This second son of King George V and Queen Mary, George VI never expected to reign as Britain's King but he was called to the throne upon the abdication of his brother, David (Edward VIII).
Though initially ill-prepared for his new responsibilities, George VI rose to the challenge and became a figure of strength for his people during the dark days of the Second World War. He was also the first reigning British monarch to visit the United States (1939).
Never particularly robust, it is believed that the stresses of the war contributed to his early death. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Elizabeth.