The Secret Euthanasia Of King George V

“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” —Man in Black, The Princess Bride (1987)

In A Nutshell

The trials and tribulations of the British crown have been as bizarre as any soap opera, but the reign of King George V was remarkably free of scandal. George V led what might be described as a dull lifestyle and was sickly for much of his reign. It was no great shock when he passed away, but 50 years later, a secret diary revealed that he hadn’t died of natural causes, but had been euthanized by his doctor.

The Whole Bushel

The United Kingdom has had its share of intriguing monarchs such as Henry VIII, who had a rather disturbing propensity for decapitating his wives. King George V was not such a captivating personality; his favorite pastime was staying at home and fussing over his stamp collection. His greatest claim to fame was helming the Empire during World War I, a bitter conflict fought against Germany and his first cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II.

George V was not a healthy man. The stresses of the war weighed heavily upon him. In 1915, he was hurt when thrown from his horse. Despite suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pleurisy, the King continued to smoke. He was forced to take respites from his duties and his son Edward frequently filled in. In 1928, he contracted sepsis and likely would have died if not for the heroic actions of his physician, Lord Bertrand Dawson.

George V lingered another eight years. In his last year, he was chronically ill and had serious difficulty breathing, frequently taking oxygen. On January 15, 1936, he took to his bed with a cold. It was the beginning of the end. Lord Dawson presided faithfully over the King for five days. George drifted in and out of consciousness as his body slowly shut down. On January 20, Dawson issued the statement: “The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close.”

Late that night, George took his last breath to the surprise of absolutely no one. But in 1986, a shocking discovery was found in the diary of Lord Dawson. For a multitude of reasons, including ending the King’s suffering and preserving his dignity, he administered a lethal shot of cocaine and morphine. Bizarrely enough, one of Dawson’s major concerns was that the King’s death be reported in the morning issue of The Times newspaper instead of “less appropriate . . . evening journals.” There has even been some conspiracy theories that The Times paid Dawson off to get the scoop. Of course, Lord Dawson escaped prosecution for his crime; by the time his secret was uncovered, he’d been dead more than four decades.

Show Me The Proof

BBC History: George V
British Medical Journal: A king, a doctor, and a convenient death
NY Times: 1936 Secret Is Out—Doctor Sped George V’s Death

  • Exiled Phoenix

    I would prefer a dignified death being so ill, rather than suffer in agony.

  • Marozia

    It was the late Queen Mary who suggested it, so that his death would be reported in the morning papers instead of the evening before. Read that in two books ‘The Royals’ Kitty Kelley and “War of the Windsors” Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince.

  • Rainer Spott

    It might be shocking, but this procedure happens daily in hospitals. The dose that will relieve the terminall ill patient of pain may as well kill him. Alternatively the patient could die in agony. Doctors are, of course, aware of it.

    • Sarah

      Yes. My grandmother died of a morphine dose two years ago. We were grateful, at that point.

  • Hadeskabir

    His granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is healthy as a bull. I bet Prince Charles will die first than her. Then again, no one wants him to be King or gives a crap about him.

    • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

      I don’t give two craps about the British monarchy period. It is a backwards custom that needs to be done away with once and for all. I think the French had the right idea when it came to dealing with monarchs.

      • Martin Boulger

        Why? The system works well. She has little power but has the right to make prime ministers listen to her very conservative views. She represents the country very well and is good for trade. She (like the Upper house or Lords) is among the biggest land owners so they have a big say in Government policy. If Charles ends up screwing the system up I expect he’ll be got rid of.

        • Blue

          Well if you like conservative values surely you want to get rid of these parasites that are the biggest social security beneficiaries in our country?

          Look at the council houses they live in, look at the bedroom tax Ian Dildo Smith could get out of them, put the unemployed Greek to work.

          And of course we can re-purpose their land for you conservatives which you turn over to your corporate friends and give them more tax breaks.

          I say get rid of these dole scroungers with immediate effect, their PR is the only thing keeping them going, without it you can see them for what they are, privileged by an accident of birth.

      • Hadeskabir

        In Europe monarchy is more about tradition than anything else. They don’t really have the power to rule a country.

        • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

          Monarchism is a form of idolatry. It is a symbol of the privileged over-lording it over the disenfranchised. It is a slap in the face to the underclass.

          • Hadeskabir

            So it is being rich and famous. We might as well ended it all because it’s all a slap in the face to the underclass.

          • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

            There is a difference between working hard and reaping the rewards and having a thief and thug for an ancestor and having his theft handed to you.

          • Hadeskabir

            Working hard? There’s several people who are super rich because they inherited it from their ancestors. You can abolish the monarchy but the royal family would still be the biggest land owner in the country.

      • Jessica Brown

        Really? Just a short history lesson before I begin, the French beheaded the monarchy along with much of their own population. The killing ended when a dictator took hold of the government and gave himself the title of Emperor. So I feel that your argument is invalid in this case.Second, if you “don’t give two craps” why read this and then post about it. You sir/ma’am obviously do not know what you are talking about and should be wise to keep your trap shut.

        • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

          I bet you are an American. Aren’t you?

          • Jessica Brown

            I bet you are a troll. Aren’t you?

          • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

            The obvious troll is you. You are an American, you have no stake whatsoever in defending monarchism, monarchism has no immediate effect on you but you just had to be opinionated about it for no reason. That makes you the troll.

      • The French also have the right idea when it comes to dealing with illuminati. Down with DSK!

        • Illuminati Recruitment Agency

          And where do you think the idea of the Revolution came from?

    • Martin Boulger

      Yeah I gotta agree on this one. I’m British and I find Charles a bit of an odd ball. The Queen has pretty much avoided too much controversy and works hard promoting UK Ltd to the world which is probably why she is so popular. I can’t see much of that respect passing on to Charles… Mind you we’ve had some right scandalous Kings and Queens in the past…

      • Hadeskabir

        I sincerely hope that Prince Charles abdicates the throne in favor of Prince William. Europe needs some fresh young kings and queens to look up to.

  • King George ruled the waves, Lord Dawson waived the rules.

  • Anthony Burroughs

    I thought most people knew about this. He went out with a speedball, just like so many others…

  • Emily Ann Reyes

    I find this even extremely interesting. I am assuming the King George V had no say in when he wanted his death to occur? Is there anybody or any document that can confirm this for me? A new bill passed in California for assisted medical suicide. If King George V was ready to die I’m pretty sure it would be considered assisted suicide.