Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (August 4, 1900 – March 30, 2002), or Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and popularly known as The Queen Mum, was Queen consort of George VI of the United Kingdom (1936–1952) and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II.
- "We'd have to go self-service."
- After a Tory minister advised her not to employ homosexuals
- Summerskill, Ben (10 November 2002). "Upstairs, downstairs, in my lady's chamber". The Observer.
- Whilst playing cards,
- Elizabeth: How are you getting on? You don't look very happy.
- Lord Salisbury: Oh, Ma'am, I've been left with a horrible queen.
- Elizabeth: I don't think that's a very good of way of putting it, do you?
- Quoted by Lord Home of the Hirsel in: The Queen Mother Remembered (BBC Books, 2002)
- "Was this yours? Oh, could you take it?"
- On returning a toilet roll to a demonstrator who had thrown it at her.
- Quoted by Sir Peter Ustinov in: The Queen Mother Remembered (BBC Books, 2002)
- "But I love communists!"
- On being warned that a functionary to whom she was about to be introduced was a communist.
- Quoted by the Duchess of Grafton in: The Queen Mother Remembered (BBC Books, 2002)
- "Wouldn't it be terrible if you'd spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't eat things, took lots of exercise, all the things you didn't want to do, and suddenly one day you were run over by a big red bus, and as the wheels were crunching into you you'd say 'Oh my god, I could have got so drunk last night!' That's the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you'll be run over by a big red bus."
- Quoted by Michael Parker in: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography (Shawcross, 2009)
- "Dear Edwina, she always liked to make a splash." On hearing that Edwina Mountbatten had been buried at sea
- Quoted by The Straits Times (Singapore) on 7 August 2000
- "I wouldn't if I were you, Noël; they count them before they put them out." Murmured to the gay writer Sir Noël Coward at a gala. While she mounted a staircase lined with Guards, she noticed Coward's eyes flicker momentarily over the soldiers.
- Quoted by Thomas Blaikie in: You look awfully like the Queen: Wit and Wisdom from the House of Windsor (HarperCollins, London, 2002, isbn=0-00-714874-7)
- "I'll polish it off myself." On the fate of a gift of a nebuchadnezzar of champagne (20 bottles' worth) even if her family didn't come for the holidays.
- Quoted by Graham Taylor in: Elizabeth: The Woman and the Queen, (Telegraph Books, 2002)
- "We loved him."
- On the Duke of Windsor, previously Edward VIII
- Quoted by the Duke of Grafton in: The Queen Mother Remembered (BBC Books, 2002)
- "Never trust them, never trust them. They can't be trusted."
- On the Germans.
- Said to Woodrow Wyatt on 16 November 1991, quoted in Woodrow Wyatt, The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt: Volume Two (Pan, 2000), p. 608.
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