George VI (born Albert Frederick Arthur George, 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952), known publicly as Prince Albert, Duke of York before his accession, and Bertie among his family and close friends, was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was a member of the House of Windsor. He was the last Emperor of India (until 1947) and the last King of Ireland (until 1949). He succeeded his older brother, Edward VIII, who voluntarily abdicated in 1936. Then Prince Albert reluctantly ascended, taking the regnal name "George VI" in an effort to reconnect with his late father. World War II took place during George's reign; while George's role in the military strategy appears to have been minimal, his refusal to leave London during the Battle of Britain and his public visibility did much for the morale of the British people.
The remainder of George's reign saw the dissolution of the British Empire and the establishment of the British Commonwealth.
George VI in Worldwar
George VI reigned during the aborted World War II and the Race's invasion in 1942. Per the laws of the country, he left the oversight of the United Kingdom's diplomacy and defence to his Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
After the Peace of Cairo, George's realm was substantially reduced, as India, Australia, and most of the British Empire's colonial possessions were ceded to the Race. Only Canada and New Zealand remained British Dominions. However, the United States took the initiative in protecting Canada's independence.
While the Race understood that George VI was a titular "emperor" like their monarch, they also understood that the Prime Minister wielded the true power in the U.K. Thus, they deemed George VI a "petty emperor."
George VI in The War That Came Early
In late 1939, George VI's government offered to negotiate a peace between the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan. The British government's offer was motivated out of self-interest: if peace could be established, the Soviet Union could concentrate on Germany, and British holdings in Asia would be protected if Japanese aggression were checked. Japan refused the offer, however.
In the Summer of 1940, George's prime minister, Neville Chamberlain reached a truce with Germany, and Britain joined Germany in the war against the Soviet Union. In addition, Chamberlain and his successor, Horace Wilson, adopted a policy of scrutinizing their opponents.
George deeply disapproved of this political turn, though as a constitutional monarch he did not attempt to interfere. In the spring of 1941, when General Archibald Wavell met with the king to inform him that the military had overthrown Wilson, George immediately knighted Wavell.
George called for elections to be held at a time of the provisional government's choosing. The provisional government repeatedly delayed the elections, a move which greatly imperiled their already dubious legitimacy. George did what he could to shore up that legitimacy, insisting that the provisional government enjoyed his full confidence in a public address.
In 1944, when war in Europe ended, George remained king, and the military government remained the true power. George's reign over Britain's colonial empire, including India, was increasingly tenuous in the peace that followed.
George VI in Joe Steele
George VI reigned during World War II. In 1943, as a symbol of Great Britain's alliance with the Soviet Union, George VI ordered Prime Minister Winston Churchill to present Soviet leader Leon Trotsky with the ceremonial Sword of Valor.