Tag Archives: England

On This Day ~ December 12: A New King

The highest of distinctions is service to others. ~ King George VI

Accession proclamation King George VI

Proclamation of Accession to the Throne of King George VI [Special Collections, DA584 .P6 1936]

On December 12, 1936, the official proclamation of a new King of England, George VI, was announced formally.  His story is a well-known one, most recently the subject of the 2010 film, The King’s Speech, which dramatized the events that made him king as well as the personal obstacles he faced.

Born on December 14, 1895, the second son of King George V, young Albert never expected to become king.  Early in 1936, when his father passed away, Albert’s brother, Edward, ascended the British throne as King Edward VIII.  In less than a year, however, Edward abdicated the throne on December 10, to marry Wallis Simpson, leaving the crown to his younger brother.  Edward’s radio broadcast the following day led to the official proclamation of the new king on December 12.

The coronation of King George VI took place on May 12, 1937, and he went on to lead Britain during the years of World War II and beyond, until his death in February 1952.

Our holdings include the official proclamation, pictured above, as well as two copies of the official souvenir program of the 1937 coronation [Galvin Rare Book Room, DA584 .K52].