Elizabeth II 1926-2022 | A family life that is not always peaceful

(London) Being a mother is never easy. Being queen and mother isn’t necessarily more, and Elizabeth II had her share of worries with her children until the end of her life.

Posted at 10:16 p.m

Brigitte Dusseau
Media Agency France

His son Andrew, rumored to be his sweetheart, eclipsed his final years when he was accused in New York of sexually assaulting a minor in connection with his troubled friendship with dead millionaire Jeffrey Epstein. He paid his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, millions in the form of a financial settlement to avoid a trial. Stripped of his military titles and patronage, he became an outcast within the royal family.


Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Andrew in 2004

With his eldest son Charles succeeding him after a life-long wait, relationships have often been complicated.

Elisabeth was 22 when she was born and 24 for Princess Anne.

At the time she was just a princess, heir to the crown, but sometimes she went for months to live with her husband Philip, a naval officer stationed in Malta, or on trips abroad. Charles and Anne remain with their nannies and governesses, as Elizabeth had experienced as a child.

Charles’ nanny is “very bossy,” monarchy expert Penny Junor told AFP. “The princess was young, the nanny took over.” Elizabeth “waited half an hour at tea-time for the nurse to bring her Charles.”

For this expert, there is “no doubt” that the Queen, busy with her duties, loved her family. But “she wasn’t very demonstrative.”

In old family photos and videos, we see a smiling Elisabeth posing with Charles in his stroller or with the family waving a rattle in front of Prince Andrew, who was born when Charles was 11. But tenderness does not show.

When little Charles, 5, returns to his parents from a month-long tour of the Commonwealth, the Queen turns to him.

“She was more distant than indifferent,” the Prince of Wales later said in an authorized biography.

“If he had been a horse or a dog, they would have been much closer,” says Penny Junor of Charles, a sensitive and clumsy child, and his mother, who loved horses and corgis.

Princess Anne, equestrian emeritus and outgoing personality, shares this passion with Elizabeth II that will bring them together in youth.

Protocol does not help: children and grandchildren must bow to the queen.

The relationship with Charles is all the more complicated because he is the heir apparent. His fate depends on the death of his mother. “He always adored his mother, he put her on a pedestal. But it’s not a mother-son relationship, it’s a monarch-subject relationship,” notes Penny Junor.

With her two youngest sons, Andrew and Edward, who were born aged 33 and 37, the Queen will have a more relaxed relationship, even stepping back from her engagements for a few months after her birth.

Anus horribilis

The four children are sent to boarding school at a very young age.

In 1992, three of them separated from their spouses: Anne divorced Mark Phillips, Charles split from Diana after a disastrous marriage, and Andrew split from Sarah Ferguson. The queen will say an “annus horribilis”.


Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1984 when Prince Harry was born.

For years, she dismissed the idea of ​​Charles remarrying Camilla, his longtime lover and lover. She will not attend her civil wedding in 2005, but will hold a reception at Windsor Castle.

“I don’t think there is a shred of evidence that she didn’t take care of us,” Princess Anne will say of her mother in a BBC documentary.

The Queen has also had to grapple in recent months with the threat of a secret book from her grandson Harry, who has ditched all royal obligations and is rebuilding his life in California with his American wife Meghan Markle. The couple had already unpacked their resentment against the royal family in an interview on American television in 2021, suggesting in particular that they were racist.

The publication of this book, planned for the coming months, raises questions after the death of the sovereign.

She was a grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of twelve, and loved family dinners and Christmas parties at her home in Sandrigham.

Her grandson William, to whom she was close, paid tribute to her in the foreword to a biography, praising her “kindness and sense of humor,” her “love of family,” and “a life of public service.” who served as a “model”.

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