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Old 07-30-2007, 08:40 PM
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Queen Elizabeth as Monarch, Mother and Grandmother

Much is written about how the Queen is a "doting granny" and about how with her grandchildren she can be more fun than she presumably was able to be as a young(er) Queen and mother. What is more interesting to me is what she is like with her children now they are adults, what their relationship is like now. Ingrid Seward likes to write in Majesty magazine about the "mother-daughter" dynamic between the Queen and the Princess Royal, but I have rarely, if ever, read much about the Queen's personal relationships with her sons. It is often said in books about Prince Charles (i.e. Holden, Dimbleby, Benson) that the Queen was more like a mother to Andrew and Edward, because by then, I suppose, she had more experience and confidence in her maternal interactions. But what is her relationship with all of them now? What kinds of things, if any, do they do together now? I have seen pictures of Her Majesty out riding with Edward and Sophie. I understand that Brian Hoey's new book on Zara Phillips alleges that the Queen has three people who have unrestricted, immediate access to her anytime they want: Prince William, Zara, and HM's racing manager, what's his name, Lord Carnarvon's son-in-law.... Anyway, this allegation doesn't quite sit right with me. It is nice for William and Zara, but what of her other family members, and why do they have (allegedly) have such special treatment? Is it as simple as the Queen, like so many grandmothers, finds it easier and more fun to be with her grandchildren than her children, no matter how grown up her children become? Yet I can't quite picture this allegation working. I mean, if Zara or William rings up, the Queen drops everything, but if another grandchild, maybe Peter, rings up with a major crisis, he is directed to an aide? That would be so messed up! What are your thoughts about this? Am I so clueless and just missing everything, as I suspect is likely?!
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CasiraghiTrio View Post
Much is written about how the Queen is a "doting granny" and about how with her grandchildren she can be more fun than she presumably was able to be as a young(er) Queen and mother. What is more interesting to me is what she is like with her children now they are adults, what their relationship is like now. Ingrid Seward likes to write in Majesty magazine about the "mother-daughter" dynamic between the Queen and the Princess Royal, but I have rarely, if ever, read much about the Queen's personal relationships with her sons. It is often said in books about Prince Charles (i.e. Holden, Dimbleby, Benson) that the Queen was more like a mother to Andrew and Edward, because by then, I suppose, she had more experience and confidence in her maternal interactions. But what is her relationship with all of them now? What kinds of things, if any, do they do together now? I have seen pictures of Her Majesty out riding with Edward and Sophie. I understand that Brian Hoey's new book on Zara Phillips alleges that the Queen has three people who have unrestricted, immediate access to her anytime they want: Prince William, Zara, and HM's racing manager, what's his name, Lord Carnarvon's son-in-law.... Anyway, this allegation doesn't quite sit right with me. It is nice for William and Zara, but what of her other family members, and why do they have (allegedly) have such special treatment? Is it as simple as the Queen, like so many grandmothers, finds it easier and more fun to be with her grandchildren than her children, no matter how grown up her children become? Yet I can't quite picture this allegation working. I mean, if Zara or William rings up, the Queen drops everything, but if another grandchild, maybe Peter, rings up with a major crisis, he is directed to an aide? That would be so messed up! What are your thoughts about this? Am I so clueless and just missing everything, as I suspect is likely?!
Well, I, for one, don't believe it. I do believe that Her Majesty was much more comfortable and easy in her dual role as monarch and mother when Andrew and Edward were born - who wouldn't have been? Read a little about how difficult it was for a young woman to suddenly, and unexpectedly, become a Monarch, and you'll feel sympathy for her and her difficulties in reconciling both roles. Also, I have heard the Princess Royal deny that her mother wasn't 'motherly', but said that it was impressed on her, at a young age, that her mum was also The Queen. If Anne has not suffered at the hands of her mother and father, who is anyone else to claim otherwise?

My own mum finds it easier to be with her grandchildren, too. I suspect that most people do; it's not such a world-shattering observation. And whereas I think it possible that Her Majesty may well favour one or two grandchildren, I do not believe it even remotely possible that she would fob off any of the others. For instance, Beatrice and Eugenie are Andrew's children - the gossips say that she likes Andrew the most. Therefore, is it conceivable that she'd treat his daughters poorly? William, of course, is the future king, and I do not think it at all special that she might, duty-bound, give him more attention. However, I've written elsewhere on the Forums where I've read how much Her Majesty and Prince Philip love and are proud of plain, ordinary, Mr Peter Phillips. If The Queen has a special spot for Zara, incomparable horsewomen that they both are - well, what's remarkable about that?

The bottom line is, really, that none of us knows precisely what's in The Queen's heart as it pertains to her children and grandchildren. To question her on what's thought of as natural and normal responses to her grandchildren is mightly presumptious, in my opinion. Until these 'authorities' can convince us that they know better than we, then I suggest that we take it all with a grain of salt.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Polly View Post
Well, I, for one, don't believe it. I do believe that Her Majesty was much more comfortable and easy in her dual role as monarch and mother when Andrew and Edward were born - who wouldn't have been? Read a little about how difficult it was for a young woman to suddenly, and unexpectedly, become a Monarch, and you'll feel sympathy for her and her difficulties in reconciling both roles. Also, I have heard the Princess Royal deny that her mother wasn't 'motherly', but said that it was impressed on her, at a young age, that her mum was also The Queen. If Anne has not suffered at the hands of her mother and father, who is anyone else to claim otherwise?

My own mum finds it easier to be with her grandchildren, too. I suspect that most people do; it's not such a world-shattering observation. And whereas I think it possible that Her Majesty may well favour one or two grandchildren, I do not believe it even remotely possible that she would fob off any of the others. For instance, Beatrice and Eugenie are Andrew's children - the gossips say that she likes Andrew the most. Therefore, is it conceivable that she'd treat his daughters poorly? William, of course, is the future king, and I do not think it at all special that she might, duty-bound, give him more attention. However, I've written elsewhere on the Forums where I've read how much Her Majesty and Prince Philip love and are proud of plain, ordinary, Mr Peter Phillips. If The Queen has a special spot for Zara, incomparable horsewomen that they both are - well, what's remarkable about that?

The bottom line is, really, that none of us knows precisely what's in The Queen's heart as it pertains to her children and grandchildren. To question her on what's thought of as natural and normal responses to her grandchildren is mightly presumptious, in my opinion. Until these 'authorities' can convince us that they know better than we, then I suggest that we take it all with a grain of salt.
Thank you, Polly. I emboldened part of your excellent post, because I have to add this: I also read that especially Prince Philip is so proud of Peter; he supposedly calls him a "winner" of a person! I have also seen it stated some places that the Queen has a soft spot for Peter as the first-born grandchild, but as you hinted at, I suspect many people have various theories about who the "favorite(s)" are! Whether it's William as the direct heir, or Peter as "the first", or Zara as her Majesty's "kindred horsewoman", it all boils down to that the Queen and the Duke are loving grandparents, and it is more likely than not that they were doting parents too, in their own ways of course!
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:39 AM
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My feelings about the story about only three people being put through immediately to the queen is that one of them is not her beloved husband.

This story would have us believe that if Philip rang the Queen for any reason that he could be put on hold, or told to ring back later, while the racing manager and a couple of grandchildren would be put straight through. Personally I doubt it but....
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:53 PM
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My feelings about the story about only three people being put through immediately to the queen is that one of them is not her beloved husband.

This story would have us believe that if Philip rang the Queen for any reason that he could be put on hold, or told to ring back later, while the racing manager and a couple of grandchildren would be put straight through. Personally I doubt it but....
The "magic three" of the book/article is probably imaginary fluff.
Of course the Duke of Edinburgh's call would be taken.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:58 PM
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I think that Philip's call would probably be put straight through. He doesn't strike me as a person who makes unnecessary phone calls, so any call he makes would probably be urgent.
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Old 08-04-2007, 09:04 PM
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I would guess( of course that's all I can really do) That the Queen and Prince Philip have a special place for each of their children and grandchildren in their hearts and they likely as we all do express our love in different ways with different people.I have always heart that Prince Edward and Princess Anne were very close to both parents but had a special relationship with their father and the three make sort of a click of sorts.I think their family like most has many such dynamics within their family unit.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chrissy57 View Post
My feelings about the story about only three people being put through immediately to the queen is that one of them is not her beloved husband.

This story would have us believe that if Philip rang the Queen for any reason that he could be put on hold, or told to ring back later, while the racing manager and a couple of grandchildren would be put straight through. Personally I doubt it but....
Seriously! The "magic three" story makes no sense. Like the others say, it is certain that Prince Philip's call would be taken, and I might add, in fact it is certain that any close friend/family member, in particular children and grandchildren, would be treated the same way. Maybe the "magic three" "fluff" or whatever it is came from as simple a possibility that Zara rings/text messages HM more often than the other grandchildren, to chat about her competitions, horses, and things. Beatrice is too busy with her boyfriend! None of the other grandchildren are as obsessed with the Queen's favorite topic as Zara is.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:16 PM
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i've always felt sorry for HM when it comes to speculation about her relationships with her children. it's automatically expected that all women are naturally maternal but we know that's not true. this was probably expected ten fold of HM. some first time mothers don't have that natural maternal feeling or touch and it's probably the same with HM and having to spend so much time away didn't help the matter. inspite of all that her children have been through, i don't think they're any different than any of us. as for her grandchildren, most parents are more relaxed with their grandchildren. they don't have the responsibility of being the primary person that moulds them and disciplines them. HM is certainly huge presence in the lives of her grandchildren and i think she probably has an open door policy with all of them.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:04 AM
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One of my favourite stories about the Queen as a mother came only a couple of years ago from Charles. He was talking about his mother in the weeks or so leading up to the coronation. He recalls that she would came to say goodnight to both himself and Anne wearing the crown.

I just so love that story and it shows that she did have to mix 'business with pleasure' as she had to get comfortable with the crown but also wanted to put her kids to be herself and spend some 'quality' time with them. (Boy I hate that expression. To me any time a parent spends with their parents is 'quality' time!).
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:27 PM
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i always tell my husband (who works away for 2 weeks at a time) that it's "quality time, not quantity time" so it's what you do in the time you spend together, not necessarily how much time you spend doing it. he always tries to make the things he does with our daughter special.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:40 PM
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That's a nice story, Chrissy. I think the early years of the reign were the most difficult time for the Queen. Unfortunately, her first two children paid the price of her near-constant absence on tours in those first years. I have read in more than one account that the Queen essentially gave Philip the executive decisions in all domestic matters relating to the children for the dual reason of being so preoccupied with her new role and wanting to help him find more sense of purpose.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:35 PM
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That's a nice story, Chrissy. I think the early years of the reign were the most difficult time for the Queen. Unfortunately, her first two children paid the price of her near-constant absence on tours in those first years.
I can see the point you're making, CT, but once you discount the 6-month world tour taken from Nov 1953 to May 1954, I think a close look at her tour schedule will reveal something quite the opposite of "near-constant absence on tours". And even that tour was taken after a constant presence in the UK of the first 9 months of the reign.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:58 PM
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I would tend to think that Her Majesty, like every other parent, would most likely have been more at ease with her last two children than her first two simply because of the experience she had gained from the first two. I do not however think that means that she loves any more than the rest, they all belong to her after all.

Her Majesty has certainly been financially generous with her children, especially upon their marriages. I think she has been very generous with her daughters-in-law and the engagement rings she has given them, especially HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

I feel quite certain that tensions exist at times with all members of the Royal Family, but they do with all families.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:19 PM
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Obviously Charles' complaints makes him a liar and Zara's statement makes her a liar. Sorry, the queen is a very nice woman, but I am sure she had her failings. He eldest son feels that way. Some children need more and some less. He needed more. Why would Zara say what she said? I do not know about Philip, as he might just use a very private way to reach her that no one else has acess to. As for quality time versus quantity time that is an expression made up by people who do not have the time and to assuage their guilt they fill in the spaces. Now, parents that must work away from home, are just in that position. It is what their job requires, they give what time they have. Time is a luxurious gift, all cannot give. The queen had a very big job that precluded her from being a stay at home Mom. Her son suffered, he lived, he wrote about it. Now he has to move on.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:41 PM
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I think HM has been like many normal healthy parents in having a balanced life. That is to say that her life has consisted of many compartments, rather than being too concentrated in just one area. She has Engagements, she has Travels, she has Recreation, she has Children's concerns, Grandchildren's concerns, Marriage, Horse Racing, whatever else you wish to add. Like such a person, she has schedules in each area, as having quite a full life, she must be a juggler, or rather her secretaries and aides must be jugglers. It appears that she lives well in every area of her life, if you consider that she has always held things together and has never had any kind of breakdown. We can say this about her with a fair amount of certainty.
If you look at some other members and ex-members of the family, you will find people who put rather too much into some areas, and too little in others, and were not therefore as successful as HM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:45 PM
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I strongly believe that Her Majesty has been and is an excellent mother and grandmother. Relationships in any family have their ups and downs. The British Royal Family migth not be viewed as a happy exception in this respect. Of course, it was impossible for Queen to engage in certain activities that children would normally love to do since her life has been vastly governed by the protocol and other various rules.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:17 PM
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Her Majesty was the ultimate "working woman" of the 20th Century and with that came sacrifices her family had to endure. Add in how the upper crust raise their children with minimal physical contact between parent/child and often in the presence of addictions and then with loads of help from servants and the extraordinary circumstances of having to live in the public eye all of their lives, it is amazing they all turned out as reasonably well as they did.

What impressed me is how all the children of Her Majesty were reasonably educated when the previous generation of royals only felt the need to educate Her Majesty and not so much Princess Margaret.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:55 PM
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I Belive as She enters her "Golden Years" she is more relaxed as she is now used to her role as Monarch, itll be interesting to see how she (and Philip) inter act with their upcomming Grandchild and any Great-Grandchildren they may live to see :)
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:31 AM
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To be honest, the Queen reminds me in many ways of my late mother.

I think that her introversion and reserve has been misinterpreted (as it often is in women) as coldness and lack of love for her children (especially when Charles started his "Mummy didn't hug me enough" whining). People don't take her upbringing and her personality into account. She was raised in an era where people weren't so openly affectionate with their children and women in her position weren't encouraged to act like that. Even the Queen Mum fit in with this world, though she was a bit more demonstrative. The Queen isn't a demonstrative person herself but I think she loves her children and grandchildren very much just as I suspect that the Duke does. They just show it differently. Anyone who has ever seen photos or footage of the Queen's desk sees that it has reminders, mementos, and photos of those she holds dear. I think the problem is that the Queen is judged most harshly by those who worship the pop psych gods and spout psychobabble.

What I wonder about, though, is if she would have been able to pull off acting the way the Princess of Wales did (taking her children on tours with her, etc) in her day. I daresay there would have been criticism about putting Duty second instead of where it should have been. Hmmm...

She is a conscientious and dutiful person -- and had those qualities reinforced as she was growing up. The crown comes first -- everything else after that. It's a tough position for a young wife and mother, but as she grew more comfortable in her role, she most likely was able to relax more and combine the Crown and the Clan without as much difficulty.
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