21 July 2017

HAG talk: Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck

I had never heard of Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, and I am not that interested in history but I am interested in the place that I live and I always find HAG talks interesting and informative so I booked a place at this one. I also did the poster.

Mary Adelaide lived 1833 to 1897, a period when the royal families married each other with great regularity. As a result she was both granddaughter of George III and grandmother of Edward VIII and George VI.

While she was never in the centre of the Royal Family she was close enough to benefit from it, she was paid under the Civil List (or that period's equivalent) and was given grace and favour houses.

She lived for several years in Cambridge Cottage on Kew Green, which is now part of Kew Gardens where it is a popular venue for weddings. She also lived in White Lodge in Richmond Park for a while so she had strong connections to Richmond. One of the many things she did locally was open the Terrace Gardens next to the river.

She became known as the People's Princess because of the things she did and she was helped in this in Victoria's almost complete absence from public life due to her mourning for Albert. Mary Adelaide was one of the most active royals at that time and was popular because of this.

She is commemorated by a monument just outside Richmond Gate, somewhere between the busy road and the brambles. This site was originally chosen after a full sized model, in wood, of the monument was tried in various locations in Richmond. Plans are being developed to restore the monument and to remodel the setting so that it can be appreciated by people passing through the gate.

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