Monday, February 6, 2012

The King is dead, Long Live the Queen

February 6, 1952

King George VI "died peacefully in his sleep" early this morning at his home, Sandringham in Norfolk.  He was 56 years old, reports the New York Times.

The king, who had reigned for fifteen years.  His death occurred only four months after he was operated on "for the removal of a growth in his right lung.  He appeared to be recovering.   Recently he was seen publicly at the theatre, and at London airport, where he said good bye to his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, and her husband, Prince Philip, as they began a journey that would have taken them to East Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Only yesterday, the King went out shooting, "his favorite sport." 

George VI's death was discovered by a servant bringing "early morning tea."  His doctor stated that the King "died in his sleep without pain."

The first bulletin "went out over the news tickers" at 10:45 a.m.  The British Broadcasting Corporation made the announcement at 11:15 a.m.  By noon, flags were flying at half-staff on nearly every building in London.

The only exception was Marlborough House, the residence of the King's mother, Queen Mary, 84. the widow of George V.   Her standard "flew at the top of the staff, a dauntless symbol of the continuity of the British Crown."

There is "real love and affection for the new Queen," which will "show it self in the future.   Today's the nation's thoughts "were devoted to the late King and his widow, Elizabeth."  Today it was "The King is Dead."  Tomorrow it will be "Long Live the Queen.  But "tomorrow has not come and the Queen is not here."

Tonight the black bordered Court Circular was issued from Buckingham Palace: "The King passed peacefully in his sleep early this morning."

Funeral arrangements are "indefinite."  It is believed that the King's body will be brought to London to lie in state in Westminster Hall for "several days", which will be followed by the funeral and a private burial.

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