Writing of the death of H.M. King George V in a leading article, the Osservatore Romano, ths. official organ of the Holy See, says:
"After a few brief hours came the serene passing of one of the most elect figures in the history of the past twenty years. , . „
" In the brief period between his coronation and the Great War he knew how to face the many political and industrial problems which brought out his qualities as a constitutional monarch. Hence, when war broke out, the nation at once identified his person with the one centre of unity and trust, the one instrument of strength and activity in the hour of supreme trial.
. Kindly Activities " Beneath his watchful and fatherly care the innumerable kindly activities of the Royal Family, particularly those of the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, never ceased during the war, while the King himself lived for the men of his armed forces with a father's anxiety.
" Immediately following the war, social unrest in England and throughout the world became more acute. Hard-working and austere, trained up in the school of duty and sacrifice, loyal to tradition yet clear-sighted in the face of new problems, possessed of a fine tact, well-balanced judgment, and wise moderation.
Foresight and Tact "Particularly at the time of serious labour troubles, King George knew how to interpret the needs and wishes of his people, and showed a prudent foresight in co-ordi:•.ating the actions of the government even when these proceeded from opposing political camps and trends.
"The nations admired him. His relations with all other governments bore the stamp of an ever-growing sympathy.
" His last journey abroad was made to Italy in 1923, when he paid a visit to the Pope, leaving Pius XI with the same sense of high respect as his father Edward VII had paid to Leo XIII."
AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL
Pontifical Benediction was given at Westminster Cathedral last Friday night and the ceremony, which was attended by nearly two thousand people, had a double significance: while it commemorated the death of one king, it remembered the accession of another.
The service was short, with no address, and impressive in its simplicity. Crowds of people who could not obtain seats in the nave stood between the pillars and in the aisles and knelt on the floor.
The Archbishop of Westminster, attended by his chapter of canons, pontificated at Benediction, during which the choir sang the Miserere psalm.
After the blessing the congregation rose and joined with the choir and organ in making the national anthem into a heartfelt prayer for the successor of King George.
Monday's Mass Monday at Westminster Cathedral was " a day of intercession to implore the protection of Almighty God for the nation and the empire at the beginning of a new reign, and to beg for his Majesty King Edward VIII the blessing and guidance of divine Providence."
In the morning there was pontifical high Mass, at which the Archbishop of Westminster presided. The Bishop of Cambysopolis was celebrant of the Mass, and the chapter of canons of the cathedral assisted.
Throughout the day there was exposition in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. In the evening Benediction was given and there were special prayers for the King and the people. The archbishop again presided.
Among those who assisted at the Mass were:
The Brazilian Ambassador, Prince Starhemberg (vice-chancellor of Austria), the Austrian Minister and members of the Austrian delegation to the funeral of King George, the Mayor and Mayoress of Westminster, Lord FitzAlan of Dement, and the Duchess of Norfolk.