Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

On this day in 1900, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who would eventually become Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was born. She lived to be 102. Here is what was posted on the British Monarchy Facebook page today:
Her Majesty was Patron or President of some 350 organizations. She was Commandant-in-Chief of the Army and Air Force Women's Services, and for Women in the Royal Navy, and held other Service appointments.
For many years she was President of the British Red Cross Society, and she was Commandant-in-Chief of the Nursing Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade. She was also Colonel-in-Chief or Honorary Colonel of many UK and overseas regiments, and Commandant-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School.
And on her 100th birthday Her Majesty received, like other centenarians, a message of congratulations from The Queen.
In another post they wrote:
Following the outbreak of war in 1939, there was some suggestion that the Queen and her daughters should evacuate to North America or Canada. To this the Queen made her famous reply: "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave."
Thus throughout the Second World War the Queen and... her children shared the dangers and difficulties of the rest of the nation. She was in Buckingham Palace when it was bombed in September 1940. She and the King visited badly damaged areas throughout the country after the air-raids, and toured Britain visiting hospitals, factories and troops.

If you are interested in learning more about the Queen Mother, I highly recommend Counting Ones Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by William Shawcross. It contains letters from when she was little girl all the way up into the end of her life. Her letters are a delight to read and offer a fantastic look into her life. I only wish they included more scans of the actual letters. Shawcross has also written her official biography, which is on my "To Read" list.

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