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Mary of Teck

Queen Mary, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (May 26, 1867 - March 24, 1953), known popularly as "Princess May," was the Queen consort of King George V of the United Kingdom.

Born Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louis Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck at Kensington Palace[?], the daughter of the impoverished Francis, Duke of Teck, she was a great-granddaughter of King George III and a first cousin once removed of Queen Victoria. Her mother was Queen Victoria's first cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge, a hugely popular, vastly stout royal popularly known as "Fat Mary."

She was at first engaged, in 1891, to Prince "Eddy", Duke of Clarence, the elder son of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom). On Prince Eddy's sudden death, she became engaged to his younger brother, Prince George, who was duly created Duke of York. They were married on July 6, 1893, at St James's Palace[?].

Princess May had been brought up with a strong sense of duty and regarded her marriage in this light, having accepted Prince Eddy's proposal only because it was expected of her. She had far more in common with Prince George, and theirs was an exceptionally successful marriage, producing five sons and one daughter, whom they raised very strictly. In 1901, on Edward VII's accession to the throne, they became Prince and Princess of Wales. When Edward died in 1910, they became King and Queen and were crowned Emperor and Empress of India at New Delhi on December 11, 1911.

World War I was an ordeal for the British Royal Family, because of its German connections. Queen Mary, in particular, had spent much of her childhood in Germany and remained in contact with her German relations for much of the war. The King's health was poor, and after his death in 1936, Queen Mary became H.M. Queen Mary, The Queen Mother and attempted to dissuade her son, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, from marrying Wallis Simpson and abdicating the throne. She found her failure difficult to accept and refused to receive Wallis even after their marriage. She lived on to see her second son, George VI of the United Kingdom, make a success of his kingship. On his death in 1952, Mary's granddaughter came to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II, but Mary did not survive to see the coronation in the following year. She died in London on March 24, 1953, and was buried at Windsor. On the accession of her granddaughter, the title of Queen Mother went to her daughter-in-law, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon; she became H.M. Queen Mary the Dowager Queen Mother. She was regarded as the matriarch of the royal family; her funeral and lying-in-state created unprecedented scenes of public mourning.

It is said that E. M. Forster once bowed to the cake at a wedding reception when he mistook it for Queen Mary.



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