I would like to show you some nice old photos of Queen Elizabeth
when she was a young girl. I found them in a copy of “King George and Queen
Elizabeth”–a hardback with a red and blue cover–a nice deep sky blue and a good red.
The King George in the title is King George VI and he was the king in the movie
“The King’s Speech” with Colin Firth. I hope you saw it. George VI was the son
of Queen Mary. George, even though he was called Albert at the time–married
Elizabeth—the “old” Elizabeth to us, in 1947, and they had two daughters who became
known as The Royal Princesses. I have a nice old photo of the two of them taken
in 1933. They were Elizabeth, and her younger sister, Margaret Rose.
Elizabeth grew up and became the Queen after her father, George VI died. She
became queen in 1952 and still reigns today. Margaret Rose didn’t fare as well.
Her life story became fodder for the gossip pages and she died in 2002 after
living in poor health in her later years.
When the two girls were young, all of England followed their activities and loved
the whole idea of two young princesses living at the palace. The country of Wales
even gave them a real-sized cottage as a playhouse! Supposedly the girls took
care of it themselves, doing all the housework and so forth.
In the early 1920s a special dolls’ house was built for Queen Mary. This was
an unbelievable creation with nineteen rooms which involved the willing support of hundreds of English craftsmen and artists and authors.
An elaborate little leather bound library included the works of Kipling, Arthur Conan
Doyle, G.K. Chesterton and many others. The miniature books were
hand-written and illustrated by the authors–many with original stories
especially written for the dolls’ house. Do I spy a little sculpture of Admiral Lord Nelson?
Queen Mary (of the dolls’ house) was the grandmother of Princess Elizabeth. I
have a photo of the two of them when they visited the Bekonscot Model Village
near London in Buckinghamshire. in 1934. I believe one can still go there and it
looks adorable, too. Just have to make a return trip to England!
In the early 1930s the “children of France” presented two bisque Jumeau dolls
to the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. The dolls’ names were France
and Marianne. There were over 300 fashion outfits, purses and shoes given along
with the dolls—designed by top French designers of the time. I saw this
amazing collection—the three foot tall dolls and their clothing—alongside
Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House when I visited Windsor Castle years ago in 1994.
My journal of that time says I made several sketches of the dolls and wardrobes.
I wonder where THEY are!
So, we have Queen Mary, then George VI, and now Queen Elizabeth II.
The buzz when I was in London was whether or not Queen Elizabeth II, now
in her eighties, would step down to allow her son, Charles, Prince of Wales,
to ascend to the throne. He is now 64 and has been waiting . . . But although
the Queen has decided to curtail long flights to visit foreign country affairs,
there seems to be no inkling that she will relinquish any other main duties
In England, and all around the world there continues to be interest and,
I’ll say it, fascination with the English royal family. The old red and blue
book that I found at Covent Garden flea market had no date, but was
published by Allied Newspapers Limited.
It was a pleasant read and a little trip back to another time.