George V and the New Royal House

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern Monarchy book series (PSMM)


The extended opening chapter which comprises the first part of this collection explores how, although 1917 marked the formal name change of the house, George V had already begun to change the royal house from 1910, both in practical terms and in spirit. Its argument is that George V’s approach to kingship marked a clear break with that of his predecessors by eschewing the grandeur of his father and grandmother in favour of a more human monarchy anchored by his humility when dealing with subjects. Its claim is that a new unofficial motto came into being under George V that has echoed down the line of the Windsor dynasty to this day: the pre-eminence of duty to country. A core Windsor belief stemming from that, it is argued, has been that kingship or queenship is not a privilege or a right but an important role that a sovereign has to play for the good of the nation, even at the sacrifice of personal happiness. It also insists that in more practical terms George V created several royal traditions that are still practised today.


Royal Family State Visit George Versus Naval Officer Royal House 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Contemporary British HistoryKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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