Secrets of Queen Elizabeth's Odd Childhood Make Us Glad We Aren't Royalty

queen elizabethWhat it meant to be royal in the 1930s is a little different than what it means now. I think we have Princess Diana and now Princess Kate Middleton to thank. But if we look to Queen Elizabeth's beginnings, we see royalty in a different light, and Queen E quite differently. While she grew up in a strict household, she loved pink and even had a vanity plate for her car.


Can you believe it? Once she was old enough to drive, Elizabeth got her own car with the license plate HRH1. Her Royal Highness 1. How incredible is that! She wasn't allowed to drive it along -- a detective rode in the backseat and her bodyguard followed. Ho hum. She also lived in a pastel pink world -- which included her apartment. 

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But spoiled she was not! Or rather, she had privilege but she still remained humble.

In her earliest years, she had a nanny named Clara "Allah" Knight. Allah was an older woman who also was her mother's caretaker. She was strict to the highest order. Bedtime was 7:15 p.m. No Sofia the First for her. 

Elizabeth's grandmother Queen Mary would make sure the nanny knew to "teach that child not to fidget," and that she must learn to wave and smile as a toddler. Robots? Kind of. But that's nothing compared to this nugget. Elizabeth was also taught how to hold her bladder for hours in exchange for a biscuit. That doesn't sound healthy -- the holding-your-pee, not the cookie. It was instilled in Elizabeth's mind that she had two lives, one as a princess, and another as a little girl.

Sounds kind of sad.

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She did have a nursery maid named Margaret MacDonald who showed her a lot of affection. Elizabeth called her Bobo and the two stayed in each other's lives until Bobo's death in 1993 -- she was Elizabeth's closest confidant. And despite growing up to have a fancy HRH1 plate on her car, she was shy and reserved. I could just imagine her laughing with her gloved hand over her pink lipsticked mouth, afraid to show too much joy. She was also a very generous person with a kind heart -- she gave her own ballet slippers to a girl who couldn't afford them, making sure to fib and say that they didn't fit her anymore so the girl didn't feel inferior.

These details emerged from the book The Queen's Speech by biographer Ingrid Seward that details over 63 years of Elizabeth's Queendom. I kind of love Queenie E even more now ... and am glad my childhood wasn't royal.


Image via JC/Splash News

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