Europe

The Queen Mother appreciated ‘darling’ Thatcher’s ‘patriotism’ – ‘That’s what we want!’

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, revealed to Mr Rose an anecdote about Tory leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher She also recalled one day out she had at Chequers with Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald in the 1930s. 

The Queen Mother spoke of the lovely day spent visiting little churches near Aylesbury, where is located the country house of British prime ministers.

In an entry of Mr Rose’s diary dated July 20 1982, the Queen Mother spoke of one of Mrs Thatcher’s qualities – “patriotism”.

The diary read: “Lunch with the Queen Mother at Clarence House.

“She describes going to see Ramsay MacDonald at Chequers. 

“’He took us to see some of the little churches in the neighbourhood.

“‘Now darling Mrs Thatcher would never do that!

“‘But then she has other great qualities such as PATRIOTISM — that’s what we want!’”

This isn’t the only entry Mr Rose’s diary focused on the Queen Mother and Mrs Thatcher.

In 1989, the Queen Mother expressed “strong admiration for Mrs Thatcher’s determination to concede no sovereignty to the EEC”.

Mr Rose, whose private diary will soon be published following his death in 2014, also unveiled the Queen Mother’s keen Eurosceptic nature.  

In one entry dated September 20 1983, Mr Rose who reported a lively conversation between the Queen Mother and former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan.

According to Mr Callaghan, the royal mocked other state members of the EEC, which became known as European Union in 10 years later.

The diary read: “Jim Callaghan shares my delight in the personality of the Queen Mother.

“At a lunch given by the Queen for heads of Common Market countries, she observed to Jim in a loud voice: ‘I am glad we are in the Common Market.

“‘You see, they have so much to learn from us.’” 

The Queen Mother’s appreciation for Mrs Thatcher was not shared by her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, at least from what it emerged from Mr Rose’s diary’s pages.

The monarch and the then-Prime Minister were in “sharp disagreement” over the importance of the Commonwealth, the diary read.

This may have strained the two women’s relationship so much that the monarch even snubbed the Prime Minister on a night out.

In one entry dated June 1 1997 Mr Rose wrote: “To Headington for tea with philosopher Isaiah Berlin.

“We talk of relations between the Queen and her Prime Ministers. 

“The Queen is careful never to reveal what she thinks of each, although it is generally known that she and Margaret Thatcher had sharp disagreements on the importance of the Commonwealth.

“Isaiah now has an important piece of evidence.

“Both the Queen and Thatcher came to a gala at Covent Garden, but sat in different parts of the house.

“In the interval, the Queen let it be known that she did not want to meet Mrs Thatcher, who was sent to an upper room for drinks, as was Isaiah.

“Thatcher then said she would like to say goodbye to the Queen, a request that was ignored.”    

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