Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore
The Royal Burial Ground is a cemetery used by the British Royal Family. Consecrated on the 23rd October 1928, it surrounds the Royal Mausoleum, built in 1862 to house the tomb of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the burial ground lies on the Frogmore Estate, part of Windsor Home Park, in the English county of Berkshire. Many members of the Royal Family except for sovereigns and their consorts, have been interred on the Royal Burial Ground, among them Queen Victoria's children and one sovereign: Edward VIII, 1894–1972. In the adjacent Frogmore Gardens stands the mausoleum of Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld; some members of the British Royal family were reburied at this cemetery in 1928, having been interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Prince Francis of Teck, brother of Queen Mary. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 5 November 1910 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Princess Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught, wife of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught.
Cremated on the evening of 18 March 1917 at Golders Green Crematorium as first member of the Royal Family to be cremated, ashes put in an oak coffin for funeral at St George's Chapel on 19 March 1917 placed in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, husband of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 1 November 1917 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Lord Leopold Mountbatten, grandson of Queen Victoria through his mother Princess Henry of Battenberg. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 1 May 1922 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria, wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 15 June 1923 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1928 Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, a former Prince of Teck and brother of Queen Mary and husband of Margaret Cambridge, Marchioness of Cambridge.
Funeral at St George's Chapel on 29 October 1927 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. His coffin is in the same grave as that of his wife. 1928 Rupert Cambridge, Viscount Trematon, son of Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 19 April 1928 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1929 Margaret Cambridge, Marchioness of Cambridge, wife of the 1st Marquess of Cambridge. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 30 March 1929 interred in the Royal Burial Ground, her coffin is in the same grave as that of her husband. 1935 Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom, daughter of King Edward VII. Interred in the Royal Burial Ground on 9 December 1935. 1938 Prince Arthur of Connaught, son of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 16 September 1938 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1940 Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, daughter of Queen Victoria, wife of the 9th Duke of Argyll. Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, ashes put in an oak coffin for funeral at St George's Chapel on 12 December 1939 placed in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel.
1942 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 23 January 1942 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1948 Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, daughter of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 17 March 1948 interred in the Royal Burial Ground. 1956 Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, daughter of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Helena of the United Kingdom and granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 14 December 1956 interred in the Royal Burial Ground. 1957 the Earl of Athlone, brother of Queen Mary and husband of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. A former Prince of Teck, former Governor-General of South Africa and a former Governor General of Canada. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 19 January 1957 interred in the Royal Burial Ground, his coffin is in the same grave as that of his wife. 1968 Prince George, Duke of Kent, son of King George V, husband of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.
Funeral at St George's Chapel on 29 August 1942 interred in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel. 1968 Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, wife of Prince George, Duke of Kent. Interred in the Royal Burial Ground on 30 August 1968. 1972 Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, eldest son of King George V and King Edward VIII. Funeral at St George's Chapel on 5 June 1972 interred in the Royal Burial Ground. 1972 Prince William of Gloucester, son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. Interred in the Royal Burial Ground on 2 September 1972. 1972 Sir Alexander Ramsay
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales and grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. From the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the British throne, but never became king because he died before his father and grandmother. Albert Victor was known to his family, many biographers, as "Eddy"; when young, he travelled the world extensively as a naval cadet, as an adult he joined the British Army, but did not undertake any active military duties. After two unsuccessful courtships, he was engaged to be married to Princess Mary of Teck in late 1891. A few weeks he died during an influenza pandemic. Mary married his younger brother, who became King George V in 1910. Albert Victor's intellect and mental health have been the subject of speculation. Rumours in his time linked him with the Cleveland Street scandal, which involved a homosexual brothel, but there is no conclusive evidence that he went there or was homosexual.
Some authors have argued that he was the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, but contemporary documents show that Albert Victor could not have been in London at the time of the murders, the claim is dismissed. Albert Victor was born two months prematurely on 8 January 1864 at Frogmore House, Berkshire, he was the first child of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, his wife Alexandra of Denmark. Following his grandmother Queen Victoria's wishes, he was named Albert Victor, after herself and her late husband, Albert; as a grandchild of the reigning British monarch in the male line and a son of the Prince of Wales, he was formally styled His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor of Wales from birth. He was christened Albert Victor Christian Edward in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 10 March 1864 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley, but was known informally as "Eddy", his godparents were Queen Victoria, King Christian IX of Denmark, King Leopold I of Belgium, the Dowager Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Crown Princess of Prussia and Prince Alfred.
When Albert Victor was just short of seventeen months old, his brother, Prince George of Wales, was born on 3 June 1865. Given the closeness in age of the two royal brothers, they were educated together. In 1871, the Queen appointed John Neale Dalton as their tutor; the two princes were given a strict programme of study, which included games and military drills as well as academic subjects. Dalton complained that Albert Victor's mind was "abnormally dormant". Though he learned to speak Danish, progress in other languages and subjects was slow. Sir Henry Ponsonby thought. Albert Victor never excelled intellectually. Possible physical explanations for Albert Victor's inattention or indolence in class include absence seizures or his premature birth, which can be associated with learning difficulties, but Lady Geraldine Somerset blamed Albert Victor's poor education on Dalton, whom she considered uninspiring. Separating the brothers for the remainder of their education was considered, but Dalton advised the Prince of Wales against splitting them up as "Prince Albert Victor requires the stimulus of Prince George's company to induce him to work at all."
In 1877, the two boys were sent to HMS Britannia. They began their studies there two months behind the other cadets as Albert Victor contracted typhoid fever, for which he was treated by Sir William Gull. Dalton accompanied them as chaplain to the ship. In 1879, after a great deal of discussion between the Queen, the Prince of Wales, their households and the Government, the royal brothers were sent as naval cadets on a three-year world tour aboard HMS Bacchante. Albert Victor was rated midshipman on his sixteenth birthday, they toured the British Empire, accompanied by Dalton, visiting the Americas, the Falkland Islands, South Africa, Fiji, the Far East, Ceylon, Egypt, the Holy Land and Greece. They acquired tattoos in Japan. By the time they returned to Britain, Albert Victor was eighteen; the brothers were parted in 1883. At Bachelor's Cottage, Albert Victor was expected to cram before arriving at university in the company of Dalton, French instructor Monsieur Hua, a newly chosen tutor/companion James Kenneth Stephen.
Some biographers have said that Stephen was a misogynist, although this has been questioned, he may have felt attached to Albert Victor, but whether or not his feelings were overtly homosexual is open to question. Stephen was optimistic about tutoring the prince, but by the time the party were to move to Cambridge had concluded, "I do not think he can derive much benefit from attending lectures at Cambridge... He hardly knows the meaning of the words to read". At the start of the new term in October, Albert Victor and Lieutenant Henderson from Bacchante moved to Nevile's Court at Trinity College, generally
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia known as the Royal Yacht Britannia, is the former royal yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in service from 1954 until 1997. She was the 83rd such vessel since King Charles II acceded to the throne in 1660, is the second royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the racing cutter built for the Prince of Wales in 1893. During her 43-year career, the yacht travelled more than a million nautical miles around the globe. Now retired from royal service, Britannia is permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland, it is a popular visitor attraction with over 300,000 visits each year. HMY Britannia was built at the shipyard of John Co.. Ltd in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, she was launched by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953, commissioned on 11 January 1954. The ship was designed with three masts: a 133-foot foremast, a 139-foot mainmast, a 118-foot mizzenmast; the top aerial on the foremast and the top 20 feet of the mainmast were hinged to allow the ship to pass under bridges.
Britannia was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, although this capability was never used. In the event of nuclear war, it was intended for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to take refuge aboard Britannia off the north-west coast of Scotland; the crew of Royal Yachtsmen were volunteers from the general service of the Royal Navy. Officers were appointed for up to two years, while the "yachtsmen" were volunteers and after 365 days' service could be admitted to "The Permanent Royal Yacht Service" as Royal Yachtsmen and served until they chose to leave the Royal Yacht Service or were dismissed for medical or disciplinary reasons; as a result, some served for 20 years or more. The ship carried a troop of Royal Marines when members of the Royal Family were on board. Britannia sailed on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Grand Harbour, departing on 14 April and arriving on 22 April 1954, she carried Princess Anne and Prince Charles to Malta in order for them to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Tobruk at the end of the royal couple's Commonwealth Tour.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh embarked on Britannia for the first time in Tobruk on 1 May 1954. On 20 July 1959, Britannia sailed the newly opened Saint Lawrence Seaway en route to Chicago, where she docked, making the Queen the first Canadian monarch to visit the city. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was aboard Britannia for part of this cruise. Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales, took their honeymoon cruise on Britannia in 1981; the ship evacuated over 1,000 refugees from the civil war in Aden in 1986. The vessel made a port of call in Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. HMY Britannia, when on royal duties, was escorted by a Royal Navy warship; the yacht was a regular sight at Cowes Week in early August and for the remainder of the month, was home to the Queen and her family for an annual cruise around the islands off the west coast of Scotland. During her career as Royal Yacht, Britannia conveyed the Queen, other members of the Royal Family and various dignitaries on 696 foreign visits and 272 visits in British waters.
In this time, Britannia steamed 1,087,623 nautical miles. In 1997, the Conservative government committed itself to replacing the Royal Yacht if re-elected, while the Labour Party refused to disclose its plans for the vessel. After Labour won the general election in May 1997, it announced the vessel was to be retired and no replacement would be built; the previous government had argued that the cost was justified by its role in foreign policy and promoting British interests abroad through conferences held by British Invisibles the Committee on Invisible Exports. It was estimated by the Overseas Trade Board that events held on board the yacht helped raise £3 billion for the treasury between 1991 and 1995 alone; the new government said the expenditure could not be justified given other pressures on the defence budget, from which a replacement vessel would have been funded and maintained. Proposals for the construction of a new royal yacht financed through a loan or by the Queen's own funds, have made little headway.
The Royal Yacht's last foreign mission was to convey the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, the Prince of Wales back from Hong Kong after its handover to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. Britannia was decommissioned on 11 December 1997; the Queen stoic, is reported to have shed a tear at the decommissioning ceremony, attended by most of the senior members of the Royal Family. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Britannia is a visitor attraction moored in the historic Port of Leith in Edinburgh, is cared for by the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, a registered charity. There was some controversy over the siting of the ship, with some arguing that she would be better moored on the River Clyde, where she was built, than in Edinburgh, with which the yacht had few links, her positioning in Leith coincided with a redevelopment of the harbour area, the advent of Scottish devolution. Entrance to the yacht is via the Ocean Terminal development, over 300,000 people visit the Royal Yacht Britannia every year.
She is one of the UK's top evening events venues. On 18 May 2006, the Swiss-born Hollywood actress and first Bond girl, Ursula Andress, celebrated her 70th birthday on board the former royal yacht. On 29 July 2011, a drinks reception was held on board Britannia for Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall to celebrate their upcoming wedding. A r
Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. The story concerns a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theatre, scheduled for demolition, of the past performers of the "Weismann's Follies", a musical revue, that played in that theatre between the World Wars, it focuses on two couples and Sally Durant Plummer and Benjamin and Phyllis Rogers Stone, who are attending the reunion. Sally and Phyllis were showgirls in the Follies. Both couples are unhappy with their marriages. Buddy, a traveling salesman, is having an affair with a girl on the road. Several of the former showgirls perform their old numbers, sometimes accompanied by the ghosts of their former selves; the musical numbers in the show have been interpreted as pastiches of the styles of the leading Broadway composers of the 1920s ands'30s, sometimes as parodies of specific songs. The Broadway production opened on April 4, 1971, directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, with choreography by Bennett.
The musical won seven. The original production, the most costly performed on Broadway to that date, ran for over 500 performances but lost its entire investment; the musical has had a number of major revivals, several of its songs have become standards, including "Broadway Baby", "I'm Still Here", "Too Many Mornings", "Could I Leave You?", "Losing My Mind". After the failure of Do I Hear A Waltz?, for which he had written the lyrics to Richard Rodgers's music, Sondheim decided that he would henceforth work only on projects where he could write both the music and lyrics himself. He asked playwright James Goldman to join him as bookwriter for a new musical. Inspired by a New York Times article about a gathering of former showgirls from the Ziegfeld Follies, they decided upon a story about ex-showgirls. Titled The Girls Upstairs, the musical was to be produced by David Merrick and Leland Hayward in late 1967, but the plans fell through, Stuart Ostrow became the producer, with Joseph Hardy to direct.
These plans did not work out, Harold Prince, who had worked with Sondheim, became the producer and director. He had agreed to work on The Girls Upstairs, it was Prince. In 1971, on the soon-to-be demolished stage of the Weismann Theatre, a reunion is being held to honor the Weismann's "Follies" shows past, the beautiful chorus girls who performed there every year between the two World Wars; the once resplendent theatre is now planks and scaffolding. As the ghosts of the young showgirls drift through the theatre, a majordomo enters with his entourage of waiters and waitresses, they pass through the spectral showgirls without seeing them. Sally Durant Plummer, "blond, sweet-faced" and at 49 "still remarkably like the girl she was thirty years ago", a former Weismann girl, is the first guest to arrive. Phyllis Rogers Stone, a stylish and elegant woman arrives with her husband Ben, a renowned philanthropist and politician; as their younger counterparts approach them, Phyllis comments to Ben about their past.
He feigns a lack of interest. As more guests arrive, Sally’s husband, enters, he is a salesman, in his early 50s, whose smiles cover inner disappointment. Weismann enters to greet his guests. Roscoe, the old master of ceremonies, introduces the former showgirls. Former Weismann performers at the reunion include Max and Stella Deems, who lost their radio jobs and became store owners in Miami; as the guests reminisce, the stories of Ben, Phyllis and Sally unfold. Phyllis and Sally were roommates while in the Follies, Ben and Buddy were best friends at school in New York; when Sally sees Ben, her former lover, she greets him self-consciously. Buddy and Phyllis join their spouses and the foursome reminisces about the old days of their courtship and the theatre, their memories vividly coming to life in the apparitions of their young counterparts; each of the four is shaken at the realization of. Elsewhere, Willy Wheeler cartwheels for a photographer. Emily and Theodore Whitman, ex-vaudevillians in their seventies, perform an old routine.
Solange proves she is still fashionable at what she claims is 66, Hattie Walker performs her old showstopping number. Buddy warns Phyllis that Sally is still in love with Ben, she is shaken by how the past threatens to repeat itself. Sally is awed by Ben’s glamorous life, but Ben wonders if he made the right choices and considers how things might have been. Sally tells Ben how her days have been spent
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India as the wife of King George V. Although technically a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, she was born and raised in England, her parents were Francis, Duke of Teck, of German extraction, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of King George III. She was informally known after her birth month. At the age of 24, she was betrothed to her second cousin once removed Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, but six weeks after the announcement of the engagement, he died unexpectedly during an influenza pandemic; the following year, she became engaged to Albert Victor's next surviving brother, who subsequently became king. Before her husband's accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess of Wales; as queen consort from 1910, she supported her husband through the First World War, his ill health, major political changes arising from the aftermath of the war.
After George's death in 1936, she became queen mother when her eldest son, Edward VIII, ascended the throne, but to her dismay, he abdicated the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. She supported her second son, George VI, until his death in 1952, she died the following year, during the reign of her granddaughter Elizabeth II, who had not yet been crowned. Princess Victoria Mary of Teck was born on 26 May 1867 at Kensington Palace, London, in the same room where Queen Victoria, her first cousin once removed, was born 48 years and two days earlier. Queen Victoria came to visit the baby, writing that she was "a fine one, with pretty little features and a quantity of hair". May would become the first queen consort born in England since Catherine Parr, her father was Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, the son of Duke Alexander of Württemberg by his morganatic wife, Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde. Her mother was Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of King George III and the third child and younger daughter of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel.
She was baptised in the Chapel Royal of Kensington Palace on 27 July 1867 by Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury. From an early age, she was known to her family and the public by the diminutive name of "May", after her birth month. May's upbringing was "merry but strict", she was the eldest of four children, the only daughter, "learned to exercise her native discretion and tact" by resolving her three younger brothers' petty boyhood squabbles. They played with the children of the Prince of Wales, who were similar in age, she grew up at Kensington Palace and White Lodge, in Richmond Park, granted by Queen Victoria on permanent loan, was educated at home by her mother and governess. The Duchess of Teck spent an unusually long time with her children for a lady of her time and class, enlisted May in various charitable endeavours, which included visiting the tenements of the poor. Although May was a great-grandchild of George III, she was only a minor member of the British royal family.
Her father, the Duke of Teck, had no inheritance or wealth and carried the lower royal style of Serene Highness because his parents' marriage was morganatic. The Duchess of Teck was granted a parliamentary annuity of £5,000 and received about £4,000 a year from her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, but she donated lavishly to dozens of charities. Prince Francis was in debt and moved his family abroad with a small staff in 1883, in order to economise, they travelled throughout Europe. They stayed in Florence, for a time, where May enjoyed visiting the art galleries and museums, she was fluent in English and French. In 1885, the family lived for some time in Chester Square. May was close to her mother, acted as an unofficial secretary, helping to organise parties and social events, she was close to her aunt, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wrote to her every week. During the First World War, the Crown Princess of Sweden helped pass letters from May to her aunt, who lived in enemy territory in Germany until her death in 1916.
In 1886, Princess May was introduced at court. Her status as the only unmarried British princess, not descended from Queen Victoria made her a suitable candidate for the royal family's most eligible bachelor, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, her second cousin once removed and the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. In December 1891, May and Albert Victor were engaged; the choice of May as bride for the Duke owed much to Queen Victoria's fondness for her, as well as to her strong character and sense of duty. However, Albert Victor died six weeks in a recurrence of the worldwide 1889–90 influenza pandemic, before the date was fixed for their wedding. Albert Victor's brother, Prince George, Duke of York, now second in line to the throne, evidently became close to May during their shared period of mourning, Queen Victoria still favoured May as a suitable candidate to marry a future king; the public was anxious that the Duke of York should marry and settle the succession. In May 1893, George proposed, May accepted.
They were soon in love, their marriage was a success. George wrote to May every day. May married P