- NAME: Mary of Teck
- OCCUPATION: Queen
- BIRTH DATE: May 26, 1867
- DEATH DATE: March 24, 1953
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes
- AKA: Queen Mary
- AKA: May of Teck
- AKA: Queen Mother
- AKA: Mary of Teck
- AKA: Queen Victoria Mary
Best Known For
Mary of Teck became Queen Mary, consort of King George V. She was the mother of kings Edward VIII and George VI, and the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.
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Mary of Teck was raised in an upper-class family in Great Britain. After losing her first fiancé to influenza, she married his brother, the future King George V. During her reign as consort, she was a strong advocate for her husband as the kingdom experienced change. When the king fell ill, she attended to him until his death. Afterward, she endured her son, Edward VIII's,
"You are a member of the British Royal Family: We are never tired and we all love hospitals."
"Never refuse an invitation to sit down, and take every opportunity to relieve yourself."
"This is a pretty kettle of fish."
"When I die, India will be found engraved on my heart."
abdication of the throne and continued her charitable service to her country until her death.
Mary of Teck was born Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes on May 26, 1867, in London, England. She was the only daughter of Francis, Duke of Teck (a small principality in Germany), and Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a member of the British Royal Family. Informally known as "May" after the month in which she was born, she was the eldest of four children and early on served as peacemaker to her three male siblings.
Young Princess Mary was educated at home by her mother and a governess. Though her mother was descended from King George III of Great Britain, they were only minor members of the British Royal Family. Before Mary's 16th birthday, the family became deep in debt, and from 1883 to 1885 they lived on the Continent with relatives in order to economize. During this time, Mary served as her mother's unofficial secretary, helping to organize parties and social events.
At age 24, she became engaged to Albert Victor, the Prince of Wales and eldest son of Edward VII of Great Britain. The choice of Mary as his bride was influenced by Queen Victoria, who was very fond of her and her strong character and sense of duty. Tragically, Albert died a few weeks before their wedding, during the influenza pandemic of 1891-92.
During her mourning period, Albert's brother, Prince George, Duke of York, became close to Mary, and in May 1893 he proposed. They were married in July of that year and went on to have six children. Though the children were cared for by a nanny, as was the tradition with many upper-class families, Mary was a caring mother who spent time with her children, revealing her fun-loving side and teaching them history and music.
As Duke and Duchess of York, George and Mary carried out their public duties, making several official tours of the British Empire. On May 6, 1910, George's father, Edward VII, died. George ascended the throne as George V, and Mary became Queen Consort. When World War I broke out, Queen Mary instituted food rationing at the palace, and the couple frequently visited wounded servicemen. On a less flattering note, Queen Mary was also known for her coveting of other people's personal possessions, sometimes to the point of stealing them if they weren't given to her as gifts.
As George V faced transformational change in Great Britain after the war, Queen Mary was his most dedicated adviser on matters of state. She remained self-assured and calm in public appearances during the civil unrest over social conditions, Irish independence and Indian nationalism.
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