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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Emperor of India - George V - was a tyrant and was euthanised !!

In the last century, India was a colony of British and we happily read about our Emperor and his glorified exploits.  Visiting Mumbai one would have  wondered the architecture of the Gateway of India and its history.   This monument at Apollo Bunder was erected to commemorate the landing in Dec 1911 of King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary, the first British monarch to visit India. At the time of the royal visit, the gateway was not yet built, and a cardboard structure greeted the monarch.

The coronation of George V and his wife Mary as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the British Empire took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 22 June 1911. The Director of Music, as in 1902, was Sir Frederick Bridge.  

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert) (1865 – 1936) was the  King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910. 

George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape.  As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent.   In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the British Commonwealth of Nations.  

pic credit : wikicommons

India was to have more ~ 1911 saw the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar. In preparation for their visit, some buildings were restored. The Delhi Durbar (meaning "Court of Delhi") was an Indian imperial-style mass assembly organized by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi,  to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire. The 1911 Durbar was the only one that a sovereign, George V, attended. Practically every ruling prince and nobleman in India, plus thousands of landed gentry and other persons of note, attended to pay obeisance to their sovereigns. The official ceremonies lasted from 7 December to 16 December, with the Durbar itself occurring on Tuesday, 12 December.  The royal couple arrived at Coronation Park in their Coronation robes, the King-Emperor wearing the Imperial Crown of India with eight arches, containing 6170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered with sapphires, emeralds and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap all weighing 34 ounces (965 g). They received homage from the native princes – including one woman, the Begum of Bhopal – at the shamiana (ceremonial tent); controversy ensued when the Gaekwar of Baroda, Maharajah (Emperor) Sayajirao III, approached the royal couple without his jewellery on, and after a simple bow turned his back to them when leaving. His action was interpreted at the time as a sign of dissent to British rule.  The annulment of the Partition of Bengal was also announced during the ceremony.

Historically, George V was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.   For the records,  there were only 5 Emperors : Queen Victoria,    Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.  Just as the previous Mohammadean  Kings,  the British too indulged in fanfare.   Back home in Chennai, there  is a statue of King George V near flower bazaar police station ~ in fact the area was known as Georgetown.

The First World War took a toll on George's health: he was seriously injured on 28 Oct 1915 when thrown by his horse at a troop review in France, and his heavy smoking exacerbated recurring breathing problems. He suffered from chronic bronchitis. In 1925, on the instruction of his doctors, he was reluctantly sent on a recuperative private cruise in the Mediterranean; it was his third trip abroad since the war, and his last. In November 1928, he fell seriously ill with septicaemia, and for the next two years his son Edward took over many of his duties.  He passed away due to illness in 20.1.1936 is what we have read in History .. .. .. but now, it is stated that the King was euthanized by his Doctor with a lethal dose of morphine and cocaine.   

Not any concocted story but a documentary in UK – ‘George V: The Tyrant King’ explores the life of the Queen's grandfather and first monarch of the Windsor dynasty who was known as cruel and harsh in private ! .. Experts reveal King was euthanised aged 70 by his doctor Lord Dawson in 1936. Diaries reveal doctor made sure royal died before midnight so the news of the King's death made the front of the Times newspaper. 

George V: The Tyrant King, which is to go on air today on Channel 5, explores the life of the monarch grandson of Queen Victoria, who was known as cruel and demanding in private circles, despite his pleasant image to the public. Experts and historians reveal how the royal treated his wife 'like a slave' and refused to grant his Tsar cousin and best friend Nicholas II of Russia asylum in the UK, which lead to him being murdered by the Bolsheviks. But most shockingly of all, the documentary shares the diary entries of the King's doctor Lord Dawson, who admitted to killing the King at 11pm on 20 January 1936, so the death would be on the front pages of The Times newspaper the next day.    

MailOnline reports that the  true nature of his death was unknown for 50 years, until the royal archives released Lord Dawson's diary in 1986, and with it a sensational secret.  'At about 11 o'clock, it was evident that the last stage might endure for many hours, I therefore decided to determine the end and injected three-quarters gram of morphia (morphine) and shortly afterwards one gram of cocaine into the distended juglar vein,' the entry reads. Royal expert and biographer Angela Levin will explain in the programme: 'He also manipulated it so that he would die just before midnight so that his death would make the front page of The Times, which was the king's favourite paper. Royal expert Ingrid Stewart adds: 'He fell ill with a cold and after five days he was bed ridden, he was obviously going. 'People are saying in effect he killed the king, it's a very controversial debate these days, the medical team certainly had more power than they do today.' 'Was it the right thing to do? It's not for us to judge? Would the King of survived? Probably not. Would he have suffered? Undoubtedly yes,' he says.

George V: The Tyrant King, which airs tomorrow on Channel 5, explores the life of the monarch grandson of Queen Victoria, who was known as cruel and demanding in private circles, despite his pleasant image to the public. Lord Dawson's diary isn't the first time a journal has revealed a secret about King George, who was the monarch to change the dynasty's name to Windsor from Saxe-Coburg amid growing anti-German during the First World War. Diaries detailing how the future King George V had a dragon and a tiger tattooed on his arms, during a visit to Japan, will form part of a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace, set to be on display in 2022.

Interesting ! – to call a King cruel and kill him is ‘unthought of’ in the History but are facts that we are reading now.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



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