Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
Born on 4th of August 1900
Died on 30th of March 2002
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was born on 4th August 1900 and died on 30th March 2002. She was the Queen Consort of King George VI from 1936 until his death in 1952. After his death she was known as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in order to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Before her husband became King, she was known as the Duchess of York. She was the last Queen-consort of Ireland and Empress-consort of India. She was born into Scottish nobility, the ninth of ten children, her father being the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and married Albert, Duke of York in 1923. She soon undertook many public engagements and became known as the 'Smiling Duchess'. Her husband unexpectedly became King when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry his mistress, the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. During World War II her indomitable spirit provided much morale to the British people, particularly Londoners after the Blitz, and Hitler described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". She was widowed at the age of 51 and when her mother-in-law, Queen Mary, died she became the matriarch of the royal family. Becoming a widow and entering old age did not relinquish her strong sense of duty and she continued to carry out official engagements on behalf of her charities and regiments until only a few weeks before she died at the age of 101, just seven weeks after her younger daughter Margaret's death. She was Patron or President of some 350 organisations including the British Red Cross Society and the Nursing Division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. She was an expert angler and had a keen interest in horse racing and owned the winners of approximately 500 steeplechases. She spent most summers at Castle Mey in north-east Scotland, and resided at Clarence House in London from 1953 to 2002. On the day of the Queen Mother's funeral, 9th April 2002, more than a million people filled the area outside Westminster Abbey and along the 23 mile route from central London to her final resting place beside her husband and younger daughter in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
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