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George VI - "this spirit of friendliness"


We've added details about George VI's leadership during World War II to the Liberty file on the war.

The king was pretty insouciant while bombs were dropping. Ducking into a bomb shelter during an air raid, he had a cup of tea with those who were there.

He created the George Cross and George Medal to pay tribute to heroic civilians, whom he had observed during and following air raids.

The king's contribution to the war effort could be described thus - He gave his people a light so that they 'could tread safely into the unknown’.

We've found details about the king's views of the British Constitution which may interest you, and which have, we believe, affected his daughter, HM The Queen. We'll write about them later. For now here is the king on two separate occasions - the first is poignant; the second, innocently droll-

In his final Christmas broadcast the king said -

I think that, among all the blessings which we count today, the chief one is that we are friendly people. . .I wonder if we realize just how precious this spirit of friendliness and kindness is.

The king did not much like modern art. When John Piper completed his brooding series depicting Windsor Castle, which had been commissioned by the queen, the king is said to have remarked to him ‘You've been pretty unlucky with the weather, Mr Piper.’

Comments (1)

My father (who was Dutch) remembered being told by a friend in London who'd been there of an occasion during the War when the King visited a bombed neighbourhood. Visibly moved and never talkative, he eventually blurted out, 'You're a jolly good people.' Whereupon someone cried back, to general applause, 'And you're a jolly good King, Sir!'

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