She knew her pictures
From Mr Theo Aronson Sir: I'm afraid that your correspondent (Letters, 20 April) has got the facts wrong in the story about the Queen Mother and the stormy-skied John Piper paintings of Windsor Castle. In my book Royal Subjects: A Biographer's Encounters, I make clear that it was the unimaginative King George VI who commiserated with the artist for not having better weather during his stay. The Queen Mother, who was very knowledgable about painting, would never have made such a remark.
On the first occasion that I was granted an interview with the Queen Mother, her comptroller explained that the series of John Piper paintings which crowded the walls all around us had just been reframed. Her Majesty could only afford, he added unblinkingly, to reframe half of them. I had a vision of the Queen Mother waiting for her next giro.