Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, styled Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, also Elizabeth, Duchess of York, (4 August 1900 - 30 March 2002), was the wife of King George VI of Britain. She married Prince Albert, Duke of York in 1923 after turning down repeated marriage proposals. In 1936 she unexpectedly found her husband on the throne following the abdication of his elder brother King Edward VIII. She was Queen-Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions until her husband's death in 1952, and was also the final Empress-Consort of India until that nation became a republic in 1947. From 1952 until her death, she was Queen Mother during the first fifty years of her elder daughter's long reign. She died of a cold on 30 March 2002 when she was 101 years old.
During World War II, Queen Elizabeth made a number of highly visible attempts to keep up morale. She risked her life by remaining in London during the Battle of Britain and sharing in the city's fate, rather than evacuate as the Cabinet advised her to do. Largely because of such gestures, she remained an immensely popular figure for the rest of her life, even as public perception of the Royal Family in general suffered in the 1980s and '90s.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in The War That Came Early[edit | edit source]
Queen Elizabeth deeply disapproved of the Hess Agreement signed by Neville Chamberlain and especially of Chamberlain's authoritarian successor, Horace Wilson. Following her husband's lead, she made no effort to interfere in the political process that legitimated Wilson's government; however, when she learned that Wilson had been overthrown in a military coup led by Archibald Wavell, she was so relieved that she kissed Wavell on the cheek.
When the military established an unpopular provisional government, the Queen, like her husband, attempted to increase support for that government. In a public address (separate from George's), she insisted that the military government enjoyed the full confidence of the crown, and urged the British people to respect it. This call did increase the provisional government's dubious legitimacy. When Alistair Walsh heard of this, he reflected that it wasn't any wonder that Adolf Hitler called her the most dangerous woman in Europe.
References[edit | edit source]
- Coup d'Etat ch 10
- ibid ch 12
Mary of Teck
followed by a period of vacancy
|Queen consort of the United Kingdom
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh