The Queen Mother: 100th Birthday Tribute - Girl with a Golden Touch
THE Queen Mother can reach ordinary people with whom she comes fleetingly into touch.
Just what magic she can kindle is hard to say, but this tiny Scottish woman - she is only 5ft 2ins tall - is always essentially herself, an aristocratic Gainsborough lady with a hint of Pearly Queen behind the royal plumage.
In 1986, the Queen Mother became the oldest person to bear the title of Queen in the history of the British monarchy. But she was still one of the country's hardest-working pensioners.
The Prince of Wales paid her this tribute on her 78th birthday: Her greatest gift is to enhance life for others through her effervescent enthusiasm for life.
She has always been one of those extraordinary people whose touch can turn everything to gold, whether it be putting people at their ease, turning something dull into something amusing, bringing happiness and comfort to people, or making any house she lives in a unique haven of cosiness and character.
The Queen Mother was the first subject in three centuries to occupy the Consort's throne. The next was scheduled to be the Princess of Wales, granddaughter of her lady-in-waiting and life-long friend, Lady Ruth Fermoy, who died in June 1993.
The Queen Mother, the girl with dark-lashed eyes of china blue who became Queen almost by accident, has royal blood in her veins.
Her ancestor Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis, from whom her family inherited the estate and great castle of Glamis, married Jean, daughter of King Robert II of Scotland, in 1376.
Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, youngest daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was born in London on August 4, 1900. Precisely where remains a mystery - the Queen Mother herself was said not to have known. …