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- 03 -152018

« A dedicated life », episode 13: S.M George VI

Birth: 4 December 1895
Death: 6 February 1952
Companion of the Liberation – Decree of 2 April 1960

Prince Albert received a military education at the Royal Naval College at Osborne and Dartmouth. In 1913, he was rated as a midshipman aboard HMS Collingwood. This was the golden age of the battleship, and new models (dreadnoughts) were coming out of the British arsenals. He fought in the Battle of Jutland as a turret officer. This was the biggest naval engagement of the war and pitted the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet against the Kaiser’s High Seas Fleet. He received a military citation but had to stop fighting for health reasons. He ascended to the throne of England in 1937 under the name of George VI, after his brother Edward VII abdicated.

In 1940, to set an example, he refused to leave London during the Blitz. Throughout the conflict, he went to bombsites and visited factories and troops at the front, in Europe and Africa. He and the royal family supported General de Gaulle. He represented the resistance of the British, among whom he was a popular king as he encouraged and united the Nation despite being unprepared for ruling.

Credits: Prince Albert on the deck of the battleship Collingwood, looking through the nautical telescope.
© Bibliothèque nationale de France

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