York Avenue, SW14

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Albert Frederick Arthur George (December 14, 1895 – February 6, 1952) was the Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killarney, when he married the wealthy but commoner Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later the Queen Mother) in 1923. The couple had an extended two year honeymoon at White Lodge, in Richmond Park. It was Queen Mary’s wish that her son and his wife should make their first home in the house which, for her, had so many happy memories. However, the Lodge presented the young couple with many problems. Apart from the cost of its upkeep and the inconvenience of its situation, there was a lack of privacy. The Duke and Duchess were beset with large groups of sightseers, who flocked to Richmond Park at weekends and at holiday times. After a few years, they gave up the Lodge and in 1927 it was granted to Viscount Lee of Fareham. This road was laid out in 1925 on the grounds of East Sheen Lodge. Just a few years later the Duke was at the centre of a royal scandal, following the abdication crisis in 1936. With his brother forced to resign the throne, the Duke became George VI. This new role meant making speeches, a task he loathed on account of his stutter, something he largely overcame with the help of a speech therapist. As King during the Second World War he won a great deal – but by no means universal – admiration for staying in London during the Blitz and wife his wife visiting the scenes of much of the devastation. His wife blamed his premature death on his brother’s decision to abdicate rather then end his relationship with Wallis Simpson.

 

 

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