King George and Queen Mary the Modern Royals?

Queen Elizabeth’s  grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary have been credited with modernizing the monarchy.  A bit ironic considering just two generations later most people now feel Prince William and his lovely wife the Duchess are the modernizes of the monarchy.

King George V could not have been a more unlikely modernizer. 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. Much like her granddaughter the current Queen.  Yet in the face of unstoppable social change after World War I, George V turned out to be a remarkable innovator.  He would drop the family German name and create the House of Windsor. He would embrace democratic reform, and reinvent many of the royal traditions that we know today.

George’s loyal wife Queen Mary was the people’s rock when the abdication crisis threatened the future of the House of Windsor.  The nation turned to her as a symbol of stability and continuity.  A lesson her granddaughter would not forget.

Part one of  KING GEORGE & QUEEN MARY: THE ROYALS WHO RESCUED THE MONARCHY airs Thursday, March 21 at 10pm on WOSU TV.  Part two will air on Thursday, March 28 at 10pm.