The Queen Mother was ‘really campy, she liked to put on a show’ – ilmhunt

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The Queen Mother was ‘really campy, she liked to put on a show’

Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, the Queen Mother – who could never get enough of a flowery dress or flamboyant hat – was “really campy”, says a royal historian.

“The Queen Mother had a very performative and delicious element,” Gareth Russell, author of Do Let’s Have Another Drink!: The Dry Wit and Fizzy Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, told Page Six in a recent interview.

“She liked to put on a show,” he explained. “And there was almost a wink, wink, poke-poke in the way she lived her life.”

The Queen Mother – who was married to King George VI, who died in March 2002 at the age of 101 – has consistently been one of the most popular members of the royal family. The audience was captivated by her life-giving smile and seemingly endless hilarity.

The Queen Mother's drinking mug

The Queen Mother was someone who “took her drinking really well”.

PA images via Getty Images

The Queen Mother is pulling a pint

The Queen Mother was someone who “took her drinking really well”.

PA images via Getty Images

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“I write all the time,” Felicia Culotta told Page Six…

According to Russell, she was also a heavy drinker who liked to drink…a lot.

“I think she was probably someone who was really good at her drinking,” he explained. “Interestingly, there are very few stories of her staggering or even babbling while other people around her were decimated trying to keep up.”

A typical day—unless there was a royal engagement—involved at least three different drinks. A cocktail before dinner, a drink with lunch and of course something with dinner.

Queen Mother.
The Queen Mother died in 2002 at the age of 101.
Getty’s paintings

Her drinks were often poured by her loyal steward, William Tallon, better known by his nickname Backstairs Billy.

Tallon worked for the royal family from 1960 until his death in 2002. He was also openly gay, partnered on and off for over 30 years with Buckingham Palace butler Reginald Wilcock

Russell tells the now-legendary story of the Queen Mother who heard Tallon and Wilcock arguing and came up to him and asked, “Would one of you old queens mind giving this old queen a drink?”

Book jacket
The Queen Mother would drink three times a day if she didn’t have a royal engagement.

“She had a really nasty sense of humor,” said the author. “She loved when Billy made that pretty campy impression of people and she defended a lot of gay people at the time.”

As Russell notes, this was at a time when homosexuality was illegal in Britain.

The Queen Mother adored her eldest grandson, King Charles, and was caring and warm to him as he grew up. However, Russell does not think she will accept Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s resignation from royal duties.

“She said at Prince Harry’s christening that she hoped the main lesson both he and his brother would learn was to put country first,” Russell said. “So it’s something generational that she absolutely couldn’t understand.”

The Queen Mother was ‘really campy, she liked to put on a show’ – ilmhunt

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