by Dr Ed Owens, Lecturer in History
I have a new book coming out at the end of the month titled The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-53. The Family Firm presents the first major historical analysis of the transformation of the royal household’s public relations strategy in the mid-twentieth century. 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 bu 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 family-centred image strengthened the emotional connections that members of the public forged with the royals. 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.
This is the first book in the New Historical Perspectives series. New Historical Perspectives is a new book series for early career scholars, commissioned and edited by the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research and published by University of London Press. The book will be available to buy in hardback and paperback editions, or to download as a free Open Access PDF.