Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs; the building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey.
There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100. As the burial site of more than 3,300 persons of predominant prominence in British history, Westminster Abbey is sometimes described as'Britain's Valhalla', after the iconic burial hall of Norse mythology. A late tradition claims that Aldrich, a young fisherman on the River Thames, had a vision of Saint Peter near the site; this seems to have been quoted as the origin of the salmon that Thames fishermen offered to the abbey in years – a custom still observed annually by the Fishmongers' Company. The recorded origins of the Abbey date to the 960s or early 970s, when Saint Dunstan and King Edgar installed a community of Benedictine monks on the site. Between 1042 and 1052, King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter's Abbey to provide himself with a royal burial church, it was the first church in England built in the Romanesque style. The building was completed around 1060 and was consecrated on 28 December 1065, only a week before Edward's death on 5 January 1066.
A week he was buried in the church. His successor, Harold II, was crowned in the abbey, although the first documented coronation is that of William the Conqueror the same year; the only extant depiction of Edward's abbey, together with the adjacent Palace of Westminster, is in the Bayeux Tapestry. Some of the lower parts of the monastic dormitory, an extension of the South Transept, survive in the Norman Undercroft of the Great School, including a door said to come from the previous Saxon abbey. Increased endowments supported a community increased from a dozen monks in Dunstan's original foundation, up to a maximum about eighty monks; the abbot and monks, in proximity to the royal Palace of Westminster, the seat of government from the 13th century, became a powerful force in the centuries after the Norman Conquest. The Abbot of Westminster was employed on royal service and in due course took his place in the House of Lords as of right. Released from the burdens of spiritual leadership, which passed to the reformed Cluniac movement after the mid-10th century, occupied with the administration of great landed properties, some of which lay far from Westminster, "the Benedictines achieved a remarkable degree of identification with the secular life of their times, with upper-class life", Barbara Harvey concludes, to the extent that her depiction of daily life provides a wider view of the concerns of the English gentry in the High and Late Middle Ages.
The proximity of the Palace of Westminster did not extend to providing monks or abbots with high royal connections. The abbot remained Lord of the Manor of Westminster as a town of two to three thousand persons grew around it: as a consumer and employer on a grand scale the monastery helped fuel the town economy, relations with the town remained unusually cordial, but no enfranchising charter was issued during the Middle Ages; the abbey became the coronation site of Norman kings. None were buried there until Henry III, intensely devoted to the cult of the Confessor, rebuilt the abbey in Anglo-French Gothic style as a shrine to venerate King Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry's own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England; the Confessor's shrine subsequently played a great part in his canonization. Construction of the present church began in 1245 by Henry III; the first building stage included the entire eastern end, the transepts, the easternmost bay of the nave.
The Lady Chapel built from around 1220 at the extreme eastern end was incorporated into the chevet of the new building, but was replaced. This work must have been completed by 1258-60, when the second stage was begun; this carried the nave on an additional five bays. Here construction stopped in about 1269, a consecration ceremony being held on 13 October of that year, because of Henry's death did not resume; the old Romanesque nave remained attached to the new building for over a century, until it was pulled down in the late 14th century and rebuilt from 1376 following the original design. Construction was finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of Richard II. Henry III commissioned the unique Cosmati pavement in front of the High Altar (the pavement has undergone a major cleani
Thomas Daniell was an English landscape painter who painted Orientalist themes. He spent seven years in India, accompanied by his nephew William an artist, published several series of aquatints of the country. Thomas Daniell was born in 1749 in Kingston upon Surrey, his father was the landlord of the Swan Inn at Chertsey. Thomas began his career apprenticed to an heraldic painter and worked at Maxwell's the coach painter in Queen Street before attending the Royal Academy Schools. Although he exhibited 30 works – landscapes and floral pieces – at the Academy between 1772 and 1784, Daniell found it difficult to establish himself as a landscape painter in Britain. Like many other Europeans at that time, Daniell was drawn to India by stories of the wealth and fame that awaited travellers to the newly accessible East, in 1784 he obtained permission from the East India Company to travel to Calcutta to work as an engraver, accompanied by his nephew, William Daniell, as his assistant. Thomas and William Daniell sailed from Gravesend on 7 April 1785, arriving in Calcutta via Whampoa in China early in 1786.
In July of that year, Daniell announced, in an advertisement in the Calcutta Chronicle, his intention to publish a set of views of the city. Executed in etching and aquatint and hand-coloured by local painters, the twelve plates were completed in late 1788. In November of that year Daniell wrote to Ozias Humphrey "I was obliged to stand Painter Engraver Copper-smith Printer and Printers Devil myself, it was a devilish undertaking but I was determined to see it through at all events."On 3 September 1788, the Daniells set out on a tour of north-west India leaving Calcutta by boat along the River Ganges, travelling as far as Srinagar, where they arrived in May 1789. Thomas and his nephew spent 1790-1 in the town of Bhagalpur with the orientalist and amateur artist Samuel Davis, whom Thomas had first met during his apprenticeship in London, they made many stops on their return journey, not arriving back in Calcutta until February 1792. On 10 March 1792 the Daniells left Calcutta once more, this time for Madras, reaching it on the 29th of the same month.
They left Madras after only 11 days, having hired the services of a considerable retinue, including two palanquins and their bearers, taking a route which more or less followed that of the British army which had defeated Tipu Sultan the previous year. They were back in Madras in January 1793. A briefer third tour took them through western India, they reached Bombay the following month. In May 1793 the Daniells left India and returned to England, reaching home in September 1794. On his return to England, Daniell set about publishing an extensive illustrated work under the general heading title of "Oriental Scenery". Six volumes, published between 1795 and 1808, were based on drawings made in India by the Daniells themselves. There were 144 plates in total including a set published as Twenty-four landscapes, views in Hindoostan drawn and engraved by Thomas and William Daniell, with permission respectfully dedicated to the Rt. Hon. George O'Brien, Earl of Egremont. First published on 1 January 1804.
The Daniells published Views in Egypt and Picturesque Voyage to India, by Way of China. They etched all the plates themselves all in aquatint. Daniell continued to exhibit Eastern subjects until 1828, he contributed drawings to Rees's Cyclopædia, but these have not been identified. He contributed to some landscaping projects, designing an Indian temple for Sir John Osborne at Melchet Court, various garden buildings for Sir Charles Cockerell's Sezincote, his paintings of Sezincote are rare exceptions to the Indian subjects which comprise his complete output after his return to England He was elected a Royal Academician in 1790, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts at around the same time. Daniell never married, he died at his home in Earls Terrace, Kensington, on 19 March 1840, aged 91, having outlived both his nephews. James Forbes Davis, Samuel. Views of Medieval Bhutan: the diary and drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783. Serindia; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Daniell, Thomas". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7. Cambridge University Press. P. 809. D. G. Godse's essay on Daniell's painting of Peshwa court at Pune is included in his book "Samande Talāśa समंदे तलाश" 13 paintings by or after Thomas Daniell at the Art UK site British Library: Images by Thomas Daniell Europeana: Images by Thomas Daniell Profile on Royal Academy of Arts Collections
History of the Republic of India
The history of the Republic of India begins on 26 January 1950. The country became an independent nation within the British Commonwealth on 15 August 1947. Concurrently the Muslim-majority northwest and east of British India was separated into the Dominion of Pakistan, by the partition of India; the partition led to a population transfer of more than 10 million people between India and Pakistan and the death of about one million people. Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India, but the leader most associated with the independence struggle, Mahatma Gandhi, accepted no office; the new constitution of 1950 made India a democratic country. The nation faced religious violence, naxalism and regional separatist insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern India. India has unresolved territorial disputes with China, which in 1962 escalated into the Sino-Indian War, with Pakistan, which resulted in wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. India was neutral in the Cold War, but purchased its military weapons from the Soviet Union, while its arch-foe Pakistan was tied to the United States and the People's Republic of China.
India is a nuclear-weapon state, having conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, followed by another five tests in 1998. From the 1950s to the 1980s, India followed socialist-inspired policies; the economy was influenced by extensive regulation and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow economic growth. Beginning in 1991, neoliberal economic reforms have transformed India into the third largest and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, though corruption remains a pervasive problem. Today, India is a major world power with a prominent voice in global affairs and is seeking a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Many economists, military analysts and think tanks expect India to become a superpower in the near future. Independent India's first years were marked with turbulent events – a massive exchange of population with Pakistan, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and the integration of over 500 princely states to form a united nation. Credit for the political integration of India is attributed to Vallabhbhai Patel, who post-independence and before the death of Mahatma Gandhi teamed up with Jawaharlal Nehru and the Mahatma to ensure that the constitution of independent India would be secular.
An estimated 3.5 million Hindus and Sikhs living in West Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, East Bengal and Sind migrated to India in fear of domination and suppression in Muslim Pakistan. Communal violence killed an estimated one million Hindus and Sikhs, gravely destabilised both dominions along their Punjab and Bengal boundaries, the cities of Calcutta and Lahore; the violence was stopped by early September owing to the co-operative efforts of both Indian and Pakistani leaders, due to the efforts of Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian freedom struggle, who undertook a fast-unto-death in Calcutta and in Delhi to calm people and emphasise peace despite the threat to his life. Both governments constructed large relief camps for incoming and leaving refugees, the Indian Army was mobilised to provide humanitarian assistance on a massive scale; the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi on 30 January 1948 was carried out by Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who held him responsible for partition and charged that Mohandas Gandhi was appeasing Muslims.
More than one million people flooded the streets of Delhi to follow the procession to cremation grounds and pay their last respects. In 1949, India recorded 1 million Hindu refugees into West Bengal and other states from East Pakistan, owing to communal violence and repression from Muslim authorities; the plight of the refugees outraged Hindus and Indian nationalists, the refugee population drained the resources of Indian states, who were unable to absorb them. While not ruling out war, Prime Minister Nehru and Sardar Patel invited Liaquat Ali Khan for talks in Delhi. Although many Indians termed this appeasement, Nehru signed a pact with Liaquat Ali Khan that pledged both nations to the protection of minorities and creation of minority commissions. Although opposed to the principle, Patel decided to back this pact for the sake of peace, played a critical role in garnering support from West Bengal and across India, enforcing the provisions of the pact. Khan and Nehru signed a trade agreement, committed to resolving bilateral disputes through peaceful means.
Hundreds of thousands of Hindus returned to East Pakistan, but the thaw in relations did not last long owing to the Kashmir dispute. British India consisted of 562 princely states; the provinces were given to India or Pakistan, in some cases in particular — Punjab and Bengal — after being partitioned. The princes of the princely states, were given the right to either remain independent or join either dominion, thus India's leaders were faced with the prospect of inheriting a fragmented nation with independent provinces and kingdoms dispersed across the mainland. Under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the new Government of India employed political negotiations backed with the option of military action to ensure the primacy of the central government and of the Constitution being drafted. Sardar Patel and V. P. Menon convinced the rulers of princely states contiguous to India to accede to India. Many rights and privileges of the rulers of the princely states their personal estates and privy purses, were guaranteed to convince them to accede.
Some of them were made R
Albert, Prince Consort
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the husband of Queen Victoria. He was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, to a family connected to many of Europe's ruling monarchs. At the age of 20, he married Queen Victoria, he felt constrained by his role of prince consort, which did not afford him power or responsibilities. He developed a reputation for supporting public causes, such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide, was entrusted with running the Queen's household and estates, he was involved with the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, a resounding success. Victoria came to depend more on his support and guidance, he aided the development of Britain's constitutional monarchy by persuading his wife to be less partisan in her dealings with Parliament—although he disagreed with the interventionist foreign policy pursued during Lord Palmerston's tenure as Foreign Secretary. Albert died at the young age of 42. Victoria was so devastated at the loss of her husband that she entered into a deep state of mourning and wore black for the rest of her life.
On her death in 1901, their eldest son succeeded as Edward VII, the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, named after the ducal house to which Albert belonged. Albert was born at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert's future wife, was born earlier in the same year with the assistance of the same midwife, Charlotte von Siebold. Albert was baptised into the Lutheran Evangelical Church on 19 September 1819 in the Marble Hall at Schloss Rosenau with water taken from the local river, the Itz, his godparents were the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. In 1825, Albert's great-uncle, Frederick IV, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, died, his death led to a realignment of Saxon duchies the following year and Albert's father became the first reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Albert and his elder brother, spent their youth in a close companionship marred by their parents' turbulent marriage and eventual separation and divorce.
After their mother was exiled from court in 1824, she married her lover, Alexander von Hanstein, Count of Polzig and Beiersdorf. She never saw her children again, died of cancer at the age of 30 in 1831; the following year, their father married his sons' cousin Princess Marie of Württemberg. The brothers were educated at home by Christoph Florschütz and studied in Brussels, where Adolphe Quetelet was one of their tutors. Like many other German princes, Albert attended the University of Bonn, where he studied law, political economy and the history of art, he played music and excelled at sport fencing and riding. His tutors at Bonn included the poet Schlegel; the idea of marriage between Albert and his cousin, was first documented in an 1821 letter from his paternal grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who said that he was "the pendant to the pretty cousin". By 1836, this idea had arisen in the mind of their ambitious uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians since 1831. At this time, Victoria was the heir presumptive to the British throne.
Her father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, had died when she was a baby, her elderly uncle, King William IV, had no legitimate children. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, was the sister of both Albert's father—the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha—and King Leopold. Leopold arranged for his sister, Victoria's mother, to invite the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his two sons to visit her in May 1836, with the purpose of meeting Victoria. William IV, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander, second son of the Prince of Orange. Victoria was well aware of the various matrimonial plans and critically appraised a parade of eligible princes, she wrote, " is handsome. Alexander, on the other hand, she described as "very plain". Victoria wrote to her uncle Leopold to thank him "for the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me, in the person of dear Albert... He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me happy."
Although the parties did not undertake a formal engagement, both the family and their retainers assumed that the match would take place. Victoria came to the throne aged eighteen on 20 June 1837, her letters of the time show interest in Albert's education for the role he would have to play, although she resisted attempts to rush her into marriage. In the winter of 1838–39, the prince visited Italy, accompanied by the Coburg family's confidential adviser, Baron Stockmar. Albert returned to the United Kingdom with Ernest in October 1839 to visit the Queen, with the objective of settling the marriage. Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839. Victoria's intention to marry was declared formally to the Privy Council on 23 November, the couple married on
Mughal Architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, delicate ornamentation. Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526. During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived, his grandson Akbar built and the style developed vigorously during his reign. Among his accomplishments were Agra Fort, the fort-city of Fatehpur Sikri, the Buland Darwaza. Akbar's son Jahangir commissioned the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir.
Mughal architecture reached its zenith during the reign of Shah Jahan, who constructed the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. The end of his reign corresponded with the decline of Mughal architecture and the Empire itself. Mughal Architecture incorporates Indian elements with Islamic elements; some features common to many buildings are: Large bulbous onion domes, sometimes surrounded by four smaller domes. Use of white marble and red sandstone. Use of delicate ornamentation work, including jali-latticed screens. Monumental buildings surrounded by gardens on all four sides. Mosques with large courtyards. Persian and Arabic calligraphic inscriptions, including verses from the Quran. Large gateways leading up to the main building. Iwans on two or four sides. Use of decorative chattris. Mughal Architecture has influenced Indian architectural styles, including the Indo-Saracenic style of the British Raj, the Rajput style and the Sikh style. Agra fort is a UNESCO world heritage site in Uttar Pradesh.
The major part of Agra fort was built by Akbar The Great from 1565 to 1574. The architecture of the fort indicates the free adoption of the Rajput planning and construction; some of the important buildings in the fort are Jahangiri Mahal built for Jahangir and his family, the Moti Masjid, Mena Bazaars. The Jahangir Mahal is an impressive structure and has a courtyard surrounded by double-storeyed halls and rooms. Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in India; the tomb was commissioned by Humayun's first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum, in 1569-70, designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, Persian architects chosen by her. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, it is regarded as the first mature example of Mughal architecture. Akbar’s greatest architectural achievement was the construction of Fatehpur Sikri, his capital city near Agra at a trade and Jain pilgrimage; the construction of the walled city was started in 1569 and completed in 1574.
It contained some of the most beautiful buildings – both religious and secular which testify to the Emperor’s aim of achieving social and religious integration. The main religious buildings were the huge Jama Masjid and small tomb of Salim Chisti; the tomb, built in 1571 in the corner of the mosque compound, is a square marble chamber with a verandah. The cenotaph has an exquisitely designed lattice screen around it. Buland Darwaza known as the Gate of Magnificence, was built by Akbar in 1576 to commemorate his victory over Gujarat and the Deccan, it is 40 metres high and 50 metres from the ground. The total height of the structure is about 54 metres from ground level... The Haramsara, the royal seraglio in Fatehpur Sikri was an area; the opening to the Haramsara is from the Khwabgah side separated by a row of cloisters. According to Abul Fazl, in Ain-i-Akbari, the inside of Harem was guarded by senior and active women, outside the enclosure the eunuchs were placed, at a proper distance there were faithful Rajput guards.
This is the largest palace in the Fatehpur Sikri seraglio, connected to the minor haramsara quarters. The main entrance is double storied, projecting out of the facade to create a kind of porch leading into a recessed entrance with a balcony. Inside there is a quadrangle surrounded by rooms; the columns of rooms are ornamented with a variety of Hindu sculptural motifs. The glazed tiles on the roofs from Multan have an eye-catching shade of turquoise; the mosque was built in mother of Jahangir and wife of Akbar. Her Mughal name was Mariyam Zamani Begum and this being the reason that the mosque was built in her honor in Lahore’s walled city. Jahangir built his mother Mariyam Zamani Begum’s mosque and is just 1 km away from the tomb of Akbar near Agra at a place called Sikandra. Buland Darwaza dominates the landscape. Historian `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni writes that it was the highest gateway in Hindustan at that time until today. A chronogram is inscribed on the central archway composed by Ashraf Khan, one of Akbar's principal secretaries that reads: In the reign of King of the world Akbar, To whom is due the order in the country.
The Sheikh-ul-Islam adorned the mosque. Which for its elegance deserves as much reverence as the Ka'ba; the year of the completion of this magnificent edifice. Is found in the words: duplicate of the Masjidi'l-Haram; the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti is famed as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India, built during the years 1580 and 1581, along with the imperial complex at Situated near Zen
William Emerson (British architect)
Sir William Emerson was a British architect, who remained President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1899 to 1902, worked extensively in India. He was the original architect chosen to build Liverpool Cathedral, he was born in 1843 the son of a silk manufacturer in Whitechapel and educated at King's College, London. Around 1861 he was articled to William Gilbee Habershon, who soon thereafter entered into partnership with Alfred Robert Pite. Emerson subsequently became a pupil of William Burges, he went to India in 1864 to supervise the building of Bombay school of art in Bombay to Burges’s plan, which in the event was never built. Instead he stayed on to practise architecture in Bombay, returning to London in 1869, where he opened an office in Westminster, he continued however to do his best work in India. His first big commission was for Mumbai's Gothic Crawford Market with a fountain executed by Rudyard Kipling's father, John Lockwood Kipling, responsible for the bas-reliefs on the main entrance.
Thereafter he moved to Allahabad where he designed his most important works, All Saints Cathedral and Muir College. He did two buildings for the princely Bhavnagar State, Nilambag Palace and the Takhatsinhji Hospital he designed his most known building, the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, he was admitted ARIBA on 12 February 1866, his proposers being Burges, Coutts Stone and Henry Edward Kendall. He was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1899 to 1902 and was knighted in the latter year. Most of his work was in India. Although asked to design a building in the Italian Renaissance style, Emerson was against the exclusive use of European styles and instead incorporated Mughal elements into the structure, he died in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1924. He had married in 1872 Jenny, the daughter of Coutts Stone and sister of fellow architect Percy Stone. 1869 - Crawford Market, India 1870 - All Saints Cathedral, India 1872 - Muir College, Allahabad 1878 - St Mary the Virgin Church, Sussex 1879 - Takhatsinhji Hospital, Bhavnagar 1894 - Nilambag Palace, Bhavnagar 1896 - Clarence Memorial Wing St. Mary's Hospital, London 1905 - The Victoria Memorial, IndiaHis design for Liverpool cathedral won first prize in the first, abortive competition in 1883
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