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  #461  
Old 01-19-2015, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tommy100 View Post
How Queen Mother really WAS the epitome of regal extravagance | Daily Mail Online

According to this article:
How else did she run up an overdraft of £7million with Coutts, which had been reduced, with the help of the Queen, to a mere £4million by the time the state of her parlous finances emerged in the spring of 1999?
Let us start with the basics — five homes, four of them permanently staffed, and a vast personal retinue of pages, butlers, gardeners, maids, footmen, housekeepers, equerries, chefs, dressers and chauffeurs (four of these) numbering around 80.
Half of them were at Clarence House (which, having lived at Buckingham Palace, she described as ‘horrid and little’), and the others were distributed among the Castle of Mey, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park and Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.
Her fifth home was an apartment at Walmer Castle in Kent, to which she was entitled as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and which, like the others, was permanently staffed (though not by her) even though she went there for just one weekend every year.
That seems an extraordinary amount of staff for just one lady whose official duties were a reduced number in her later years.

Anyone living beyond their means is not sensible, no matter who they are.
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  #462  
Old 01-19-2015, 05:24 PM
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The Queen Mother was notorious for keeping staff on even when they were very old and beyond being able to work properly. I suspect the large number of staff is down in part to the ideology "many hands make light work"
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  #463  
Old 01-19-2015, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by royal-blue View Post
That seems an extraordinary amount of staff for just one lady whose official duties were a reduced number in her later years.

Anyone living beyond their means is not sensible, no matter who they are.
But was she? She clearly was able to pay for all those servants and the upkeep of all those houses. Is it possible that some of those servants were from way back, and she just never let anyone go out of loyalty to them? Just floating the idea, maybe some would know the answer to that.

She was from another time, and she had been Queen. Plus she was the current Queen's mother. I doubt anything would have been denied her. Doesn't sound strange to me.

On occasion my husband and I debate whether, if the means ever came to us, would we buy more than one vacation home. (We definitely plan to purchase one - though we don't agree on the location!) It's a question. If one could, if the opportunity arose, would one go that far in luxury?
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  #464  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:12 PM
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I have read various accounts, Lady Nimue, it which it was stated that the Queen Mother had very loyal staff, many of them quite elderly, who had been with her for years.

It was the same with senior members of her Household. Her first Treasurer was in his seventies when he first asked if he might retire as he felt he was getting past it. Elizabeth kept persuading him to stay on and he did, for quite some time.

Elizabeth was a woman of her time. She had grown up with servants, many of whom stayed with the family for years. (The Earl and Countess of Strathmore were known as good employers.) As a King's widow she believed that she should keep up appearances and live in a certain way.

Yes, her daughter did pay some of her mother's expenses. She probably felt a bit exasperated at times that she had to do it but there's no evidence that either the Queen or the Prince of Wales ever felt really resentful that they had to pay the QM's bills. They both adored her.
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  #465  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:21 PM
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I may be wrong - and if I am I would like to know the detail, but there is no pension for the widow of a King as far as I know.

So did the civil list provide for QEQM - how much was it? and how did it compare to the £ given to the Queen Consort? Apologies if this has already been answered.
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  #466  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:41 PM
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Residences of the Queen Mother

Apparently she got £70k at the beginning of her widowhood the same that Queen Mary got.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...-7m-debts.html

Article has the increases thru the year.

This one is from 2000 with the other royals on it

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/m...incessmargaret


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  #467  
Old 01-19-2015, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
I have read various accounts, Lady Nimue, it which it was stated that the Queen Mother had very loyal staff, many of them quite elderly, who had been with her for years.

It was the same with senior members of her Household. Her first Treasurer was in his seventies when he first asked if he might retire as he felt he was getting past it. Elizabeth kept persuading him to stay on and he did, for quite some time.

Elizabeth was a woman of her time. She had grown up with servants, many of whom stayed with the family for years. (The Earl and Countess of Strathmore were known as good employers.) As a King's widow she believed that she should keep up appearances and live in a certain way.

Yes, her daughter did pay some of her mother's expenses. She probably felt a bit exasperated at times that she had to do it but there's no evidence that either the Queen or the Prince of Wales ever felt really resentful that they had to pay the QM's bills. They both adored her.
Thank you, Curryong. My understanding, too, is that the Queen Mother remained a powerful influence in the current Queen's reign from beginning to the end of her life. It was a significant loss for the current Queen to lose her mother and her sister so close together, but especially her mother.
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  #468  
Old 01-19-2015, 10:26 PM
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Yes, Lady Nimue, the Queen must have felt bereft, especially as, even towards the end she and the Queen Mother spoke on the phone every day, mostly about horse racing. She had a tremendous influence on both her daughters.


On the question of finance, Shawcross has £77,000 a year settled on the Queen Mother through the Civil List, in 1952. In 1971 royal finances came under the scrutiny of a House of Commons Committee. There was fierce criticism from some Labour members of the Commons (especially about the Queen Mother's large Household.)

An increase to £95,000 was asked for on the QM's behalf. Shawcross says the Conservative-dominated House ignored many of the Committee's recommendations and 'passed a generous settlement', but doesn't say what it was!
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  #469  
Old 01-19-2015, 10:28 PM
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I recently read 2 biographies one about Queen Alexandra in which it was claimed that she lived well beyond her means while she was the Queen Dowager and many of her expenses had to be met by her son (much to Queen Mary's dismay.) The other about Queen Mary and I don't recall whether she lived beyond her means while Queen Dowager as well, but I think I read that she did. If so, then Queen Elizabeth as dowager was simply following well established precedent
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  #470  
Old 01-19-2015, 10:48 PM
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That's an interesting idea, Sndral. Certainly the Queen Mother would have observed her mother-in-law's lifestyle as Queen Dowager and how the mother of a sovereign conducted herself in public life.

I've always thought of Queen Mary as being quite a brisk and practical person, but of course, devoted to the idea of the British monarchy as she was, maybe she felt she had to maintain a certain standard of life. Until the war, that is, when she and her household took over her niece's home at Badminton!

She did collect works of art and jewellery of course. That could be expensive when she couldn't persuade people to donate them to her.

I don't know much about Alexandra's widowhood except that by that time she was so deaf that she preferred to tuck herself away at Sandringham with long-serving members of her Household, though she did visit Denmark sometimes.

How much money could a very old lady in that position spend? Although of course she was rather impractical so maybe she just had no idea!
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  #471  
Old 01-19-2015, 10:58 PM
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Residences of the Queen Mother

Mary grew up with her family the Tecks having constant money issues and having to rely on Victoria's good will. So she would be conscious of money.

A lot of the jewelry and collection of Alix and Mary would have been gifts from the other royal families of Europe who they were related to each other plus gifts from the empire which was at its peak. The Cullinan diamonds and the Royal faberge egg collections are good examples of such gifts.

Post WWI, you have the fall of many of Europes monarchies and waning of the empire, so Elizabeth didn't get as much stuff as her precedessors.




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  #472  
Old 01-19-2015, 11:50 PM
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Yes, that's true, but there are stories of Queen Mary, as Queen and Dowager, purchasing the jewellery and Faberge objects of Russian aristocrats and surviving royalty following WW1, and sometimes buying below value.

Plus, she was reputedly a legendary scavenger of any porcelain or other objects d'arte she fancied in other people's drawing rooms and would strongly hint at her liking, forcing her hosts, out of politeness, to donate them to her. While this habit might be exaggerated it pops up in too many memoirs of the time for it to be entirely untrue.

At least the Queen Mother didn't do that! She received jewellery as wedding presents and the Duke bought her more after they were married. Mrs Ronnie Greville left her jewellery collection to Elizabeth, including a necklace that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, so maybe she didn't feel she had to buy more.
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  #473  
Old 01-20-2015, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Mrs Ronnie Greville left her jewellery collection to Elizabeth, including a necklace that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, so maybe she didn't feel she had to buy more.
Would like to see that necklace, and how it came down from Marie Antoinette. Is there a thread that speaks of it, does anyone know?
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  #474  
Old 01-22-2015, 07:22 AM
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[QUOTE=MARG;1735298]You made a brilliant point there. Queen Mary made the Queen Mother look like a powder puff by comparison. I would bet the house that Queen Mary was very vocal within the family. I am always astounded when people write about this era and it's controversy, they manage to overlook such an incredibly strong presence as Queen Mary. This, the women reputed to have said,
“You are a member of the British Royal Family: We are never tired and we all love hospitals.”
Or, just plain 'We live to serve and her son David did nothing that he didn't want to do.

So I imagine David's behavior shamed her. From his wild youth to the abdication and his dishonesty and greed, the relationship deteriorated and finally ended, the following excerpt from Wikipedia tells us not only did Q Mary and K George meet Wallis in 1935 but they refused to receive her ever again. It also says:
To me it seems quite obvious that his Mother refused to receive Wallis and Elizabeth followed her lead. It also seems obvious that his brother was definitely not alienated from him because of Elizabeth. Bertie cut him off for pretty obvious reasons, not least because his loving big brother had right royally s****** him over financially.QUOTE]


Could the BRF/government of the day have actually stopped Edward and Wallace returning to the UK? They were still British citizens.
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  #475  
Old 03-27-2015, 11:02 PM
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The Daily Mail's take on the Royal Household and the Queen Mother's favourite Page.

Biography of William Tallon reveals most gossipy royal revelations for years* | Daily Mail Online
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  #476  
Old 04-10-2015, 07:16 PM
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The Queen Mother visited HMS ARK ROYAL in Portsmouth Naval Base and was present at a Service of Re-Dedication - November 22, 2001. This was the last time she was seen in public. She died on March 31, 2002 at the age of 101.

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  #477  
Old 06-29-2015, 06:50 PM
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A lovely picture of the Duchess of York (QEQM) taking her daughters to support disabled soldiers.

So much for the modern royals introducing their children to charity...

The Duchess of York with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at a disabled soldiers' sale of work in London, 1933.

http://www.royal.gov.uk/List%20Image...8(506x388).jpg
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  #478  
Old 08-04-2015, 03:46 PM
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♔ Arjan ♔ ‏@houseoflemon 13h13 hours ago #OnThisDay 115 years ago, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was born as The Hon. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. (© McBeath/NPG)

https://twitter.com/houseoflemon/sta...42910988599296
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  #479  
Old 08-04-2015, 04:28 PM
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An example that one can be old and still rock it! Truly a lady!
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  #480  
Old 08-04-2015, 04:29 PM
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Remembering the Queen Mother on the anniversary of her birth
Quote:
In the last few years of her life, her failing health did not allow her to make public appearances, although she seemed there in spirit.
This is incorrect, The Queen Mother did around 50 engagements in both 2000 and 2001, and did her last public appearance on November 22, 2001.
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