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History - The Queen Mum

August 4, 1900 - March 30, 2002

I'm sure you all know that the Queen Mum passed away in 2002 but maybe you don't know why she was so beloved by England and the rest of the world. Take a look at who the Queen Mum really was and what she did in her 101 years.

The Queen Mum - Before She Was Queen

She was born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon in Scotland on August 4, 1900, and was the ninth of ten kids in her family. She was a commoner, which means she had no royal blood at all. When she was only 14, World War I broke out and Elizabeth was forced to quit school and go back home to nurse the wounded soldiers.

The Queen Mum - Marriage to a Prince

It took three marriage proposals but Elizabeth finally agreed to marry Prince Albert on April 26, 1923. They then became the Duke and Duchess of York. Elizabeth and Albert had two children, Elizabeth (who is the Queen of England today) and Margaret. In December of 1936, Albert's dad, King George V, died. Albert's brother Edward was supposed to become king, but declined the position of king so he could marry the woman he loved (who was a divorced American - a big no-no in royal circles at the time). That meant that Prince Albert (who chose to be known as King George VI) became the king on May 12, 1937 and Elizabeth became his queen.

Her Time As Queen

King George VI was a shy public figure who had a stutter. It was his wife that captured the public's eye and who helped him through his 15 years as king. When World War II was declared in 1940, Elizabeth stuck by her husband's side, even when Buckingham Palace was bombed. She was urged to flee to Canada with her two daughters, but she refused to leave her subjects and her husband.

The Queen Mum's Role

In 1952, King George VI died, making Elizabeth a widow when she was only 52. Her daughter Elizabeth was quickly crowned queen at the age of 26. Despite having just lost her husband, Elizabeth was quick to support her daughter, making public appearances with her and tending to the young queen's children. It wasn't long before the press adopted the catch phrase "the Queen Mum" to describe Elizabeth Sr. She was never the subject of ridicule in the tabloids, unlike so many other members of the royal family. And just like the attention the young princes seem to get today, flocks of people would turn out to catch a glimpse of her in public. She was a strong woman who seemed to glow with love and kindness. She was a grandmother figure to the world, and she played the part better than anyone else ever could.

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