, Queen Consort
of George V
Born in 1867, Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was the daughter of HRH Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, first cousin of Queen Victoria, and of HSH The Duke of Teck, a member of the Royal House of Wurttemburg. She grew up in Society as a relatively minor princess in London, being both of low rank and of somewhat limited marriage prospects. She married HRH Prince George, Duke of York in 1893 after having been engaged to his older brother, HRH The Duke of Clarence and Avondale, who had died before the marriage could take place. She became Princess of Wales in 1901, Queen Consort in 1911, and Queen Dowager or Queen Mother in 1936. She died in 1953, having outlived her husband and three of her sons.
It is Queen Mary who is often credited with creating the modern monarch of handbags and ribbons. In Queen Victoria's day, the monarch's main duties were associated with the government; attending functions and charity events were not activites which Victoria relished, especially during the first 10 years of her widowhood. Queen Mary was probably the first British royal to fill her days with events, as Elizabeth II does today. Queen Mary also may be responsible for the notion that royals are stiff, cold people, since Queen Victoria and her successor, Edward VII, were both passionate people with tendencies toward outburst. (Queen Alexandra, Edward VII's consort, was a kind-hearted fashion plate who today might be described as "blonde.")
Queen Mary was the last Queen Consort to be born royal. She was also the last to be born in the 19th century.