Friday 23 June 2023

Today is the anniversary of the coronation of King George V of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India.


This lovely picture conveys a sublime sense of hierarchy with peers in ermine and coronets, no TV cameras, no gospel singers, no princess in trousers, no priestesses and bishopesses.

In Kenneth Rose's biography George V emerges as one of the great comic characters in English literature. 

The story of looking round the first plastics factory and then saying to the Queen 'And it's all made from milk, isn't that right, Melchett?' 'Yes, sir'. I told my father that and he said crossly that the original plastics did involve some milk. 

George V said he told Sir Samuel Hoare, when he came to resign after the Hoare-Laval pact to give most of Ethiopia to Mussolini became public, "It only goes to show 'No more coals to Newcastle, no more whores to Paris' and do you know what the fellow didn't even smile."

He said of homosexuals, ‘I thought people like that shot themselves'. David Cannadine who taught me about the monarchy under Queen Victoria, thought this showed he abhorred homosexuals. i think it shows his innocence (though he was not innocent about women before he married).

I am not sure that Rose mentioned it but, like his father, George V was  tatooed.
 In 1881, visiting a port in Japan as a midshipman in the Royal Navy, the had a blue and red dragon tattooed on his arm. 

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