William V

King of the United Kingdom
Reign: 17 July 1971 - Present
Predecessor: Henry VII
Heir apparent:

Peter, Prince of Scotland

Vivian, Duchess of Gloucester
Full name:
William John Mark

House of Radziwiłł

Henry VII
Cynthia, Marchioness of Headfort
Peter, Prince of Scotland
James, Duke of Albany
Caroline, Marchioness of Rockingham
7 September 1950 (age 62)
Buckingham Palace, London
Roman Catholicism

William V (Scottish Gaelic: Uilleam Eoin Marcas V, Manx: Illiam Juan Moirrch V; born 7 September 1950) has reigned as King of the United Kingdom, following his father's abdiction, since 1971. He is the eldest son of King Henry VII (1921-2003) and his first wife, Marchioness Cynthia of Headfort.

Ascent to the throne

William V was born in Buckingham Palace in 1950, the son of Prince Henry of Scotland and his wife, Marchioness Cynthia of Headfort. His father became King of the United Kingdom, as Henry VII, in 1954. William's mother died of Sepsis in 1955.

Part of Henry VII's unpopularity was the result of a second marriage in 1961 to Sophie Marielle Ware, a French-born English commoner, later known as Marielle, Princess of Cambridge. More controversial had been Henry's decision to surrender to Portugal during World War II, when Britain was invaded in 1940; many Britons questioned his loyalties, but a commission of inquiry exonerated him of treason after World War II. Though reinstated in a plebiscite, the controversy surrounding Henry led to his abdication.

King Henry VII requested the House of Commons and House of Lords to approve a law delegating his royal powers to his son, Prince William, who took the constitutional oath as Prince Royal on 11 August 1970. He ascended the throne and became King of the United Kingdom upon taking the constitutional oath on 17 July 1971, one day following his father's abdication.


On 15 December 1980, William was married in London to Countess Vivi Báthory de Ecsed. The King and Queen had three children: Peter, James and Caroline. The last two of the Queen's pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

Religious influences

William is a devout Roman Catholic. Through the influence of Duncan Cardinal Sanderson, William participates in the growing Catholic Charismatic Renewal and regularly goes on pilgrimages to the Basilica of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

King William with his wife, Duchess Vivian of Gloucester.

In 1990, when a law submitted by Arthur Southgate and Joseph Garnett-Reeve, liberalising the UK's abortion laws, was approved by Parliament, he refused to give Royal Assent to the bill. This was unprecedented; although William was nominally the UK's chief executive, Royal Assent has long been a formality (as is the case in most constitutional and popular monarchies). However, due to his religious convictions, William asked the Government to declare him temporarily unable to reign so that he could avoid signing the measure into law. The House of Commons under Michael Boulos complied with his request on 4 April 1990. His heir apparent, Prince Peter of Scotland, served as Head of State while he was declared unable to reign. All members of the Government signed the bill, and the next day (5 April 1990) the Government declared that William was capable of reigning again.

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