In a comment on my previous post where I said I was feeling a little lost my Alaskan granddaughter-in-law suggested perhaps thinking back as far as possible and maybe talking a little about historical and other important world events I had some memory of. I am not sure how this will go but am willing to try it out beginning with my earliest memories in 1936-1937.
England's King George V who was born on 3rd June, 1865 died on 20 January, 1936.
Now I was only 4 at that time but I can vaguely remember mum and dad talking seriously about an important man who had died and another who had taken his place. At this time we were living on a farm in Narrikup so we didn't see a great number of people but I am sure it became a big talking point when neighbour met neighbour.
Edward, Prince of Wales, became King following his father's death. Edward showed impatience with court protocol and politicians were concerned with his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Over several years Edward had had affairs with a number of women and only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to an American socialite, Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. There were many repercussions following this decision, one of which was the conflict caused by Edward's status as titular head of the Church of England, which at the time opposed the remarriage of divorced people.
Choosing not to end his relationship with Mrs Simpson, Edward signed an instrument of abdication on 10th December, 1936 and on the night of 11th December, 1936 he spoke on radio to the nation and the empire, advising of his decision. He then left for Europe. He married Mrs Simpson in France on 3rd June, 1937. With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.
One duty he did perform as King was the opening of the British Parliament on 3rd November, 1936, the only time he performed that ceremony.
After his abdication Edward was created Duke of Windsor by his brother. He rarely returned to England and after spending many years travelling he spent the last years of his life in retirement in France. He died on 27th May, 1972 at the age of 77. His body was returned to Britain, lying in state at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The funeral service was held in the chapel on 5 June in the presence of the Queen, the Royal Family, and the Duchess of Windsor, who stayed at Buckingham Palace during her visit. The coffin was buried in the Royal Burial Ground behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Frogmore. Frail, and in ill health, the Duchess of Windsor died 14 years later, and was buried alongside her husband as "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor".
George VI had been born on 14th December, 1895 and as the second son of the monarh he was not expected to inherit the throne. After the abdication of his brother Edward, George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.
George had married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret (I always recall that when she was young she was known as Princess Margaret Rose).
George VI's coronation took place on 12th May, 1937 (I was then nearly five and a half) and it is this I may remember more than the two former events as I am sure I recall mum putting up some decorations and having a special meal to celebrate the coronation. Mum was always a royalist and she would have been really excited by all these events. The following pictures depict the Coronation, the Royal family (including the King's mother Queen Mary) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and King George and Queen Elizabeth and their daughters Elizabeth and Margaret Rose after the coronation.
I am not sure if any of the above is of interest to anyone as I feel everyone possibly knows it all anyway. It is the first positive memory of any important event I can recall so I share it with you for what it is worth. The next big event I remember is the declaration of war in 1939. It is a huge story but, once again, I doubt there is little I can add to the knowledge most people already have of that historic event.
I did also wonder if I may do a series about vegetables. Sound a bit bonkers? There are lots of vegies out there that I know little about and perhaps I may find some interesting ones I've never tasted. Just a thought.