The Queen Mother lived for over a hundred years and became one of the most famous and respected figures in the United Kingdom. However, in her youth, the girl did not even know that she would ever become a queen - the position of her chosen one did not dispose to this. Nevertheless, the aristocrat from Scotland became the personification of such important royal qualities as loyalty, a sense of duty and deep respect for all nations of the Commonwealth countries.
Few know that in her youth, Miss Bowes-Lyon showed stubbornness, three times refusing the proposal of the prince, who eventually became her husband. But first things first.
Prince Albert, simply called Bertie by his family, first drew attention to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at a dinner party in London in June 1920. Perhaps they had known each other before, rotating in the same circles in childhood and having the opportunity to drink under different circumstances, but exact memories of this have not been preserved. After the dinner party, a ball followed, at which the prince asked his friend James Stewart about the "sweet girl" he was talking to. “Introduce me to her,” the monarch's son asked. Elizabeth was then only 19 years old, she was the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and was distinguished by her pleasant appearance and disposition. Later that year, Miss Bowes-Lyon was to make her debut at court.
Elizabeth has already established herself as a responsible young lady, helping her family to turn the Glamis family castle in Scotland into a hospital during the First World War. The cheerful and kind girl did not lack cavaliers, but Prince Albert showed tenacity. He tried to attend as many social events in Glamis and its environs as possible to see his beloved, but it took her long enough to reciprocate the prince's feelings.
Albert first proposed to Elizabeth in the same year, but was rejected. The refusal was soft, but unambiguous: several young people tried to look after the girl, and she simply could not figure out what to do. There were also suggestions that she did not want to take on the serious responsibility associated with being in the royal family. Nevertheless, Albert and Elizabeth remained on good terms and continued to communicate. But the prince was not going to give up.
In February 1922, they were brought together by the wedding of Albert's sister Mary and Viscount Lasselles. In the spring, Louis Mountbatten and Lady Edwina Ashley were married, and the young people again found themselves in each other's company. Then His Highness proposed to his beloved a second time and was again refused. This time, the prince became worried, realizing that he could lose the one he considered the only one.
Then from somewhere a rumor arose that Elizabeth was going to marry the Prince of Wales. Edward was Albert's older brother and heir to the throne, moreover, he was considered a real handsome man. Here the situation reached its climax: the prince in love could not find a place for himself. He soon met Miss Bowes-Lyon at Glamis Castle. The rumors turned out to be a fiction that greatly annoyed Elizabeth, and Albert decided to try his luck again. On January 13, 1923, he proposed to his beloved. To his delight, this time the girl agreed. The wedding took place three months later.
Prince Albert and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were married on April 26, 1923, at Westminster Abbey (read also: Prince Bertie and Lady Elizabeth: What the Queen's Parents' Wedding Was Like). Then no one guessed that this was the wedding of the future king and queen. The couple received the titles of Duke and Duchess of York and went on their honeymoon to the north of the country. Three years later, they had an eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and in 1930, the youngest, Margaret.
The love between the Yorkies was undeniable. They were devoted spouses, modest and reserved people who enjoyed life away from the court and the bustle of the world. In addition, the couple was filled with a sense of duty to the nation and the crown and enjoyed great respect in society. Elizabeth had the least expectation that her husband would ever have to take the throne, but Albert's older brother Edward VIII abdicated after only a year in king's status. The Duke of York ascended the throne as George VI and ruled Britain until his death in 1952. Together with his country, he went through the terrible war years, which significantly shook his health and did not allow him to live to old age.
Elizabeth took everything that happened for granted, but in the family circle she never stopped blaming Edward and his beloved Wallis Simpson for the fact that her husband had to take responsibility for the state, which cost him peace and health. It was the abdication that the Windsors considered a turning point in their fate. The modest and shy Georg was an excellent family man, a caring husband and father, but he died early, leaving the throne to his eldest daughter, who took it at the age of 25. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth spent another half century in the status of a dowager queen, exerting a significant influence on everything that happened in the royal family.
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