22 FEBRUARY 1952, Page 5


IT would, as things have turned out, have simplified life if twenty-five years ago the Duke and Duchess of York had decided to call their first daughter Margaret, and their second, if there should be one, Elizabeth. In that case there would have been no trouble about the Queen's title in Scotland (for Margaret, consort of King Malcolm III, was not a queen regnant) and the possible confusion between the Sovereign and the Queen Mother would have been obviated. There is some- thing of a real difficulty here. The announcement made last week that in future Queen Mary would be known as the Queen Dowager and the late King's widow as the Queen Mother left the position simple and satisfactory. It is not clear how far it is modified by the Queen Mother's expressed desire to be known as " Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother." That is too cumbrous for common usage, and no doubt in all but formal and official contexts " Queen Mother " will be held -to suffice. " Queen Elizabeth " denotes essentially the Sovereign; the chance of Fate has so ordained, and though the Queen Mother cannot, of course, forgo the name she has borne since birth the fact must be accepted that her daughter is now the first Elizabeth in the realm. Of course the Queen Mother does accept that unreservedly; and it may be taken as certain that she will relieve and support the Queen in many ways.

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