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Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Cecilia Nina Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, GCVO (née Cavendish-Bentinck; 11 September 1862 – 23 June 1938) was the mother of Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) and maternal grandmother and godmother of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.


She was born in London the eldest daughter of Rev. Charles Cavendish-Bentinck (grandson of British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland) and his wife, Caroline. On 16 July 1881, she married Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis at Petershammarker, Surreymarker and they had ten children. Claude inherited his father's title of Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1904, whereupon Cecilia became Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

The Strathmore estates included two grand houses and their surroundings: Glamis Castlemarker and St Paul's Walden Burymarker. Cecilia was a gregarious and accomplished hostess, who played the piano exceptionally well. Her houses were run with meticulous care and a practical approach, and she was responsible for designing the Italian Garden at Glamis.

During World War I, Glamis Castle served as a convalescent hospital for the wounded, in which she took an active part until she developed cancer and was forced into invalidity. In October 1921 she underwent a hysterectomy and by May 1922 she had recovered sufficiently to be able to celebrate the bethrothal of her youngest daughter, Elizabeth to the King's son, Prince Albert, Duke of York, later George VI, the following January.

She was deeply religious, a keen gardener and embroiderer, and preferred a quiet, family life. When bothered by pressmen for a photograph during the Edward VIII abdication crisis she is reported to have said, "I shouldn't waste a photograph on me."

She suffered a heart attack in April 1938 during the wedding of her granddaughter, Anne Bowes-Lyon to Thomas Anson, Viscount Anson. She died 8 weeks later, aged 75, at 38 Cumberland Mansions, Bryanston Street in Londonmarker.

Lady Strathmore outlived four of her ten children. She was buried on 27 June 1938 at Glamis Castlemarker.

Styles from birth to death

1862–1881: Miss Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck
1881–1904: Lady Glamis
1904–1938: The Right Honourable The Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne

Notes and sources

  1. Census returns of England and Wales 1881, Public Record Office RG11 Folio 0098/114 p.3
  2. Civil Registration Indexes: Marriages General Register Office, England and Wales Jul-Sep 1881 Richmond, Surrey vol. 2a p. 549
  3. Forbes, p.29
  4. Forbes, pp.9, 28
  5. Forbes, p.28
  6. Vickers, p.46
  7. Vickers, p.48
  8. The Times (London) Thursday, 23 June 1938; p. 16; col. D
  9. Vickers, p.176


  • Forbes, Grania, My Darling Buffy: The Early Life of The Queen Mother (Headline Book Publishing, 1999) ISBN 9780747273875
  • Vickers, Hugo, Elizabeth: The Queen Mother (Arrow Books/Random House, 2006) ISBN 9780099476627

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