It is fitting to compare the longevity of the Queen Mother’s life with a magnificent hand-woven carpet running along a length of parquet down a torch-lit ancestral hallway: she was the embodiment of the twentieth century precisely because her life more or less spanned it. She was born on 4 August 1900 and (allowing for a bit of overhang into this century) died on Easter Saturday, 30 March 2002.
Tinkety tonk old fruit
Absorbing letters from an ebullient queen
Counting One’s Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
edited by William Shawcross
Macmillan, $44.99 hb, 686 pp, 9780230754966
Michael Shmith was arts editor of The Age from 1985 to 1993. He was the paper’s opera critic from 2010 to 2017. He is also the...
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