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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, CI, GCVO, GBE

The Queen Mother was born Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on 4th August, 1900. She grew up on the family estate in Scotland and enjoyed an open and active childhood. Being born an aristocrat rather than a royal she was free from the constraints of royal children. However, Lady Elizabeth was no stranger to royalty and after a long courtship married Prince Bertie, the second son of King George V.

After the abdication of King Edward VIII, Elizabeth and her husband became king and queen. Throughout the history of the English monarchy war has played an important role and for Elizabeth this was no exception. As a child she had tended wounded soldiers from the First World War and she now she found herself queen to a nation during World War II. During the war the urban areas of London were blitzed by the Nazis and Elizabeth would often visit the bomb sites to help boost morale. Pleaded with by many to leave war-torn Britain for the comparative safety of Canada, the gallant lady, in concert with her husband the king, refused.

After Buckingham Palace was bombed during an air raid Elizabeth said that at last she could look the blitzed east end of London in the face as her home had suffered the same fate. On the death of her husband in 1952 she retired her position as Queen and her daughter became Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth adopted the title 'Queen Mother' to avoid any confusion that may arise from having the same name as her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen Mother has a hectic diary that includes state, military, civic and charity engagements. Although the Queen Mother ceased to be queen 43 years ago she continues to act in something of a shadow role in support of her daughter. The Queen Mother has shown that she can move with the times and has secured a unique position of affection in the hearts of the public. She has a rare and valuable blend of dignity, grace, an understanding of non-royal life and a straightforwardly pleasant personality.


  • Lady of the Garter
  • Lady of the Thistle
  • CI - Order of the Crown of India
  • GCVO - Royal Victorian Order
  • GBE - Order of the British Empire (First Class)
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