She was a commoner compared to His Royal Highness Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, youngest son of King George v of England. Though many other girls in England may have dreamed to be offered the hand of this second-most eligible bachelor in Britain, the glitz and glamor of royal life was not so enticing to one particular young woman. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late mother of Queen Elizabeth ii, is still known today as the Queen Mother. Though she was a descendant of the royal house of Scotland, the family was considered common by the time of her birth in 1900. Prince Albert often visited her family’s country home as a friend of Elizabeth’s elder brothers. As time passed, Prince Albert developed a serious interest in Elizabeth, but her fear of the restrictions of royal life held her back. The idea of marrying royalty made her “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to.”
But after accepting Albert’s third marriage proposal, Elizabeth finally went from an unknown commoner to one of the most loved British nobles in recent history. When Albert became King George vi, Elizabeth became queen consort. And when their daughter—crowned Elizabeth ii—took the throne, Elizabeth became the Queen Mother.
The Queen Mother achieved a lot in her long life, but her fierce dedication to supporting, encouraging and helping her husband was her crowning achievement. After the death of George vi, the Times said that no monarch in history had owed more to his wife.
Soon after their marriage, Prince Albert delved into intensive speech therapy. Elizabeth worked just as hard as her husband in helping him to overcome his stammer. She attended lessons with her husband and practiced daily with him. Sitting near him in public appearances, she would mouth the words in unison with him.
In January 1936, King George v died, and his eldest son David assumed the throne as King Edward viii. Elizabeth and Albert watched on in horror, however, as the new king continued his relationship with an American divorcée. In December, King Edward abdicated in order to marry this divorcée, and the throne was thrust into the hands of Prince Albert. Neither the stammering, seemingly inferior younger brother, nor his “skeptical of royal life” spouse ever expected or desired the throne. But on May 12, 1937, Prince Albert was crowned King George vi with his wife at his side. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth. From that day forward, the King gave his entire life to serving his people and restoring the reputation of the monarchy. At his side through it all was Queen Elizabeth, devoting herself to strengthening his self-confidence and serving their people.
As World War ii began, Queen Elizabeth rallied behind her people. Her influence was so great, and her morale-boosting so imperative to the war effort, that Adolf Hitler labeled her as “the most dangerous woman in Europe.”
When the bombs began to fall on London, she refused to flee with her daughters to sanctuary in another country. She went boldly with her husband as he visited war-ravaged communities and continued to boost the morale of its citizens. Through it all, she strove to amplify the role and government of her husband, stating, “The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the King will not leave the country in any circumstances whatsoever.” Together they were determined to sacrifice for their country.
The weight and responsibility of the monarchy finally took its toll on the King. Lung cancer had taken hold, and a blood clot in his leg stopped him from fulfilling many of his duties. Even through this, the Queen stood up and did for her husband what he could no longer do for the country. In 1949, Queen Elizabeth took over his public duties and asked “to be granted not a lighter load, but a stronger back.”
The King eventually succumbed to lung cancer in 1952. After his death, his eldest daughter—the current Queen Elizabeth ii—inherited the throne, and Elizabeth entered a new role: the Queen Mother. Even then, the Queen Mother continued to support her husband’s role. In a public address shortly after his funeral, she said: “He loved you all, every one of you, most truly. Now I am left alone to do what I can to honor that pledge without him.” In honoring this pledge, she continued to serve her people and people the world over with that same love her husband had, even attending about 60 official engagements at the age of 82 and fulfilling many royal duties into her 100th year.
The Queen Mother’s enduring support for her husband and the love they shared for their people is an example that we can follow.
Just as the Queen Mother was considered a commoner, God has called and chosen us—the foolish, weak and base of the world (1 Corinthians 1:27-28)—to marry His Son, Jesus Christ! This can be overwhelming. Perhaps you have felt the same way Elizabeth felt. Does the idea of becoming spiritual royalty make you “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act” as you feel?
When Queen Elizabeth was forced onto the throne with her husband, she achieved many great things through her support for her husband. We have the opportunity to do the same. We cannot put blinders on and see royalty as synonymous only for rules and regulations. We must see it for what it is: an opportunity to support our Husband in using God’s law of love to boost the morale of people coming out of the worst time of suffering on this Earth. We will help to rebuild their cities as our Husband directs. We will bring smiles to people’s faces. As the Queen, we will help bring them into the most joy-filled God Family!
Very soon, we will be helping our Husband as God transfers the throne to Him, but we can dedicate our lives to our Husband right now by supporting the Work that He is doing today.
We do this by visiting and helping the elderly, those going through health trials, and those in need. We do this by fellowshiping with everyone in our congregation, both young and old. By learning about the trials members are going through and praying for them, we can be a morale booster as Elizabeth was in the midst of war.
By dedicating herself to her husband and to his love for the people, the Queen Mother lived 101 years full of experiences, excitement and sacrifice that very few people have ever had.
We have been offered 101 years multiplied by eternity to do so much more as the Queen.
If we support our Husband today in these things, when we assume the throne with Him, people will be able to say the same thing about us that they said about Elizabeth: that no monarch in the history of the universe owed more to His wife!