The Sickly King

Throughout his life, George was often unwell and described as “easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears”. George himself gives us a good example of his habit for crying, as he recounts breaking the news of Edward’s abdication to his mother, Queen Mary: “When I told her what had happened, I broke down and sobbed like a child.”

George’s illnesses began from a young age, suffering from chronic stomach problems, as well as a condition commonly known as ‘knock-knees’, for which he was forced to wear painful corrective splints.

One of George’s most famously known issues was his stammer, which lasted for many years, and was the topic of the Oscar-winning 2010 film The King’s Speech. His speech issue, coupled with his other ailments, led to an initially negative public perception of George, and gossip spread that he was physically and psychologically incapable of being king. Despite all of this George presided over possibly the most difficult period of the twentieth century for the county.