• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift

Princess Mary Gift Tin, 1914
Join Peter Doyle as he tells the story of Princess Mary's appeal to fund Christmas gifts for those serving in the First World War.

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In 1914, Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V, was just 17 years old. Yet with the world newly at war, the young princess was destined to make her mark. 

Mary decided that all those on active service, ‘afloat and at the front’, should be sent a Christmas gift to help boost morale, and she set about her task with great determination. By 1919, some 2.7 million people from across the British Empire had received the gift.

In this talk, Peter Doyle will explore the story of Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift, looking at how the servicemen viewed this act of kindness, and how it fits into a wider story of hope as illustrated by events like the famous ‘Christmas Truce’.

Peter Doyle is an author and historian specialising in the First World War. He is a member of the British Commission for Military History, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on War Heritage, and Visiting Professor of History at London South Bank University.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."