Saturday, October 18, 2014

what I've been reading

 I picked this book up from the "discard" shelf at the library...

"Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother" by Dorothy Laird.

I have always been curious about "The Queen Mother" since years ago,seeing her pictured with other Royal Family members...always dressed in lovely pastel colored ensembles with a matching hat. She always looked so good natured and calm and pleasant.

A few years ago, when the movie called "The King's Speech" came out,  it clicked in my brain that the Queen Mother was married to King George VI, the man who became king when his brother, Prince Edward, abdicated the throne in order to marry a woman who wouldn't have been accepted as Queen.

But back to this biography, which was written in 1966.  It starts out with some background information on the Bowes-Lyon family and the childhood of Lady Elizabeth, then on to her engagement and marriage to Prince Albert.
The story continues through the trying times when Edward abdicated and Albert became King (George VI)..and Lady Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth. On through the war years and then the death of the King  from lung disease.
Queen Elizabeth's daughter, the current Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne.

It can be very confusing when reading stuff about the royal family...sometimes they are referred to by their name and sometimes by their title..which can change or they can have multiple titles.
So while reading this book, I skimmed over a lot of parts that didn't seem very interesting And concentrated on the personal stories and experiences of the Queen Mother.

She turned out to be quite a character. Very personable and interested in everything and everyone. Always ladylike and mannerly . She took her duty to her country very seriously and had a full schedule of travel and appearances throughout her life.
Lots of anecdotes in the book about her tireless endurance when meeting and greeting large groups of people and foreign dignitaries, always making time to have a short but personal chat with as many people as she could.

Her entire life story is not told in this book - she was in her 60's when it was written and she lived to be 101 years old!

I liked parts of this book-other parts were boring.  It was refreshing to read about someone's good traits and qualities rather than the latest scandal that's been exposed.
I can't say I would recommend this book and it's out of print anyway...but if you are interested in the Queen Mum or the Royal Family in general, you might enjoy skipping around through it.

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