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King George and Queen Mary

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II's grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary examining the lasting legacy of the couple who rescued the monarchy from potential disaster. George V could not have been a more unlikely moderniser. Born and brought up in the Victorian age he was conservative to his fingertips and an unsuccessful parent who bullied his children. His wife Queen Mary revered the monarchy, obeyed her husband in all things - even on the length of her dresses - and always put duty and service first. Yet in the face of unstoppable social change after the First World War George V turned out to be a remarkable innovator, creating the House of Windsor, embracing democratic reform, and reinventing many of the royal traditions that we know today. And when the abdication crisis threatened the future of the House of Windsor, Queen Mary was the rock to which the nation turned as a symbol of stability and continuity.

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