Philip Hensher

Far from being our dullest king, George V was full of surprises

He was not only an avid reader but a skilled negotiator, who ensured the survival of the British monarchy at a time of deep crisis, says Jane Ridley

Portrait of George V in his coronation robes by Sir Luke Fildes. [Alamy]

‘Victorian’ stuck, and ‘Edwardian’ too. But ‘Georgian’, as an adjective associated with the next monarch in line, never caught on. It was already assigned, of course, but George V very strikingly didn’t embody his time in the way that his father and grandmother did. The adjective only really succeeded in one specific instance: as the name of a school of poets.

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