Sunday, July 10, 2011

Card of the Day: The King’s Convalescence

King George V often suffered from ill health. As a young man, he was rather sickly, and almost died from a terrible bout of Typhoid Fever. This was shortly before the unexpected death of his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor—who was considered the stronger of the two. Upon his 1893 engagement to Princess May of Teck (later Queen Mary), he was still gaunt and frail, but became stronger as the years progressed. However, World War I took a physical and emotional toll on the King from which he never fully recovered—dying shortly after their 1935 Silver Jubilee.

The thirty-third in the series of Silver Jubilee cards by Wills’s Cigarette Co. shows the King and Queen Mary during George V’s long period of convalescence.

The reverse of the card reads:


The nation rejoiced when it was made known that the King, after being confined for four months within doors by critical illness, had been able to enjoy a short outing on March 11th, 1929 in the grounds of Craigweil House at Bognor. The invalid had long been eager once more to feel the sun and the fresh air, and on the first day, the east winds dropped. Sir Stanley Hewitt, the King’s Medical Advisor, permitted him to venture abroad—in the bath chair once used by Queen Victoria. Queen Mary escorted him in this first release from the sick-room, which was reported greatly to have cheered His Majesty’s spirits.

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