Collector or Thief? Inside Queen Mary’s Royal Collection

Teck’s Queen Mary, discreet grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, is the epitome of British regal and loyal self-control. But beneath her icy exterior lies a genuine passion for objects (and their acquisitions) that have led to decades of whispers that this is the most appropriate for women. emperor — as fictionalized in the movie Downton Abbey—A common kleptomaniac.

There is no doubt that Mary (who reigned from 1910 to 1936) was obsessed with collecting, restoring and rearranging royal artifacts for the House of Windsor. “A great hobby of mine,” she called it.

But the queen also amassed numerous personal collections, based on Her official biographer, James Pope-Hennessy, includes “Battersea enamel, late gems, small onyx elephant with gem-set quartz, small gold or silver tea set, foil case, Small watercolors of flower gardens, glass paintings”. Her passion for miniatures led to the creation of Queen Mary’s famous dollhouse, built between 1921 and 1924.

Queen Mary’s love for beauty and acquisition came naturally. “In essence, she prefers to see rather than hear,” wrote one associate. Born in 1867 at Kensington Palace, the daughter of Princess Mary Adelaide (Queen Victoria’s cousin) and Duke Francis of Teck, she was named Princess Victoria Mary, known by her family as “May” and considered a quiet, intelligent child.

According to the definitive of Pope-Hennessy nun Mary, she claimed her love of collecting came from her father, “only he was poor.” In fact, her parents’ profligate lifestyle plunged the whole family into boiling water, forcing them to flee to Italy.

“Her love of art was nurtured in Florence, where her parents lived for several years, because they were in debt,” said the historian. Hugo Vickers, editor of Quest for Queen Mary.

May First time getting engaged Prince Eddy, third in line to the throne, ended with his death in 1892. A year later, she married her brother George, who was also private, though not nearly as intelligent. by her.

King George V and Queen Mary of Teck

By W. and D. Downey / Getty Images.

The reserved princess has more to do with eye contact. “She looked austere,” said Vickers. “Underneath it all, she has a sense of humor, but she’s pretty shy.” She began collecting seriously, which did not seem to bother her husband, as he was an avid stamp collector.

With the accession of her father-in-law King Edward VII in 1901, May is now Princess of Wales. Between her motherhood and her many duties, she finds true solace and joy in working as the informal curator and cataloger of the royal collections. “I am currently very busy seeing that our various inventory is correct and everything is imported as far as possible from its history,” she writes to her aunt Augusta in 1909. “It’s amazing what we’ve managed to collect and get together since we’ve been married, a fairly believable family collection… without spending a lot of money on it. I confess that I feel quite proud of our efforts. I hope you won’t laugh at me.” | Collector or Thief? Inside Queen Mary’s Royal Collection


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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