Thursday, February 5, 2015

Painting of the Day: King George V with his Granddaughters, 1934-1935

King George V with His Granddaughters
Thomas Percy Earl, 1934-1935
The Royal Collection
King George V and Queen Mary loved, loved, loved their granddaughter Princess Elizabeth. Queen Mary often noted in her diary that she spent many happy hours with Princess Elizabeth. She never mentioned Margaret Rose. The king, too, adored his eldest granddaughter. And, he didn’t really like children too much. She called him, “Grandpa England,” and he often said that he hoped that nothing would come between “Bertie” (his son, the Duke of York) and “Lilibet” (his nickname for Bertie’s eldest daughter) and the throne. Not only was this a show of support for his second son and his granddaughter, but it was a clear statement that he didn’t think that his eldest boy, “David” would be a good king. “David” wasn’t a good king, and he wasn’t king long—thankfully. We all know about David’s abdication kerfuffle when, as King Edward VIII, he preferred Wallis Simpson over England.

After the abdication, Queen Mary was all the more involved with Elizabeth and often took comfort in the fact that her late husband adored the girl as well.

Before the King’s death in 193g, he sat for a portrait with the two young princesses. This painting by Thomas Percy Earl shows the King with his favorite horse and the two young girls on their ponies. They are guarded by a sturdy Scottie dog. This painting was created as a gift for Queen Mary. It was presented to Queen Mary by the wives and widows of members of the Jockey Club for the Silver Jubilee celebration on May 6, 1935.

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