Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria , George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward , and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From to , George served in the Royal Navy , until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early put him directly in line for the throne. He became king-emperor on his father's death in George V's reign saw the rise of socialism , communism , fascism , Irish republicanism , and the Indian independence movement , all of which radically changed the political landscape. In , George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor , which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment.
Known as "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria , and was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort. As the second son of King George V , he was not expected to inherit the throne, and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. In , he was made Duke of York.