History Timeline – House of Windsor

1910 George V George V inherited the throne from his father, Edward VII, after his father died on 6th May 1910. His older brother Prince Albert Victor died from influenza in 1892, making George heir apparent when his father, Edward VII, came to the throne.

George V held the titles of King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India and King of the British Dominions, and was the first monarch of the House of Windsor. He changed the name of his Royal House during World War I and also relinquished all German titles.

George V was a conventional character, unlike his rather flamboyant father, and enjoyed stamp collecting. His wife, Mary Teck, had previously been engaged to his older brother.

His reign is known for the Statute of Westminster, which prepared the way for the creation of the Commonwealth by separating the dominions into separate kingdoms, the first Labour ministry in the UK and the rise of Irish Republicanism, communism and fascism.

George V died on 20th January 1936 after suffering a catalogue of illnesses including emphysema, pleurisy and bronchitis. His physician administered a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine to hasten his death.

1936 Edward VIII Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions, and Emperor of India, for less than a year – from 20th January 1936 until 11th December 1936 – making him one of the shortest reigning monarchs in the history of Britain and the Commonwealth. Edward VIII didn’t even get chance to be crowned King!

His reign was not cut short by his death but by his love for Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Edward’s ministers (both at home and in the Dominions) opposed the marriage and rather than cause the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, to resign over it and cause a general election, Edward decided to abdicate so that he could marry Mrs Simpson.

After his abdication, Edward became Prince Edward and was made the Duke of Windsor on the 8th March 1937.

1936 George VI George VI became King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions on 11th December 1936 after the abdication of his older brother Edward VIII. George was the first Head of the Commonwealth, the last King of Ireland and the last Emperor of India.

George VI married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, before he was King, and the couple had two daughters – Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret.

George VI’s reign is known for:-

  • The External Relations Act which was passed by the Irish Parliament to remove the UK monarch from power in Ireland.
  • World War II
  • The decline of the power of the British Empire as the US and Soviet Union grew in power.

Princess Elizabeth had to take on royal duties as her father’s health deteriorated due to the stress of war and his heavy smoking. George VI died from a coronary thrombosis on 6th February 1952 at Sandringham House in Norfolk. After his funeral, he was interred in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where he was joined in 2002 by his wife, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The ashes of his daughter, Princess Margaret, were also interred in the Chapel after her death in 2002.

1952 Elizabeth II Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms on 6th February 1952, when her father George VI died. She is still the reigning monarch and her other titles include Paramount Chief of Fiji, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Elizabeth II is both the longest-lived and longest reigning monarch in British history. Her reign has seen the continuation of the dissolution of the British Empire and the subsequent formation of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Queen is married to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was a royal prince of Denmark and Greece, The couple have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.