What was it like to be Queen Mum?

We have a very special Royal Roundup for you this week: a glimpse at the Queen Mother’s moving and cheerful thoughts about her life at the heart of the British Establishment. Extracts from ‘Counting One’s Blessings’ – private letters and journals from all 10 decades of her life – were published this week to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

British royals (from left foreground) Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and King George VI after his coronation in 1937.

Via The Daily Telegraph.

The letters reveal her dilemma over whether to marry the Duke of York, who later became king. In January 1923, following a three-year courtship by the Duke, the then Elizabeth Bowes Lyon wrote to one of her closest friends of feeling “terrified” at the prospect of marrying into the Royal family, having finally accepted the Duke’s proposal.

They also reveal her subsequent blissful enjoyment of marriage and motherhood, including many letters in which she writes affectionately of her young daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

In a letter to Anne Beevers, her midwife and maternity nurse, written in October 1926 when Princess Elizabeth was six months old, she described her firstborn daughter as “sharp as a needle”.

Another letter to her mother, Lady Strathmore, written the same month, said: “She is going to be very wicked, and she is very quick I think …”

In 1936, following her sudden elevation to Queen Consort after Edward VIII abdicated to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, Queen Elizabeth wrote to her brother-in-law that she and her husband were “overcome with misery” at being unexpectedly thrust on to the throne.

The letters also convey her heartbreak at the untimely death of her husband in February 1952, following a battle with lung cancer. In a letter to her mother-in-law, Queen Mary, she wrote of her devastation at losing “Bertie”, who she described as “my whole life”.

Read More Here.

Is there a ROYAL MOLE??!?

Scandal! Three days after James Bond’s 50th Anniversary, it seems someone in Buckingham Palace could be taking a leaf from the book of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, one of Bond’s arch-nemeses. Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry allegedly have been warned that someone close to them may be leaking information to the media.

Surely the solution here is staring the Windsors in the face: feed false news stories to different members of the palace corps, and see what turns up in the tabloids! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge might be getting a royal cat; Prince Harry’s been eschewing polo for darts; maybe the Queen has an actual role in the next Bond film! We’re just spitballing, but if one thing’s for sure: the royal family could probably use 007’s help tracking down the dodgy double agent at this difficult time.

Here’s the full story, via Gather.com:

Kate Middleton has a serious pest problem. A mole is suspected to be running amuck inside the palace walls and Prince William and Kate are its prime target. Will and Kate are the unwitting victims of an inside operation.

“It’s been years since the Palace had to deal with a situation like this,” says a source. “But there 
are suspicions because some things have come out regarding Kate, Wills and Harry that very few people knew about.”

Now Kate is being warned to watch her back and not talk to or confide in anybody. Hopefully the mole is ferreted out, and Kate Middleton and Prince William can get on with their lives without fear of intimate details being passed along to the press.

Queen Liz is a Lovely Lady!

The Queen has generously invited Team GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes to a star-studded event at Buckingham Palace in late October. Tracksuits are reportedly allowed at the reception, held to say thanks for a golden summer that surpassed all of our expections.

To celebrate this (and in the hopes of one day getting our own Royal invitation!) we thought we’d share with you a few lovely pins of Her Maj, from our Pinterest account. You can follow all of our boards here.

Peek a boo! A game of hide-and-go-seek will not be on the itinerary.


QEII in 2007. And she hasn’t aged a bit!


Annie Leibovitz portrait. Bet you thought it was only rock gods and Hollywood A-listers who get their photos taken by her!


And how could we forget her acting debut alongside James Bond at the Olympics opening ceremony? God save the Queen!

Queen Elizabeth II’s 1957 New York City Visit

With the Jubilee celebrations continuing back in Britain with today and Tuesday off work, we thought we’d treat ourselves to this little bit of royal New York history. Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the Big Apple back in 1957, and in all her resplendent beauty did what she does best: looked the part and remained thoroughly dignified throughout. We can’t help be filled with nostalgia for a time we never knew by black and white, grainy celluloid, and warbling horn music!

Happy Accession Day, Queenie!

Legendary photographer Cecil Beaton took the official coronation photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, shortly after the crowning ceremony in 1952. The V&A in London are hosting a Diamond Jubilee exhibition from February 8th - April 22nd - pay a visit if you're in town!

February 6th is Accession Day, marking the death of  George IV and the passing of the throne to Queen Elizabeth II. While the official coronation – and this year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – take place on June 2nd, today is an undoubted milestone.

Check out how Queenie has been spending the day hereuuen. Otherwise sit back, think of England – and God Save The Queen!