Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Overview
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the last queen consort of Ireland
King of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

 and empress consort of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

.

Born into a family of Scottish nobility as The Honourable Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when her father
Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, KG, KT, GCVO, TD, was a landowner and the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II....

 inherited the Earldom of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
The title Earl of Kinghorne was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1606 for Patrick Lyon. In 1677, the designation of the earldom changed to "Strathmore and Kinghorne". A second Earldom was bestowed on the fourteenth Earl in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1937, the title being Strathmore...

 in 1904.
Quotations

"We'd have to go self-service." :After a Tory|Tory minister advised her not to employ homosexuals :Reported November 10, 2002 in The Observer|The Observer

"Whatever would American tourists think?" :Admonishing a group of London teenagers she saw throwing stones at a car.

"Is it just me or are pensioners getting younger these days?" :To a group of pensioners. (At age 90)

"Is that wise, darling? Remember you have to reign all afternoon." :To the Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom|Queen, who was contemplating having a second glass of wine at lunch.

"I hadn't realised I enjoyed that reputation. But as I do, perhaps you could make it a large one." :To her host who blurted out "I hear you like gin" during an engagement at which she was supposed to be offered a cup of tea.

"The chopper has changed my life as conclusively as it did Anne Boleyn|Anne Boleyn's." :To a pilot after having decided that helicopters were a useful convenience.

"Oh, I understand that perfectly. That's how we feel in Scotland too, but the English won't allow it." :On a 1947 tour of South Africa|South Africa, in reply to an Afrikaner|Afrikaner who said "I don't think much of royalty. I think South Africa ought to be a republic."

Canadian veteran: Are you Scotch or English?Elizabeth: I'm Canadian!

"I wouldn't if I were you, Noel; they count them before they put them out." :To Noel Coward|Noel Coward, when he showed interest in the guardsmen at a gala function.

"When one of you young queens has finished, can you bring this old queen a drink?" :To her largely homosexual personal staff

Encyclopedia
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the last queen consort of Ireland
King of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

 and empress consort of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

.

Born into a family of Scottish nobility as The Honourable Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when her father
Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, KG, KT, GCVO, TD, was a landowner and the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II....

 inherited the Earldom of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
The title Earl of Kinghorne was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1606 for Patrick Lyon. In 1677, the designation of the earldom changed to "Strathmore and Kinghorne". A second Earldom was bestowed on the fourteenth Earl in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1937, the title being Strathmore...

 in 1904. She came to prominence in 1923 when she married Albert, Duke of York, the second son of King George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

 and Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

. As Duchess of York, she – along with her husband and their two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

 – embodied traditional ideas of family and public service. She undertook a variety of public engagements, and became known as the "Smiling Duchess" because of her consistent public expression.

In 1936, her husband unexpectedly became King when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated
Edward VIII abdication crisis
In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire was caused by King-Emperor Edward VIII's proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite....

 in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. As queen consort, Elizabeth accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America before the start of World War II. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. In recognition of her role as an asset to British morale, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". After the war, her husband's health deteriorated and she was widowed at the age of 51.

On the death of her mother-in-law Queen Mary in 1953, with her brother-in-law living abroad and her elder daughter aged 25, Elizabeth became the senior member of the royal family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

 and assumed a position as family matriarch. In her later years, she was a consistently popular member of the family, when other members were suffering from low levels of public approval. She continued an active public life until just a few months before her death at the age of 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

.

Early life

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter and the ninth of ten children of Claude George Bowes-Lyon
Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, KG, KT, GCVO, TD, was a landowner and the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II....

, Lord Glamis, (later 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
The title Earl of Kinghorne was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1606 for Patrick Lyon. In 1677, the designation of the earldom changed to "Strathmore and Kinghorne". A second Earldom was bestowed on the fourteenth Earl in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1937, the title being Strathmore...

), and his wife, Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck. Her mother was descended from British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, KG, PC was a British Whig and Tory statesman, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Prime Minister. He was known before 1762 by the courtesy title Marquess of Titchfield. He held a title of every degree of British nobility—Duke,...

, and Governor-General of India
Governor-General of India
The Governor-General of India was the head of the British administration in India, and later, after Indian independence, the representative of the monarch and de facto head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William...

 Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
Richard Colley Wesley, later Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, KG, PC, PC , styled Viscount Wellesley from birth until 1781, was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator....

, who was the elder brother of another Prime Minister, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

.

The location of her birth remains uncertain, but reputedly she was born either in her parents' Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

 home at Belgrave Mansions, Grosvenor Gardens, or in a horse-drawn ambulance on the way to a hospital. Other possible locations include Forbes House in Ham, London
Ham, London
Ham is a district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the River Thames.- Location :Its name derives from the Old English word Hamme meaning place in the bend in the river. Together with Petersham, Ham lies to the east of the bend in the river south of Richmond and north of Kingston...

, the home of her maternal grandmother, Mrs Scott
Louisa Cavendish-Bentinck
Louisa Cavendish-Bentinck was the second wife of the Reverend Charles Cavendish-Bentinck, and the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.She was the daughter of Edwyn Burnaby, of Baggrave Hall and Anne Caroline Salisbury.She married...

. Her birth was registered at Hitchin
Hitchin
Hitchin is a town in Hertfordshire, England, with an estimated population of 30,360.-History:Hitchin is first noted as the central place of the Hicce people mentioned in a 7th century document, the Tribal Hidage. The tribal name is Brittonic rather than Old English and derives from *siccā, meaning...

, Hertfordshire, near the Strathmores' country house, St Paul's Walden Bury
St Paul's Walden Bury
St. Paul's Walden Bury is a stately home and surrounding gardens located in the village of St Paul's Walden in Hertfordshire. A home of the Bowes-Lyon family, it is best known for its connection to the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother...

, which was also given as her birthplace in the census the following year
United Kingdom Census 1901
A nationwide census was conducted in England and Wales on 31 March 1901. It contains records for 32 million people and 6 million houses, It covers the whole of England and Wales, with the exception of parts of Deal in Kent. Separate censuses were held in Scotland and Ireland...

. She was christened there on 23 September 1900, in the local parish church, All Saints, and her godparents included her paternal aunt Lady Maud Bowes-Lyon and cousin Mrs. Arthur James. In the 1911 census, she was living in Hitchin, but she was not registered as having been born there.

She spent much of her childhood at St Paul's Walden
St Paul's Walden
St Paul's Walden is a village about five miles south of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England. The civil parish of St Paul's Walden also includes the village of Whitwell...

 and at Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public....

, the Earl's ancestral home in Glamis
Glamis
Glamis is a small village in Angus, Scotland, located four miles south of Kirriemuir and five miles southwest of Forfar. It is the location of Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.-History:...

, Angus
Angus
Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

, Scotland. She was educated at home by a governess until the age of eight, and was fond of field sports, ponies and dogs. When she started school in London, she astonished her teachers by precociously beginning an essay with two Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 words from Xenophon
Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

's Anabasis
Anabasis (Xenophon)
Anabasis is the most famous work, in seven books, of the Greek professional soldier and writer Xenophon. The journey it narrates is his best known accomplishment and "one of the great adventures in human history," as Will Durant expressed the common assessment.- The account :Xenophon accompanied...

. Her best subjects were literature and scripture. After returning to private education under a German Jewish governess, Käthe Kübler, she passed the Oxford Local Examination
OCR (examination board)
OCR is an examination board that sets examinations and awards qualifications . It is one of England, Wales and Northern Ireland's five main examination boards....

 with distinction at age 13.

On her fourteenth birthday, Britain declared war
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 on Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. Four of her brothers served in the army. Her elder brother, Fergus
Fergus Bowes-Lyon
Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon was an older brother of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.He was born at Glamis Castle in Angus and educated at Eton College, Berkshire. Just a fortnight after the start of World War I, he married Lady Christian Norah Dawson-Damer , daughter of the 5th Earl of...

, an officer in the Black Watch
Black Watch
The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The unit's traditional colours were retired in 2011 in a ceremony led by Queen Elizabeth II....

 Regiment, was killed in action at the Battle of Loos
Battle of Loos
The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. It marked the first time the British used poison gas during the war, and is also famous for the fact that it witnessed the first large-scale use of 'new' or Kitchener's Army...

 in 1915. Another brother, Michael, was reported missing in action on 28 April 1917. Three weeks later, the family discovered he had been captured after being wounded. He remained in a prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 camp for the rest of the war. Glamis was turned into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers, which Elizabeth helped to run. She was particularly instrumental in organising the rescue of the Castle's contents during a serious fire on 16 September 1916. One of the soldiers she treated wrote in her autograph book that she was to be "Hung, drawn, & quartered ... Hung in diamonds, drawn in a coach and four, and quartered in the best house in the land."

Marriage to Prince Albert

Prince Albert, Duke of York – "Bertie" to the family – was the second son of George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

. He initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down, being "afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to". When he declared he would marry no other, his mother, Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

, visited Glamis to see for herself the girl who had stolen her son's heart. She became convinced that Elizabeth was "the one girl who could make Bertie happy", but nevertheless refused to interfere. At the same time, Elizabeth was courted by James Stuart
James Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn
James Gray Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn CH MVO MC and Bar PC was a Scottish Unionist politician.Born in Edinburgh, Stuart was the son of Morton Gray Stuart, 17th Earl of Moray, and Edith Douglas Palmer....

, Albert's equerry
Equerry
An equerry , and related to the French word "écuyer" ) is an officer of honour. Historically, it was a senior attendant with responsibilities for the horses of a person of rank. In contemporary use, it is a personal attendant, usually upon a Sovereign, a member of a Royal Family, or a national...

, until he left the prince's service for a better paid job in the American oil business.

In February 1922, Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Albert's sister, Princess Mary
Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood was a member of the British Royal Family; she was the third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She was the sixth holder of the title of Princess Royal...

, to Viscount Lascelles
Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood KG GCVO DSO TD , styled The Hon. Henry Lascelles before 1892 and Viscount Lascelles between 1892 and 1929, was the son of the 5th Earl of Harewood and Lady Florence Bridgeman.Lascelles was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards and commanded the...

. The following month, Albert proposed again, but she refused him once more. Eventually, in January 1923, Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her misgivings about royal life. Albert's freedom in choosing Elizabeth, legally a commoner though the daughter of a peer, was considered a gesture in favour of political modernisation; previously, princes were expected to marry princesses from other royal families. They married on 26 April 1923, at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. Unexpectedly, Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
The Unknown Warrior
The British tomb of The Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, London on 11 November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interrment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in...

 on her way into the Abbey; a gesture which every royal bride since has copied, though subsequent brides have chosen to do this on the way back from the altar rather than to it. She became styled Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York. Following a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 prepared by chef Gabriel Tschumi
Gabriel Tschumi
Gabriel Tschumi was a native of Switzerland who served as Master Chef to three British monarchs - Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V.-Early life:...

, they honeymooned at Polesden Lacey
Polesden Lacey
Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian house and estate. It is located on the North Downs at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, England. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is one of the Trust's most popular properties....

, a manor house in Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, and then went to Scotland, where she caught "unromantic" whooping cough.

Duchess of York

After a successful visit to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 in July 1924, the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government agreed that Albert and Elizabeth could tour East Africa from December 1924 to April 1925. The Labour government was defeated by the Conservatives
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 in a general election
United Kingdom general election, 1924
- Seats summary :- References :* F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987* - External links :* * *...

 in November (which Elizabeth described as "marvellous" to her mother) and the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan referred to the manner by which Sudan was administered between 1899 and 1956, when it was a condominium of Egypt and the United Kingdom.-Union with Egypt:...

, Sir Lee Stack
Lee Stack
Sir Lee Oliver Fitzmaurice Stack was a British army officer and Governor-General of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. On 19 November 1924, he was shot and assassinated while driving through Cairo....

, was assassinated three weeks later. Despite this, the tour went ahead, and they visited Aden
Aden Protectorate
The Aden Protectorate was a British protectorate in southern Arabia which evolved in the hinterland of Aden following the acquisition of that port by Britain in 1839 as an anti-piracy station, and it continued until the 1960s. For administrative purposes it was divided into the Western...

, Kenya
Kenya Colony
The Colony and Protectorate of Kenya was part of the British Empire in Africa. It was established when the former East Africa Protectorate was transformed into a British crown colony in 1920...

, Uganda, and Sudan, but Egypt was avoided because of political tensions.

Albert had a stammer, which affected his ability to deliver speeches, and after October 1925, Elizabeth assisted in helping him through the therapy devised by Lionel Logue
Lionel Logue
Lionel George Logue CVO was an Australian speech therapist and stage actor who successfully treated, among others, King George VI, who had a pronounced stammer.-Early life and family:...

, an episode portrayed in the 2010 film The King's Speech. In 1926, the couple had their first child, Princess Elizabeth – "Lilibet" to the family – who would later become Queen Elizabeth II. Another daughter, Margaret Rose
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

, was born four years later. Albert and Elizabeth, without their child, travelled to Australia
Royal visits to Australia
Since 1867, there have been over fifty visits by a member of the Royal Family to Australia, though only six of those came before 1954. Elizabeth II is the only reigning monarch of Australia to have set foot on Australian soil; she first did so on 3 February 1954...

 to open Parliament House
Old Parliament House, Canberra
Old Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the house of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. The building began operation on 9 May 1927 as a temporary base for the Commonwealth Parliament after its relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra,...

 in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 in 1927. She was, in her own words, "very miserable at leaving the baby". Their journey by sea took them via Jamaica, the Panama Canal and the Pacific; Elizabeth fretted constantly over her baby back in Britain, but their journey was a public relations success. She charmed the public in Fiji when shaking hands with a long line of official guests, as a stray dog walked in on the ceremony and she shook its paw as well. In New Zealand she fell ill with a cold, and missed some engagements, but enjoyed the local fishing. On the return journey, via Mauritius, the Suez Canal, Malta and Gibraltar, their transport, HMS Renown
HMS Renown (1916)
HMS Renown was the lead ship of her class of battlecruisers of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. She was originally laid down as an improved version of the s. Her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds she would not be ready in a timely manner...

, caught fire and they prepared to abandon ship before the fire was brought under control.

Accession and abdication of Edward VIII

On 20 January 1936, King George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

 died and the succession passed to Albert's brother, Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII. George had expressed reservations about his eldest child, "I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne."

As if granting his father's wish, Edward forced a constitutional crisis
Edward VIII abdication crisis
In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire was caused by King-Emperor Edward VIII's proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite....

 by insisting on marrying the American divorcée Mrs Wallis Simpson. Although legally Edward could have married Mrs Simpson, as king he was also head of the Church of England, which at that time did not allow the remarriage of divorced persons. Edward's ministers believed that the people would never accept Mrs. Simpson as queen and advised against the marriage. As a constitutional monarch
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, Edward was obliged to accept ministerial advice. Rather than abandon his plans to marry Mrs Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate in favour of Albert, who reluctantly became king in his place on 11 December 1936. Albert took the regnal name
Regnal name
A regnal name, or reign name, is a formal name used by some monarchs and popes during their reigns. Since medieval times, monarchs have frequently chosen to use a name different from their own personal name when they inherit a throne....

 George VI. He and Elizabeth were crowned
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

 King and Queen of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

, and Emperor and Empress
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

 of India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 on 12 May 1937, the date already nominated for the coronation of Edward VIII. Elizabeth's crown
Crown of Queen Elizabeth
The Crown of the Queen Mother is the platinum crown manufactured for, and worn by, Queen Elizabeth, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the queen consort of King George VI of the United Kingdom at their coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1937...

 was made of platinum and contained the Koh-i-Noor
Koh-i-Noor
The Kōh-i Nūr which means "Mountain of Light" in Persian, also spelled Koh-i-noor, Koh-e Noor or Koh-i-Nur, is a 105 carat diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Kōh-i Nūr originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India along with its double, the Darya-ye Noor...

 diamond.
Edward and Mrs Simpson married and became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but while Edward was a Royal Highness, George VI decided to withhold the style from the Duchess, a decision which Elizabeth supported. Elizabeth was later quoted as referring to the Duchess as "that woman".

State visits and royal tour

In summer 1938, a state visit to France by the King and Queen was postponed for three weeks because of the death of the Queen's mother, Lady Strathmore. In two weeks, Norman Hartnell
Norman Hartnell
Sir Norman Bishop Hartnell, KCVO was a British fashion designer. Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to HM The Queen 1940, subsequently Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother...

 created an all white trousseau for the Queen, who could not wear colours as she was still in mourning. The visit was designed to bolster Anglo-French solidarity in the face of aggression from Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. The French press praised the demeanour and charm of the royal couple during the delayed but successful visit, augmented by Hartnell's wardrobe.

Nevertheless, Nazi aggression continued, and the government prepared for war. After the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 of 1938 appeared to forestall the advent of armed conflict, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

 was invited onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the King and Queen to receive acclamation from a crowd of well-wishers. While broadly popular among the general public, Chamberlain's policy towards Hitler was the subject of some opposition in the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

, which led historian John Grigg
John Grigg (writer)
John Edward Poynder Grigg was a British writer, historian and politician. He was the 2nd Baron Altrincham from 1955 until he disclaimed that title under the Peerage Act on the day it received the Royal Assent in 1963.-Early years:John Grigg was the son of Edward Grigg, a Times journalist...

 to describe the King's behaviour in associating himself so prominently with a politician as "the most unconstitutional act by a British sovereign in the present century". However, historians have also argued that the King only ever followed ministerial advice and acted as he was constitutionally bound to do.

In June 1939, Elizabeth and her husband toured North America. The tour was designed to bolster trans-Atlantic support in the event of war, and to affirm Canada's status as a self-governing kingdom sharing with Britain the same person as monarch. The tour took them across Canada
1939 royal tour of Canada
The 1939 royal tour of Canada was a cross-Canada royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to Canada. It began May 17, 1939 and saw the royal couple visit every Canadian province as well as the United States and the Dominion of Newfoundland...

 from coast to coast and back, and into the United States, where they visited the Roosevelts in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 and at their Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley comprises the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in New York State, United States, from northern Westchester County northward to the cities of Albany and Troy.-History:...

 estate
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site preserves the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York, United States of America. Springwood was the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial place of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt...

. According to an often-told story, during one of the earliest of the royal couple's repeated encounters with the crowds, a Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 veteran asked Elizabeth, "Are you Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 or are you English?" She replied, "I am a Canadian!" Their reception by the Canadian and U.S. public was extremely enthusiastic, and largely dissipated any residual feeling that George and Elizabeth were a lesser substitute for Edward. More critically, U.S. First Lady
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

 Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international...

 said that Elizabeth was "perfect as a Queen, gracious, informed, saying the right thing & kind but a little self-consciously regal". Elizabeth told Prime Minister Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948...

, "that tour made us", and she returned to Canada
Royal tours of Canada in the 20th century
There was an extended royal presence in Canada through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, either as an official tour, a vacation, a period of military service, or a viceregal posting by a member of the Royal Family. Originally, official tours were events predominantly for Canadians to see and...

 frequently both on official tours and privately.

World War II

During World War II, the King and Queen became symbols of the nation's determination to fight fascism. Shortly after the declaration of war, The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
The Queen's Book of the Red Cross was published in November 1939 in afundraising effort to aid the Red Cross during World War II.The book was sponsored by Queen Elizabeth, and itscontents were contributed by fifty British authors and artists....

was conceived. Fifty authors and artists contributed to the book, which was fronted by Cecil Beaton
Cecil Beaton
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, CBE was an English fashion and portrait photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre...

's portrait of the Queen and was sold in aid of the Red Cross. Elizabeth publicly refused to leave London or send the children to Canada, even during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

, when she was advised by the Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

 to do so. She said, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave."

She visited troops, hospitals, factories, and parts of Britain that were targeted by the German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, in particular the East End
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

, near London's docks. Her visits initially provoked hostility. Rubbish was thrown at her and the crowds jeered, in part because she dressed in expensive clothing which served to alienate her from those suffering the privations caused by the war. She explained that if the public came to see her they would wear their best clothes, so she should reciprocate in kind; Norman Hartnell
Norman Hartnell
Sir Norman Bishop Hartnell, KCVO was a British fashion designer. Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to HM The Queen 1940, subsequently Royal Warrant as Dressmaker to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother...

 dressed her in gentle colours and never black, in order to represent "the rainbow of hope". When Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 itself took several hits during the height of the bombing, Elizabeth was able to say, "I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face."

Though the King and Queen spent the working day at Buckingham Palace, partly for security and family reasons they stayed at night at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 about 20 miles (32.2 km) west of central London with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The Palace had lost much of its staff to the army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, and most of the rooms were shut. The windows were shattered by bomb blasts, and had to be boarded up. During the "Phoney War" the Queen was given revolver training because of fears of imminent invasion.

Because of her effect on British morale, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 is said to have called her "the most dangerous woman in Europe". However, prior to the war both she and her husband, like most of Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 and the British public, had been supporters of appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

 and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the...

, believing after the experience of the First World War that war had to be avoided at all costs. After the resignation of Chamberlain, the King asked Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 to form a government. Although the King was initially reluctant to support Churchill, in due course both the King and Queen came to respect and admire him for what they perceived to be his courage and solidarity. At the end of the war in 1945, Churchill was invited onto the balcony in a similar gesture to that given to Chamberlain.

Post-war years

In the 1945 British general election
United Kingdom general election, 1945
The United Kingdom general election of 1945 was a general election held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, due to local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, due in part to the time it took to...

, Churchill's Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 party was soundly defeated by the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 party of Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955...

. Elizabeth's political views were rarely disclosed, but a letter she wrote in 1947 described Attlee's "high hopes of a socialist heaven on earth" as fading and presumably describes those who voted for him as "poor people, so many half-educated and bemused. I do love them." Woodrow Wyatt
Woodrow Wyatt
Woodrow Lyle Wyatt, Baron Wyatt of Weeford , was a British politician, published author, journalist and broadcaster, close to the Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch...

 thought her "much more pro Conservative" than other members of the royal family, but she later told him, "I like the dear old Labour Party." She also told the Duchess of Grafton
Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton
Ann Fortune FitzRoy, Duchess of Grafton GCVO is the widow of Hugh FitzRoy, 11th Duke of Grafton...

, "I love communists". After six years in office, Attlee was defeated in the 1951 British general election
United Kingdom general election, 1951
The 1951 United Kingdom general election was held eighteen months after the 1950 general election, which the Labour Party had won with a slim majority of just five seats...

 and Churchill returned to power.

During the 1947 royal tour of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

, Elizabeth's serene public behaviour was broken, exceptionally, when she rose from the royal car to strike an admirer with her umbrella because she had mistaken his enthusiasm for hostility. The 1948 royal tour of Australia and New Zealand was postponed because the King was suffering from increasing ill health. In March 1949, he had a successful operation to improve the circulation in his right leg. In summer 1951, Queen Elizabeth and her daughters fulfilled the King's public engagements in his place. In September, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. After a lung resection, he appeared to recover, but the delayed trip to Australia and New Zealand was altered so that Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

, went in the King and Queen's place.

Widowhood

On 6 February 1952, King George VI died peacefully in his sleep. Shortly afterward, Elizabeth began to be styled Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. This style was adopted because the normal style for the widow of a king, "Queen Elizabeth", would have been too similar to the style of her elder daughter, now Queen Elizabeth II. Popularly, she simply became the "Queen Mother" or the "Queen Mum".

She was devastated by the King's death and retired to Scotland. However, after a meeting with the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, she broke her retirement and resumed her public duties. Eventually she became just as busy as Queen Mother as she had been as Queen. In July 1953, she undertook her first overseas visit since the funeral when she laid the foundation stone of the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland – the current University of Zimbabwe
University of Zimbabwe
The University of Zimbabwe in Harare, is the oldest and largest university in Zimbabwe. It was founded through a special relationship with the University of London and it opened its doors to its first students in 1952. The university has ten faculties offering a wide variety of degree programmes...

 in Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant, Harare
Mount Pleasant is the name of a residential suburb in the northern part of Harare, Zimbabwe. It is the home of the University of Zimbabwe and Mount Pleasant School....

. She returned in 1957 when she was inaugurated as the College's President, and attended other events in the region
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as the Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia,...

 that were deliberately designed to be multi-racial. During her daughter's extensive tour of the Commonwealth over 1953–54, Elizabeth acted as a Counsellor of State
Counsellor of State
In the United Kingdom, Counsellors of State are senior members of the British royal family to whom the Monarch, currently Elizabeth II, delegates certain state functions and powers when she is in another Commonwealth realm, abroad or unavailable for other reasons...

 and looked after her grandchildren, Charles
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

 and Anne
Anne, Princess Royal
Princess Anne, Princess Royal , is the only daughter of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

.

The widowed queen oversaw the restoration of the remote Castle of Mey
Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey is located in Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland, about west of John o' Groats. In fine weather there are views from the castle north to the Orkney Islands.-History:...

 on the Caithness
Caithness
Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

 coast of Scotland, which she used to "get away from everything" for three weeks in August and ten days in October each year. Inspired by the amateur jockey Lord Mildmay
Anthony Bingham Mildmay, 2nd Baron Mildmay of Flete
Anthony Bingham Mildmay, 2nd Baron Mildmay of Flete was an amateur steeplechaser who raced in the Grand National. He kindled the Queen Mother’s interest in National Hunt racing.-Birth, education and military service:...

, she developed an interest in horse racing, particularly steeplechasing, that continued for the rest of her life. She owned the winners of approximately 500 races. Her distinctive colours of blue with buff stripes were carried by horses such as Special Cargo, the winner of the 1984 Whitbread Gold Cup
Bet365 Gold Cup
The Bet365 Gold Cup is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Sandown Park over a distance of about 3 miles and 5½ furlongs , and during its running there are twenty-four fences to be jumped...

, and Devon Loch
Devon Loch
Devon Loch was a famous racehorse that is probably best remembered for its involvement in the 1956 Grand National steeplechase, when owned by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother....

, which spectacularly halted just short of the winning post at the 1956 Grand National
Grand National
The Grand National is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, England. It is a handicap chase run over a distance of four miles and 856 yards , with horses jumping thirty fences over two circuits of Aintree's National Course...

 and whose jockey Dick Francis
Dick Francis
Richard Stanley "Dick" Francis CBE was an English jockey and crime writer, many of whose novels centre around horse racing.- Personal life :...

 later had a successful career as the writer of racing-themed detective stories. Although (contrary to rumour) she never placed bets, she did have the racing commentaries piped direct to her London residence, Clarence House
Clarence House
Clarence House is a royal home in London, situated on The Mall, in the City of Westminster. It is attached to St. James's Palace and shares the palace's garden. For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, it was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, but is since then the official residence of The...

, so she could follow the races. As an art collector, she purchased works by Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

, Augustus John
Augustus John
Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom....

 and Peter Carl Fabergé
Peter Carl Fabergé
Peter Karl Fabergé also known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé in Russia was a Russian jeweller of Baltic German-Danish and French origin, best known for the famous Fabergé eggs, made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials.-Early...

, among others.

In February 1964, she had an emergency appendectomy, which led to the postponement of a planned tour of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji until 1966. She recuperated during a Caribbean cruise aboard the royal yacht, Britannia
HMY Britannia
Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia is the former Royal Yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the 83rd such vessel since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. She is the second Royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the famous racing cutter built for The Prince of Wales...

. In December 1966, she underwent an operation to remove a tumour after she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Contrary to rumours, she did not have a colostomy
Colostomy
A colostomy is a surgical procedure in which a stoma is formed by drawing the healthy end of the large intestine or colon through an incision in the anterior abdominal wall and suturing it into place. This opening, in conjunction with the attached stoma appliance, provides an alternative channel...

. In 1982, she was rushed to hospital when a fish bone stuck in her throat, and had an operation to remove it. Being a keen angler
Angling
Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle" . The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. The hook itself...

, she calmly joked afterwards, "The salmon have got their own back." In 1984, she had a second operation for cancer, when a lump was removed from her breast, and a second gastric obstruction in 1986 cleared without the need for an operation, but she was hospitalised overnight.

In 1975, she visited Iran at the invitation of Shah Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

. The British ambassador and his wife, Anthony and Sheila Parsons, noted how the Iranians were bemused by her habit of speaking to everyone regardless of status or importance, and hoped the Shah's entourage would learn from the visit to pay more attention to ordinary people. Four years later, the Shah was deposed. Between 1976 and 1984, she made annual summer visits to France, which were among 22 private trips to continental Europe between 1963 and 1992.

Before the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 to her grandson Prince Charles
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

, and after Diana's death, Queen Elizabeth – known for her personal and public charm – was by far the most popular member of the royal family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

. Her signature dress of large upturned hat with netting and dresses with draped panels of fabric became a distinctive personal style.

Centenarian

In her later years, the Queen Mother became known for her longevity. Her 90th birthday—4 August 1990—was celebrated by a parade on 27 June that involved many of the 300 organisations of which she was patron. In 1995, she attended events commemorating the end of the war fifty years before, and had two operations: one to remove a cataract in her left eye, and one to replace her right hip. In 1998, her left hip was replaced after it was broken when she slipped and fell during a visit to Sandringham
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

 stables. Her 100th birthday was celebrated in a number of ways: a parade that celebrated the highlights of her life included contributions from Norman Wisdom
Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom, OBE was an English actor, comedian and singer-songwriter best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character Norman Pitkin...

 and John Mills
John Mills
Sir John Mills CBE , born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills, was an English actor who made more than 120 films in a career spanning seven decades.-Life and career:...

; her image appeared on a special commemorative £20 note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group is a British banking and insurance holding company in which the UK Government holds an 84% stake. This stake is held and managed through UK Financial Investments Limited, whose voting rights are limited to 75% in order for the bank to retain its listing on the...

; and she attended a lunch at the Guildhall, London
Guildhall, London
The Guildhall is a building in the City of London, off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. It has been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its Corporation...

, at which George Carey
George Carey
George Leonard Carey, Baron Carey of Clifton PC, FKC is a former Archbishop of Canterbury, holding the office from 1991 to 2002. He was the first modern holder of the office not to have attended Oxford or Cambridge University...

, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, accidentally attempted to drink her glass of wine. Her quick admonition of "That's mine!" caused widespread amusement. In November 2000, she broke her collar bone in a fall that kept her recuperating at home over Christmas and the New Year.

In December 2001 aged 101, the Queen Mother had a fall in which she fractured her pelvis. Even so, she insisted on standing for the National Anthem during the memorial service for her husband on 6 February the following year. Just three days later, her second daughter Princess Margaret died. On 13 February 2002, the Queen Mother fell and cut her arm at Sandringham House
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

. Despite this fall, the Queen Mother was still determined to attend Margaret's funeral at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

, two days later on Friday of that week. The Queen and the rest of the royal family were greatly concerned about the journey the Queen Mother was facing to get from Norfolk to Windsor. Nevertheless, she made the journey but insisted that she be shielded from the press, so that no photographs of her in a wheelchair could be taken.

Death

On 30 March 2002, at 3:15 pm, the Queen Mother died in her sleep at the Royal Lodge
Royal Lodge
The Royal Lodge is a house in the civil parish of Old Windsor, located in Windsor Great Park, half a mile north of Cumberland Lodge and south of Windsor Castle. It was the Windsor residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1952 until her death there in 2002. Since 2004 it has been the...

, Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park is a large deer park of , to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England. The park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and dates primarily from the mid-13th century...

, with her surviving daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, at her bedside. She had been suffering from a cold for the last four months of her life. She was 101 years old, and at the time of her death was the longest-lived member of the royal family in British history. This record was broken on 24 July 2003, by her last surviving sister-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester was a member of the British Royal Family, the wife and then widow of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of George V and Queen Mary.The daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry, Scotland’s largest landowner, her brothers Walter and...

, who died aged 102 on 29 October 2004.

Elizabeth grew camellia
Camellia
Camellia, the camellias, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Korea and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number...

s in every one of her gardens, and as her body was taken from the Royal Lodge
Royal Lodge
The Royal Lodge is a house in the civil parish of Old Windsor, located in Windsor Great Park, half a mile north of Cumberland Lodge and south of Windsor Castle. It was the Windsor residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1952 until her death there in 2002. Since 2004 it has been the...

, Windsor
Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

 to lie in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 at Westminster Hall, camellias from her own gardens were placed on top of the flag-draped coffin. More than 200,000 people over three days filed past as she lay in state in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

. Members of the household cavalry and other branches of the armed forces stood guard at the four corners of the catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

. At one point, the Queen Mother's four grandsons Prince Charles
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

, Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, Prince Edward
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO is the third son and fourth child of Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh...

 and Viscount Linley
David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley
-Ancestry:-External links:* * * *...

 mounted the guard as a mark of respect known as the Vigil of the Princes
Vigil of the Princes
The Vigil of the Princes is the unofficial name given to two occasions when male members of the British Royal Family have stood guard during the lying in state of one of their relatives during a British State Funeral.-King George V:...

—a very high honour only bestowed once before, at King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

's lying in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

.

On the day of the Queen Mother's funeral, 9 April, the Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 issued a proclamation asking Canadians to honour on that day the memory of the late queen consort. In Australia, the Governor-General
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

 read the lesson at the memorial service for the Queen Mother, held in St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney
St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney
St Andrew's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia. The cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of New South Wales, the Most Reverend Peter Jensen...

. In London, more than a million people filled the area outside Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 and along the 23 miles (37 km) route from central London to her final resting place beside her husband and younger daughter in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

. At her request, after her funeral the wreath
Wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

 that had lain atop her coffin was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
The Unknown Warrior
The British tomb of The Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, London on 11 November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interrment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in...

 in Westminster Abbey, a gesture that echoed her wedding-day tribute.

Public perception

Despite being regarded as one of the most popular members of the royal family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

 in recent times who helped to stabilise the popularity of the monarchy
British monarchy
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 as a whole, Elizabeth was subject to various degrees of criticism during her life.

Allegations that during World War II Elizabeth did not abide by the rationing regulations to which the rest of the population was subject are contradicted by the official records; Eleanor Roosevelt during her stay at Buckingham Palace during the war reported expressly on the rationed food served in the Palace and the limited bathwater that was permitted.

Further allegations that Elizabeth used racist slurs to refer to black people were strongly denied by Major Colin Burgess. Major Burgess was the husband of Elizabeth Burgess, a mixed-race secretary who accused members of the Prince of Wales's Household of racial abuse. Queen Elizabeth made no public comments on race, but according to Robert Rhodes James
Robert Rhodes James
Sir Robert Vidal Rhodes James was a British historian and Conservative Member of Parliament. He was born in India and began his education in private schools there, returning to England to attend Sedbergh School and then Worcester College, Oxford.He wrote his first book, a much-acclaimed biography...

 in private she "abhorred racial discrimination" and decried apartheid as "dreadful". Woodrow Wyatt
Woodrow Wyatt
Woodrow Lyle Wyatt, Baron Wyatt of Weeford , was a British politician, published author, journalist and broadcaster, close to the Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch...

 records in his diary that when he expressed the view that non-white countries have nothing in common with "us", she told him, "I am very keen on the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. They're all like us." However, she did distrust Germans; she told Woodrow Wyatt, "Never trust them, never trust them." While she may have held such views, it has been argued that they were normal for British people of her generation and upbringing, who had experienced two vicious wars with Germany.

In 1987, she was criticised when it emerged that two of her nieces, Katherine Bowes-Lyon and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, had both been committed to a psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 because they were severely handicapped. However, Burke's Peerage
Burke's Peerage
Burke's Peerage publishes authoritative, in-depth historical guides to the royal and titled families of the United Kingdom, such as Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, and of many other countries. Founded in 1826 by British genealogist John Burke Esq., and continued by his son, Sir John...

 had listed the sisters as dead, apparently because their mother, Fenella (the Queen Mother's sister-in-law), "was 'extremely vague' when it came to filling in forms and might not have completed the paperwork for the family entry correctly". When Nerissa had died the year before, her grave was originally marked with a plastic tag and a serial number. The Queen Mother claimed that the news of their institutionalisation came as a surprise to her.

Legacy

Sir Hugh Casson
Hugh Casson
Sir Hugh Maxwell Casson, KCVO, RA, RDI, was a British architect, interior designer, artist, and influential writer and broadcaster on 20th century design. He is particularly noted for his role as director of architecture at the 1951 Festival of Britain on London's South Bank.Casson's family...

 said she was like "a wave breaking on a rock, because although she is sweet and pretty and charming, she also has a basic streak of toughness and tenacity. ... when a wave breaks on a rock, it showers and sparkles with a brilliant play of foam and droplets in the sun, yet beneath is really hard, tough rock, fused, in her case, from strong principles, physical courage and a sense of duty." Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter...

 described her during a student demonstration at the University of Dundee
University of Dundee
The University of Dundee is a university based in the city and Royal burgh of Dundee on eastern coast of the central Lowlands of Scotland and with a small number of institutions elsewhere....

 in 1968, "As we arrived in a solemn procession the students pelted us with toilet rolls. They kept hold of one end, like streamers at a ball, and threw the other end. The Queen Mother stopped and picked these up as though somebody had misplaced them. [Returning them to the students she said,] 'Was this yours? Oh, could you take it?' And it was her sang-froid and her absolute refusal to be shocked by this, which immediately silenced all the students. She knows instinctively what to do on those occasions. She doesn't rise to being heckled at all; she just pretends it must be an oversight on the part of the people doing it. The way she reacted not only showed her presence of mind, but was so charming and so disarming, even to the most rabid element, that she brought peace to troubled waters."

She was well-known for her dry witticisms. On hearing that Edwina Mountbatten
Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma,, GBE, DCVO, CI, DStJ was an English heiress, socialite, relief-worker, wife of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and last Vicereine of India.- Lineage and wealth :Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma...

 was buried at sea, she said: "Dear Edwina, she always liked to make a splash." Accompanied by the gay writer Sir Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

 at a gala, she mounted a staircase lined with Guards. Noticing Coward's eyes flicker momentarily across the soldiers, she murmured to him: "I wouldn't if I were you, Noël; they count them before they put them out." After being advised by a Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Minister in the 1970s not to employ homosexuals, the Queen Mother observed that without them, "we'd have to go self-service". On the fate of a gift of a nebuchadnezzar of champagne (20 bottles' worth) even if her family didn't come for the holidays, she said, "I'll polish it off myself." Emine Saner of The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

suggests that with a gin
Gin
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries . Although several different styles of gin have existed since its origins, it is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories...

 and Dubonnet
Dubonnet
Dubonnet is a sweet, wine-based aperitif. It is a blend of fortified wine, herbs, and spices , with fermentation being stopped by the addition of alcohol....

 at noon, red wine with lunch, a port
Port wine
Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, and comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties...

 and martini
Martini (cocktail)
The martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. H. L. Mencken called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet" and E. B...

 at 6 pm and two glasses of champagne at dinner, "a conservative estimate puts the number of alcohol units
Unit of alcohol
Units of alcohol are a measure of the volume of pure alcohol in an alcoholic beverage. Such units are used in some countries asa guideline for a drinker's alcohol consumption....

 she drank at 70 a week". Her extravagant lifestyle amused journalists, particularly when it was revealed she had a multi-million pound
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 overdraft with Coutts Bank.

Her habits were often parodied (with relative affection) by the satirical 1980s television
British television
Public television broadcasting started in the United Kingdom in 1936, and now has a collection of free and subscription services over a variety of distribution media, through which there are over 480 channelsTaking the base Sky EPG TV Channels. A breakdown is impossible due to a) the number of...

 programme Spitting Image
Spitting Image
Spitting Image is a British satirical puppet show that aired on the ITV network from 1984 to 1996. It was produced by Spitting Image Productions for Central Television. The series was nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards, winning one for editing in 1989....

– which portrayed her with a Birmingham accent
Brummie
Brummie is a colloquial term for the inhabitants, accent and dialect of Birmingham, England, as well as being a general adjective used to denote a connection with the city, locally called Brum...

 (modelled on actress Beryl Reid
Beryl Reid
Beryl Elizabeth Reid, OBE was a British actress of stage and screen.-Early life:Born in Hereford, England in 1919, Reid was the daughter of Scottish parents and grew up in Manchester where she attended Withington and Levenshulme High Schools.-Career:Reid applied for and was accepted in a revue in...

) and an ever-present copy of the Racing Post
Racing Post
The Racing Post is a British daily horse racing, greyhound racing and sports betting newspaper, appearing in print form and online.From 30 May 2011 - 3 July 2011 it had a circulation of 56,507.-History:...

. She was portrayed in the 2002 television film Bertie and Elizabeth
Bertie and Elizabeth
Bertie & Elizabeth is a 2002 television film produced by Carlton Television. The film explores the relationship between King George VI and his wife Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon from their very first meeting to the King's death in the winter of 1952...

by Juliet Aubrey
Juliet Aubrey
Juliet Aubrey is a British actress, best known for her role as Helen Cutter on Primeval .-Career:Aubrey attended to King's College London, where she studied Classics and Archaeology...

, the 2006 film The Queen
The Queen (film)
The Queen is a 2006 British drama film directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Helen Mirren as the title role, HM Queen Elizabeth II...

 by Sylvia Syms
Sylvia Syms
Sylvia M. L. Syms OBE is a British actress. She is probably best known for her roles in the films Woman in a Dressing Gown , Ice-Cold in Alex , No Trees in the Street , Victim and The Tamarind Seed...

 and in the 2010 film The King's Speech
The King's Speech (film)
The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush...

 by Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress of film, stage, and television. She made her acting debut in a television adaptation of K. M. Peyton's A Pattern of Roses before winning her first film role as the titular character in Lady Jane...

, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 and won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding supporting performance in a film...

 for her portrayal as the Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother left her entire estate to the Queen, except for some bequests to members of her staff. Her estate was estimated to be worth £70 million, including paintings, Fabergé egg
Fabergé egg
A Fabergé egg is any one of the thousands of jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. Most were miniature eggs that were popular gifts at Eastertide...

s, jewellery, and horses. Eight years before her death, she had reportedly placed two-thirds of her money into trusts
Trust law
In common law legal systems, a trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another...

, for the benefit of her great-grandchildren. The Queen Mother's most important pieces of art were transferred to the Royal Collection
Royal Collection
The Royal Collection is the art collection of the British Royal Family. It is property of the monarch as sovereign, but is held in trust for her successors and the nation. It contains over 7,000 paintings, 40,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 150,000 old master prints, as well as historical...

 by the Queen.

A statue of Queen Elizabeth by sculptor Philip Jackson at the George VI Memorial, off The Mall, London, was unveiled on 24 February 2009. The Cunard White Star Line's
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

 RMS Queen Elizabeth
RMS Queen Elizabeth
RMS Queen Elizabeth was an ocean liner operated by the Cunard Line. Plying with her running mate Queen Mary as a luxury liner between Southampton, UK and New York City, USA via Cherbourg, France, she was also contracted for over twenty years to carry the Royal Mail as the second half of the two...

 was named after Elizabeth. She launched the ship on 27 September 1938 in Clydebank, Scotland. Supposedly, the liner started to slide into the water before Elizabeth could officially launch her, and acting sharply, the Queen managed to smash a bottle of Australian red wine over the liner's bow just before she slid out of reach. In 1954, Elizabeth sailed to New York on her namesake.

In March 2011 her eclectic musical taste was revealed when details of her small record collection kept at at the Castle of Mey were made public. She had a taste for ska music and her records included artists such as the yodelling Montana Slim, Tony Hancock
Tony Hancock
Anthony John "Tony" Hancock was an English actor and comedian.-Early life and career:Hancock was born in Southam Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, England, but from the age of three was brought up in Bournemouth, where his father, John Hancock, who ran the Railway Hotel in...

, The Goons and Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

. Other music included local folk, Scottish reels and the musicals Oklahoma!
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance...

and The King and I
The King and I
The King and I is a stage musical, the fifth by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The work is based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon and derives from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, who became governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in...

.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Elizabeth held a number of different titles and styles throughout her life, as the daughter of an earl, through her husband, and eventually as consort to the sovereign of multiple states. As consort, she was commonly The Queen. In conversation, the practice was to initially address her as Your Majesty and thereafter as Ma'am.

Arms

The Queen Mother's coat of arms was the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom, and are officially known as her Arms of Dominion...

 (in either the English or the Scottish version) impaled
Impalement (heraldry)
In heraldry, impalement is the combination of two coats of arms side-by-side in one shield or escutcheon to denote union, most often that of a husband and wife, but also for ecclesiastical use...

 with the arms of her father, the Earl of Strathmore; the latter being: 1st and 4th quarters
Quartering (heraldry)
Quartering in heraldry is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division....

, Argent
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

, a lion rampant Azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

, armed and langued Gules
Gules
In heraldry, gules is the tincture with the colour red, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of vertical lines or else marked with gu. as an abbreviation....

, within a double tressure flory-counter-flory of the second (Lyon); 2nd and 3rd quarters, Ermine
Ermine (heraldry)
Ermine is a heraldic fur representing the winter coat of the stoat . Many skins would be sewn together to make a luxurious garment, producing a pattern of small black spots on a white field...

, three bows stringed paleways
Pale (heraldry)
A pale is a term used in heraldic blazon and vexillology to describe a charge on a coat of arms , that takes the form of a band running vertically down the center of the shield. Writers broadly agree that the width of the pale ranges from about one-fifth to about one-third of the width of the...

 proper (Bowes). The shield is surmounted by the imperial crown, and supported by the crowned lion of England and a lion per fess
Fess
In heraldry, a fess or fesse is a charge on a coat of arms that takes the form of a band running horizontally across the centre of the shield. Writers disagree in how much of the shield's surface is to be covered by a fess or other ordinary, ranging from one-fifth to one-third...

 Or
Or (heraldry)
In heraldry, Or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent , belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots...

 and Gules.

Ancestry



External links


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