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In the The Romanovs: One Last Dance Novel:



King George V of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India. Son of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Husband of Mary of Teck, father of Edward VIII, George VI, Mary, Countess Harewood, Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and George, Duke of Kent.

The future King George V was born on June 3, 1865 at Marlborough House in London. Only the second son of Bertie and Alexandra, then the Prince and Princess of Wales, George was not expected to rule. He was baptized at the chapel at Windsor Castle on June 7, 1865 and given the names George Frederick Ernest Albert. His grandmother, Queen Victoria was disappointed with the first of his Christian names, making the point that George only came into the British Royal Family through the Hanoverian line from which she herself was descended. Either way, Bertie and Alix, as they were known, and especially the Prince of Wales, who was always at odds with his mother, stood firm on the couple's choice of name. Fifteen months prior to George's birth, Alix had delivered her first child, Albert Victor, who was known as Eddy. George was followed by three sisters: Louise (born 1867), Victoria (aka Toria, born in 1868) and Maud (born 1869). While Louise and Maud were allowed to marry (the latter would become Queen of Norway in 1905), Toria was left to keep Alix company until the queen's death in 1925. While Toria had a romance with the future Nicholas II during their teens, it did not continue, although they remained close friends for the rest of their lives, as George and Eddy were. The two princes were often educated together. They went through military schooling together and were both tutored by John Dalton; a man who was essentially there to educate Eddy as the future King. While neither George nor his brother excelled intellectually (even more true in Eddy's case), their father thought Naval training the best for his sons. When George was twelve, he and Eddy trained aboard the HMS Brittania, beginning in 1877. From 1879-1882, George and Eddy served as midshipmen aboard the HMS Bachannte, as always, with John Dalton accompanying them. George seemed to thrive on the life of a sailor, and in later years, preferred that to being a King. He traveled all over the world, including South Africa, Australia, Egypt, and the Far East. During one of his visits to Japan, George had a tattoo of a blue dragon put on his arm, done by a local artist. Upon their return to England, the two royal brothers were separated. Eddy was sent to Trinity College, while George continued his life with the Royal Navy. His last command in 1891 left George, by then a young man of twenty-six, missing his life as a sailor, since any naval rank he held from then on was strictly honorary.

For many years, George had served under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, stationed at Malta. While there, he quickly fell for his cousin, Alfred's daughter, Marie. Known as Missy in the family, Alfred's eldest daughter was keen on marrying her cousin, and while Alfred, the couple's grandmother, Queen Victoria, and George's father Bertie all approved of the match, George and Missy's mothers did not. Alexandra, a known Germanophobe, thought Prince Alfred's family too pro-German, while Missy's mother, Marie, who had been born a Russian grand duchess, hated England and the idea of Alexandra taking precedence over her at the British court. Thus, the Duchess of Edinburgh encouraged her daughter to refuse George's marriage proposal and end their fledgling romance. In November 1891, Eddy had promptly become engaged to a cousin, Princess Mary of Teck. While not as pretty as other princess of her rank, she was quite intelligent and thought to be a good match for the dimwitted Eddy. But just six weeks after the announcement, Eddy died of pneumonia, leaving George as the heir. Queen Victoria still saw Princess May as suitable for her grandson, and pressured George to ask for May's hand in marriage. After a period of mourning, in which May and George quickly formed a bond, the Duke of York, as George was now known, dutifully proposed to his dead brother's wife-to-be. The couple were married at St. James Chapel on July 6, 1893. The new Duchess of York gave birth to six children in quick succession: Edward (born 1894), who was to be known as David, Albert (born 1895), who was, like his grandfather, known as Bertie, Mary (born 1897), whose first given name was indeed Victoria, Harry (born 1900), George (born 1902) and John (born 1905). The youngest of their children had been diagnosed with epilepsy at age four, and suffered attacks throughout his short life. The boy was sent to live with a nurse and several male servants on the Sandringham Estate in 1917, to keep his condition, which was clearly an embarrassment to both George and May, away from the public. He died of the disease in January 1919.

Though he loved his children, George was hardly the ideal father. In fact, he and May were quite distant as parents, leaving their sons in particular, floundering. Having been raised in a similar environment, the future king knew nothing else. As he later explained: "...I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me." The king made good on this, as both David and Bertie were terrified of him, even as adults.

In the meantime, Queen Victoria's death on January 22, 1901 left George's father, Bertie, to take her place as the monarch. Taking the name Edward VII, the new king created George Prince of Wales on November 9, 1901; he was now officially heir to the throne. In contrast to his own sheltered upbringing as heir, Edward included George in affairs of state, often giving him wide access to state documents to look over. George, trusting his wife's judgment, allowed May access to the same documents, thus preparing her for her role as future queen as well. During their 1906 tour of British India, George was said to have been disgusted by the racial discrimination he saw, and campaigned for more involvement of the locals in the country's government. May 6, 1910, after just nine short years on the throne, Edward VII died. George and May were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain & Ireland, Emperor and Empress of India in London on June 22, 1911; the couple had requested their sickly son John not attend.

In 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo was only the beginning of the Great War. From the start, Britain was at war with Germany, thus George was pitted against his German cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. To comfort his people and separate himself from his German cousins, on July 17, 1917, George issued an Order-in-Cousil, to change the family name of the British Royal Family from his grandfather's very German-sounding name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, after the famous castle; this would apply to all of Queen Victoria's descendants, including women who had married into other families. He also demanded that his relatives who were British subjects give up their German styles and titles in place of British surnames; thus his cousin, Victoria of Hesse who had married Prince Louis of Battenburg became the Marchioness of Milford Haven. Thus her sons became Lords Mountbatten, while her daughter Louise was smiply Lady Mountbatten. In February 1917, when George's cousin Czar Nicholas II of Russia was overthrown by the Bolsheviks, the British parliament offered asylum to the czar and his family in order to protect them. But with conditions worsening for his people, George feared the revolution might follow them to Britain, thus he refused to allow them into the country. As a result, Nicholas, his wife Alexandra (who was also George's first cousin) and their five children were murdered by a firing squad in July 1918. One month later, the remaining imperial family was rescued by British ships.

The 1930s were a stressful time for the older members of the royal family, particularly concerning George's eldest son and heir, David, the Prince of Wales. He began a relationship with the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson in 1931, while she was still wed to her second husband, Ernest. Their affair caused a scandal in Britain, while George and Mary hoped David would not do anything stupid and give up his right to the throne. They highly disapproved of David's relationship with Wallis, while fully supportive of their son Bertie's marriage to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (which took place in 1923). While he was harsh on his sons, George was a very doting grandfather to Elizabeth and Margaret of York - Bertie and Elizabeth's daughters. He did not live to see the births of the Duke of Kent's two youngest children, nor those of Harry's children in the late 1930s.

King George V died at 11:55 PM on January 20, 1936 at Sandringham; his death came quicker, after the head physician Lord Dawson of Penn gave him a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine to speed up the process in order to have the King's death announced in The Times that evening. George V was buried at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

In the What If Storyline:



It is January 1924. King George V is still alive and kicking, although he has his health issues now and then. After being a death's door for a few months in the summer of 1922, George's cousin and friend, Nicholas II, arrived in London with his family to visit the ailing King. However, George recovered and has returned to his kingly duties. While disappointed that she is not a boy, George dotes on his granddaughter, Kate, the only child of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Still harsh on his sons, especially David, George is often feared by them, even though all are now in their twenties. George's relationship with his wife, May, remains one of few spoken words, although they are clearly still devoted to each other. He still dotes on his only daughter Mary, who has since married Viscount Henry Lascelles and given birth to a much-wanted son, named George. Unlike his wife, George seems to click well with his daughter-in-law Olga Nikolaevna, known as Alexandra since her marriage to David in April 1921.

George remains close to his cousin and friend, Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Still intent on being head of his own household, as king, George can still be found in his office, signing state papers on a daily basis. He maintains a friendly relationship with his cousin, Marie, Queen of Romania, with whom he once had a romance and was determined to marry when they were young. However, the couple's mothers sided against the match, thus the wedding never took place. George is still a firm and demanding man, very much a product of the Victorian era. Even so, as monarch and head of state, he's learned to change with the times, and looks forward to the marriage of Nicholas' son and heir Alexis to Princess Elizabeth of Greece in just a few months' time.

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