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Posts tagged ‘ted hughes’


21 September 2009

The Queen Mother and the Poet

Andrew O’Hagan · Ted Hughes's Biggest Fan

People in England found it very easy to love the Queen Mother. She was, it seemed, a perfect repository of the national theme, Past Caring. She stayed in London during the Blitz, she didn't like foreigners – especially foreign women, especially Wallis Simpson – and she drank like a fish. She liked a party, loved a wheeze, adored a jape, and not far into William Shawcross's very admiring official biography, published this week, we find Elizabeth Bowes Lyon kicking up her heels in Paris in 1924. Elizabeth was assuredly a bit of a one. Apart from shopping, there was tea at the Ritz and dinner at the British Embassy. They also visited the Casino de Paris, 'where for the first time in my life I saw ladies with very little on, & somehow it was not in the least indecent'.