King George and Queen Mary

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King George and Queen Mary
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original network BBC
Original release 3 January – 4 January 2012
King George V and Queen Mary.

King George and Queen Mary: The Royals who Rescued the Monarchy is a 2012 British documentary series produced by the BBC.[1] The programme premiered on BBC Two and consists of two episodes, each an hour long.[2] The first episode, King George V, premiered on 3 January 2012, and the second, devoted to Queen Mary, premiered on 4 January 2012.[2] Rob Coldstream produced both episodes, and Denys Blakeway served as the executive producer of the series.[3]

The programme explores the lives of King George V and Queen Mary, and their attempts at modernising the British Monarchy in response to the massive social changes during and following World War I.[3] The first episode recalls how, fearing anti-German sentiment, the royal house name was changed by King George from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the House of Windsor.[4] The series also examines the personal lives of the couple, delving into their relationships with their children, and with each other.[3] The marriage between George and Mary was an arranged marriage, occurring only because Prince Albert Victor, George's brother and Mary's original fiancé, died from influenza.[5] George V is presented in the series as a disciplinarian, who strictly punished his children, but was known to be much more loving to his granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.[3]


John Crace of The Guardian criticised the documentary, remarking that it "repeated familiar mantras about how the royal family cared a great deal more for the country than they did for each other" without ever "asking if we might not have been better off as a republic." Crace notes that the series was one of many programmes about royalty released in 2012, taking advantage of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.[6] Patrick Smith of The Daily Telegraph was more positive, praising the first episode for its "eye-opening, and at times amusing anecdotes about George’s private persona, which were in sharp contrast to the warm description of his public one."[4]


  1. ^ "King George and Queen Mary: The Royals who Rescued the Monarchy". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Episodes guide". BBC Two. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "King George". BBC Two. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Smith, Patrick (3 January 2012). "King George and Queen Mary: the Royals Who Rescued the Monarchy, BBC Two, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "King George". BBC Two. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Crace, John (3 January 2012). "TV review: Public Enemies; The Fat Fighters; King George and Queen Mary: The Royals who Rescued the Monarchy". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2012.