abdication, ascended to throne, British, Celebrity, Edward, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, first Head of Commonwealth, King George VI, last Emperor of India, lung cancer, monarchy, not take the throne, royalty, second son, shadow of brother, Winston Churchill, World War II
King George VI (December 14, 1895 – February 6, 1952)
George VI was crowned as King of the United Kingdom in 1937 and was an important symbolic leader for the British people during World War II and often visited armies on the battle fronts and completely stood behind Prime Minister Winston Churchill throughout. In 1952, he died of lung cancer at age 56 and was succeeded by his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II (who still reigns and is the longest reigning monarch in British history). George VI was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to ever inherit the throne and spent much of his early years in the shadow of elder brother Edward. In 1923, he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. In 1936 Edward ascended to the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father. Later that year he expressed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. The current British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for both political and religious reasons that he would not be permitted to marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated
the throne and married Simpson. This allowed George to ascend to the throne.
Under George’s reign, the British Empire began to break up with Ireland developing a new constitution and establishing the office of President and the United States and Soviet Union arose from the war to become pre-eminent world powers, while the British Empire declined.