Prince George 'The People's Prince':
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Was his tragic death in 1942 really an
accident ? The forgotten story of the
Queen's uncle and how he could have
undermined the Monarchy.
NEW: Read Below: The Queen & Duke of Edinburgh:
A Chance Meeting.
Born in 1902 at York Cottage at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, he was one of six children. His elder brothers later became King Edward VIII, King George VI and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. At the age of thirteen he followed them to naval college, a career
his father had chosen for him. He loathed the Navy, suffering from sea sickness. Despite this, he carried on until 1929.
Easily the most gifted and intellectual amongst his siblings, he also had an appreciation for art and design, loved fast cars, planes, skiing and sailing. Coming of age in the 'Roaring Twenties' he lived life to the full with all the liberal attitudes and possibilities that afforded him. This must have been at odds with the attitudes of his father, a child of the Victorian Era. In character and looks, he was most akin to his brother Edward (Duke of Windsor) as a style Icon and free spirit. Sporting a trademark double breasted jacket from Anderson & Sheppard, he was no stranger to any lifestyle or fashion magazine of the period. Tall with slick dark hair and blue eyes, he cut a rakish figure.
George & Edward
During the late 20's George and Edward lived together in York House, St James's Palace in London. It seems, despite his own colourful reputation, Edward had been given the task to
bring George back into line. The high life had finally taken it's toll. A succession of inappropriate relationships with high profile men and women had culminated with the alleged meeting with Kiki Preston, the notorious 'girl with the silver syringe'. Edward was said to have been given the daunting task of breaking George's cocaine and morphine addictions. In 1951 the Duke of Windsor wrote, “Although George was eight-and-a-half years my junior, I found in his character qualities that were akin to my own. We became more than brothers — we became close friends.”
There were reports of the pair leaving nightclubs in the early hours of the morning, kicking their top hats down the street. George had a rumoured affair with Noel Coward and the police were said to have arrested them both in drag. Other names included the dancer Florence Mills, musical star Jessie Mathews, banking heiress Poppy Baring, Barbara Cartland and even Anthony Blunt, keeper of the Queen's art collection. Several attempts
at blackmail were said to prompt the hurried purchasing of love letters at great cost.
What better way to divert attention away from these problems than a marriage to a popular
Princess? George married Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark on November 29th, 1934 at Westminster Abbey. During their courtship he had flown solo a great distance to meet her. The popular couple were courted by the press. George even took a hand in decorating and furnishing their new apartments. The couple had three children, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael of Kent.
As the nation already had 'an heir and a spare', filling his time and searching for a role must have been taxing. After leaving the Navy he had a role in the Civil Service, even acting as a factory inspector. His ease with the public at large made him a popular figure. During the war years he served in the Intelligence Division of the Royal Navy, but later transferred to the
Royal Air Force.
A Fateful Flight
In 1940, he took the rank of Group Captain at RAF Training Command. On 25th August 1942 he boarded a Sunderland flying boat with 15 others. Reported as a morale boosting trip to Iceland to inspect the troops, the fateful plane never arrived. It crashed into a hill at Dunbeath, Caithness, northern Scotland. All but one perished, Including the Prince.
The Sunderland's Bristol engines were known to be underpowered for such a large aircraft,
but deemed adequate for a flying boat travelling over sea.
Conspiracy or Accident?
Questions have been asked ever since, even allegations of interference by the secret services. If they had followed the original flight plan, they would never have even flown over land. The flight plan remains missing, as is the Court of Enquiry into the crash. Family of the surviving rear gunner, maintain the Prince had taken the controls, and after the crash had been dragged from the wreckage with a suitcase handcuffed to his wrists with Swedish Krona notes inside, prompting speculation of a secret mission. Whatever the truth, sad to think he paid the ultimate price in the service of his country, a role that he had always yearned for. Over four hundred and fifty years had passed since a royal had died in active service.
Armorial of Prince George and Princess Marina of Greece & Denmark.
Copeland porcelain plate 1934 offered by kingschina.
The Queen & Duke of Edinburgh:
A Chance meeting.
During the wedding celebrations the two families had an opportunity to meet each other.
It was at this time, in 1934 a young Princess Elizabeth had a chance meeting with Philip.
(Princess Marina was Philip's cousin).Tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes, he must have made an impact on the young girl.
Who could have imagined, that chance meeting resulted in the longest lasting marriage
and partnership in the history of the Royal Family. A partnership of enduring stability
that has served the nation impeccably for all those 87 years.