On This Day: The Death of ‘Fat Mary’, Duchess Mary Adelaide of Teck

  October 27, 2017 at 7:40 am by

On October 27th 1897 -exactly 120 years ago today- Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, Duchess of Teck died at White Lodge after an emergency operation. The duchess was born in 1833 as the youngest child of Prince Adolphus of the United Kingdom, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Auguste of Hesse-Kassel.

At the age of 30 the princess was still unmarried and went by the name ‘Fat Mary’ due to her size.  A partner was found in 1836, when the princess married Duke Francis of Teck. He descended from a morganatic marriage of a prince of the royal family of Wurttemberg.

The duchess was unable to pay for her extravagant tastes with her state allowance of 5000 pounds. In 1883 the family moved abroad to escape creditors in London. They first stayed in Florence, Italy and later moved to relatives in Germany.

The couple got four children, the eldest was a daughter called Victoria Mary, who is better known as Queen Mary and wife of King George V of the United Kingdom.

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