Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers, since 1993 to other ranks, of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". The award was established on 3 June 1918, shortly after the formation of the Royal Air Force, with the Royal Warrant published on 5 December 1919, it was awarded to RAF commissioned and warrant officers, including officers in Commonwealth and allied forces. In March 1941 eligibility was extended to Naval Officers of the Fleet Air Arm, in November 1942 to Army officers, including Royal Artillery officers serving on attachment to the RAF as pilots-cum-artillery observers. Posthumous awards were permitted from 1979. Since the 1993 review of the honours system as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in bravery awards, all ranks of all arms of the Armed Forces have been eligible, the Distinguished Flying Medal, which had until been awarded to other ranks, was discontinued.
While remaining a reward for "flying in active operations against the enemy", the requirement was changed from "valour, courage or devotion to duty" to "exemplary gallantry". The DFC had been awarded by Commonwealth countries but by 1990's most, including Canada and New Zealand, had established their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honours; the DFC now serves as the third-level award for all ranks of the British Armed Forces for exemplary gallantry in active operations against the enemy in the air, not to the standard required to receive the Victoria Cross or the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. Apart from honorary awards to those serving with allied forces, all awards of the DFC are announced in the London Gazette. A bar is added to the ribbon for holders of the DFC who received a further award, with a silver rosette worn on the ribbon when worn alone to denote the award of each bar. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "DFC"; the decoration, designed by Edward Carter Preston, is a cross flory, 2.125 inches wide.
The horizontal and bottom bars are terminated with the upper bar with a rose. The decoration's face features aeroplane propellers, superimposed on the vertical arms of the cross, wings on the horizontal arms. In the centre is a laurel wreath around the RAF monogram, surmounted by a heraldic Imperial Crown; the reverse is plain, except for a central roundel bearing the reigning monarch's cypher and the date'1918'. Awarded unnamed, from 1939 the year of issue was engraved on the reverse lower limb of cross, since 1984 it has been awarded named to the recipient; the suspender is straight and decorated with laurel wreaths. The ribbon bar denoting a further award is silver, with the Royal Air Force eagle in its centre. Bars awarded during World War II have the year of award engraved on the reverse; the 1.25 inch ribbon was white with deep purple broad horizontal stripes, but it was changed in 1919 to the current white with purple broad diagonal stripes. From 1918 to 2017 22,322 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 1,737 bars have been awarded.
The figures to 1979 are laid out in the table below, the dates reflecting the relevant entries in the London Gazette: In addition, between 1980 and 2017 80 DFCs have been earned, including awards for the Falklands and the wars in the Gulf and Afghanistan. In addition, two second-award, one third-award bar have been awarded; the above figures include awards to the Dominions:In all, 4,460 DFCs have gone to Canadians, including 256 first bars and six second bars. Of these, 193 crosses and nine first bars were for service with the RAF in World War I. For World War II, 4,018 DFCs with 213 first bars and six second bars were earned by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with a further 247 crosses and 34 first bars to Canadians serving with the RAF. From 1918 to 1972 the DFC was awarded to 2,391 Australians, along with 144 first Bars and five second Bars. Over 1,000 DFCs were awarded to New Zealanders during the World War II, with the most recent awards for service in Vietnam. In 1999 the DFC was replaced by the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration.
A total of 1,022 honorary awards have been made to members of allied foreign forces. This comprises 46 for World War I, 927 with 34 first and three second award bars for World War II, eight with three bars to members of the US Air Force for the Korean War, one to the US Marine Corps during the Iraq War. King Albert I of Belgium, who on many occasions during World War I was flown in a British aircraft to reconnoitre enemy positions. Wing Commander Douglas Rivers Bagnall, DSO, who won the DFC and the American DFC. John Balmer, RAAF pilot Roy Calvert, RNZAF pilot, awarded the DFC three times. Major General Levi R. Chase, American flying ace, awarded DFC with bar Major William Chesarek, United States Marine Corps, helicopter pilot who in 2006 rescued a British serviceman during the Iraq War. Flight Lieutenant Pierre Clostermann, French RAF officer, in 1945, awarded RAF DFC & bar. Harry Cobby, flying ace of the Australian Flying Corps, awarded the DFC three times. Gordon Cochrane, RNZAF pilot, awarded the DFC three times.
Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman, in 2008 she became the first woman to be awarded the DFC. Peter Stanley James, RAF, who in July 1941 took part in a daylight raid on the German battleship Scharnhorst in dock at La Rochelle. Philip Robinson, RAF pilot, awarded the DFC three times. Arjan Singh, Indian Air Force was awarded the DFC, he become Marshal of Indian Air Force. Mohinder Singh Pujji, Indian Air Force was awarded the DFC. Group C
Government of Australia
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government; the Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states. The terms of this contract are embodied in the Australian Constitution, drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies at referendums; the Australian head of state is the Queen of Australia, represented by the Governor-General of Australia, with executive powers delegated by constitutional convention to the Australian head of government, the Prime Minister of Australia. The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia is divided into three branches: the executive branch, composed of the Federal Executive Council, presided by the Governor-General, which delegates powers to the Cabinet of Australia, led by the Prime Minister.
Separation of powers is implied by the structure of the Constitution, the three branches of government being set out in separate chapters. The Australian system of government combines elements of the Westminster and Washington systems with unique Australian characteristics, has been characterised as a "Washminster mutation". Section 1 of the Australian Constitution creates a democratic legislature, the bicameral Parliament of Australia which consists of the Queen of Australia, two houses of parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Section 51 of the Constitution provides for the Commonwealth Government's legislative powers and allocates certain powers and responsibilities to the Commonwealth government. All remaining responsibilities are retained by the six States. Further, each State has its own constitution, so that Australia has seven sovereign Parliaments, none of which can encroach on the functions of any other; the High Court of Australia arbitrates on any disputes which arise between the Commonwealth and the States, or among the States, concerning their respective functions.
The Commonwealth Parliament can propose changes to the Constitution. To become effective, the proposals must be put to a referendum of all Australians of voting age, must receive a "double majority": a majority of all votes, a majority of votes in a majority of States; the Commonwealth Constitution provides that the States can agree to refer any of their powers to the Commonwealth. This may be achieved by way of an amendment to the Constitution via referendum. More powers may be transferred by passing other acts of legislation which authorise the transfer and such acts require the legislative agreement of all the state governments involved; this "transfer" legislation may have a "sunset clause", a legislative provision that nullifies the transfer of power after a specified period, at which point the original division of power is restored. In addition, Australia has several "territories", two of which are self-governing: the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory; these territories' legislatures, their Assemblies, exercise powers devolved to them by the Commonwealth.
Australian citizens in these territories are represented by members of both houses of the Commonwealth Parliament. The territory of Norfolk Island was self-governing from 1979 until 2016, although it was never represented as such in the Commonwealth Parliament; the other territories that are inhabited—Jervis Bay, Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands—have never been self-governing. The federal nature of the Commonwealth and the structure of the Parliament of Australia were the subject of protracted negotiations among the colonies during the drafting of the Constitution; the House of Representatives is elected on a basis that reflects the differing populations of the States. Thus New South Wales has 48 members, but the Senate is elected on a basis of equality among the States: all States elect 12 Senators, regardless of population. This was intended to allow the Senators of the smaller States to form a majority and thus be able to amend or reject bills originating in the House of Representatives.
The ACT and the NT each elect two Senators. The third level of government after Commonwealth and State/Territory is Local government, in the form of shires and cities; the Councils of these areas are composed of elected representatives serving part-time. Their powers are devolved to them by the Territory in which they are located. Government at the Commonwealth level and the State/Territory level is undertaken by three inter-connected arms of government: Legislature: The Commonwealth Parliament Executive: The Sovereign of Australia, whose executive power is exercisable by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and their Departments Judiciary: The High Court of Australia and subsidiary Federal courts. Separation of powers is the principle whereby the three arms of government undertake their activities separately from each other: the Legislature proposes laws in the form of Bills, provides a legislative framework for the operations of the other two a
New Zealand Gallantry Decoration
The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration is the third level military decoration of the New Zealand armed forces. It was instituted by Royal Warrant on 20 September 1999 as part of the new indigenous New Zealand Gallantry system; the medal, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of'acts of exceptional gallantry in situations of danger' while involved in war and warlike operational service. Bars are awarded to the NZGS in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters NZGD; this medal replaced the award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Military Medal, Distinguished Flying Medal, Air Force Medal. Orders and medals of New Zealand New Zealand gallantry awards New Zealand bravery awards New Zealand campaign medals Mackay, J and Mussel, J - Medals Yearbook - 2005, Token Publishing. New Zealand Defence Force - Medal information page New Zealand Defence Force - Text of the Royal warrant for the New Zealand Gallantry awards system
The London Gazette
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette; this claim is made by the Stamford Mercury and Berrow's Worcester Journal, because The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation. Other official newspapers of the UK government are The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette, apart from reproducing certain materials of nationwide interest published in The London Gazette contain publications specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively. In turn, The London Gazette carries not only notices of UK-wide interest, but those relating to entities or people in England and Wales.
However, certain notices that are only of specific interest to Scotland or Northern Ireland are required to be published in The London Gazette. The London and Belfast Gazettes are published by TSO on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, they are subject to Crown copyright. The London Gazette is published each weekday, except for bank holidays. Notices for the following, among others, are published: Granting of royal assent to bills of the Parliament of the United Kingdom or of the Scottish Parliament The issuance of writs of election when a vacancy occurs in the House of Commons Appointments to certain public offices Commissions in the Armed Forces and subsequent promotion of officers Corporate and personal insolvency Granting of awards of honours and military medals Changes of names or of coats of arms Royal Proclamations and other DeclarationsHer Majesty's Stationery Office has digitised all issues of the Gazette, these are available online; the official Gazettes are published by The Stationery Office.
The content, apart from insolvency notices, is available in a number of machine-readable formats, including XML and XML/RDFa via Atom feed. The London Gazette was first published as The Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, courtiers were unwilling to touch London newspapers for fear of contagion; the Gazette was "Published by Authority" by Henry Muddiman, its first publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his diary. The King returned to London as the plague dissipated, the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of The London Gazette being published on 5 February 1666; the Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public. Her Majesty's Stationery Office took over the publication of the Gazette in 1889. Publication of the Gazette was transferred to the private sector, under government supervision, in the 1990s, when HMSO was sold and renamed The Stationery Office.
In time of war, despatches from the various conflicts are published in The London Gazette. People referred to are said to have been mentioned in despatches; when members of the armed forces are promoted, these promotions are published here, the person is said to have been "gazetted". Being "gazetted" sometimes meant having official notice of one's bankruptcy published, as in the classic ten-line poem comparing the stolid tenant farmer of 1722 to the lavishly spending faux-genteel farmers of 1822: Notices of engagement and marriage were formerly published in the Gazette. Gazettes, modelled on The London Gazette, were issued for most British colonial possessions. History of British newspapers Iris Oifigiúil The Dublin Gazette – in Ireland London Gazette index Official Journal of the European Union List of government gazettes London and Belfast Gazettes official site Great Fire of London 1666 – Facsimile and transcript of London Gazette report
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. And is responsible for the operation of naval aircraft; the Fleet Air Arm started operating the F-35 Lightning II in a Maritime Strike Role, the AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin in both Commando and Anti-Submarine roles, the BAE Hawk. Helicopters such as the Lynx and Westland Wasp were deployed on smaller vessels since 1964, taking over the roles once performed by biplanes such as the Fairey Swordfish; the Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1924 as an organisational unit of the Royal Air Force, operating the aircraft embarked on RN ships – the Royal Naval Air Service having been merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps in 1918, to form the Royal Air Force – and did not come under the direct control of the Admiralty until mid-1939. During the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm operated aircraft on ships as well as land-based aircraft that defended the Royal Navy's shore establishments and facilities. British naval flying started with the construction of an airship for naval duties.
In 1911 the Royal Navy graduated its first aeroplane pilots at the Royal Aero Club flying ground at Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey under the tutelage of pioneer aviator George Bertram Cockburn. In May 1912, naval and army aviation were combined to become the Royal Flying Corps; the Naval Wing of the RFC lasted until July 1914 when the Royal Navy reformed its air branch, under the Air Department of the Admiralty, naming it the Royal Naval Air Service. By the outbreak of the First World War, in August 1914, the RNAS had more aircraft under its control than the remaining RFC; the roles of the RNAS were fleet reconnaissance, patrolling coasts for enemy ships and submarines, attacking enemy coastal territory and defending Britain from enemy air raids, along with deployment along the Western Front. In April 1918 the RNAS, which at this time had 67,000 officers and men, 2,949 aircraft, 103 airships and 126 coastal stations, merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force. On 1 April 1924, the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force was formed, encompassing those RAF units that embarked on aircraft carriers and fighting ships.
The year was significant for British naval aviation as only weeks before the founding of the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Navy had commissioned HMS Hermes, the world's first ship to be designed and built as an aircraft carrier. Over the following months RAF Fleet Air Arm Fairey IIID reconnaissance biplanes operated off Hermes, conducting flying trials. On 24 May 1939 the Fleet Air Arm was returned to Admiralty control under the "Inskip Award" and renamed the Air Branch of the Royal Navy. At the onset of the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm consisted of 20 squadrons with only 232 aircraft. By the end of the war the strength of the Fleet Air Arm was 59 aircraft carriers, 3,700 aircraft, 72,000 officers and men and 56 Naval air stations. During the war, the FAA operated torpedo bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Following the Dunkirk evacuation and the commencement of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force soon found itself critically short of fighter pilots. In the summer of 1940, the RAF had just over as personnel shortages worsened.
Fleet Air Arm crews under RAF Fighter Command were either seconded individually to RAF fighter squadrons or entire as with 804 and 808 Naval Air Squadrons. The former provided dockyard defence during the Battle of Britain with Sea Gladiators. In British home waters and out into the Atlantic Ocean, operations against Axis shipping and submarines in support of the RN were mounted by RAF Coastal Command with large patrol bombers, flying boats and land-based fighter-bombers; the aircraft carrier had replaced the battleship as the capital ship of the RN and its aircraft were now its principal offensive weapons. The top scoring fighter ace with 17 victories was Commander Stanley Orr, the Royal Marine ace was Ronald Cuthbert Hay with 13 victories. A number of Royal Marines were FAA pilots during the war. Notable Fleet Air Arm operations during the war included the Battle of Taranto, the sinking of the Bismarck, Operation Tungsten against the Tirpitz and Operation Meridian against oil plants in Sumatra.
After the war the FAA needed to fly jet aircraft from their carriers. The jet aircraft of the era were less effective at low speeds than propeller aircraft, but propeller aircraft could not fight jets at the high speeds flown by jet aircraft; the FAA took on the Sea Vampire, in the late 1940s. The Sea Vampire was the first jet credited with landing on a carrier; the Air Arm continued with high-powered prop aircraft alongside the new jets resulting in the FAA being woefully outpowered during the Korean War. Jets were not yet wholly superior to propeller aircraft and a flight of ground attack Hawker Sea Furies downed a MiG-15 and damaged others in an engagement; as jets became larger, more powerful and faster they required more space to land. The US Navy built much larger carriers; the Royal Navy had a few large carriers built and completed after the end of the war but another solution was sought. This was overcome by the introduction of a Royal Navy idea to angle the flight deck away from the centre line so that the aircraft landing had a clear run away from the usual forward deck park.
An associated British invention, intended to provide more precise optical guidance to aircraft on final approaching the deck, was the Fresnel lens optical landing aid. Another Royal Navy invention was the use of a steam-powered catapult to cater for the large
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, George was created Prince of Wales, he became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910. George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, fascism, Irish republicanism, the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape; the Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War, the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent.
In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations, he had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII. George was born on 3 June 1865, in London, he was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Alexandra, Princess of Wales. His father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark, he was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Charles Longley. As a younger son of the Prince of Wales, there was little expectation, he was third in line after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor.
George was only 17 months younger than Albert Victor, the two princes were educated together. John Neale Dalton was appointed as their tutor in 1871. Neither Albert Victor nor George excelled intellectually; as their father thought that the navy was "the best possible training for any boy", in September 1877, when George was 12 years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon. For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on HMS Bacchante, accompanied by Dalton, they toured the colonies of the British Empire in the Caribbean, South Africa and Australia, visited Norfolk, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean and East Asia. In 1881 on a visit to Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm, was received in an audience by the Emperor Meiji. Dalton wrote an account of their journey entitled The Cruise of HMS Bacchante. Between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton recorded a sighting of the Flying Dutchman, a mythical ghost ship.
When they returned to Britain, Queen Victoria complained that her grandsons could not speak French or German, so they spent six months in Lausanne in an unsuccessful attempt to learn another language. After Lausanne, the brothers were separated, he travelled the world. During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters HMS Thrush on the North America station, before his last active service in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92. From on, his naval rank was honorary; as a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, stationed in Malta. There, he fell in love with his cousin, Princess Marie, his grandmother and uncle all approved the match, but the mothers—the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh—opposed it. The Princess of Wales thought the family was too pro-German, the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked England. Marie's mother was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
She resented the fact that, as the wife of a younger son of the British sovereign, she had to yield precedence to George's mother, the Princess of Wales, whose father had been a minor German prince before being called unexpectedly to the throne of Denmark. Guided by her mother, Marie refused George, she married Ferdinand, the future King of Romania, in 1893. In November 1891, George's elder brother, Albert Victor, became engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, known as "May" within the family. May's father, Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, belonged to a morganatic, cadet branch of the house of Württemberg, her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, was a male-line granddaughter of King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia, leaving George second in line to the throne, to succeed after his father. George had only just recovered from a serious illness himself, after being confined to bed for six weeks with typhoid fever, the disease, thought to have killed his grandfather Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria still regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, George and May grew close during their shared perio