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Altered version of QM12/69  
Queen Mary at Indore Station

Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes was born on 26th May 1867. The first child of the Duke of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide, May, as the child was known, was merely a peripheral member of the Royal Family. While May's mother was a granddaughter of George III, her father was the product of a morganatic marriage and thus barred from inheriting the kingdom of Württemberg (Warwick 1989, pp.2-4). May consequently grew up in relative obscurity, spending much of her time at the family home in Richmond Park, Surrey (Pope-Hennessy 1987, p.66). However, this quiet life was to end in July 1893 when she married Prince George, second in line to the British throne.

During the next twenty years May accompanied her husband on three major Empire tours. She prepared conscientiously for these trips and fell in love with India: "'When I die', she remarked at that time..., 'INDIA will be found written on my heart'" (Pope-Hennessy 1987, p.397). She acquired many mementoes of her travels and, after the death of her husband, presented these numerous souvenirs to the India Office Library. The independence and partition of India came as a great shock to her and when it was proposed that the India Office Library be divided between India and Pakistan, she decided to withdraw her collection.

In 1950 Queen Mary presented the collection, along with a small number of other works, to the then named Royal Empire Society. The collection has remained with the Society's library ever since. It contains a wealth of information on British India and the Royal Family, including: 29 photograph albums; numerous books on India, many of which are presentation copies in special bindings; scrapbooks of miscellaneous items such as menus, invitations and guest lists; scripts of various addresses.

The images included in this Photograph Gallery are from the Royal couple's 1905-06 tour of India. The trip was made just months after the birth of their sixth child, Prince John, and lasted from October 1905 to April 1906. It encompassed visits to places as far apart as Bombay, Peshawar, Karachi and Rangoon.

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