The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-53
Keywords:media, broadcasting, royals, monarchy
The Family Firm presents the first major historical analysis of the transformation of the royal household’s public relations strategy in the period 1932-1953. Beginning with King George V’s first Christmas broadcast, Buckingham Palace worked with the Church of England and the media to initiate a new phase in the House of Windsor’s approach to publicity.
This book also focuses on audience reception by exploring how British readers, listeners, and viewers made sense of royalty’s new media image. It argues that the monarchy’s deliberate elevation of a more informal and vulnerable family-centred image strengthened the emotional connections that members of the public forged with the royals, and that the tightening of these bonds had a unifying effect on national life in the unstable years during and either side of the Second World War. Crucially, The Family Firm also contends that the royal household’s media strategy after 1936 helped to restore public confidence in a Crown that was severely shaken by the abdication of King Edward VIII.
The Family Firm appears in New Historical Perspectives, an Open Access monograph series for Early Career Scholars from the Royal Historical Society and Institute of Historical Research.
- "The royal family, famous for its inscrutability, has more than met its match in this resourceful young historian", Professor Arianne Chernock, 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).
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
3. ‘This is the day of the people’: the 1937 coronation
4. ‘Now it's up to us all - not kings and queens': the royal family at war
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