Wednesday 5 December 2012

Queen Mary's Pillow

We are so accustomed to royalty being consumers of fine embroidery for their gowns, that sometimes we overlook the fact that, even in modern times, they also created embroidered artifacts. This pillow was embroidered by Queen Mary and subequently given as a raffle item for a charitable event by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Queen Mary was the model of dynastic duty. Born Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes), she was known as May. Her parents were Francis, Duke of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a member of the British Royal Family. When 24 she was betrothed to Prince Albert Victor the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, but six weeks after the announcement of the engagement the prince died unexpectedly and the year following she was engaged to Albert Victor's next surviving brother, George. As Queen Consort she was at the side of her husband through the First World War, and after his death 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 Wallis Simpson. She supported her second son, Albert, who succeeded to the throne as George VI, until his death in 1952. She died the following year, at the beginning of the reign of her granddaughter, Elizabeth II. Perhaps needlework was her source of strength in those difficult times.


  1. Beautiful pillow, I also love the rug that she stitched and that was auctioned off to pay some of Britain's WWII debt.

  2. I have a book that belonged to one of my Great Grandmothers on Queen Mary. A few of the photos in it are about Queen Mary and her love of sewing and contains photos of the wonderful Needlepoint rug that she stitched. Here are a few photos of her sewing and the rug. The rug ended up in Canada.

    The last photo shows Eleanor Roosevelt inspecting the rug when it went on a tour of Canada and the US.