On 20th January 1936 King George V died after a short illness. […] On January 31st I went into waiting at Buckingham Palace.
I found Queen Mary calm and composed, carrying out her duties with quiet competence and dignity, comforting her children, thinking of everyone but herself. But behind the facade of self-control was passionate grief for the husband who has been the center of her life for over forty years. I spent several hours a day answering her letters of sympathy which poured in from all over the world. Many of the letters had some personal recollection of King George which touched the chords of her own memory so that at each new letter which we read together her tears would break out afresh. Sometimes she would be unable to speak for a few minutes, and then would pathetically ask me to forgive her.
– Mabell, Countess of Airlie, Thatched with Gold, p. 196.