The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 21, 1936




A fine little gentleman, who by the accident of birth held the really astonishing title of King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British dominions beyond the sea, Defender of the Faith, and Emperor of India, died yesterday in England, closely following the thumping poet, Rudyard Kipling, who, with license denied to any prince, united the thoughts of men into the idea of that far-flung state, the British Empire.

It seems entirely fitting that Kipling and George V, who were the same age, should have left the scene at the same time. They had so little in common, yet they stood for precisely the same thing. They stood for Empire.

Both stemmed from the grandmother of the Prince, the dear Queen, Victoria, who with her Gladstone and her Disraeli planted the Union Jack in safety around the globe and opened that British path in the water from Gibraltar to Calcutta. The task of these two, the poet and the prince, was to carry on, and how they carried on, each in his own way, was admirable.

King George, at 70, had lived to the greatest age of all save two English rulers since the first Saxon, Egbert. Victoria, the queen who could celebrate a jubilee, was 81. The unfortunate and unlamented George III was 77. Elizabeth died at 70.

These two, Kipling and George, saw the debacle of almost all other empirical dreams. They saw Nicholas II, George's cousin, murdered; they saw Wilhelm II, another cousin, exchange the dream of a Germanic world for a chateau in Holland, and they saw--possibly the most humiliating sight of all--another royal cousin, Marle of Roumania, peddling cold cream to Americans.

But as the crowns of these, and of many another cousin in central European principalities, were tossed aside, the strength of the British Empire increased, and she came through the devastating World War with George and his gentle, democratic family more than ever firmly planted in the hearts of English people--and more than ever respected by the world.

If George V leaves behind no great deeds, he does leave a mighty era and the memory of an impeccable gentleman, who held fast, and who "stood for things." Most of all he stood for England.

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