The Last Act of George V's Reign
At 12.15pm on January 20th 1936 George V held a Privy Council meeting, the last formal act of his reign. He was just capable of indicating his assent to the proceedings. The presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his doctor, Lord Dawson of Penn, was clear pointer to the fact that the end was near. Sir Maurice Hankey was present in his capacity as Secretary to the Council and as such he would be deeply involved in the formalities of the transition from one reign to the next. As a long-standing friend to the Royal couple and one of the most powerful men in Whitehall in his capacity as Secretary to the Cabinet, Hankey would have other work and far more sensitive work to do as well.