It had been little over a week since Princess Elizabeth
had said goodbye to her father at London airport when news came that he
had died peacefully in his sleep on February 6, 1952. Elizabeth arrived
back on the evening of February 8 to be proclaimed Queen.
Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor, the second son of George V and
Queen Mary had succeeded to the throne in 1936 when his brother Edward
VIII and abdicated. Encumbered with an appalling stutter, a desperate
shyness and a habit of smoking about 60 or so cigarettes a day, he nonetheless
endeared himself to his people. During the Second World War he had braved
the air raids by staying in London and visiting his bombed out subjects
in the burning city. In 1947 he had substituted the title of Head of the
Commonwealth for that of Emperor of India.
The special number of the ILN, ‘The Death of King George
VI’ of February 16, 1952
(Appendix List No. 143)
commemorates the life of the late King and celebrates the Proclamation
of the new Queen. A first section shows the coffin resting in the Sandringharn
church watched over by Estate workers; the progress of the coffin to its
Lying-in-state at Westminster Hail, and the cortege passing through the
streets of London lined with silent, grieving crowds. A second section
covers the Queen’s homecoming from her landing at London Airport
to her arrival at Clarence House. A third section illustrates the childhood,
youth and young manhood of the late King, historic events during his reign
and his happy home life. A final section depicts the life of the new Queen
from childhood and girlhood through her marriage and motherhood, to scenes
of her proclamation in England, Scotland and Wales.
The cover of the magazine, in mourning leather-effect purple, shows a
black and white photograph of the King in an oval frame surrounded by
the supporters and emblems of the royal arms.
This is issue number 5887, vol. 220, pages 237-292, measuring 37 x 26
cm and priced at three shillings and sixpence.
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