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  • Writer's pictureErin

House of Winsor 1910 -

Updated: Jan 15, 2018

And so we reach London as we pretty much know it today, which in future generations will probably be dominated by the two World Wars Britain took part in. But during this period times were changing, as the First World War was approaching,the new King George V crowned 1910, would steer Britain into the modern era.

The first monarch of the House of Windsor (a change of name came in 1919 when George broke away from the monarchs German past). George would oversea a nation experiencing the rise of communism, fascism and socialism, which dratiscailly changed the face of politics forever.

The First World War is easily overshadowed, but it brought much hardship to the city too. In the Autumn of 1915, the first Zeppelin bombs fell in London near the Guidhall and killed 39 people. Altogether 650 people were killed during the bombings of the "War to End All Wars", but much worse was just around the corner.

In the 1930's with the talk of another war, a large number of Jews emigrated to London fleeing persecution in Europe - most settled in the East End. 1938 saw movement out of the city with the threat from Germany; many children were moved to the countryside.

Edward VIII came to the throne from the 20th of January 1936 until his abdication on the 11th of December the same year. But the eldest son of King George V and his proposal of marriage to Wallis Simpson was very unwelcome. An American lady with two divorces to her name; he had to choose between her and his position as King. Edward abdicated and was succeeded by his younger brother George VI. He reigned for a total of 326 days, making him one of the shortest reigning monarchs in British history.

The memory of the Second World War in London is dominated by the Blitz, when during 1940 over a third of the city was destroyed by German bombs. Seventeen of Christopher Wrens churches were badly damaged or destroyed and despite the city being the worst effected part of London, St Pauls Cathedral strangely suffered only minor damage.

32,000 died, and over 50,000 were injured. Many areas of London were completely destroyed, including the space around the Barbican and the Museum of London which made up a 16 acre area that was totally flattened.

Our very own Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1953, who witnessed great change as Britain came out of the post war period. Heavy immigration after the war changed London into what we see today. Those from countries of the old British Empire moved into certain neighbourhoods of the city, brining the vibrant international influences across the capital; a Caribbean population in Notting Hill and Hong Kong immigrants in Soho are to name a few.

The Festival of Britain took place in 1951 on the anniversary of the Great Exhibition of 1851 - we have the South Bank Arts complex to remember it by....

Heathrow airport opened to commercial flights in 1946, the first double decker red bus arrived in London in 1956, the Millennium Dome opened on January 1 2000.

What to see of "todays London?" - Notting Hill Festival - London Docklands - Thames Barrier - Millennium Dome - South Banks Arts Centre


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