Collection Magazine - Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 22/23 - Magazine - Page 101
A Life In Service
Queen Elizabeth II
1926 — 2022
Born and brought up in
the capital, Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II was
an essential part of the
social fabric of the city.
Whether monarchist or republican, there are few Londoners who, when passing by Buckingham
Palace, didn’t glance up to see if the royal standard was flying and if “the Queen was at home”, and
it was a warm, comforting feeling if she was.
The Queen was a Londoner by birth. She was born in Bruton Street, at the home of her maternal
grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, and she spent much of her childhood at the
now-demolished 145 Piccadilly, a stone’s throw away from The Stafford London.
The house was five-storeyed with its own garden, and the whole of the top floor was a nursery.
Apparently the house had a ballroom, a conservatory, 25 bedrooms and an electric lift.
The move to Buckingham Palace was like moving from a home to a giant office. King George
VI took his young family there in 1937, soon after his brother’s abdication, and Princess Elizabeth
lived there until she was married 10 years later. She then had a brief, happy spell at Clarence
House, but when the King died, she had to move back into the Palace.
Buckingham Palace is like living in a grand hotel; Prince Philip occupied the former King’s
rooms, while the Queen took over her mother’s rooms. During the war, the Queen and Princess
Margaret lived at Windsor Castle for safety. When she came to the throne, she did not have a
weekend home, so she and Prince Philip opened some rooms in the castle, and liked it so much
that they weekended there. It was to be their sanctuary during lockdown and it was the place
where they spent their final days together, until Prince Philip sadly passed away in April 2021.
The Queen accepted the important role of Buckingham Palace for those in London and beyond.
When she had free time, the Queen enjoyed London like other Londoners, going to the theatre with
friends and occasionally giving a party or having lunch in a nearby hotel, such as The Stafford.
As we celebrate 110 years of The Stafford London, we remember Her Majesty, with warmth
and deep affection. Through seven decades of astonishing change, the Queen remained steadfast,
performing her duties with ceaseless devotion and discretion. However much the world changes, there
is something constant at the heart of the British constitution, and that is the monarchy. As we mourn
the loss of our beloved Queen, we look forward to the reign of her son, His Majesty King Charles III.