04.02.12 6:31 PM ET
Queen Mother Was Daughter of Cook, Author Alleges
The Queen’s Mother was the daughter of a family servant, an author has alleged in a new biography.
Lady Colin Campbell claims Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wife of George VI, was born to French cook, Marguerite Rodiere in an “early version of surrogacy” in her new book, “The Queen Mother, The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Who Became Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother”.
Lady Colin says this explains the nickname “Cookie”, given to her by the exiled Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and why her middle name was Marguerite.
Queen Elizabeth was said to be “distressed” at the claims which emerged days after the 10th anniversary of her mother’s death.
In her book, to be published by St Martin’s Press later this month, Campbell writes: “Royal and aristocratic circles had been alight for decades with the story that Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, while undoubtedly the daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was not the child of his wife Cecilia, nor was her younger brother David, born nearly two years after her on 2nd May, 1902.
“The two Benjamins, as they were known in the Bowes Lyon family (in a Biblical allusion to the brother of Joseph, who was himself the product of a coupling between his father and his mother’s maid) were supposedly the children of Marguerite Rodiere, an attractive and pleasant Frenchwoman who had been the cook at St Paul’s Waldenbury and is meant to have provided Lord and Lady Glamis with the two children they so yearned for after Cecilia was forbidden by her doctors from producing any more progeny.
“Hence the nickname of Cookie, which the Duke and Duchess of Windsor took care to promulgate throughout international society once Elizabeth proved herself to be their most formidable enemy.”