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King George VI

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King George VI (December 14, 1895 - February 6, 1952), was christened Albert Frederick Arthur George and known as "Albert" or "Bertie." He was the second son of the Duke of York, who would later become King George V of the United Kingdom, and his duchess, later queen, Princess Mary of Teck. There seemed no likelihood of his ever attaining the throne, because his elder brother, the bright and popular Prince David, was ahead of him in the line of succession. Accordingly, Prince Albert was allowed to serve in the Royal Navy during World War I and had a certain amount of freedom in his choice of wife. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, after she had turned him down several times. 

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King George VI
King of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, King of Ireland
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    Because of the distance between them and the throne, Albert and his wife were able to bring up their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, in a relatively normal environment, without the pomp and circumstance that might otherwise have surrounded them. Albert was a shy man, who suffered throughout his life from a severe stammer. He was dismayed when his elder brother David, having acceded to the throne in 1936 as King Edward VIII, decided to abdicate, leaving him to take on the crown. Upon ascending to the throne, he took the name George VI, partly to comply with Queen Victoria's wish that no king of England have the name "Albert" and partly to restore confidence in the monarchy by using the same name as his father. 

    A few years later, World War II broke out, and the royal family, whose popularity had been waning, sought to set an example and were a decisive factor in keeping up the nation's spirits. The king's morale-boosting Christmas broadcast to the nation, early in the war, went down in history. 

    After the war, the king's health deteriorated rapidly. He was suffering from lung cancer and last appeared in public at London Airport to see his daughter Elizabeth off on a tour of Africa. He died suddenly at Sandringham House on February 6, 1952, and is buried at Windsor Castle. His elder daughter succeeded him as Queen Elizabeth II. 

    King George VI also served as the last king of Ireland in accordance with the provisions of the (Irish) External Relations Act, 1936, until its repeal and the coming into force of the Republic of Ireland Act, 1948, in April 1949. Though some questioned whether the former Act actually made him king of Ireland, that fact was explicitly acknowledged in a debate in the Irish Senate in December 1948 by then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) John A. Costello, himself a former Irish Attorney-General. It was also accepted by then Irish President, Sean T. O'Kelly. Current Irish president Mary McAleese attended the funeral of his widow, Queen Elizabeth, the last Queen of Ireland, in 2002. 

    Preceded by:
    Edward VIII
    List of British Monarchs Succeeded by:
    Elizabeth II
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which means that you can copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license. See for details. It uses material from the Wikipedia article George_VI

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