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King George V

King George V (1865-1936) served as an officer in the Royal Navy until 1892. He came to the throne on the death of his father, Edward VII, in 1910. His interest and active role in naval exploits was shared by his cousin, the Kaiser, and it was in this arena in particular that they became fierce rivals. On the evening of 4th August 1914, Germany declined to respond to Britain's ultimatum demanding that Belgian neutrality be respected. At 10.15 pm George V held a small meeting of the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace and at 11 pm, with the power to declare a state of war or peace ultimately residing with the monarch, and with the support of the Prime Minister and his cabinet, George V declared Britain to be at war with Germany.