Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

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Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1939.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (August 4, 1900March 30, 2002), or Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and colloquially known as The Queen Mum, was Queen consort of George VI of the United Kingdom (1936–1952) and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and grandmother of Charles III.


  • The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave.
    • In a public declaration in the early years of World War II. Sourced from the British Royal Family History website.
  • Since I have landed in Quebec, I think we can say that I am Canadian.
    • Answering two Boer War veterans of Scottish heritage in Quebec who had asked the Queen if she was Scots or English.
    • Elizabeth II (2002). "Speech by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II". written at Vancouver. Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > The Canadian Monarchy. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved on 7 November 2007. 
  • Never trust them, never trust them. They can't be trusted.
    • On the Germans, to Woodrow Wyatt (16 November 1991), as quoted in The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt: Volume Two (2000) ed. Sarah Curtis, p. 608
  • We loved him.
    • On the Duke of Windsor, previously Edward VIII, as quoted by the Duke of Grafton in The Queen Mother Remembered (2002), BBC Books
  • Whilst playing cards,
    Elizabeth: How are you getting on? You don't look very happy.
    Lord Salisbury: Oh, Ma'am, I've been left with a horrible queen.
    Elizabeth: I don't think that's a very good of way of putting it, do you?
  • Was this yours? Oh, could you take it?
    • On returning a toilet roll to a demonstrator who had thrown it at her, as quoted by Sir Peter Ustinov in The Queen Mother Remembered (2002), BBC Books
  • But I love communists!
    • On being warned that a functionary to whom she was about to be introduced was a communist, as quoted by the Duchess of Grafton in The Queen Mother Remembered (2002), BBC Books
  • Wouldn't it be terrible if you'd spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't eat things, took lots of exercise, all the things you didn't want to do, and suddenly one day you were run over by a big red bus, and as the wheels were crunching into you you'd say 'Oh my god, I could have got so drunk last night!' That's the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you'll be run over by a big red bus.
    • As quoted by Michael Parker in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography (2009)
  • That's mine!
    • Said to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, when she realised he had taken her glass of wine just as she prepared to propose a toast during a lunch to celebrate her 100th birthday.
    • Vickers, Hugo (2006), Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Arrow Books/Random House, p. 490, ISBN 978-0-09-947662-7 
  • I wouldn't if I were you, Noël; they count them before they put them out.
    • Murmured to Sir Noël Coward (who was gay) at a gala. While she mounted a staircase lined with Guards, she noticed Coward's eyes flicker momentarily over the soldiers; as quoted by Thomas Blaikie in You look awfully like the Queen: Wit and Wisdom from the House of Windsor (2002)
  • I'll polish it off myself.
    • On the fate of a gift of a nebuchadnezzar of champagne (20 bottles' worth) even if her family didn't come for the holidays.
    • Quoted by Graham Taylor in Elizabeth: The Woman and the Queen (2002)

Quotes about Bowes-Lyon[edit]

  • That is the most dangerous woman in Europe.
    • Widely cited and generally attributed to either Hitler or Goebbels, but, according to official biographer William Shawcross, apocryphal.

External links[edit]

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