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A King's Death

Learn about the shocking story of the Queen's grandfather's death.

George V’s statue

The shocking story of the Queen’s grandfather’s death, George V.

Opposite the House of Commons, close to the Abbey stands the imposing statue of King George V, the current queen’s grandfather. Only published in 1986 the diary of his physician revealed a shocking story. His diary entry for 20 January 1936 stated “I therefore decided to determine the end and injected morphia and shortly afterwards cocaine into the King’s distended jugular.” 

According to the diary his doctor wished to grant the old king a painless death, but also by ensuring the timing the death for the late evening the announcement would be made in the more respectable morning papers rather than the “less appropriate evening journals.”  

Although a strict father George V was apparently very fond of his young granddaughter. I will be exploring the more unusual stories associated with the young queen in my Jubilee walking tour, which visits some of the key sites associated with the coronation.

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London History Podcast:
June 10, 2021
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