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   Elizabeth, Duchess of York's Homepage

HRH Elizabeth, Duchess of York

Full Name: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon

Birthdate: 4 August 1900

Date of Christening: 23 September 1900

Birthplace: Hitchin or London, England (?)

Current Residence: Royal Lodge, Windsor Castle Berkshire


1900–1904: The Honourable Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

1904–1923: Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

1923–1936: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York

Bowes-Lyon Family

Parents: Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis and his wife, Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck

Issues: 10 Children in total (including Elizabeth)

House of Windsor

Prince Albert Bertie, Duke of York

Biography of Elizabeth, Duchess of York

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter and the ninth of ten children of Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis (later the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the Peerage of Scotland), and his wife, Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. Her mother was descended from British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, and Governor-General of India Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, who was the elder brother of another Prime Minister, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

The location of her birth remains uncertain, but reputedly she was born either in her parents' Westminster home at Belgrave Mansions, Grosvenor Gardens, or in a horse-drawn ambulance on the way to a hospital. Other possible locations include Forbes House in Ham, London, the home of her maternal grandmother, Louisa Scott. Her birth was registered at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, near the Strathmores' English country house, St Paul's Walden Bury, which was also given as her birthplace in the census the following year. She was christened there on 23 September 1900, in the local parish church, All Saints, and her godparents included her paternal aunt Lady Maud Bowes-Lyon and cousin Venetia James.

The Courtship of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

Prince Albert, Duke of York or Bertie to the family—was the second son of King George V. He initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down, being "afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to". When he declared he would marry no other, his mother, Queen Mary, visited Glamis to see for herself the girl who had stolen her son's heart. She became convinced that Elizabeth was "the one girl who could make Bertie happy", but nevertheless refused to interfere. At the same time, Elizabeth was courted by James Stuart, Albert's equerry, until he left the Prince's service for a better-paid job in the American oil business.

In February 1922, Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Albert's sister, Princess Mary, to Viscount Lascelles. The following month, Albert proposed again, but she refused him once more. Eventually, in January 1923, Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her misgivings about royal life. Albert's freedom in choosing Elizabeth, not a member of a royal family, though the daughter of a peer, was considered a gesture in favour of political modernization; previously, princes were expected to marry princesses from other royal families. They selected a platinum engagement ring featuring a Kashmir sapphire with two diamonds adorning its sides.

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