The Family Firm. Monarchy, Media and the British Public, 1932-53


By Edward Owens

FORTHCOMING: 15 October 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.

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

Available from 31 October 2019, in print and as a free Open Access download.

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Table of contents

Part 1: Setting the scene 
1. ‘All the world loves a lover’: the 1934 royal wedding of Prince George and Princess Marina 
2. ‘A man we understand’: King George V’s radio broadcasts
Part 2: The family firm falters
3. ‘This is the day of the people’: the 1937 coronation
4. ‘They’re only figureheads’: the royal family at war
Part 3: Royal renaissance
5. ‘A happy queen is a good queen’: the 1947 royal love story
6. ‘This time I was THERE taking part’: the television broadcast of the 1953 coronation