A stately home wants families who have one of Princess Mary’s World War One gift fund boxes to get in touch.
Curators at Harewood House near Leeds will tomorrow (Sept 20) unveil an exhibition celebrating the life of HRH Princess Mary, who was the Princess Royal.
As a 17-year-old, the young princess was keen to send encouragement and a ‘thank you’ to all those in uniform.
A committee was formed, which included Winston Churchill, then the First Sea Lord, and they met at The Ritz Hotel in London.
They agreed a gift should be sent to every member of the armed and auxiliary forces on Christmas Day, 1914, as part of the Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift Fund.
A Harewood spokeswoman said: “These brass gift boxes carried a photograph of the young Princess with a note of best wishes, and included a variety of contents, such as letter writing kits, ‘bullet pencils’, tobacco and chocolate.
“They were then despatched around the world to every serving man and woman. Many of these boxes continue to be held by families around the world and remain a legacy to the those who fought in the Great War.
“Harewood are calling for anyone who has a gift box in their family to get in touch. E-mail email@example.com or write to The Marketing Department, Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LG. Mark letters or e-mail ‘Princess Mary Gift Boxes. As the great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the daughter of George V and Queen Mary, wife of the 6th Earl of Harewood, mother of two boys, the exhibition shows her commitment to her family, her public duties and her love of the outdoors and life at Harewood.”