George VI succeeded to the throne in 1936, following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. Although he did not share his father's enthusiasm for stamp collecting, he took an interest in developing the Royal Philatelic Collection.
The King was guided by Sir John Wilson, Keeper of the Collection and a renowned philatelist. Throughout his reign, he ensured that the Collection was enriched with the artwork and proofs of all stamps bearing his image.
In the summer of 1939, upon the initiative of George VI, the Royal Philatelic Collection was stored in the vaults of Lloyds Bank in London, to protect it from bombing during the Second World War. It remained there until the end of the war.
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