The Queen Mum, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Queens of Europe the Queen Mother

Elizabeth bowes-lyon thank you to the

great courses plus for sponsoring this

video Elizabeth bowes-lyon was the first

non-royal to be married to an English

monarch in 400 years she took on the

unexpected mantle of Queen when her

brother-in-law abdicated amid scandal

and was a national symbol of strength in

world war ii as Queen Mother

she bolstered the reign of her daughter

Queen Elizabeth the second Elizabeth was

the ninth of 10 children born to Claude

bowes-lyon later the 14th Earl of

Strathmore and kinghorn in Scotland and

lady Cecelia Cavendish Bintang the

family had extensive coal mining

interests and her father had a

particular pride in their noble Scottish

lineage Elizabeth was born on August 4th

1941 saan the way to the hospital from

her parents

London mansion in fashionable Belgravia

the children spent most of their time at

the family's English country estate st.

paul's walden dairy and glamis castle

their ancestral home in scotland where

they were educated by a german jewish

governess if you're a fan of Downton

Abbey this is the same time period and

lifestyle in which the three Crowley

girls were brought up Elizabeth was

especially fond of field sports dogs and

horses at the age of eight she was sent

to school in London where she impressed

her teachers with her precociousness at

13 she passed the Oxford local

examination with distinction but as was

customary for upper-class girls of the

time her formal education ended there on

Elizabeth's 14th birthday Britain

declared war on Germany four of her

older brothers served in World War one

and one furgus was killed in action

another Michael went missing in action

and after several agonizing weeks the

family received word that he was wounded

but alive in a prisoner of war camp he

was able to return home at the war's


much like Downton Abbey Glamis castle

was converted into a convalescent home

for wounded soldiers which the teenage

Elizabeth helped to run in 1916 a

serious fire broke out in the castle and

young Elizabeth kept a cool head and was

instrumental in organizing the

evacuation and of saving many valuable

antiques from destruction after the

war's conclusion in 1918 Elizabeth

officially came out as a debutante in

London High Society she was a charming

young woman with a perpetual smile and

her mother predicted that she would

break many hearts her group of


called themselves the Mad Hatter's and

young men buzzed about them one suitor

who was particularly keen was James

Stewart who served as a query or

personal assistant to King George the

fifth second son Prince Albert Duke of

York the prince was known by family and

friends as Bertie when he first met his

employees paramour he fell

head-over-heels for her he became a

frequent guest at the bowes-lyon home

and joined Elizabeth's father for many

shooting parties in order to spend more

time getting to know Elizabeth

Bertie proposed in 1921 and although

Elizabeth was very fond of him she

turned him down as she feared if she

were to join the royal family she would

never never again be free to think speak

and act as I feel I really ought to

disappointed Bertie declared that he

would marry and no other his mother

Queen Mary of Teck was curious about the

young woman who had stolen her son's

heart and went to Scotland to meet her

she came away convinced that Elizabeth

was the one girl who could make her son

truly happy family and friends on both

sides saw how contented the pair were

together and encouraged their union the

following year Elizabeth served as a

bridesmaid to Birdy's sister Princess

Mary and Bertie took the opportunity to

further woo her despite her misgivings

about becoming a royal she agreed to

marry him and they chose a sapphire and

diamond engagement ring

the couple married in Westminster Abbey

on April 26 1923 during her walk down

the aisle

Elizabeth unexpectedly stopped and laid

her wedding bouquet on the Tomb of the

Unknown Warrior in honor of her brother

Fergus this touching gesture became a

tradition of her royal brides

ever since the children of George v were

the first to be allowed to marry outside

of the royal houses of Europe this was

both a refreshing change and a practical

one as many European monarchies fell in

the wake of the First World War so there

weren't many eligible young princesses


the princes marriage to a British girl

was a joy to the people still reeling

from the horrors of the war though the

newly founded BBC was denied permission

to broadcast the ceremony on the radio

as it might be listened to by men in

pubs wearing hats the light-hearted and

funny Elizabeth was a breath of fresh

air to the strict and formal Windsor

family she never allowed herself to be

intimidated by her Stern father-in-law

the king and was an ideal companion and

support for shy Bertie who suffered a

stutter after a lifetime of intimidation

and discipline bordering on abuse from

his father

the newlyweds made a four-month official

visit to Kenya Uganda and Sudan which

they found relaxing despite being much

less luxurious than they were used to

Elizabeth made an effort to learn

Swahili her charisma made up for Birdy's

uneasiness during their many public

engagements but his stammer made public

speaking a painful ordeal

so Elizabeth encouraged him to seek the

help of speech therapist Lionel Logue

the Prince continued treatment with Loeb

for nearly two decades and his speech

was greatly improved as documented in

the 2010 film The King's Speech on April

21st 1926 the couple welcomed their

first child Elizabeth known to the

family as Lou

birdy wrote to his parents saying that

he hoped they weren't disappointed with

the granddaughter as he and Elizabeth

had wanted a baby girl

when lillibet was a few months old her

parents were sent on a royal tour of

Australia and New Zealand and her mother

was very miserable at leaving the baby

back home four years later

Princess Elizabeth was joined by a baby

sister Margaret on January 20th 1936

George the fifth died and Bertie's elder

brother became King Edward the eighth

before his death King George expressed

his concern about his heir saying I pray

God that my eldest son will never marry

and that nothing will come between

birdie and lilibet and the throne the

elder son had always been the black

sheep of the family

no one was surprised that Bertie was

happily married while Edward was still a

playboy in his 40s

but Edward also had a common touch with

the people he was concerned about the

plight of the poor and supported labour

unions which was not the Royal Way at

the time of his ascension Edward was

romantically involved with an American

divorcee named Wallis Simpson because

the British monarch is also the head of

the Church of England which didn't allow

divorced people to remarry and because

Wallis had connections to the Nazi Party

she was seen as an unacceptable wife for

the king after only ten months on the

throne and without consulting his

brother and heir Edward decided to

abdicate in his public address he stated

I have found it impossible to carry the

heavy burden of responsibility and to

discharge my duties as King as I would

wish to do without the help and support

of the woman I love

Bertie and Elizabeth were devastated by

the scandal that launched them onto the

throne and into the limelight neither

had ever expected or wanted to be king

and queen but they saw it as their duty

to serve their people so reluctantly

took on the heavy mantle great animosity

existed between Elizabeth and Wallis

Elizabeth referred to Wallace as

that woman while Wallace called the new

Queen cookie because she said she

resembled a fat Scottish cook on May

12th 1937 the date previously planned

for Edward the 8th score nation birdie

now King George the sixth and Elizabeth

were crowned king and queen in

Westminster Abbey 11 year old Princess

Elizabeth was elated by the ceremony but

she was also aware of her parents

trepidation as they took on this weighty

responsibility the abdication scandal

made a lasting impression on the young

future Queen and though she is now in

her 90s she will likely never abdicate

the throne in favour of her own son

Elizabeth and Margaret were brought up

in a relaxed atmosphere and the family

of four were very tight-knit Elizabeth

instilled in her daughter's the

importance of good manners saying that

they would get you through anything

though Queen Elizabeth's formal

education had been cut short years

earlier she put great value on

continuing to educate herself in order

to keep up with the ever-changing world

around her she had a thirst for

knowledge read voraciously and

correspondent with many great thinkers

of the time including playwright Noel

Coward undiscovered spy Anthony Blunt

and poet laureate Ted Hughes and when

Adolf Hitler was just beginning his rise

in Germany she read his autobiography at

mine Kampf in order to better understand

this potential new threat if like Queen

Elizabeth you have a hunger for

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trial today and now back to history in

the summer of 1939 the king with his

queen by his side became the first

British monarch to visit Canada the tour

was a massive success in no small part

thanks to Elizabeth the new king and

queen eclipses the popularity of Edward

the eighth and were no longer seen as a

second-best substitution they also met

the Roosevelts at the White House

Elizabeth and Eleanor got on like old

friends and the king and president

stayed up late every night

talking the meeting reinforced an

alliance that would be of the utmost

importance in the coming years that's a

timber Nazi Germany invaded Poland and

Britain declared war for the second time

in living memory

throughout the Second World War the king

and especially the Queen visited troops

hospitals and factories around Britain

to boost public morale on the Queen's

very first visit to the poor

neighborhood of London's East End which

was hit especially hard by German air

raids her expensive clothes and jewelry

angered the crowd who jeered and threw

rubbish at her she explained that if the

public came to see her they would wear

their best clothes so she should

reciprocate in kind

she and her dresser adjusted her

wardrobe to be more appropriate black

was too defeatist

while her usual bright rainbow colors

were too loud for visiting bomb sites

she instead wore ensembles of dusty blue

rose and lilac which had the added

benefit of not showing the dust

Hitler saw the British Queens popularity

as a serious threat and called her the

most dangerous woman in Europe Elizabeth

refused to leave London or her husband's

side even when their home at Buckingham

Palace was bombed while the King and

Queen were there she responded I'm glad

we've been bombed it makes me feel I can

look the East End in the face rumors of

a Nazi plot to kidnap princesses

Elizabeth and Margaret force their

parents to consider sending them to

Canada for safety but Elizabeth couldn't

bear to part with her beloved daughters

so instead the girls were moved to

Windsor Castle about 20 miles from

London where they would be safe but

close the Queen encouraged women to do

their part in taking a factory jobs

training his nurses and joining the Home

Guard to serve the war effort Princess

Elizabeth served as a driver and

mechanic in the auxiliary territorial

service throughout the war the royal

family was a symbol of Pride and British

fortitude and played no small part in

encouraging the public to stay the

course in 1945 the Allies won the Second

World War and Britain rejoiced the royal

family was as popular as they had ever

been but the stress of the conflict had

a serious impact on the Kings health two

years after VE Day the king and queen

and the princesses went on a state visit

to South Africa in an attempt to promote

unity amidst growing tension between

black and white people they were

surprised and disturbed by the

hostilities bubbling under the surface

of the celebrations the tour was

grueling and further strained the King's

health and the tours goal of unity was a

failure a year later the African

National Party took over the country and

established apartheid the four months

away had confirmed princess Elizabeth's

love for the dashing young officer she

had fallen for years earlier Prince

Philip of Greece and Denmark the couple

were Wed in 1947 King George who had

been a heavy smoker for years began

to lose weight and feeling in his right

leg he was diagnosed with lung cancer in

1951 a lung resection operation helped

him recover somewhat but it was decided

that Princess Elizabeth and Philip would

go on a Commonwealth tour in the King

and queens place while they were gone

King George Elizabeth and Princess

Margaret went to their Sandringham

Estate for rest and relaxation they had

a happy family dinner and looked at

photo albums that evening and then

during the early morning of February 6

1952 King George died in his sleep at

the age of 56

Princess Elizabeth was now queen she cut

her - her short and returned home for

her father's funeral and to take on the

heavy mantle of monarchy the newly

widowed Elizabeth retired to Scotland

for a time to grieve for her husband she

told a widowed friend some years later

that living without a beloved spouse

never gets better you just get better at

it but after a short while away the

energetic Dowager Queen returned to

London and resumed her royal duties now

in support of her daughter who was

crowned queen elizabeth ii the elder

elizabeth became known as the queen

mother royal protocol would have had her

addressed as queen elizabeth but that

was too easily confused with her

daughter's new title the queen mom was

there to support her daughter for the

next fifty years when the young Queen

resumed the Commonwealth tour she had

cut short in the wake of her father's

death her mother served as counsellor of

state and looked after her grandchildren

at Charles and Anne as a retired Queen

she had more time to enjoy the things

she hadn't been able to do before she

went with friends on holidays in France

Italy and the Caribbean she bought and

renovated the dilapidated Castle Mae in

Scotland which she visited twice a year

to get away from it all and she took

more interest in horse racing and

steeplechase uncollected art including

works by Monet and Faberge

the family faced scandal when Princess

Margaret fell in love with Group Captain

Peter Townsend the couple wish to marry

but Townsend was divorced and the

government refused to sanction the

marriage Margaret was forced to choose

between love and her royal position and

income her mother was disconcerted and

wondered where they would live to which

Prince Philip responded it is possible

to buy a house under pressure from her

family Margaret decided to give up

Townsend she later married photographer

Anthony Armstrong Jones who also wasn't

seen as quite proper for a royal

princess but at least he wasn't divorced

the queen-mother group particularly

close to her grandson Charles who said

of her my grandmother has been the most

wonderful example of fun

laughter warmth infinite security and

above all else exquisite taste in so

many things she admired Charles equally

appreciating his humanity and

sensitivity but she was deeply

disappointed watching from the sidelines

as his marriage to Princess Diana fell

apart Elizabeth was quite traditional

about marriage and believed that it was

for life in her day unhappy marriages

were kept private

not splashed all over tabloid headlines

she was devastated when her daughter

Margaret was divorced in 1978 and when

three of her grandchildren separated

from their spouses in 1992 through it

all the Queen Mother was a steady and

popular force in the British royal

family she was famous for her rainbow of

colorful if rather old-fashioned clothes

and hats she loved to spend on fanciful

and frivolous outfits often to the

Queen's penny-pinching dismay but the

mother and her two daughters were always

incredibly close the Queen Mother dealt

with the pains and indignities of old

age with fortitude and good humor she

had bouts with cancer

cataracts had an emergency operation to

remove a fish bone from her throat and a

hip replacement surgery on August 4th

2000 the

mother celebrated her 100th birthday

with a service of Thanksgiving at st.

Paul's and a public pageant she passed

her longevity on to her daughter Queen

Elizabeth who is now in her 90s and is

still going strong in February 2002

Elizabeth had to say goodbye to her

younger daughter Princess Margaret who

died at the age of 71 just over a month

later the Queen Mum feeling unwell

retired to the Royal Lodge at Windsor

she died in her sleep on March 30th 2002

at the age of 101 more than a million

people lined up in London to pay

respects to the Queen who had been a

fixture and inspiration for all of their

lives she was laid to rest at st.

George's Chapel Windsor next to her

beloved husband and daughter her

charisma fortitude and good humor even

in the face of tragedy was an invaluable

contribution to the royal family and is

still echoed in their popularity two

decades after her death if you enjoyed

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