By Edward Owens

Published November 2019


The Family Firm presents the first major analysis of the public projection and reception of the British monarchy’s media image in the period 1932-1953. Beginning with King George V’s first Christmas broadcast in 1932, the royal household worked with the Church of England and the media to initiate a new phase in the House of Windsor’s public relations strategy. Together they elevated the royal family’s domesticity as a focal point for popular identification and this strengthened the emotional connections that members of the public forged with royalty.

The Family Firm shows how the tightening of these bonds had a unifying effect on British national life in the unstable years during and either side of the Second World War and helped to restore public confidence in a Crown that was profoundly shaken by the 1936 Abdication Crisis.

  • "The royal family, famous for its inscrutability, has more than met its match in this resourceful young historian", Professor Arianne Chernock (Boston University), Reviews in History (May 2020).
  • "A vibrant and welcome study of the monarchy’s early interaction with the mass media … an important insight into how British royalty has been adept at making itself a powerful, popular, and frequently uncontested presence." Twentieth-Century British History (July 2020).


Dr Edward Owens is a historian of the modern British monarchy and the media state. A former lecturer at the University of Lincoln, he has published and broadcast widely on aspects of the monarchy in the twentieth- and twenty-first century.

Published by University of London Press as part of the RHS / IHR New Historical Perspectives series

420pp, Available in print, eBook and as a free Open Access download.

To request a review copy, please contact Lauren De'ath, Publications and Marketing Officer at University of London Press.

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