Princess Mary of Cambridge
8 October 1860
Volume 2, page 31, sitting number 1422.
Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina was the daughter of Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the seventh son of George III. In 1866 she married Prince Francis Paul Louis Alexander, Duke of Teck (1837-1900), eldest son of Prince Alexander of Württemberg. She was the mother of May of Teck, who became the queen-consort of King George V.
Despite her influence among the Central European principalities, it still took Queen Victoria almost a decade to find a suitable match for her generously proportioned cousin, and she was nearly forced to concede to her Foreign Secretary, Lord Clarendon, that 'no German Prince will venture so vast an undertaking.' In the end, at the age of thirty, Mary married the impecunious Prince of Teck.
Having finally entered the state of matrimony, the Princess lived well beyond her means, amounting huge debts in her new-found role as a hostess of London society. She was eventually persuaded to economise and, with that end in mind, in 1883, she and her husband and their four children went to live in Florence, where they proceeded to live in almost as opulent a style as that which they had enjoyed in London.
She was known as the Princess of Cambridge until her marriage, after which she was known as either the Princess or Duchess of Teck. Enormously popular with the British public, she was also affectionately known as 'Fat Mary.'