Last Sunday’s ITV documentary on the Queen reminded us of her complete devotion to duty, but where did she get it from? I like to think that it is a quality she either inherited or learned from her grandmother, the formidable Queen Mary, consort of King George V. Queen Mary’s attitude to the duty that goes with royal privilege is summed up in one of her most famous quotes, delivered during the First World War.
Queen Mary spent many days during the war touring hospitals to visit the sick and wounded coming back from the front. She sometimes visited up to 4 hospitals in an afternoon, often dragging other royal family members along with her. The story goes that during one such visit one of the younger female royals accompanying the Queen complained: “I am tired and I hate hospitals!” Queen Mary turned around and replied to her:
“You are a member of the British Royal Family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals!”
P.S. I have scoured several books and biographies to find out who was the unfortunate young royal who provoked that remark, but with no luck. If anyone knows who she was, please leave a comment below or twitter me @HappynGlorious.
Queen Mary’s dedication to duty during World War I was total: two of her sons served in the military and her daughter Mary, pictured here, was enrolled as a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment. None of her offspring dared complaining.