look-alikes: Queen Mary (Mary of Teck)

Queen Mary

Mary of Teck (1867–1953) was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V.

By birth, she was a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, with the style Serene Highness. To her family, she was informally known as May, after the month of her birth. Her father had married a granddaughter of King George III and Mary was born and brought up in the United Kingdom. At the age of twenty-four she was betrothed to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the second in line to the British throne, but six weeks after the announcement of the engagement he unexpectedly died of pneumonia. The following year she became engaged to Albert Victor’s next surviving brother, George, who subsequently became king.

Before her husband’s accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess of Wales. She became Queen Consort in 1910. After George’s death in 1936, her eldest son Edward became King-Emperor, but to her dismay he abdicated the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Mrs Wallis Simpson. She supported her second son, Albert, who succeeded to the throne as George VI, until his death in 1952. She died in 1953, at the beginning of the reign of her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Briefly, there were three queens in the country: Mary; her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; and Elizabeth II.

Queen Mary was known for setting the tone of the British Royal Family, as a model of regal formality and propriety, especially during state occasions. Noted for superbly bejewelling herself for formal events, she left a collection of jewels now considered priceless.

The movies & TV shows

Downton Abbey (2019): Featuring Geraldine James as Queen Mary. Coming soon …

The King’s Speech (2010): The story of King George VI, his unexpected ascension to the throne in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer. Featuring Claire Bloom as Queen Mary. Frances Hannon was the hair & makeup designer.

Wallis & Edward (2005): In 1936, Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the woman he loved: Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American. This time the story is told from Wallis’s point of view. Margaret Tyzack played Mary of Teck. Jan Sewell was the hair & makeup designer.

Bertie and Elizabeth (2002): The Duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was the ‘spare’, younger brother to the Prince of Wales. As such he expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and their daughters. However the abdication crisis of 1936 left him unexpected crowned as King George VI and at the head of a nation about to endure the Second World War. Eileen Atkins played Queen Mary. A mini-series clearly designed to offend no one it simply bored everyone – the IMDb comment summed it up succinctly: ‘Dreck!’. Christine Blundell was the hair & makeup designer.

All the King’s Men (1999): Featuring Judy Loe as Princess Mary. Coming soon …

Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978): Featuring Peggy Ashcroft as Mary. Coming soon …

Edward the Seventh (1975): Featuring Judy Loe as Princess Mary. Coming soon …