Posted by: Graham | July 1, 2009

King George the 5 Proclaimed King of England May the 9th Monday 1910

Following the death of his father Edward, George was the natural successor. He was the second son of Edward, but his older brother Albert Victor had died of pneumonia in 1892. So George was the legitimate successor. However, according to British law a new King or Queen must be proclaimed publicly and not by the new King or Queen.

“The fact of the accession of the new monarch is published to the nation by a proclamation which is issued as soon as conveniently may be after the death of the former monarch by the lords spiritual and temporal, members of the late monarch’s privy Council and the principal gentlement of quality, with the Lord Mayor, aldermen and citizens of London” (Halsbury’s Laws of England).

George V took the oath of succession at Saint James Palace on the 7th May and crowds gathered to hear the proclamation of the new King on that day. However, the authorities decided that they could not get the proclamation to all the key towns and cities around the country and Empire and so decided that the proclamation would take place on Monday 9th May. The proclamation was first made in the City of London at 8am by the Lord Mayor of London and then again in most towns and cities throughout the UK at 9am.

Proclamation at Windsor

Proclamation at Windsor

The text of the proclamation read as follows:

“Whitehall, May 7, 1910. On Friday night, the sixth of May instant, at a quarter to twelve o’clock, our late most gracious Sovereign King Edward the Seventh expired at Buckingham Palace in the sixtyninth year of His age, and the tenth of His reign. This event has caused one universal feeling of regret and sorrow to His late Majesty’s faithful and attached subjects, to whom He was endeared by the deep interest in their welfare which He invariably manifested, as well as by the eminent and impressive virtues which illustrated and adorned His character. Upon the intimation of this distressing event, the Lords of the Privy Council assembled this day at St. James’s Palace, and gave orders for proclaiming His present Majesty, Who made a most Gracious Declaration to them, and caused all the Lords and others of the late King’s Privy Council, who were then present, to be sworn of His Majesty’s Privy Council.

Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lord King Edward the Seventh, of Blessed and Glorious Memory, by whose Decease the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert : We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these of His late Majesty’s Privy Council, with numbers of other Principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and citizens of London, do now hereby, with one Voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart, publish and proclaim, That the High and Mighty Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert, is now, by the Death of our late Sovereign, of Happy Memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India: To whom we do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience, with all hearty and humble Affection: beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Prince George the Fifth, with long and happy years to reign over Us.”

Given at the Court at St. James’s, this seventh day of May, in this year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ten.”

The proclamations were usually read by local leaders such as mayors and in the presence of key civic leaders and wherever the proclamations were read crowds gathered to hear it.


New York Times

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