The English Delusion — Grouse Beater

England’s green and pleasant land – Malvern Hills, Worcestershire This is an article with a salutary message about the state of England in the 21st century. England is the nation that never was. And it never learns. The more the centre of power moves out to conquer new lands, the more the centre implodes having […]

The English Delusion — Grouse Beater

House of Windsor: Philip Mountbatten (1921-2021)

Philippos, Prince of Greece and Denmark was born on the 10th June 1921 at the Villa Mon Repos, in Corfu, Greece.  His parents were Prince Andrew the brother of King Constantine of Greece, and Princess Alice of Battenburg.  Through his mother’s side of the family, he is the great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria.

With the overthrow of the Greek monarchy, the family had been rescued by the HMS Calypso, sent by King George V of England.  Early life was in Paris, until his parents’ marriage broke down, and Philip was schooled in England, Germany and Scotland.

Princess Elizabeth, first met Philip at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece to the Duke of Kent in 1934.

In 1939, Philip joined the Royal Navy, and in World War Two saw service in the Mediterranean, in the allied invasion of Sicily, and being present in Tokyo Bay, when the Japanese surrender was signed.

In 1946 became a staff officer at the Greenwich Naval College.

In 1947, became a British subject, adopted the surname, Mountbatten, converted from Greek Orthodox to Anglican and renounced any claims to the Greek crown.

Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten were engaged on the 9th July 1947, and married on the 20th November in Westminster Abbey.

On the 19th November King George VI, conferred upon Philip; Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron of Greenwich.

Following their honeymoon, the Prince returned to the Navy and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh lived in Malta.

In February of 1952, King George VI died, Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England at her coronation on the 2nd June 1953, and Prince Philip became her consort.

In 1957, the Queen conferred on him the title of Prince of the United Kingdom.

He was Chancellor of Cambridge and Edinburgh University.  His interests have included; carriage driving, polo, flying and sailing.  Ha has accompanied the Queen on hundreds of visits, home and abroad.

Philip remained the queen’s consort for more than sixty years, having accompanied her in her official duties and appearances throughout the world. Additionally, he launched the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the mid-1950s, with a focus on youth achievement. He played polo up until 1971 and competed in carriage racing.

After Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997, Philip participated in her funeral, walking alongside his grandsons William and Harry in the procession. Some months later, Mohamed Al-Fayed accused Philip of orchestrating the car crash that killed Mohamed’s son, Dodi Fayed, and Diana, with no evidence the crash was ruled accidental.

Prince Philip had eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Archie.

In 2015, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made Philip a knight affiliated with the Order of Australia for his decades of royal service. In May 2017, it was announced that 95-year-old Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, would retire from public engagements in the summer.

Philip passed away on the morning of April 9, 2021, at Windsor Castle. He was 99. His funeral service was held on Saturday, April 17 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, and attended by only thirty members of the royal family.

Philip’s casket was driven to the church in the back of a custom Land Rover at his request. Laid upon the casket was his naval hat, a sword a flag representing his Greek and Danish heritage and flowers selected by the queen. Members of the royal family, including Philip’s children and some of his grandsons, walked behind the Land Rover in the half-mile procession from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel, his final resting place.

Wife of King George VI: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born on the 4th August 1900 to parents; Claude Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore and Cecila Cavendish-Bentinck, the Countess of Strathmore, in London.

Elizabeth was educated at home (Glamis Castle in Scotland) by governesses until she was eight, then attended private schools in London.

Glamis Castle became a hospital during World War One for wounded servicemen.

Albert, second son of George V, suffered from a stammer, which added to his nervous disposition.  Yet, his love of Elizabeth won her over, and they were married on the 26th April 1923 at Westminster Abbey, and were blessed with two children; Princess Elizabeth born in 1926 and Princess Margaret born in 1930.

In January of 1936, King George V died, and Prince Edward ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII.  At the time Edward was in love with Wallis Simpson, an American socialite and divorcee.  Parliament informed him, they would not approve the marrying of a divorced woman.  In December of 1936, Edward abdicated the throne.

On the 12th May 1937, Albert was crowned King George VI and his wife as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Consort.

World War Two and the numerous raids on London took their toll, yet the Royal Family stayed in Buckingham Palace.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten.

In 1948, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their silver wedding.

In 1949, the King had surgery to remove a blood clot from his leg.

In 1951, George VI was diagnosed with lung cancer.

On the 6th February 1952, King George VI died, and some 300,000 paid their respects, whilst he lay in state at Westminster Hall.

Following King George VI’s death, she retreated to Scotland for a year, a period of mourning, but it was Winston Churchill who persuaded her to return to public life.  She resided at Clarence House, and took the title Queen Mother.

On the 9th February 2002, sadness struck her, as her daughter the Princess Margaret, suffered a stroke and died.

On the 30th March 2002, the Queen Mother died in her sleep, in the Royal Lodge at Windsor Great Park, with her daughter Queen Elizabeth at her side and was buried at Windsor.

Windsor King: George VI

Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on the 14th December 1895 at Sandringham, to parents George V and Mary of Teck.

In World War One, he served as a young naval officer, in the “Battle of Jutland.”

On the 26th April 1923, he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey.  They were blessed with two daughters; Princess Elizabeth who would later become Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.

He had never expected or wished to succeed to the throne, yet he had a strong sense of duty, and would perform his part to the best of his ability.

In the December of 1936, following the death of his father; King George V and the surprise abdication by his brother, he became King George VI of England at his coronation on the 12th May 1937, held at Westminster Abbey.

His greatest achievements came during World War Two, when he remained at Buckingham Palace in the centre of London, whilst bombs fell about them.

He and his wife Queen Elizabeth, Queen Consort, often visited bombed areas in the East End of London and other areas of England, which would gain him popularity with his people.

The King and Winston Churchill, England’s wartime Prime Minister worked well together, as Europe fell to Germany.

In 1940 King George VI instituted the George Cross and George Medal for acts of bravery by citizens.  In 1942the George Cross was awarded to Malta, in recognition of their heroism and resistance to the enemy siege.

In 1939, King George visited France and the British Expeditionary Force, North Africa in 1943 after the victory of El Alamein.  In 1944 visited the army on the beaches of Normandy, ten days after D-Day.

On the 8th May 1945, a day which will be remembered VE (Victory in Europe) Day.  The war, the King and his duty to his people had created a bond between them.

In 1947, King George and Queen Elizabeth toured South Africa along with their children.  India and Pakistan became independent and King George ceased to be Emperor of India.

Britain had overcome the hardships of the post-war years, but the strain incurred by the Second World War had taken their toll on the King.

On the 6th February 1952, King George VI died in his sleep, at Sandringham.  He laid in state at Westminster Hall.  The funeral was held at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he is buried.

House of Windsor: King Edward VIII Abdication

On the 23rd June 1894, Edward Albert Christian George was born at White Lodge in Richmond, to parents King George V and Queen Mary.

Edward, the Prince of Wales, served in the Army in World War One, but was not permitted to go to the front.

He became a celebrity playboy about town, and had several affairs with married women, and high on the list was; Mrs Wallis Simpson.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V died, and Edward ascended to the English throne.

In 1936, Mrs Wallis Simpson obtained a divorce from her second husband, it was clear to see, Edward wanted to husband number three.

In November of 1936, the uncrowned Edward sent shock waves through Parliament and family.  The two were very much in love, and Edward had to choose Wallis Simpson or the English throne.  She a divorced woman would have been an unacceptable Queen.

On the 11th December 1936, Edward abdicated, which meant any children he might have, were excluded from succession to the English throne. 

In 1937 Edward became the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson his Duchess, and the couple were married in France.

Wife of King George V: Mary of Teck

Victoria Mary Teck was born on the 26th May 1867 at Kensington Palace, to parents; Francis of Teck and Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, grandchild of King George III.

In December of 1891, she was engaged to Prince Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence.  In 1892, before the wedding took place, Albert Victor died of pneumonia.

Prince George of Wales, the Prince of Wales proposed to Mary of Teck in May of 1893, and on the 6th July were married at the Chapel Royal, St.James Palace, London, and blessed with six children.

Edward Albert became King Edward VIII, but his love of American divorcee, one Wallis Simpson, would see him abdicate his throne, sending shock waves through the family, parliament and country.

Albert Frederick Arthur George became King George VI, following his brothers abdication.

Mary of Teck, suffered a personal loss in 1897, with the loss of her mother, Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, who was buried in the Royal vault at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor.  Then in 1900 her father died and joined his wife at St.George’s Chapel.

George ascended to the throne in 1910 as King George V, whilst Mary became Queen consort, and were crowned on the 22nd June 1911 at Westminster Abbey.

During the First World War, King George and Queen Mary patriotically endeavoured to boost public morale by visiting military hospitals, munition factories and blitzed areas.  The King is said to have visited the troops in Flanders on a number of occasions.

In 1917, concerned that his own Teutonic name would alienate his subjects, the King changed the name of his house from the German Saxe-Coburg Gotha of Queen Victoria’s consort to Windsor.  At the same time his Battenburg cousins were encouraged to change theirs to the Anglicised form of Mountbatten.

Queen Mary’s youngest child, Prince John suffered from epilepsy and was segregated from the rest of the family.  He came under the care of his nanny, Charlotte Bill, and resided at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate, where he remained until he died on the 18th January 1919, and was buried at Sandringham Church.

King George V developed serious bronchial health problems in latter years of the 1920’s, and became so serious oxygen had to be administered.

On the 20th January 1936 at 11.55pm his physician, Lord Dawson of Penn, administered a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine to the already comatose monarch … and the King slowly passed away.

Queen Mary was evacuated to Badmington House in Gloucestershire during World War Two.

In 1942, she witnessed the death of her son, George the Duke of Kent who was killed in an RAF training exercise in Scotland.

On the 6th January 1952, her son King George VI, had developed lung cancer and died of coronary thrombosis at Sandringham.

Three of Queen Mary’s sons had predeceased her; Prince John in 1919, George, the Duke of Kent in 1942 and King George VI in 1952.

Queen Mary died of lung cancer on the 24th March 1953, and was buried alongside her husband; King George V at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Windsor King: George V

George Frederick Ernest Albert was born on the 3rd June 1865 at Marlborough House in London, to parents Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark.

At the age of twelve joined the Royal Navy, and served until 1892, when his elder brother Albert, the Duke of Clarence died, and he became heir to the English throne.

In 1893, married Princess Mary of Teck, previously engaged to his brother Albert.  The title they received was the Duke and Duchess of York, and resided on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.  George’s marriage was a happy one, unlike his father, he never took a mistress.  They were blessed with six children; Edward – Albert – Mary – Henry – George and John.

His father Edward VII, died in 1910, and he ascended to the post of King George V of England at his coronation on the 22nd June 1911, at Westminster Abbey, and his wife Mary, became Queen consort.

The First World War broke out in 1914, and he was to make many trips to the front, visiting servicemen and hospitals.

In 1917, anti-German feelings by the British People, and the slaughter of British soldiers during the war, by German forces, made it essential to drop the family name.  So it was, the family name of Saxe-Coburg Gotha was replaced with Windsor.

With the fall of the Romanov dynasty, George’s cousin, Tsarina Alexandra wife of Tsar Nicholas II, were executed along with their children by revolutionaries at Ekaterinburg.  There was much critism, why he didn’t rescue them … his reply being, it could incite a British revolution.

In 1922, the Monarchy of Greece was overthrown, and George V sent in HMS Calypso to rescue them, which included the one-year old Philip, now the Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1932, he started the Royal tradition; the Christmas broadcast to the people.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V dies of pleurisy at Sandringham and is buried at Windsor Castle.

Windsor Monarchy

When George V became King in 1910, the family name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which was the family name of his father, Edward VII, and his grandfather Prince Albert.  For the first seven years of his reign, he kept this German surname, but in 1917, in recognition of anti-German feelings, by his people, he changed the family name to Windsor.  It was a symbolic and popular gesture by a King who took his role seriously.

George V adhered strictly to the constitution and knew both his rights and his responsibilities.

When he succeeded he was immediately plunged into a major constitutional crisis over the powers of the House of Lords.  The Prime Minister asked the King to create additional new peers to vote through a bill to reform the Lords, but George objected in which his position was being abused.  He felt it was the monarch’s duty to keep out of party politics, and politicians to avoid dragging him in.

Further controversy amongst the Royal’s would shock the Royal Family and Parliament alike.  Edward VIII the son of George V decided to abdicate his position as King of England, rather than give up the woman he loved.  His brother George VI restored honour to the family, becoming a much loved king, and sharing the dangers of the Second World War with his people.

King George V:

George Frederick Ernest Albert was born on the 3rd June 1865 at Marlborough House in London, to parents Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark.

At the age of twelve joined the Royal Navy, and served until 1892, when his elder brother Albert, the Duke of Clarence died, and he became heir to the English throne.

His father Edward VII, died in 1910, and he ascended to the post of King George V of England at his coronation on the 22nd June 1911, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1917, anti-German feelings by the British People, and the slaughter of British soldiers during the war, by German forces, made it essential to drop the family name.  So it was, the family name of Saxe-Coburg Gotha was replaced with Windsor.

With the fall of the Romanov dynasty, George’s cousin, Tsarina Alexandra wife of Tsar Nicholas II, were executed along with their children by revolutionaries at Ekaterinburg.  There was much critism, why he didn’t rescue them … his reply being, it could incite a British revolution.

In 1922, the Monarchy of Greece was overthrown, and George V sent in HMS Calypso to rescue them, which included the one-year old Philip, now the Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1932, he started the Royal tradition; the Christmas broadcast to the people.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V dies of pleurisy at Sandringham and is buried at Windsor Castle.

King Edward VIII:

On the 23rd June 1894, Edward Albert Christian George was born at White Lodge in Richmond, to parents King George V and Queen Mary.

He became a celebrity playboy about town, and had several affairs with married women, and high on the list was; Mrs Wallis Simpson.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V died, and Edward ascended to the English throne.  In 1936, Mrs Wallis Simpson obtained a divorce from her second husband, it was clear to see, Edward wanted to be husband number three.

In November of 1936, the uncrowned Edward sent shock waves through Parliament and family.  The two were very much in love, and Edward had to choose Wallis Simpson or the English throne.  She a divorced woman would have been an unacceptable Queen.  On the 11th December 1936, Edward abdicated, which meant any children he might have, were excluded from succession to the English throne. 

King George VI:

Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on the 14th December 1895 at Sandringham, to parents George V and Mary of Teck.  In World War One, he served as a young naval officer, in the “Battle of Jutland.”

In the December of 1936, following the death of his father; King George V and the surprise abdication by his brother, he became King George VI of England at his coronation on the 12th May 1937, held at Westminster Abbey.

In 1940 King George VI instituted the George Cross and George Medal for acts of bravery by citizens.  In 1942 the George Cross was awarded to Malta, in recognition of their heroism and resistance to the enemy siege.

In 1939, King George visited France and the British Expeditionary Force, North Africa in 1943 after the victory of El Alamein.  In 1944 visited the army on the beaches of Normandy, ten days after D-Day.

On the 8th May 1945, a day which will be remembered VE (Victory in Europe) Day.  The war, the King and his duty to his people had created a bond between them.

Britain had overcome the hardships of the post-war years, but the strain incurred by the Second World War had taken their toll on the King.  On the 6th February 1952, King George VI died in his sleep, at Sandringham.  He laid in state at Westminster Hall.  The funeral was held at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he is buried.

Queen Elizabeth II:

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on the 21st April 1926, to parents George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Bruton Street, London.

In 1947, Philip Mountbatten became a British subject, converted from Greek Orthodox to Anglican and renounced any claims to the Greek crown.  On the 9th July 1947, Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten were officially engaged and married on the 20th November at Westminster Abbey. 

With the death of her father; King George VI Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England at her coronation on the 2nd June 1953, and Prince Philip her consort.

The Queen’s political powers these days are largely of a ceremonial nature, however she holds powers which can be used to expedite situations.

Who was Charles Fryatt?

Introduction Charles Algernon Fryatt (02 December 1872 to 27 July 1916) was a British mariner who was executed by the Germans for attempting to ram a U-boat in 1915 (Refer to World War I). When his ship, the SS Brussels, was captured off the Netherlands in 1916, he was court-martialled and sentenced to death because […]

Who was Charles Fryatt? — Boot Camp & Military Fitness Institute

British Prime Minister: Winston Churchill

Winston Leonard Spencer – Churchill was born on the 30th November 1874, to parents Lord Randolph Churchill and Jeannie Jerome.  He grew up in Dublin, where his father was employed by his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough.

In April 1888 he enrolled at the Harrow Boarding School, and joined the Harrow Rifle Corps, his first steps towards a military career.  He attended the British Royal Military College and graduated 20th out of 130.

In 1895, aged 21 his father died.  His relationship with his father was distant, and really only knew him, by his reputation.  That same year he joined the British Army serving in the Fourth Hassars, in the Indian northwest frontiers and Sudan, where he saw action in the “Battle of Omdurman” in 1898.

He wrote military reports, which were published by the Daily Telegraph and Pioneer newspapers, informing people at home, what was going on in a land far away.  He proved himself as a writer, with two published books; “The Story of the Markland Field Force” (1898) and “The River War” (1899).

In 1899, Churchill left the army; no longer a soldier, but a war correspondent, employed by the Morning Post. 

He made headline news, when he was captured by the Boers, whilst reporting on the Boer War in South Africa.  He escaped his captors and made his way to the Portuguese territory in Mozambique, a distance of 300 miles through hostile territory.  In 1900 upon his return to Britain, wrote of his experiences in his book; “London to Ladysmith”.

Churchill followed his father into the world of Politics in 1900 becoming a Member of Parliament for Oldham, representing the Conservative Party.  In 1904 he switched his alliance to the Liberal Party, believing the Conservative’s were not committed to social justice.  In 1908 he was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament, and appointed as President of the Board of Trade, and a member of the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

In 1908 he backed the then Chancellor; Lloyd George opposing the expansion of the British Navy.  In the same year introduced the minimum wage and assisted in the creation of Labour Exchanges.  In the People’s Budget of 1908, it called for the wealthy to pay taxes which would be used to pay for social welfare programs, which was controversial at the time, yet it was eventually passed in 1910.

In 1913 he drafted a controversial piece of legislation calling for the sterilization of the feeble minded; “The Mental Deficiency Act” which was eventually passed with minor adjustments.

During a London siege in January 1911.  Churchill stepped in as two robbers who were held up in a house which caught fire, showed no intention of coming out.  He prevented the fire brigade risking their lives, and their charred bodies were discovered after the fire burnt itself out.

Churchill was responsible for the modernisation of the British Navy at a time when he was First Lord of the Admiralty, and promoted military aircraft and set up the Royal Navy Air Service.

He saw action in “No Man’s Land” commanding The Royasl Scots Fusiliers for a short time, then in 1917 became Minister of Munitions.

Between 1919 and 1922 his position in the Prime Ministers Cabinet (David Lloyd George), was that of Minister of War and Colonial secretary.  It was he who ordered that planes should be used against rebellious Kurdish tribesman ion Iraq to quell their actions… which turned out to be unsuccessful.

In 1922 he lost his seat in Parliament, and left the Liberals and rejoined the Conservatives.  When he became Chancellor of the Exchequer and showed his strength, clashing with supporters of the General Labour strike that threatened to cripple the British Economy.

The Conservatives lost the 1929 General Election and Churchill was out of the government.  He turned away from politics for the next few years, and wrote his book; “A History of English Speaking People.”

In 1933 Churchill became an advocate for British rearmament as Adolph Hitler rose to power in Germany.  By 1938 Nazi Germany had overcome some of its neighbours… the writing was on the wall.  Churchill opposed the then Prime Minister; Neville Chamberlain’s police of appeasement towards Germany.

On the 3rd September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany.  Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, member of the War Cabinet and in April 1940 Chairman of the Military Committee.

In April 1940 Germany invaded Norway, and Chamberlain was forced to step down from his post as a result of a vote of no-confidence in the house.

On the 10th May 1940, King George VI appointed Winston Churchill to the post of Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.  The German’s had begun their Western attack, invading Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.  Britain was left alone against their onslaught.

Churchill formed a coalition cabinet of leaders from Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties, placing intelligent men in key positions.  On the 18th June 1940, he made his speech to the House of Commons, warning them the “Battle of Britain” was about to begin.

In December 1941, the United States entered the war, and he created an alliance with them and the Soviet Union.

As the war ended, he was defeated in the General Election of July 1945.  He had taken us to victory against allied forces, and maybe the voter’s thought of him as a War Minister.

In March of 1946, he warned of Soviet domination in Europe.  He also believed Britain should maintain its independence from Europe.

In October of 1951, Churchill returned to a government position as Minister of Defence and then Prime Minister.

In 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and received the Nobel Prize for his achievements in the field of Peace and Literature.

His last memorable reforms, would be the improved working conditions for miners, and establishing the Housing Repairs and the Rent Act of 1955.

The war years had taken its toll on his health, yet he showed it little, for he had a job to do.  In 1941 and 1943, suffered a few mild heart attacks, and in 1953 aged 78, suffered a series of strokes.

In 1955 he retired, giving the reason he was suffering from exhaustion, and at the 1964 General Election did not seek re-election.  As his health gradually worsened, he remained as active as possible, seeing people from the comfort of his home.

On the 15th January 1965, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill suffered a severe stroke, and on the 24th January 1965 aged 90, this great man of our time died.

He will always be remembered, for leading the people of Britain, from the brink of defeat, to victory in World War Two.