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 Mary (1867–1953), by Bertram Park, 1927 Mary (1867–1953), by Bertram Park, 1927
Mary [Princess Mary of Teck] (1867–1953), queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and the British dominions beyond the seas, and empress of India, consort of George V, was born in Kensington Palace on 26 May 1867, in the room in which Queen Victoria was born. Baptized Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, she used the names Victoria Mary officially until she became queen, but in her family she was known as May. Her father was Francis, prince (later duke) of Teck (1837–1900), the only son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg by his morganatic marriage with Claudine, Countess Rhédey, of a protestant Hungarian family. Her mother was , younger daughter of , and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. Princess May was their only daughter and eldest child. Three brothers followed: Prince Adolphus of Teck (1868–1927), later first marquess of Cambridge, Prince Francis of Teck (1870–1910), and Prince Alexander of Teck (1874–1957), who became earl of Athlone [see ].

Early life

The Tecks were a devoted, though tempestuous, couple, with widely differing temperaments. The liberal, cheerful duchess, though a bad manager and notoriously unpunctual, was deservedly popular because of her efforts on behalf of charity. The conservative and quick-tempered duke, who lacked a private fortune, lived a life of enforced idleness in Britain, which led to disappointment, ill health, and a fixation with protocol. Both were deeply conscious of their high social status but, inept about finance, they could not live in a style in keeping with their expectations on the duchess's annual parliamentary grant of £5000. The expense of life at Kensington Palace and White Lodge in Windsor Park led to their humiliating near bankruptcy, which deeply influenced their daughter's childhood. It was notable that she rarely discussed her youth in later life. Once, when asked about a lengthy trip to Florence as a girl, she replied: ‘my parents were always in short street so they had to go abroad to economise’ (Pope-Hennessy, 112).

Princess May's parents also economized on her studies. In keeping with conventions about female royalty, she received little formal education beyond the accomplishments of the drawing-room. She led a sheltered childhood with a social life largely restricted to visiting the houses of her royal cousins and her mother's friends and German relatives. But she spent more time with her mother than was typical of royal children, and it was at her mother's side that she first engaged in social work and came to sympathize with the lives and aspirations of the working classes. With the help of her liberal-minded Alsatian governess, Hélène Bricka, she took it upon herself to extend the range of her education. During the eighteen months that she spent in Florence in 1883–5 she was put in the hands of competent French and Italian tutors and developed an interest in literature and art history. Upon her return to England she pressed ahead with her studies and became proficient in French and German, and took a greater interest in German politics. Unlike her future husband and most of her relatives, she was bookish.

An acquaintance in Florence described Princess May of Teck as ‘a remarkably attractive girl, rather silent, but with a look of quiet determination mixed with kindliness which augured well for the future’ (Pope-Hennessy, 127). Various commentators spoke of her shyness, gravity, and youthful good looks. Yet she was not so attractive that her looks turned men's heads or became a distraction. As a young woman, she was less concerned about winning a beauty pageant than about avoiding the obesity that had embarrassed her mother. Only in middle age did she acquire the imposing presence that courtiers called regal. She said of herself that she looked too much like Queen Charlotte, the Mecklenburg princess with the full jaw and turned-up nose who had married her great-grandfather George III. What Princess May lacked in beauty, she made up for in intelligence and alertness; and despite her outward reserve, she possessed a sense of the ridiculous, which is always an advantage for a member of the royal family.

Duchess of York and princess of Wales

The first purpose of female royalty is to marry, but because of her father's morganatic birth, Princess May's marriage prospects were thought to be limited. As her biographer put it, she was ‘too Royal to marry an ordinary English gentleman, and not Royal enough to marry a Royalty’ (Pope-Hennessy, 186). But Queen Victoria, who had no objection to morganatic blood, thought her a suitable wife for her eldest grandson, Albert Victor, duke of Clarence, who stood in the direct line of succession. The marriage was wonderfully convenient. Princess May was the only available English princess not descended from Queen Victoria, and it was widely felt in the royal family that she might stabilize the wayward duke. Thus their engagement had an air of inevitability about it. It was announced publicly at the end of 1891, but the sudden death of the duke of Clarence in January 1892 dashed the marriage only weeks before the scheduled wedding. The princess was devastated, for just at her moment of triumph everything was taken from her. But what Queen Victoria thought a great misfortune was probably a blessing in disguise, for the unstable and dissipated duke was never likely to make much of a husband, however assiduous the wife. His sudden death was a close escape for both the princess and the crown.

Royalty is nothing if not resilient, and the death of one prince turned the mind of the royal family to the next prince in the direct line of succession, the younger brother of the duke of Clarence, Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert [see ], who was created duke of York in May 1892. The duke of York was everything his brother was not: candid, dutiful, and devoted to domestic life, with more than a passing resemblance to Queen Victoria. Nor was he a playboy, though he had some experience of the opposite sex. He had also fallen in love, chastely it seems, with Miss Julie Stonor, the daughter of one of the princess of Wales's ladies-in-waiting. But marriage to a commoner was never a possibility. Not surprisingly, the queen encouraged an alliance with Princess May, and was delighted when the engagement was announced in May 1893 and the marriage solemnized in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, on 6 July. At its inception the match could not have been described as a romance, but it took the princess off the shelf, offered the prince a settled life, and satisfied expectations in the country. As the faithful husband commented years later when George V:
We suit each other admirably & I thank God every day that he should have brought us together, especially under the tragic circumstances of dear Eddy's death, & people only said I married you out of pity & sympathy. That shows how little the world really knows what it is talking about. (Royal Archives, Geo. V, CC 4/86)
They may have suited ‘each other admirably’, but Princess May suffered from her husband's reticence. As a consequence, she had little sense of how successful she was in dealing with her role. Expressions of affection and appreciation from her husband were rare, and largely confined to his letters. The royal couple corresponded on a daily basis when separated, and in the year of his accession George V wrote a letter to Queen Mary that suggested the formality in their marriage that sometimes caused her grief:
I fear darling my nature is not demonstrative, but I want you to understand, that I am indeed grateful to you, for all you have done all these busy months for me & to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love & and for the enormous help & comfort which you have been to me in my new position. (Pope-Hennessy, 426)
She replied: ‘What a pity it is you cannot tell me what you write for I should appreciate it so enormously—It is such a blessing to know that I am a help to you’ (ibid.).

The duke and duchess of York settled into a domestic routine on the prince of Wales's Sandringham estate. They moved into the unpretentious York Cottage, which had been a wedding present from the prince of Wales; during extended stays in London they lived at York House and, after 1901, at Marlborough House. While the marriage of convenience developed into a romance, country life suited the duke rather more than the duchess. At Sandringham, a benign tyranny reigned from the big house, which the duchess often found suffocating. She found less scope for her charitable interests than she would have liked because her mother-in-law dominated the local charities. Moreover, her enthusiasms and intellectual interests were little valued at Sandringham by her relatives, including the prince of Wales, whose idea of a good time was shooting birds and entertaining plutocrats. It was said of George V that as duke of York he ‘did nothing at all but kill animals and stick in stamps’ (Nicolson, 162); this was an exaggeration, but it is suggestive of the environment in which the duchess, who preferred urban to rural pursuits, had to live.

Over the years a life of some frustration for the duchess was leavened by the birth of six children: , , , (later duke of Gloucester), (later duke of Kent), and the invalid . In later years Queen Mary remarked on the curious fact that three of her five sons had died sudden deaths: Prince John in 1919, the duke of Kent in 1942, and King George VI in 1952. Sadly for her marriage, and the children, the family idyll had its tensions. The unimaginative duke of York confused fatherhood with a variation on naval drill. In matters of discipline Princess May felt obliged to support her sovereign, but she sought to provide a refuge for the children when she felt that he was treating them unfairly. In later life the duke of Windsor, who was so often the victim of his father's wrath, recalled that ‘she was a different human being away from him’ (Duke of Windsor, 1).

Despite her isolation at Sandringham and the demands of motherhood, the princess was not inactive on the public stage. There were frequent tours of British cities, visits to Coburg and Copenhagen for royal weddings, state visits to Ireland in 1897 and 1899, Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, and helping her mother supervise the ladies of the Needlework Guild. Charitable duties, particularly hospital work, mounted with the South African War. In 1901 she supported her husband in successful tours of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, an experience that strengthened her pride in the British empire. Upon their return the couple's status underwent a marked change, for on 9 November 1901 the new King Edward VII proclaimed the duke of York prince of Wales. As the wife of the heir to the throne, Princess May was increasingly on royal parade and in the public eye. An early indication of their new responsibilities as prince and princess of Wales took place in January 1902, when they took their seats on chairs of state at the opening of parliament. Increased travel was another feature of their elevated rank, capped by a well-publicized tour of India in 1905. India so charmed the traditionalist princess that she could never conceive of it becoming an independent state. When it did so in 1947, she compared her sense of loss to another Queen Mary's feelings over the loss of Calais.

In May 1906 the royal couple travelled to Madrid to attend the wedding of Princess Ena of Battenberg to the king of Spain. What promised to be a happy royal event ended in tragedy as an anarchist dropped a bomb on the wedding procession, killing several soldiers and many in the crowd. The experience reinforced Princess May's hostility to radical movements. A week after returning from Madrid, the Waleses sailed on the royal yacht to attend the coronation of the king and queen of Norway. The Norwegian court admired the princess for her dignity and jewellery—it was said that no other European royal could move so freely under such a weight of jewels—but found her stiff and forbidding. This view was consistent with opinion at home, for the old-fashioned prince and princess were out of the swim of the Edwardian smart set. When King Edward died on 6 May 1910, the princess of Wales became queen consort, dropped her first name, Victoria, and became known as Queen Mary.

Queen consort

The new king and queen became the subject of jibes, some of which stuck: ‘The King is duller than the Queen’ ran the refrain. Queen Mary could be mordant and laconic, but she lacked small talk and disliked gossip. Friends called her shy; critics called her dreary. Beatrice Webb, who looked down her nose at successive generations of royalty, noted after a dinner at Buckingham Palace that the queen was ‘stiff in manner, curt in words and lifeless in expression, and really looks like an exquisitely executed automaton—a royal robot … she was painfully at a loss of what to say to me’ (The Diaries of Beatrice Webb, ed. N. Mackenzie and J. Mackenzie, 2000, 494). While cosmopolitans lamented the loss of brilliance at court, an ‘exquisitely executed automaton’ was arguably just the ticket in a burgeoning social democracy, especially when combined with an exceptional sense of duty.

At the accession of George V the portents for the monarchy were ominous. Industrial unrest, troubles in Ireland, and an emerging Labour Party with a vocal republican element were taken by the king and queen to be threats to the monarchy's survival. Queen Mary's politics had been formed in the ultra-tory atmosphere of her youth at White Lodge, where Gladstone was thought to be a dangerous radical. The queen had her limitations, but naïveté was not among them. She was highly attuned to politics as it applied to the crown, but had to keep her views under wraps as the consort of a constitutional monarch. Privately, however, she was horrified by industrial strife and the militant rhetoric, with its implied republicanism, which sought to capitalize on divisions between capital and labour. In a letter to the king early in the reign, she turned on the Liberal government: ‘I do think the unrest is due to their extraordinary tactics in encouraging Socialism all these years & in pandering to the Labour Party’ (Pope-Hennessy, 469). Highly sensitive to the suffering caused by the coal strike in 1912, she wrote with her customary forcefulness: ‘If only one could act, but like this one feels so impotent, & all this time our blessed & beloved country is in a state of stagnation & misery’ (ibid., 466).

In a political no man's land, the royal family felt obliged to consider a more coherent strategy of self-defence than palace precedent provided. Friends and courtiers advised the royal family to bring the throne and the people into line, to show that the monarchy was sensitive to the deteriorating social conditions and sympathetic to working-class aspirations. The strategy that emerged had more to do with the royal traditions of social service than with the monarch's ‘dignified’ role as head of state. For her part, the queen lamented that there was little she could do on the political front, but assisting the poor was a royal prerogative. From her perspective, charitable work not only ameliorated distress but was a way of squaring deference with democracy and enticing the labouring classes into the royal camp. Feeling besieged by strikers, sneering socialists, and tiresome suffragettes (the orderly queen abhorred disorderly women), the royal family stepped up its social work and sought greater publicity for it. Queen Mary and King George knew what was in their own interest, but thought it synonymous with the nation's.

Unlike Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, the king and queen saw themselves as a team and worked in effective partnership, a point brought home by the praise the queen received during their second visit to India for the durbar in 1911–12. As the more intelligent of the two and the better informed on social questions, Queen Mary took a leading role in developing and implementing royal social policy. Drawing on the philanthropic training imbibed from her mother, she mixed easily with cottage and factory wives. On advice, the royal couple stepped up their appearances in the mining and industrial regions with a series of goodwill visits. In June 1912, for example, they penetrated the colliery districts of Glamorgan and the Merthyr valley. Queen Mary wrote to her aunt Augusta in Strelitz: ‘We are assured on all sides that our visit wld do more to bring peace and goodwill into the district than anything else & that we had done the best days work in all our lives!’ Keir Hardie, she added, ‘will not have liked it’ (Royal Archives, Queen Mary to grand duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 29 June 1912). (The Labour leader, a trenchant anti-royalist, had described the trip as a ‘ruse’ to ‘whitewash the mine owners’ (The Times, 15 June 1912, 10).) The various tours and patronage work generally brought out and publicized the queen's good qualities, while giving shape to her role as consort. Her long experience in the charitable field would turn out to be the most fitting preparation for the cataclysm to come.

The First World War offered Queen Mary fresh opportunities for self-expression, as to women of every class and background—arguably marking her greatest contribution to national unity and well-being. With strong ideas of female responsibility and women's sphere of usefulness, she seized every opportunity to be of service. On 6 August 1914 she wrote in her diary: ‘Very busy seeing people about the various Relief schemes’ (Pope-Hennessy, 490). Like her mother, she was a charitable bulldozer, clearing a path for hundreds of thousands of volunteers. The Needlework Guild, now called Queen Mary's Needlework Guild, took up the cause with frenzied determination, and the state apartments of St James's Palace soon turned into a warehouse piled high with gifts for distribution to needy cases. In touch with the efforts of other charities, among them the National Relief Fund, the St John Ambulance Brigade, and the Red Cross, she became a one-woman co-ordinating body for the administration of wartime charity.

An unemployment crisis, albeit temporary, was a consequence of the war, and Queen Mary concluded that women needed work more than anything else. She thus formed the Queen's Work for Women Fund as a female branch of the National Relief Fund. An unlikely ally was Mary Macarthur, the secretary of the Women's Trade Union League, with whom she formed an effective partnership. Macarthur wrote to the queen in August 1914: ‘May I venture to express to Your Majesty on behalf of the working women whom I have the honour to represent the deep gratitude which we feel we owe to your Majesty at this time’ (Royal Archives, GV CC49/28). Given the queen's view of trade unionism, it must have been a pleasing tribute and may even have softened her view of socialism. Raising money and visiting the many projects identified the queen with a sensitive working-class cause during the national emergency. Wherever she turned her attention, practical work was the priority. A lady of the bedchamber noted that the number of the queen's engagements trebled during the war, among them countless dispiriting visits to hospitals. At the palace, meanwhile, she and the king imposed a regime of legendary frugality, in keeping with the national sense of crisis. As a token of gratitude for the queen's war service, the nation presented her with a magnificent dolls' house designed by Edwin Lutyens, which became a centrepiece of the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and is now on permanent display at Windsor.

The end of the war only increased royal fears. Given the collapse of the German, Russian, and Austrian monarchies, a degree of paranoia was understandable in palace circles. The monarchy had also to deal with post-war scarcity and high unemployment, with a new mass electorate unsettled by war, and with the distinct possibility of a Labour government, now armed with an explicitly socialist constitution. Highly sensitive to the dangers facing the monarchy, Queen Mary made no small contribution to ensuring its continued popularity. Everyone in the royal family was conscious of the need for vigilance. Eventually the king kept a chart in Buckingham Palace that chronicled his family's public work. The self-indulgent young prince of Wales needed to be encouraged to step up his royal duties. The queen wrote to the king three weeks after the armistice: ‘I think David ought to return home before very long, as he must help us in these difficult days’ (Ziegler, 108). She had ‘some capital talks’ with the prince of Wales, and noted that ‘he is quite ready to do anything we want’ (Pope-Hennessy, 515). It was Queen Mary, as much as anyone else, who encouraged the reluctant prince to cultivate the image of a social crusader.

There was never any doubt about the commitment of the queen to social causes, and she set a benchmark for the rest of the family. Few government ministers have ever visited as many hospitals or child welfare centres. In 1921 Sir George Newman, the chief medical officer at the Ministry of Health, said that the queen's philanthropic work was ‘invaluable’ and her social influence ‘sound and statesmanlike’. And he noted, in passing, that her beneficent labours were ‘enormously strengthening the influence of the Crown with the people’ (Royal Archives, GV CC47/672). The queen made her own unique contribution to the implementation of post-war royal strategy, which the king's private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, had set out in 1918:
We must endeavour to induce the working classes, Socialists and others, to regard the Crown not as a mere figurehead … but as a living power for good, with receptive faculties welcoming information affecting the interests and social well-being of all classes, and ready not only to sympathize with those questions, but anxious to further their solutions. (Royal Archives, GV/O 1106/65)
In the post-war years the monarchy kept open its lines of communication and showed particular sensitivity to the first Labour government, with which it had ideological differences. Though palace advisers developed much of royal policy during the reign, Queen Mary was determined to take a lead on a national scale. Never content to stay in the shadows, she pressed ahead with her many patronages and social work in working-class constituencies. Meanwhile she and the king invited aspiring Labour MPs, trade unionists, and their wives to teas, dinners, and garden parties. The object was to take the republican edge off socialism by showing that the monarchy was a living institution that mattered. To the dismay of left-wing republicans, who complained of the toadying and housetraining of Labour wives, royal efforts had the desired effect. Despite the war, industrial unrest, depression, and high unemployment that marked George V's reign, the monarchy was more popular at the end of it than it had been at the beginning.

Queen Mary's official biographer described her ‘dominant characteristics’ as ‘patriotism, a love of order, an earnest desire to relieve distress and a concern about social conditions’ (Pope-Hennessy, 490). Propriety might be added to the list, for the queen always carried out her social duties with an eye to her exalted station and royal prerogatives. Patronage work gave her ample opportunity to fly the royal standard and express her unique style. On countless public outings to baby camps and bazaars, to hospitals and city centres, her much noted reserve and dignified bearing—topped off by the ubiquitous toque—enhanced the sense of occasion, but could make presiding officials tremulous. On one memorable visit to a London hospital she refused to plant a tree because the red carpet that had been rolled out before her did not extend to the commemorative spade. Before the ceremony could proceed, a footman had to cut off the carpet at the other end and place the remnant at her feet.

Over the years Queen Mary devoted much of the time not spent on public duties to her ‘one great hobby’—that of building up the royal art collection. Like her mother, she had a passion for objects, but, unlike her mother, she had the money to pay for them, despite her occasional reluctance to spend it. She read widely in art history, visited museums, and rummaged through antique shops. The king, who had little interest in collecting apart from stamps and snuff boxes, did not object to her enthusiasms. Her mind was absorbent and classifying rather than analytical; her taste was catholic and conventional but favoured the historical. Anything to do with the British royal family tempted her collector's eye, though she could get equally excited about gewgaws or budgerigars. In the early years of the reign she concentrated her energies on conservation, but after the war she began the process of garnering, organizing, and cataloguing the Royal Collection and rearranging the treasures in the royal residences. In later life she continued to add to her own collection of curios, the quality of which, as an earlier memoir put it, ‘would have profited had she paid more for less’ (DNB).

Life at Buckingham Palace was a sombre affair between the wars, not least because of the king's exhaustion. When he fell seriously ill in 1928 of an acute form of septicaemia, the queen's steely self-control astonished her family. ‘Through all the anxiety’, remarked the duke of York, ‘she has never once revealed her feelings to any of us. She is really far too reserved’ (Pope-Hennessy, 546). She had to call on all her reserves and strength of character in the years left to the king, for he was physically unfit to carry out many of his public duties without her. He lived to enjoy the hugely popular silver jubilee celebrations in 1935, but died in the presence of his family eight months later at Sandringham. ‘Am brokenhearted’, Queen Mary wrote in her account of his death (ibid., 559). Immediately upon the king's death, in a gesture that was entirely in character, she kissed the hand of her eldest son, Edward VIII.

To a dutiful queen with such an exalted notion of kingship, her son's abdication at the end of 1936 was abhorrent. That a king of England should give up the throne for a woman was unprecedented. ‘Really! This might be Roumania!’ she was heard to remark (Pope-Hennessy, 577). The abdication was the greatest humiliation of her life. In 1938 she wrote to her son:
It seemed inconceivable to those who had made such sacrifices during the war that you, as their King, refused a lesser sacrifice … My feelings for you as your Mother remain the same, and our being parted and the cause of it, grieve me beyond words. After all, all my life I have put my Country before everything else, and I simply cannot change now. (Ziegler, 385)
In the aftermath of the abdication it was Queen Mary, along with her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, who stiffened the resolve of King George VI against Mrs Simpson's desires. Ever after she refused to receive the duchess of Windsor. It was ironic that the first occasion at which the duchess found herself amid the royal family was in 1967 when she accompanied her husband to the dedication of a plaque to the memory of Queen Mary.

Last years

In widowhood Queen Mary moved to Marlborough House. She continued to work on the Royal Collection and visit museums, exhibitions, and the theatre. She also became a regular visitor to the Wimbledon tennis championships. In May 1939 she had a terrible shock when a lorry carrying a load of steel tubing overturned her Daimler. ‘Nothing, perhaps, that Queen Mary has done’, one commentator remarked, ‘has ever become her so well as … the manner of leaving the wrecked car’ (Pope-Hennessy, 595). When war broke out she retired to Badminton, where she visited evacuees, opened hospitals, and salvaged scrap. She also executed a carpet in gros point needlework which became celebrated at the end of the war when sold to a Canadian women's organization for $100,000. She gave the money not to charity, as advised by her friends, but to the national exchequer, an artful act of benevolence which elicited not only great publicity but a letter of thanks signed by the entire Labour cabinet. But she was less than enthusiastic about Labour policy, particularly the nationalization of the hospitals. Like all members of the royal family, she remained a voluntarist at heart.

George V, as his eldest son famously remarked, was engaged in a ‘private war with the twentieth century’. Queen Mary was also out of tune with the political changes taking place in her day, but—blessed with robust health, without constitutional duties, and with a wider breadth of view than her husband—she was able to move with the times in a way that he could not. She was rigid in conduct, but, being practical in all things, open to change. Beneath her adamantine self-control were wide sympathies which endeared her to those she sought to assist or represent. Her life must be seen in the context of a pre-feminist view of women's role and the waning of the crown's political authority. If she has not worn well in the historiography it is in large measure due to cultural changes which have led to an increase in the expectations of women and a decline in deference. It has been said that George III was the first of the Victorians; it could be said that his great-granddaughter was the last.

In the reign of George V the monarchy was undergoing a difficult adjustment to social democracy. The consequent increase in royal attention to the demands and institutions of civil society offered the female members of the royal family an ever more prominent role. Queen Mary represented a civic-minded monarchy with unflagging industry. The fact that the monarchy came through a period of unprecedented social and political change with its reputation enhanced was in no small measure due to her serene purposefulness, which betrayed no hint of party to the public. She did more than any member of the royal family in her generation to turn the monarchy into an agency of welfare, thus making it more broadly based on the popular will. George V's admission that he felt ‘lost’ without her underscored the enormous service she performed for the crown. Indeed, she and her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, effectively kept the royal show on the road in the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1952 Queen Mary mourned the loss of her son George VI. In keeping with her exacting sense of royal obligation, she was the first to kiss the hand of the new monarch, just as she had kissed the hand of her son on the death of her husband. She died, after a short illness, at Marlborough House, on 24 March 1953, three months before her granddaughter's coronation. She was buried beside George V in St George's Chapel, Windsor, on 31 March 1953. Among her monuments is the official biography, Queen Mary, by James Pope-Hennessy, which brings her vividly to life.

Frank Prochaska


J. Pope-Hennessy, Queen Mary (1959) · DNB · J. Gore, King George V: a personal memoir (1941) · K. Rose, King George V (1983) · F. Prochaska, Royal bounty: the making of a welfare monarchy (1995) · Royal Arch., Queen Mary papers · Royal Arch., George V papers · Royal Arch., Edward VIII papers · Duke of Windsor, A king's story: the memoirs of HRH the duke of Windsor (1951) · P. Ziegler, King Edward VIII (1990) · private information (2004) · H. Nicolson, Diaries and letters, 1945–1960, ed. N. Nicolson (1971)


Royal Arch., papers of Queen Mary and George V |  BL, corresp. with J. E. Burns, Add. MS 46281 · BL, letters to Bishop Carpenter, Add. MS 46722 · BLPES, letters to V. R. Markham · CAC Cam., corresp. with Lord Esher · CCC Cam., letters to Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy · CUL, corresp. with Lady Hardinge · Herts. ALS, letters to Lady Desborough · Lpool RO, corresp. with seventeenth earl of Derby · NA Scot., letters to Lady Airlie · NL Scot., letters to Lord Haldane · NL Scot., corresp. with and papers relating to Sir George Smith and Lady Lilian Smith · NRA, priv. coll., letters of her and her mother, duchess of Teck, to Jane, dowager countess of Aylesbury · priv. coll., Athlone papers, corresp., etc. · PRONI, letters to Lady Londonderry · Royal Arch., papers of King Edward VIII · St George's Chapel, Windsor, Berkshire, letters to A. V. Baillie, dean of Windsor · V&A NAL, letters to Sir Cecil Harcourt-Smith  



BFINA, actuality footage · BFINA, documentary footage · BFINA, news footage · BFINA, other footage




BL NSA, current affairs recording


M. H. Carlisle, miniature, 1890–99, NPG · E. Hughes, oils, 1890–1900, Royal Collection · H. von Angeli, oils, before 1893, Royal Collection · L. Fildes, oils, 1893, Royal Collection · L. Tuxen, group portrait, oils, 1893, Royal Collection · L. Tuxen, group portrait, oils, 1896 (Marriage of Princess Maud and Prince Charles of Denmark), Royal Collection · G. Koberwein, oils, before 1900 · Tyrell, oils, before 1900 · E. A. Abbey, group portrait, oils, 1904 (The coronation of King Edward VII, 1902), Royal Collection · A. Hughes, photogravure, 1905, NPG · S. March, bronze bust, 1905, Royal Collection · A. Drury, marble bust, c.1906, Bradford City Art Gallery · W. Llewellyn, oils, 1911–12, Royal Collection; versions, Queen's College, Oxford; Liverpool corporation · G. Frampton, marble bust, 1912, Royal Collection · J. Lavery, group portrait, oils, 1913 (The royal family at Buckingham Palace, 1913), NPG; see illus. in George V (1865–1936) · J. Lavery, oils, 1913, Royal Collection; study, NPG · S. J. Solomon, oils, 1914, NPG · F. D. Salisbury, oils, c.1918, Harewood House, West Yorkshire · I. Snowman, oils, c.1924, Royal Collection · A. J. Munnings, group portrait, oils, 1925 (The majesties return from Ascot), Tate collection · R. Jack, oils, c.1926–1927, Royal Collection · B. Park, bromide print, 1927, NPG [see illus.] · L. C. Taylor, oils, 1928, Royal College of Music, London · D. Jagger, oils, c.1930, Bethlam Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent; version, Royal Collection · S. Elwes, oils, 1930–39, Royal Collection · J. Lavery, group portrait, oils, 1933, NPG · O. Birley, oils, 1934, Royal Collection · C. Beaton, pen-and-ink drawing, 1935, NPG · F. O. Salisbury, group portrait, oils, 1935 (Thanksgiving service of the king's silver jubilee), Guildhall, London · F. O. Salisbury, group portrait, oils, 1935 (Jubilee service), Royal Collection · A. T. Nowell, oils, c.1937, Royal Collection · W. R. Dick, bronze bust, 1938, NPG; version, Royal Collection · M. L. Williams, oils, 1938, St Thomas's Hospital, London · W. G. John, bronze model, 1939, NMG Wales · J. H. F. Bacon, group portrait, oils, Royal Collection · W. R. Dick, marble tomb effigy (with King George V), St George's Chapel, Windsor · photographs, NPG · photographs, Royal Collection · portraits, Royal Collection