trip was intended to soften the strong

In May and June 1939, the Letter of Credence of the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Daniel Calhoun Roper. The official royal tour historian, Gustave Lanctot, stated: "When Their Majesties walked into their Canadian residence, the Statute of Westminster had assumed full reality: the King of Canada had come home."[58]

George VI grants Royal Assent to laws in the Canadian Senate, 19 May 1939. His consort, Queen Elizabeth, is to the right.

The growing likelihood of war in Europe dominated the early reign of George VI. The King was constitutionally bound to support Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler.[9][53] However, when the King and Queen greeted Chamberlain on his return from negotiating the Munich Agreement in 1938, they invited him to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with them. This public association of the monarchy with a politician was exceptional, as balcony appearances were traditionally restricted to the royal family.[9] While broadly popular among the general public, Chamberlain's policy towards Hitler was the subject of some opposition in the House of Commons, which led historian John Grigg to describe the King's behaviour in associating himself so prominently with a politician as "the most unconstitutional act by a British sovereign in the present century".[54]

government of India.[50] Rising Indian nationalism made the welcome that the royal couple would have received likely to be muted at best,[51] and a prolonged absence from Britain would have been undesirable in the tense period before the Second World War. Two overseas tours were undertaken, to France and to North America, both of which promised greater strategic advantages in the event of war.[52]

[48].Order of the Garter, with the queen consort Three days after his accession, on his 41st birthday, he invested his wife, the new [47] Albert assumed the

Three-storey Victorian building festooned with garlands with the words
Darlington Town Hall decorated for the Coronation, 1937

Early reign

Courtier and journalist Dermot Morrah alleged that there was brief speculation as to the desirability of bypassing Albert (and his children) and his brother, a son.[43]

On the day of the abdication, the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Irish Free State, removed all direct mention of the monarch from the Irish constitution. The next day, it passed the External Relations Act, which made provision for the monarch to act as the state's representative in foreign affairs. The two acts made the Irish Free State a republic in essence without removing its links to the Commonwealth.[42]

As Edward was unmarried and had no children, Albert was the heir presumptive to the throne. Less than a year later, on 11 December 1936, Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry his mistress, Wallis Simpson, who was divorced from her first husband and divorcing her second. Edward had been advised by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that he could not remain king and marry a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands. Edward chose abdication in preference to abandoning his marriage plans. Thus Albert became king, a position he was reluctant to accept.[40] The day before the abdication, he went to London to see his mother, Queen Mary. He wrote in his diary, "When I told her what had happened, I broke down and sobbed like a child."[41]

King George V had severe reservations about Prince Edward, saying, "I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne."[39] On 20 January 1936, George V died and Edward ascended the throne as Edward VIII. In the Vigil of the Princes, Prince Albert and his three brothers took a shift standing guard over their father's body as it lay in state, in a closed casket, in Westminster Hall.

George VI holds the Sceptre with the Cross, containing the 530-carat Cullinan I Diamond. The Imperial State Crown is on the right. Portrait by Sir Gerald Kelly.

Reluctant king

The Duke and Duchess of York had two children: Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, J. H. Thomas.[38]

Because of his stammer, Albert dreaded public speaking.[31] After his closing speech at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on 31 October 1925, one which was an ordeal for both him and his listeners,[32] he began to see Lionel Logue, an Australian-born speech therapist. The Duke and Logue practised breathing exercises, and the Duchess rehearsed with him patiently.[33] Subsequently, he was able to speak with less hesitation.[34] With his delivery improved, the Duke opened the new Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, during a tour of the empire in 1927.[35] His journey by sea to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji took him via Jamaica, where Albert played doubles tennis partnered with a black man, which was unusual at the time and taken locally as a display of equality between races.[36]

From December 1924 to April 1925, the Duke and Duchess toured Kenya, Uganda, and the Sudan, travelling via the Suez Canal and Aden. During the trip, they both went big game hunting.[30]

The Duke and Duchess either side of the Mayor of Toowoomba, Australia, 1927

They were married on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey. Albert's marriage to someone not of royal birth was considered a modernising gesture.[28] The newly formed British Broadcasting Company wished to record and broadcast the event on radio, but the Abbey Chapter vetoed the idea (although the Dean, Herbert Edward Ryle, was in favour).[29] Lady Elizabeth was styled "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York" after their marriage.

In a time when royals were expected to marry fellow royals, it was unusual that Albert had a great deal of freedom in choosing a prospective wife. In 1920, he met for the first time since childhood Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the youngest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. He became determined to marry her.[25] She rejected his proposal twice, in 1921 and 1922, reportedly because she was reluctant to make the sacrifices necessary to become a member of the royal family.[26] In the words of Lady Elizabeth's mother, Albert would be "made or marred" by his choice of wife. After a protracted courtship, Elizabeth agreed to marry him.[27]

Marriage

In October 1919, Albert went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied history, economics and civics for a year.[20] On 4 June 1920, he was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney.[21] He began to take on more royal duties. He represented his father, and toured coal mines, factories, and railyards. Through such visits he acquired the nickname of the "Industrial Prince".[22] His stammer, and his embarrassment over it, together with his tendency to shyness, caused him to appear much less impressive than his older brother, Edward. However, he was physically active and enjoyed playing tennis. He played at Wimbledon in the Men's Doubles with Louis Greig in 1926.[23] He developed an interest in working conditions, and was President of the Industrial Welfare Society. His series of annual summer camps for boys between 1921 and 1939 brought together boys from different social backgrounds.[24]

Albert spent the first six months of 1913 on the training ship HMS Cumberland in the West Indies and on the east coast of Canada.[12] He was rated as a midshipman aboard HMS Collingwood on 15 September 1913, and spent three months in the Mediterranean. His fellow officers gave him the nickname "Mr. Johnson".[13] One year after his commission, he began service in the First World War. He was mentioned in despatches for his action as a turret officer aboard Collingwood in the Battle of Jutland (31 May – 1 June 1916), an indecisive engagement with the German navy that was the largest naval action of the war. He did not see further combat, largely because of ill health caused by a duodenal ulcer, for which he had an operation in November 1917.[14] In February 1918, he was appointed Officer in Charge of Boys at the Royal Naval Air Service's training establishment at Cranwell.[15] With the establishment of the Royal Air Force two months later and the transfer of Cranwell from Navy to Air Force control, he transferred from the Royal Navy to the Royal Air Force.[14] He was appointed Officer Commanding Number 4 Squadron of the Boys' Wing at Cranwell until mid-1918,[15] before reporting to the RAF's Cadet School at St Leonards-on-Sea where he completed a fortnight's training and took command of a squadron on the Cadet Wing.[16] He was the first member of the royal family to be certified as a fully qualified pilot.[17] During the closing weeks of the war, he served on the staff of the RAF's Independent Air Force at its headquarters in Nancy, France.[18] Following the disbanding of the Independent Air Force in November 1918, he remained on the Continent for two months as a staff officer with the Royal Air Force until posted back to Britain.[19]

Prince Albert (left) at an RAF dinner in 1919 with Sir Hugh Trenchard (centre) and Christopher Courtney (right)

[11]

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