28 MAY 1937, Page 1


THE:completion .of Queen _ Mary's. seventieth year _last .-..Wednesday is an occasion for -salutations of no conven- tional .order. No (fee. who watched the COronatiOn proces- sions, or has Seen the Co-ronatioit fihns exhibited, but *must be impressed profountlly by.the.dedionstrations of affection and respect the Queen-Mother's appearance everywhere evoked. That is both right and natural. Queen Mary in the space of less than a year has seen the throne vacated by a husband and a son, and the circumstances in the second case must have laid, in a different way, as great a strain on her as in the first. But she bowed before neither blow. When she ceased to be Queen-Consort her position became necessarily different, but she adapted herself to the change with dignity and courage, withdrawing after King George's death only for the briefest interval—how different from Queen Victoria in her bereave- ment—into the privacy of her grief. An obvious parallel between Queen Mary and the last Queen-Mother suggests itself, but even Queen Alexandra never quite held the place which is Queen Mary's today in the heart of the nation. Thirty-five years ago Lord Esher wrote of the then Princess of Wales that she had "much of the force of character and tact and a good deal of the sound sense of Queen Caroline "- George II's Queen Caroline, needless to say, not George IV's. Those qualities have developed and matured through the years, and to them a notable grace and authority has been added. A mother so endowed may be the wisest of all coun- sellors to a son called to the throne from which death removed his father and choice his brother.

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