Thursday, 4 December 2014

The King and His Reign II: The Inheritance

Non-fiction ~ essay
Published in The Spectator, 1st March 1935
1,495 words
(First read 04/12/2014)

The young George V ... what a handsome chap he was
EFB continues the life story of George V he started in Prince George's Childhood by ... well, by saying virtually nothing about him.  This article sets the background for what he 'inherited' when he came to the throne, by telling us about his father Edward VII's efforts to maintain peace in Europe (kind of) by performing a round of visits to his fellow monarchs in the hope of charming them into uniting against his nephew the Kaiser ~ a 'policy' which failed dismally in the long run ~ and the short one too, come to that ~ because, as Benson himself says:
These Royal visits of King Edward, which up to the time of his death he had made a large part of the duties and services of a Sovereign to his country, have been roughly analysed in order to show how meaningless they had become. With the growth of democracy it seems strange, twenty-five years later, that they could ever then have been thought to be of value, for the age when personal friendships between Sovereigns could affect strong national movements was already long past.
Ah well.   While all that was going on, George himself
occupied his time for travelling to infinitely greater advantage by visiting India with the Queen in 1911 and magnificently demonstrating at the Durbar the power and friendliness of the Raj.
You can read the full article online here.

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