Friday, July 6, 2012

George V & Mary: A Silver Anniversary

July 6, 1918

Twenty five years ago today, Prince George, Duke of York, then second in line to the throne, married Princess Mary of Teck.  If it were not for the war, there would be a "popular rejoicing" by Britons, but in view of the "consequence of the war," the only public ceremony, according to the New York Times, is the special Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's Cathedral.

This was followed by a visit to Guildhall, where the King and Queen accepted a gift, and the king gave an address:

"We may all cherish well-founded hopes that in the furnace of war new links of understanding and sympathy are forged between man and man, class and class, and we are coming to recognize as never before that we are all members of one community, and the welfare of each is dependent upon and inseparable from the welfare of all."

The King and Queen traveled in an open landau from Buckingham Palace.  When the carriage reached the boundary of the City of London, the Lord Mayor in a "time-honored ceremony of surrendering the city's sword to the sovereign was observed."   King George V returned the sword to the Lord Mayor, and the procession continued to the Cathedral.

Following the Service of Thanksgiving, King George and Queen Mary traveled to Guildhall, where the only gift they received was a large financial donation to charities designated by the King and Queen.

Dowager Queen Alexandra and nearly all the members of the Royal Family were present for the service.  The Prime Minister Lloyd George and other government officials were also in the Cathedrals were many Americans, especially "among the soldiers who witnesses the procession."

In his final words at Guildhall, King George V said: "When that peace comes may it dawn upon an empire strengthened in character by the fiery trial through which it has passed and knit together more closely by the memory of common efforts and common sacrifices."

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