Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Remember When . . . the King was Crowned

Let's blame it on being an American--I know little about the details of how a king (or queen) becomes a king (or queen). In my head, it's an instant thing when the previous monarch passes away. A bit, I suppose, like the swearing-in of the vice president as president when the president dies. It happens within hours. Voila. Done.

And yes, to a point that's how it is. Researching the Edwardian era, I of course discovered that King Edward died in May of 1910--a mere 3 months before The Lost Heiress begins. But in my head, that meant the transition was already over. His son, King George, became king. Voila. Done.

I honestly didn't think to look into any more than that while writing The Lost Heiress. I turned it in. No biggie. Then I started my research for The Outcast Duchess, and through that reading realized the error of my ways. And saw that King George's coronation hadn't been before my stories started. Oh no. It was smack dab in the middle of Brook's first Season in The Lost Heiress--June, 1911. A year after his father's death. A year, obviously, to prepare for the momentous day. In my story--and I didn't once mention it. Yikes!
King George V in coronation robes, 1911

Luckily, it's early days yet in edits, LOL.

Though books set up to WWI are deemed Edwardian, King George V was the king all through my series. And though it was his father who set the standard for the extravagance and luxury that made the era famous, I have to say I think I would have liked George much better. Where Edward was over-indulgent, George was more restrained. Where Edward was uninhibited, George seems to have been composed. They were two very different men . . . and yet, in his journal after his father's death, George wrote that on that day he lost his dearest friend--his father.

Sniff. Sniff, sniff.

I think one of the things I admire most about this man who is king during my stories though, is his own tale of love.

You see, he wasn't always the heir-apparent. He was the second son, and his brother was the one everyone thought would be the next king. He thought his destiny was to serve in the Royal Navy, and he embraced that gladly. He fell in love with his German cousin, but the families didn't approve the match. He proposed anyway--she refused him and married the heir to the king of Romania instead.

Two years later, George's older brother Albert, the presumed heir, became engaged to a cousin the family did approve of--Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. The family called her May (as there was kinda still a Victoria on the throne at the time...) But only six months into their engagement, Albert died of pneumonia.

It was grief that brought May and George together. They mourned Albert together. They comforted each other. And they fell in love. Theirs was a story of socially-acceptable-matches meeting deep-from-the-heart love...and oh, how history needs those!

Though King Edward was known for his affairs and paramours, King George was known for his dedication to his wife. He had a hard time, he himself admitted, expressing his feelings out loud. So they exchanged love letters all their lives.

Sniff. Sniff, sniff.

Yes, this is a king who deserves some mention in my series! And though in The Lost Heiress I really only mention his coronation a couple times, I'm going to try to put a bit more about him in later books. Because though I'm calling this an Edwardian series, Edward was gone. George was ruling. And he was setting an example that deserves to be noted.


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