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How the Queen Mother’s royal title changed in face of two shattering royal crises

Queen Mother: Pundits discuss name choice for second daughter

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The Queen Mother was born into an aristocratic family as the Honourable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon in 1900. When her father inherited his Earldom in 1904, her title changed to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. But in 1936, Elizabeth would become Queen consort as the wife of the unexpected king, George VI.

The Duchess of York

When Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married Prince Albert, the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, she took on the equivalent of her husband’s title.

Prince Albert was given the title of His Royal Highness The Duke of York by his father, so from 1923, Elizabeth became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York.

The couple were known as the Duke and Duchess of York for more than a decade until crisis struck the monarchy in 1936.

Queen Elizabeth

In 1936, King George V died and his eldest son Prince Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VIII.

But King Edward VIII’s reign would be short-lived, as Edward abdicated the throne in December 1936 due to conflict over his choice of wife.

Edward had expressed his wish to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had been married twice before.

But at the time the church frowned upon the remarriage of divorced people, which conflicted with Edward’s role as head of the Church of England.

Edward gave up the throne for love, thrusting his younger brother Prince Albert, known as ‘Bertie’ to his family, into the royal spotlight as the new King.

Albert reigned as King George VI and his wife became Queen Elizabeth, the first British-born Queen consort since the times of Tudor England.

The new King and Queen had never expected to take the throne, and it also meant their eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth became heir to the throne.

The abdication crisis rocked the Royal Family to its core, but ultimately the new King and Queen grew to be respected by the nation due to their steadfastness during World War 2.

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Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

In 1952, another crisis hit the Royal Family upon the sudden death of King George VI at the age of 56.

The crown passed to George and Elizabeth’s eldest child, Princess Elizabeth, who was only 25 and was away on a royal tour at the time of her father’s death.

Queen Elizabeth was given the new title of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother was known to be a great support to her daughter throughout the first 50 years of her reign.

In 2002 at the age of 101, the Queen Mother died just a few weeks after her daughter Princess Margaret.

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