The Guardian April 24, 2002


Queen Who

The Queen Mother, nee Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, died in London on March 30, 
2002 at the age of 101.

She was given a huge send-off, costing millions upon millions.

As for her place in history, the Queen Mother's big moment came 60 years 
ago.

Photos were dusted off of the Queen Mother viewing damage after the 
Luftwaffe bombed Buckingham Palace during the Second World War.

Much was made of the quote from Queen Elizabeth that she was pleased that 
Buckingham Palace had been bombed, "it makes me feel that I can look the 
East End in the face."

The Broadcasting Authority Chairman and monarchist David Flint, praised the 
Queen Mother for her 'unifying role" during World War

There was a lot of this rubbish.

The late Queen Mother was known as a Nazi-appeaser prior to the war and was 
clearly a Hitler sympathiser in the late 1930's.

In 1939, she sent Lord Halifax, leader with Chamberlain of the appeasement 
camp in Britain, a copy of Mein Kampf, noting Hitler's "obvious sincerity" 
in the note sent with the book. She was known to hate Churchill for his 
anti-Nazi stance.

She was also known as an advocate of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement.

When Chamberlain returned from the 1938 Munich conference with Hitler with 
his notorious "Peace in our time" agreement, the King and then Queen, 
appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Chamberlain in an 
unmistakable gesture of Royal approval that was completely 
unconstitutional.

The British monarch is constitutionally not permitted to take sides on 
politically contentious issues which appeasement clearly was at that time.

This photo was not included in the supplements extolling the virtues of 
royalty published in recent weeks, although one or two noted it in passing.

The 1945 photo on the same balcony with Churchill, who the Queen Mother 
hated, was published as the definitive record of her war contribution.

This is historical revisionism at its most devious.

Her role as grandmother is vital to the current malaise of the Royal 
household.

With the young Queen Elizabeth often away on diplomatic duties to save the 
crumbling empire after the war, Princess Anne and Prince Charles were left 
in her care more often than not.

Care may be too strong a word; supervision is more appropriate.

The indulgence of her own whims, while strict denial of the passions of her 
successors such as her recently deceased daughter Princess Margaret and 
Prince Charles, undoubtedly contributed to personal difficulties many 
Royal's and those close to them suffered through their lives.

The place of royalty as an anachronism stands out. They epitomise some 
failings of the ruling class. Their imminent historical demise drives them 
to the more reactionary wing of the establishment.

Their narrow gene pool opens their members to hereditary problems, both 
physical and intellectual.

The Queen Mother, a product of the English capitalist class outside the 
narrow gene pool of European royalty, may have diluted the genetic 
dispositions of the House of Windsor for a generation but it asserts itself 
anew in her successes.

That genetic restriction joined with the pampered lifestyle, wealth, 
indulgence by the household and sense of dutiful sacrifice, serves to 
create an outlook in which virtually any measure of self-indulgence and 
arrogance is justified with a pomposity that sickens the most tolerant.

One should respect the dead but history and the facts need to be respected 
as much if people are to avoid errors of the past.

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