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The South Asian collections of King George V and Queen Mary

The early twentieth century saw the rise of the swaraj (self-rule) movement. King George V(r. 1910–36) and his wife, Queen Mary, carried out two royal tours of the Indian subcontinent in the hope of improving public perception of and loyalty to the British Crown. Both fell in love with ‘dear beautiful India’. Following their initial visit in 1905–6 as Prince and Princess of Wales, they returned as Emperor and Empress for a Coronation Tour in 1911–12.

King George V and Queen Mary compiled and annotated souvenir scrapbooks and photograph albums documenting their tours of India. They also made many South Asian acquisitions for the Royal Collection, both during their tours and later in Britain. These included Pahari paintings and works by modern artists.

Calcutta, Bombay & Simla : Bourne & Shepherd (active 1864-1900s)

Lord and Lady Curzon on the State Elephant, Lutchmann Pershad

Aubrey Kellaway (active 1911)

Panoramic view of the Delhi Durbar, 1911

Queen Mary, consort of George V, King of the United Kingdom (1867-1953)

Queen Mary's Album, Volume 15 

Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951)

Tissarakshita, Queen of Asoka