Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes; 26 May 186724 March 1953) was
Queen of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies (the Bailiwi ...
and the British Dominions
Empress of India
Emperor or Empress of India was a title used by British monarchs from 1 May 1876 (with the Royal Titles Act 1876) to 22 June 1948, that was used to signify their rule over British India, as its imperial head of state. Royal Proclamation of 2 ...
, from 6 May 1910 until 20 January 1936 as the wife of
A king-emperor (the female equivalent being queen-empress) is a sovereign ruler who is simultaneously a king of one territory and emperor of another. This title usually results from a merger of a royal and imperial crown, but recognises that the ... George V
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.
Born during the reign of his grandmother Qu ...
Born and raised in the United Kingdom
, Mary was the daughter of Francis, Duke of Teck
, a German nobleman, and
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge (27 November 1833 – 27 October 1897), later Duchess of Teck, was a member of the British royal family. She was one of the first royals to patronise a wide range of charities.
Mary Ade ...
, a granddaughter of
King George III
George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great B ...
and a minor member of the British royal family
. She was informally known as "May", after the month of her birth.
At the age of 24, she was betrothed to her second cousin once removed
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892) was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) and grandson of the re ...
, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales
and second in line to the throne. Six weeks after the announcement of the engagement, he died unexpectedly during an influenza pandemic
. The following year, she became engaged to Albert Victor's only surviving brother, George, who subsequently became king. Before her husband's accession, she was successively
Duchess of York
Duchess of York is the principal Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom, courtesy title held by the wife of the duke of York. Three of the eleven dukes of York either did not marry or had already assumed the throne prior to marriage, whilst two of ...
Duchess of Cornwall
Duchess of Cornwall is a courtesy title held by the wife of the eldest son and heir of the British monarch. The current title-holder is Catherine, wife of William, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall.
Duchesses of Cornwall
Until her husba ...
Princess of Wales
Princess of Wales ( Welsh: ''Tywysoges Cymru'') is a courtesy title used since the 14th century by the wife of the heir apparent to the English and later British throne. The current title-holder is Catherine (née Middleton).
The title was fir ...
As queen consort
from 1910, Mary supported her husband through the
First World War
World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with figh ...
, his ill health, and major political changes arising from the aftermath of the war
. After George's death
in 1936, she became
A queen mother is a former queen, often a queen dowager, who is the mother of the reigning monarch. The term has been used in English since the early 1560s. It arises in hereditary monarchies in Europe and is also used to describe a number of ...
when her eldest son,
Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972), later known as the Duke of Windsor, was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire and Emperor of India from 20 January 19 ...
, ascended the throne. To her dismay, he
Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societ ...
later the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite
Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield, later Simpson; June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), was an American socialite and wife of the former King Edward VIII. Their intention to marry and her status as a divorcée caused a ...
. She supported her second son,
George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was also the last Emperor of Indi ...
, until his death
in 1952. She died the following year, during the reign of her granddaughter
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during h ...
, who had not yet been crowned. An
An ocean liner is a passenger ship primarily used as a form of transportation across seas or oceans. Ocean liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes (such as for pleasure cruises or as hospital ships).
The battlecruiser (also written as battle cruiser or battle-cruiser) was a type of capital ship of the first half of the 20th century. These were similar in displacement, armament and cost to battleships, but differed in form and balance of attr ...
, and a university
were named in her honour
Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was born on 26 May 1867 at
Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British royal family since the 17th century, and is currently the official ...
, in the room where
Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and 216 days was longer than that of any previo ...
, her first cousin once removed, had been born 48 years and two days earlier. Queen Victoria came to visit the baby, writing that she was "a very fine one, with pretty little features and a quantity of hair".
Her father was Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, the son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg by his ] morganatic
Morganatic marriage, sometimes called a left-handed marriage, is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which in the context of royalty or other inherited title prevents the principal's position or privileges being passed to the spous ... wife, Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde. Her mother was Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge (27 November 1833 – 27 October 1897), later Duchess of Teck, was a member of the British royal family. She was one of the first royals to patronise a wide range of charities.
Mary Ade ..., a granddaughter of King George III
George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great B ... and the third child and younger daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. [
She was baptised in the ] Chapel Royal
The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign and the British Royal Family. Historically it was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch. The term is now also appl ... of Kensington Palace on 27 July 1867 by Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury
The archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and a principal leader of the Church of England, the ceremonial head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justi .... From an early age, she was known to her family, friends and the public by the diminutive name of "May", after her birth month.
May's upbringing was "merry but fairly strict". [Pope-Hennessy, p. 66] She was the eldest of four children and the only daughter. She "learned to exercise her native discretion, firmness, and tact" by resolving her three younger brothers' petty boyhood squabbles. They played with their cousins, the children of the Prince of Wales, who were similar in age. She grew up at Kensington Palace and White Lodge, in Richmond Park
Richmond Park, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest of London's Royal Parks, and is of national and international importance for wildlife conservation. It was created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park ..., which was granted by Queen Victoria on permanent loan. She was educated at home by her mother and governess (as were her brothers until they were sent to boarding schools). The Duchess of Teck spent an unusually long time with her children for a lady of her time and class, and enlisted May in various charitable endeavours, which included visiting the tenements of the poor.
Although May was a great-grandchild of George III, she was only a minor member of the British royal family. Her father, the Duke of Teck, had no inheritance or wealth and carried the lower royal style of Serene Highness
His/Her Serene Highness (abbreviation: HSH, second person address: Your Serene Highness) is a style used today by the reigning families of Liechtenstein, Monaco and Thailand. Over the past 400 years, it has also used as a style for senior members ... because his parents' marriage was morganatic. The Duchess of Teck was granted a parliamentary annuity
In investment, an annuity is a series of payments made at equal intervals.Kellison, Stephen G. (1970). ''The Theory of Interest''. Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. p. 45 Examples of annuities are regular deposits to a savings account, mo ... of £5,000 and received about £4,000 a year from her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, but she donated lavishly to dozens of charities. Prince Francis was deeply in debt and moved his family abroad with a small staff in 1883, in order to economise. They travelled throughout Europe, visiting their various relations. For a time they stayed in Florence
Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.Bilancio demografico a ..., Italy, where May enjoyed visiting the art galleries, churches and museums. She was fluent in English, German, and French.
In 1885, the family returned to London and lived for some time in Chester Square. May was close to her mother and acted as an unofficial secretary, helping to organise parties and social events. She was also close to her aunt, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and wrote to her every week. During the First World War
World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with figh ..., the Crown Princess of Sweden helped pass letters from May to her aunt, who lived in enemy territory in Germany until her death in 1916.
In 1886, "May" (as she was known) was a debutante in her first
A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather, ecology, and the number of daylight hours in a given region. On Earth, seasons are the result of the axial parallelism of Earth's tilted orbit around the Sun. In temperate and pol ..., and was introduced at court. Her status as the only unmarried British princess who was not descended from Queen Victoria made her a suitable candidate for the royal family's most eligible bachelor, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892) was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) and grandson of the re ..., her second cousin once removed and the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.
On 3 December 1891 at Luton Hoo, then the country residence of Danish Ambassador Christian Frederick de Falbe, Albert Victor proposed marriage to May and she accepted. The choice of May as bride for the Duke owed much to Queen Victoria's fondness for her, as well as to her strong character and sense of duty. However, Albert Victor died six weeks later, in a recurrence of the worldwide 1889–90 influenza pandemic.
Albert Victor's brother, Prince George, Duke of York, now second in line to the throne, evidently became close to May during their shared period of mourning, and Queen Victoria still thought of her as a suitable candidate to marry a future king. The public was also anxious that the Duke of York should marry and settle the succession. In May 1893, George proposed, and May accepted. They were soon deeply in love, and their marriage was a success. George wrote to May every day they were apart and, unlike his father, never took a mistress.
Duchess of York (1893–1901)
Mary married Prince George, Duke of York, in London on 6 July 1893 at the
The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign and the British Royal Family. Historically it was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch. The term is now also appl ..., St James's Palace
St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Alth .... The new Duke and Duchess of York lived in York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, and in apartments in St James's Palace. York Cottage was a modest house for royalty, but it was a favourite of George, who liked a relatively simple life. They had six children: Edward
Edward is an English given name. It is derived from the Anglo-Saxon name ''Ēadweard'', composed of the elements '' ēad'' "wealth, fortune; prosperous" and '' weard'' "guardian, protector”.
The name Edward was very popular in Anglo-Sax ..., Albert
Albert may refer to:
* Albert (supermarket), a supermarket chain in the Czech Republic
* Albert Heijn, a supermarket chain in the Netherlands
* Albert Market, a street market in The Gambia
* Albert Productions, a record label
* Alber ..., Mary
Mary may refer to:
* Mary (name), a feminine given name (includes a list of people with the name)
* New Testament people named Mary, overview article linking to many of those below
* Mary, mother of Jesus, also cal ..., Henry
Henry may refer to:
* Henry (given name)
* Henry (surname)
* Henry Lau, Canadian singer and musician who performs under the mononym Henry
* Portuguese royalty
** King-Cardinal Henry, King of Portugal
** Henry, Count of Portu ..., George, and John
John is a common English name and surname:
* John (given name)
* John (surname)
John may also refer to:
* Gospel of John, a title often shortened to John
* First Epistle of John, often shortened to 1 John
* Second ....
The children were put into the care of a nanny, as was usual in upper-class families at the time. The first nanny was dismissed for insolence and the second for abusing the children. This second woman, anxious to suggest that the children preferred her to anyone else, would pinch Edward and Albert whenever they were about to be presented to their parents so that they would start crying and be speedily returned to her. On discovery, she was replaced by her effective and much-loved assistant, Charlotte Bill.
Sometimes, Mary and George appear to have been distant parents. At first, they failed to notice the nanny's abuse of the young princes Edward and Albert, and their youngest son, Prince John, was housed in a private farm on the Sandringham Estate, in Bill's care, perhaps to hide his epilepsy
Epilepsy is a group of non-communicable neurological disorders characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures can vary from brief and nearly undetectable periods to long periods of vigorous shaking due to abnormal electrical ... from the public. Despite Mary's austere public image and her strait-laced private life, she was a caring mother and comforted her children when they suffered from her husband's strict discipline.
Edward wrote fondly of his mother in his memoirs: "Her soft voice, her cultivated mind, the cosy room overflowing with personal treasures were all inseparable ingredients of the happiness associated with this last hour of a child's day ... Such was my mother's pride in her children that everything that happened to each one was of the utmost importance to her. With the birth of each new child, Mama started an album in which she painstakingly recorded each progressive stage of our childhood". He expressed a less charitable view, however, in private letters to his wife after his mother's death: "My sadness was mixed with incredulity that any mother could have been so hard and cruel towards her eldest son for so many years and yet so demanding at the end without relenting a scrap. I'm afraid the fluids in her veins have always been as icy cold as they are now in death."
As Duke and Duchess of York, George and Mary carried out a variety of public duties. In 1897, she became the patron of the London Needlework Guild in succession to her mother. The guild, initially established as The London Guild in 1882, was renamed several times and was named after Mary between 1914 and 2010. Samples of her own embroidery range from chair seats to tea cosies.
On 22 January 1901, Queen Victoria died, and Mary's father-in-law ascended the throne as Edward VII
Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India, from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.
The second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria an .... For most of the rest of that year, George and Mary were known as the "Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York". For eight months they toured the British Empire
The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts esta ..., visiting Gibraltar
, anthem = "God Save the King"
, song = " Gibraltar Anthem"
, image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg
, map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe
, map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green
, mapsize =
, image_map2 = Gibr ..., Malta
Malta ( , , ), officially the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ), is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of an archipelago, between Italy and Libya, and is often considered a part of Southern Europe. It lies ..., Egypt
Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediter ..., Ceylon, Singapore
Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, borderin ..., Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius
Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=Mauritian Creole, Moris ), officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar. It incl ..., South Africa
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countr ... and Canada
Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by total .... No royal had undertaken such an ambitious tour before. She broke down in tears at the thought of leaving her children, who were to be left in the care of their grandparents, for such a long time.
Princess of Wales (1901–1910)
On 9 November 1901, nine days after arriving back in Britain and on the King's sixtieth birthday, George was created Prince of Wales. The family moved their London residence from St James's Palace to Marlborough House. As Princess of Wales, Mary accompanied her husband on trips to
Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1 ... and Württemberg
Württemberg ( ; ) is a historical German territory roughly corresponding to the cultural and linguistic region of Swabia. The main town of the region is Stuttgart.
Together with Baden and Hohenzollern, two other historical territories, Württe ... in 1904. The following year, she gave birth to her last child, John. It was a difficult labour, and although she recovered quickly, her newborn son developed respiratory problems.
From October 1905 the Prince and Princess of Wales undertook another eight-month tour, this time of India, and the children were once again left in the care of their grandparents. They passed through Egypt both ways and on the way back stopped in Greece. The tour was almost immediately followed by a trip to Spain for the wedding of King Alfonso XIII to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, at which the bride and groom narrowly avoided assassination. Only a week after returning to Britain, Mary and George went to Norway for the coronation of George's brother-in-law and sister, King Haakon VII and Queen Maud.
Queen and empress consort (1910–1936)
On 6 May 1910, Edward VII died. Mary's husband ascended the throne and she became queen consort. When her husband asked her to drop one of her two official names, Victoria Mary, she chose to be called Mary, preferring not to be known by the same style as her husband's grandmother, Queen Victoria. She was the first British queen consort born in Britain since
Catherine Parr (sometimes alternatively spelled Katherine, Katheryn, Kateryn, or Katharine; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen of England and Ireland as the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII from their marriage on 12 July 1543 until .... Mary was crowned alongside her husband at a coronation on 22 June 1911 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Ki .... Later in the year, the new King and Queen travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar
The Delhi Durbar ( lit. "Court of Delhi") was an Indian imperial-style mass assembly organized by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi, India, to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it wa ... held on 12 December 1911, and toured the sub-continent as Emperor and Empress of India, returning to Britain in February.
The beginning of Mary's period as consort brought her into conflict with her mother-in-law, Queen Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark (Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia; 1 December 1844 – 20 November 1925) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, from 22 January 1901 to 6 May 1910 as the wife of K .... Although the two were on friendly terms, Alexandra could be stubborn; she demanded precedence over Mary at the funeral of Edward VII, was slow in leaving Buckingham Palace, and kept some of the royal jewels that should have been passed to the new queen.
During the First World War
World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with figh ..., Queen Mary instituted an austerity drive at the palace, where she rationed food, and visited wounded and dying servicemen in hospital, which caused her great emotional strain. After three years of war against Germany, and with anti-German feeling in Britain running high, the Russian Imperial Family, which had been deposed by a revolutionary government, was refused asylum. News of the tsar's abdication provided a boost to those in Britain who wished to replace their own monarchy with a republic. The war ended in 1918 with the defeat of Germany and the abdication and exile of the kaiser
''Kaiser'' is the German word for "emperor" (female Kaiserin). In general, the German title in principle applies to rulers anywhere in the world above the rank of king (''König''). In English, the (untranslated) word ''Kaiser'' is mainly ap ....
Two months after the end of the war, Queen Mary's youngest son, John, died at the age of thirteen. She described her shock and sorrow in her diary and letters, extracts of which were published after her death: "our poor darling little Johnnie had passed away suddenly ... The first break in the family circle is hard to bear but people have been so kind & sympathetic & this has helped us he King and memuch."
Her staunch support of her husband continued during the later half of his reign. She advised him on speeches and used her extensive knowledge of history and royalty to advise him on matters affecting his position. He appreciated her discretion, intelligence, and judgement. She maintained an air of self-assured calm throughout all her public engagements in the years after the war, a period marked by civil unrest over social conditions, Irish independence, and Indian nationalism.
In the late 1920s, George V became increasingly ill with lung problems, exacerbated by his heavy smoking. Queen Mary paid particular attention to his care. During his illness in 1928, one of his doctors, Sir Farquhar Buzzard, was asked who had saved the King's life. He replied, "The Queen". In 1935, King George V and Queen Mary celebrated their silver jubilee, with celebrations taking place throughout the British Empire
The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts esta .... In his jubilee speech, George paid public tribute to his wife, having told his speechwriter, "Put that paragraph at the very end. I cannot trust myself to speak of the Queen when I think of all I owe her."
Queen mother (1936–1952)
George V died on 20 January 1936, after his physician, Lord Dawson of Penn, gave him an injection of morphine and
Cocaine (from , from , ultimately from Quechua: ''kúka'') is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant mainly used recreationally for its euphoric effects. It is primarily obtained from the leaves of two Coca species native to South Ameri ... that may have hastened his death. Queen Mary's eldest son ascended the throne as Edward VIII. She was then to be known as ''Her Majesty Queen Mary''.
Within the year, Edward's intention to marry his twice-divorced American mistress, Wallis Simpson
Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield, later Simpson; June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), was an American socialite and wife of the former King Edward VIII. Their intention to marry and her status as a divorcée caused a ..., led to his abdication. Mary disapproved of divorce, which was against the teaching of the Anglican church
Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It is one of ..., and thought Simpson wholly unsuitable to be the wife of a king. After receiving advice from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The prime minister advises the sovereign on the exercise of much of the royal prerogative, chairs the Cabinet and selects its ministers. As modern ..., Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, (3 August 186714 December 1947) was a British Conservative Party politician who dominated the government of the United Kingdom between the world wars, serving as prime minister on three occasions, ..., as well as the Dominion governments, that he could not remain king and marry Simpson, Edward abdicated
Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societ ....
Though loyal and supportive of her son, Mary could not comprehend why Edward would neglect his royal duties in favour of his personal feelings. Simpson had been presented formally to both King George V and Queen Mary at court, but Mary later refused to meet her either in public or privately. She saw it as her duty to provide moral support for her second son, the reserved Prince Albert, Duke of York. Albert ascended the throne on Edward's abdication, taking the name George VI. When Mary attended the coronation, she became the first British dowager queen to do so. Edward's abdication did not lessen her love for him, but she never wavered in her disapproval of his actions.
Mary took an interest in the upbringing of her granddaughters, Princesses Elizabeth
Elizabeth or Elisabeth may refer to:
* Elizabeth (given name), a female given name (including people with that name)
* Elizabeth (biblical figure), mother of John the Baptist
* HMS ''Elizabeth'', several ships
* ''Elisabeth'' (sch ... and Margaret
Margaret is a female first name, derived via French () and Latin () from grc, μαργαρίτης () meaning "pearl". The Greek is borrowed from Persian.
Margaret has been an English name since the 11th century, and remained popular througho ..., and took them on various excursions in London, to art galleries and museums. (The princesses' own parents thought it unnecessary for them to be burdened with a demanding educational regime.) In May 1939, Mary was in a car crash: her car was overturned but she escaped with minor injuries and bruises.
During the Second World War, George VI wished his mother to be evacuated from London. Although she was reluctant, she decided to live at Badminton House
Badminton House is a large country house and Grade I Listed Building in Badminton, Gloucestershire, England, which has been the principal seat of the Dukes of Beaufort since the late 17th century. The house, which has given its name to ..., Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn and the entire Forest of Dean.
The county town is the city of Glo ..., with her niece, Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort, the daughter of her brother Adolphus. Her personal belongings were transported from London in seventy pieces of luggage. Her household, which comprised fifty-five servants, occupied most of the house, except for the Duke and Duchess's private suites, until after the war. The only people to complain about the arrangements were the royal servants, who found the house too small, though Queen Mary annoyed her niece by having the ancient ivy torn from the walls as she considered it unattractive and a hazard.
From Badminton, in support of the war effort, she visited troops and factories and directed the gathering of scrap materials. She was known to offer lifts to soldiers she spotted on the roads. In 1942, her youngest surviving son, Prince George, Duke of Kent, was killed in an air crash while on active service. Mary finally returned to Marlborough House in June 1945, after the war in Europe had resulted in the defeat of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ....
Mary was an eager collector of objects and pictures with a royal connection. She paid above-market estimates when purchasing jewels from the estate of Dowager Empress Marie of Russia and paid almost three times the estimate when buying the family's Cambridge Emeralds from Lady Kilmorey, the mistress of her late brother Prince Francis. In 1924, the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens ( ; 29 March 1869 – 1 January 1944) was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memori ... created Queen Mary's Dolls' House for her collection of miniature pieces. She has sometimes been criticised for her aggressive acquisition of ''objets d'art'' for the Royal Collection
The Royal Collection of the British royal family is the largest private art collection in the world.
Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom, the collection is owned by King Charles III and overseen by th .... On several occasions, she would express to hosts, or others, that she admired something they had in their possession, in the expectation that the owner would be willing to donate it.
Her extensive knowledge of, and research into, the Royal Collection helped in identifying artefacts and artwork that had gone astray over the years. The royal family had lent out many pieces over previous generations. Once she had identified unreturned items through old inventories, she would write to the holders, requesting that they be returned. In addition to being an avid collector, Mary also commissioned many gifts of jewellery, including rings which she presented to her ladies-in-waiting on the occasion of their engagements.
In 1952, George VI died, the third of Queen Mary's children to predecease her; her eldest granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth, ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. The death of a third child profoundly affected her. Mary remarked to Princess Marie Louise: "I have lost three sons through death, but I have never been privileged to be there to say a last farewell to them."
Mary died on 24 March 1953 in her sleep at the age of 85, ten weeks before her granddaughter's coronation. She had let it be known that should she die, the coronation should not be postponed. Her remains lay in state at
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace lies on the north bank ..., where large numbers of mourners filed past her coffin. She is buried beside her husband in the nave of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England is a castle chapel built in the late-medieval Perpendicular Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar (a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch) and the Chapel of the Order of the Gart ....
Mary's will was sealed in London after her death. Her estate was valued at £406,407 (or £7.9 million in 2022 when adjusted for inflation).
Actresses who have portrayed Queen Mary include Dame Flora Robson (in ''A King's Story'', 1965), Dame Wendy Hiller (on the London stage in ''Crown Matrimonial'', 1972),
Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson (29 September 1904 – 6 April 1996) was an English-American actress and singer. She was a major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who became popular during the Second World War for her portrayal of strong women on the hom ... (in the television production of ''Crown Matrimonial'', 1974), Judy Loe (in '' Edward the Seventh'', 1975), Dame Peggy Ashcroft (in '' Edward & Mrs. Simpson'', 1978), Phyllis Calvert
Phyllis Hannah Murray-Hill (née Bickle; 18 February 1915 – 8 October 2002), known professionally as Phyllis Calvert, was an English film, stage and television actress. She was one of the leading stars of the Gainsborough melodramas of the 1 ... (in '' The Woman He Loved'', 1988), Gaye Brown (in '' All the King's Men'', 1999), Miranda Richardson (in '' The Lost Prince'', 2003), Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Maud Tyzack (9 September 193125 June 2011) was an English actress. Her television roles included ''The Forsyte Saga'' (1967) and ''I, Claudius'' (1976). She won the 1970 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC serial '' The First C ... (in '' Wallis & Edward'', 2005), Claire Bloom (in '' The King's Speech
''The King's Speech'' is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays the future King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and languag ...'', 2010), Judy Parfitt (in '' W.E.
''W.E.'' (stylised ''W./E.'') is a 2011 historical romantic drama film written and directed by Madonna and starring Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, and James D'Arcy. The screenplay was co-written by Alek Keshi ...'', 2011), Valerie Dane (in the television version of '' Downton Abbey'', 2013), Dame Eileen Atkins (in '' Bertie and Elizabeth'', 2002 and '' The Crown
The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, overseas territories, provinces, or states). Legally ill-defined, the term has different ...'', 2016), Geraldine James (in the film version of '' Downton Abbey'', 2019), and Candida Benson (in ''The Crown'', 2022).
Many places and buildings have been named in her honour, including Queen Mary University of London
, mottoeng = With united powers
, established = 1785 – The London Hospital Medical College1843 – St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College1882 – Westfield College1887 – East London College/Queen Mary College
, type = Public researc ..., Queen Mary Reservoir
The Queen Mary Reservoir is one of the largest of London's reservoirs supplying fresh water to London and parts of surrounding counties, and is located in the Borough of Spelthorne in Surrey. The reservoir covers and is above the surrounding are ... in Surrey
Surrey () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant urban areas which form part of the Greater London Built-up Area. ..., and Queen Mary College in Lahore
Lahore ( ; pnb, ; ur, ) is the second most populous city in Pakistan after Karachi and 26th most populous city in the world, with a population of over 13 million. It is the capital of the province of Punjab where it is the largest city ....
Sir Henry "Chips" Channon wrote that she was "above politics ... magnificent, humorous, worldly, in fact nearly sublime, though cold and hard. But what a grand Queen."
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
* 26 May 1867 – 6 July 1893: ''Her Serene Highness'' Princess Victoria Mary of Teck
* 6 July 1893 – 22 January 1901: ''Her Royal Highness'' The Duchess of York
* 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1901: ''Her Royal Highness'' The Duchess of Cornwall and York
* 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: ''Her Royal Highness'' The Princess of Wales
* 6 May 1910 – 20 January 1936: ''Her Majesty'' The Queen
* 20 January 1936 – 24 March 1953: ''Her Majesty'' Queen Mary
Queen Mary's arms were the
royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the royal arms for short, is the arms of dominion of the British monarch, currently King Charles III. These arms are used by the King in his official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Vari ... impaled with her family arms – the arms of her grandfather, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, in the 1st and 4th quarters, and the arms of her father, Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The shield is surmounted by the imperial crown, and supported by the crowned lion of England and "a stag Proper" as in the arms of Württemberg.
Crown of Queen Mary
The Crown of Queen Mary is the consort crown made for Mary of Teck in 1911.
Mary bought the Art Deco-inspired crown from Garrard & Co. herself, and hoped that it would be worn by future queens consort. It is unusual for a British crown because ...
* Household of George V and Mary
* '' King George and Queen Mary'', BBC documentary
* List of covers of Time magazine (1920s), (1930s)
19th-century British people
20th-century British people
19th-century British women
20th-century British women
British royal consorts
Princesses of Wales
Wives of British princes
Duchesses of York
Duchesses of Rothesay
House of Windsor
Companions of the Order of the Crown of India
Dames Grand Cross of the Order of St John
Dames Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Dames Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
British people of German descent
Knights Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India
Ladies of the Garter
Ladies of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert
Members of the Royal Red Cross
People associated with Queen Mary University of London
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Burials at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
Dames of the Order of Saint Isabel
Grand Cordons of the Order of the Precious Crown
Residents of White Lodge, Richmond Park
Duchesses of Cornwall