Harewood showcases the girl who would be Queen

wITH its links to royalty, it was always expected that Yorkshire’s Harewood House would be a centre of celebration during the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee year.

The stately home, near Leeds, was home to Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, sister of the Queen’s father, George VI, through four decades in the twentieth century, and subsequently maintained by her son, George Lascelles, the 7th Earl of Harewood and first cousin to the Queen, who died last year.

But now it has been announced that Harewood will host a special exhibition in the spring – a collection of photographs of the young Princess Elizabeth which give a unique insight into the life of the child destined to become Queen.

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Taken by favourite royal photographer Marcus Adams, they capture the early life of the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, beginning with Princess Elizabeth’s first sitting when she was just over seven months old in 1926.

The photographs chart their lives as the new royal family, the pre-war years, their last sitting in 1941 at Windsor Castle and then a new generation of royals; Prince Charles and Princess Anne were photographed by Mr Adams thirteen times between 1949 and 1956.

Two vintage prints of Prince Charles and Princess Anne taken in October 1952 when they attended Mr Adams’s studio together will appear outside the Royal Collection for the first time and a short film of a very young Princess Elizabeth will be screened.

The photographs, on loan from the Royal Collection, will appear at other destinations around the country during the year, but Harewood will be the first exhibitor. They will be on show from March 31 until June 17.

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An exhibition commemorating the life of Princess Mary will also be held and will feature family photographs, portraits, period footage and precious personal items including fans, gifts from heads of state and presents from her royal relations by the jeweller Fabergé.

A spokesman for Harewood House said: “Harewood House in Yorkshire was home to Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, through four decades. Her love of Yorkshire and the affection the people of Yorkshire felt for her in return mean that she will always be remembered as ‘The Yorkshire Princess’.

“Harewood is proud to celebrate this Jubilee year with a special exhibition remembering her, an exhibition that runs through the house and out into the gardens which she loved so much. We are also commemorating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with an exhibition of intimate family photographs of the Queen, from childhood to motherhood.”

Princess Mary married Henry, Sixth Earl of Harewood in 1922 and they moved into Harewood House in 1929. They introduced many modern amenities and commissioned architect Sir Herbert Baker to design them a suite of rooms. They were both keen gardeners and avid collectors.

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Harewood was their family home, where they brought up their two sons before the war and where Princess Mary continued to live for nearly twenty years after her husband’s death in 1947. She saw Harewood through times of tremendous change and died there, walking round the lake with her elder son and two of her grandsons, in 1965.

Anna Robinson, Head of House & Collections at the Harewood House Trust added: “We enjoy an excellent relationship with the Royal Collection so we are delighted to show these wonderful photographs for the first time this year. 

“The combination of our own exhibition Royal Harewood: The Life of a Yorkshire Princess which celebrates the life of HRH Princess Mary at Harewood and the photographs of Marcus Adams works well for us particularly in this very special year.”

Edwin Lascelles, born in 1713, commissioned the building of Harewood House in the mid-eighteenth century with money his father Henry had made in the West Indian sugar trade.

It has been home to the Lascelles family ever since.

The Queen’s cousin, George Lascelles, the seventh Earl of Harewood and son of Princess Mary, died in July last year.