She was born in 1900 as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, a Scottish aristocrat. She became Queen consort in 1937, when her husband unexpectedly became King George VI. She was the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, the present British sovereign, and the grandmother of Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. She died in 2002, at the age of 101, after a long and remarkable life.
She was Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and for more than six decades, she was one of the most popular and beloved members of the British royal family. Her legacy is one of grace, charm, courage and resilience, as she faced some of the biggest challenges and changes in the history of the monarchy and the world.
One of her most defining moments was during World War II, when she and her husband refused to leave London despite the German bombing raids. She visited hospitals, factories and shelters, boosting the morale of the people with her warmth and compassion. She famously said: “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave.”
She also supported her husband in his struggle with a stammer, which he overcame with the help of a speech therapist. The 2010 film “The King’s Speech” portrayed their relationship as a loving and loyal partnership. She once said of him: “He was such a splendid person to live with – so gay and so understanding.”
After his death in 1952, she became known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother to avoid confusion with her daughter, who succeeded him as Queen Elizabeth II. She continued to play an active role in public life, attending official events, traveling abroad and patronizing various charities and organizations. She was especially fond of horse racing and gardening, and owned several properties in Scotland and England.
She died peacefully in her sleep on March 30, 2002, at the Royal Lodge in Windsor. Her funeral was held on April 9, 2002, at Westminster Abbey, where she was buried beside her husband and their youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, who had died seven weeks earlier. The Queen Mother’s coffin was draped with her personal standard and topped with a wreath of white roses and lilies.
She was mourned by millions of people, who lined the streets to pay their respects. Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, said in a tribute: “She was quite simply the most remarkable person I have ever known.” Her grandson, Prince Charles, said in a speech: “She meant everything to me and to so many others.”
She was the Queen Mother, and she left behind a royal legacy of grace and charm that will never be forgotten.