Queen Elizabeth II’s parenting was ‘committed, but ‘old-fashioned’

Queen Elizabeth II held many titles over her 70 years on the throne, but that of “mother” was often overshadowed by her duty to the crown.

Royal expert Robert Hardman describes the late Queen as a “devoted” – albeit “old-fashioned” – mother to her four children, whom she shared with Prince Philip.

“I think some people tend to apply the standards of modern parenting to the way she raised her children,” the author of “Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II” explained to vidakforcongress of critiques. on parentage the monarch received over the years.

He went on to tell us that although Elizabeth would leave the eldest son Prince Charles and his sister, Princess Anne, for a long time, her absence was considered normal at the time.

“This was a generation of people who were separated from their families in wartime. Not for a few weeks or months. In many cases for six years,” he said, adding that in post-war Britain, children who had both parents “were considered very happy.”

queen elizabeth and prince philip with their four children
Queen Elizabeth II’s role as the mother of four children (from left: Charles, Andrew, Anne and Edward) was often overshadowed by her other titles.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“A lot of kids were missing at least one,” he continued.

Charles – who took the throne on September 8 when his mother died at age 96 – was born on November 14, 1948. By all accounts, Elizabeth was in love with her newborn baby.

According to Sally Bedell Smith’s biography, “Elizabeth The Queen,” Her Majesty to her cousin Lady Mary Cambridge marveled at Charles’ “fine, long fingers” and breastfed him for two months until she had a measles attack.

Princess Elizabeth with Prince Charles as a toddler.
Elizabeth often left Charles in the care of his grandparents.
ullstein bild via Getty Images

Almost a year later, Philip – then a naval officer – was posted to Malta and Elizabeth was told that the European island was not suitable for the young prince.

“Elizabeth could have stayed with her son in London, but she decided to spend as much time as possible with her husband instead,” Smith wrote. “She was used to long absences from parents growing up, so her decision to leave Charles wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows.

1965: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with their children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Little Prince Edward.
The Queen was a more relaxed mother to Andrew and Edward.
Getty Images

“She was in charge of knowledgeable nannies, not to mention her own parents, who were eager to keep their grandson company.”

Philip and Elizabeth spent Christmas in Malta, while Charles stayed with his grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, at Sandringham Castle in the UK.

She flew back to England in late December, but first stopped in London for a few days, taking a short detour to Hurst Park to watch one of her horses win a race. After that short horse interlude, she was reunited with Charles after five weeks.

The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, London, 1972. From left to right: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edward and Prince Charles.
Prince Charles was 12 when his youngest brother Prince Edward was born.
Getty Images

Another example of how the Queen’s cold relationship with Charles was praised by the public came shortly after his third birthday.

The young prince greeted his parents – along with his grandmother and aunt Princess Margaret – at a train station after they returned from a visit to the US. Having not seen her son for over a month, Elizabeth rushed to kiss her mother but “just leaned over and gave [Charles] a kiss on the top of his head before turning to kiss Margaret,” Smith wrote.

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their children Princess Anne, Prince Charles (right) and Prince Andrew on his first holiday to Balmoral.  Sept 8, 1960.
Her duty to the crown often trumped her duty to her children.
Mirrorpix via Getty Images

“Britain’s presumptive heiress puts her duty first,” a newscaster said at the time. “Maternal love must wait for the privacy of Clarence House.”

Charles was 3 years old when 27-year-old Elizabeth suddenly became Queen of the United Kingdom and the other realms of the Commonwealth in February 1952. Anne, born in August 1950, was just 18 months old at the time.

prince edward and queen elizabeth
Prince Edward completed their family.
Getty Images for Commonwealth Gac

Smith wrote that the children’s lives were “mainly spent in the six-room nursery complex on the second floor of Buckingham Palace.”

According to Smith, Charles and Anne would come down after breakfast during the week for a short playtime with their parents and would not see them again until the end of the day when they would have a “final romp.”

queen elizabeth and prince andrew
Prince Andrew has long been regarded as the Queen’s favorite child.
Getty Images

However, the Queen put an end to one archaic practice of the crown, which required formal bows from her children whenever they entered a room she was in.

The monarch also moved her weekly meeting with the prime minister from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – a change from her father’s schedule – to spend time with her children.

Friends of Charles who spoke to Jonathan Dimbleby in 1992 for an authorized biography said the now-king had a lonely childhood with emotionally distant parents.

queen elizabeth and prince charles laughing
Elizabeth loosened up as she settled into her role as queen.
Getty Images

Friends who spoke with Charles’s permission described the Queen as “not indifferent, but distant.”

By the time Prince Andrew was born in February 1960, the Queen had settled in and was much more confident in her position.

She had always dreamed of a large family, but had put it off because she “wanted to focus on establishing herself as an effective monarch,” Smith wrote.

Queen Elizabeth II presents Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with the Victoria Medal of Honor from the Royal Horticultural Society during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show on May 18, 2009.
Prince Charles seems to have forgiven his mother in recent years.
Getty Images

And with the arrival of Prince Edward four years later, in March 1964, the family was complete.

“The Queen became a more relaxed and consistently engaged mother with her second set of children,” Smith noted. “Some critics have questioned whether she has indulged Andrew and Edward too much because she hasn’t spent more time with her older children.”

1968. HM Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip with Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew & Prince Edward.

“She was much closer” with her youngest sons, Andrew and Edward, a royal expert explained.

Popper photo via Getty Images

Royalty - Royal Family - Frogmore House, Windsor

“She was much closer” with her youngest sons, Andrew and Edward, a royal expert explained.

PA images via Getty Images

Next one

The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star is ready to…

While not a demonstrative mother, she showed more of her playful nature with Andrew and Edward.

Royal expert and author of ‘A Royal Life’ Hugo Vickers told Vidak For Congress that ‘she was much closer with the younger two. She was able to dictate her time much better and spend more time with them.”

In this undated photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with their great-grandchildren, from left, Prince George, Prince Louis, Savannah Phillips (back), Princess Charlotte, Isla Phillips holding Lena Tindall and Mia Tindall .  Britain's Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's short-tempered and stubborn husband who supported his wife for more than seven decades in a role that largely defined his life, died on Friday, April 9, 2021.
The Queen was a loving grandmother and great-grandmother in every way.

Vickers recalled attending school near Windsor Castle and often seeing the Queen holding hands with Prince Edward as they went for a walk.

“There was more time to take a bath and all that sort of thing,” he noted.

The Queen was an even better grandmother and great-grandmother, according to Vickers.

Kate Middleton, Queen Elizabeth
The young members of the royal family were very fond of the queen.
Getty Images

They “all love her,” Vickers told us, adding that she had a particularly close relationship with Edward’s daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, who shares her love of horses.

In recent years, even Charles seemed to realize the sacrifices his mother made for the monarchy.

At the platinum anniversary celebrations in June 2022, he thanked his “mom” for a “life of selfless service” and noted that she had continued to “make history.”

Charles also spoke highly of the late ruler when he delivered his first public speech as king the day after his mother’s death, which he called “a moment of greatest sadness.”

“We owe her the most sincere debt a family could owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example,” he said during the emotional speech.

king charles first public speech
Charles seemed gloomy in his first public speech as king.

Likewise, Princess Anne recalled fond memories of Her Majesty in the wake of her passing.

“[Vacations were] probably the times she enjoyed the most,” Anne said on a BBC broadcast. “Probably because it included the things she enjoyed… the countryside, the horses, and just being outside.”

And when British Prime Minister Liz Truss spoke to King Charles III the day after the Queen died, he expressed a sentiment that many understood:[Her death is] the moment I dreaded… but we try to keep everything going.”

    Leave a Comment