Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother was racist but it was hidden by a prolific diarist who wanted to protect her, he has revealed.

Sir Roy Strong, who chronicled his relations with the royal family over decades, said he censored entries about the late Royal’s racism because it was ‘too awful’.

The high society writer said he didn’t reveal her prejudices because he had a ‘certain streak’ that was protective.

The 81-year-old is an English art historic, museum curator and writer who rose from being a lower-middleclass boy to befriending royalty and becoming the director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A.

Speaking at the Hay Festival in Wales, he said ‘on the whole’ he included all his observations but admitted he sometimes held back when writing about the Queen’s mother.

Times reported he said: ‘I can remember the Queen Mother came to lunch at Ham House, which was a branch of the V&A, and she said, ‘I will bring the liquid refreshment’, and we all knew what that meant.

‘Suddenly in the middle of lunch, I was on the left of her I think, and the Queen was in Africa at the time, and the Queen Mother leant over to me and said, ‘Beware the blackamoors’. I thought, ‘I can’t put that down, it’s too awful.’

He said: ‘But one knows she was colour prejudiced. So I always felt there was a certain streak of me that was protective of things, but on the whole not.’

Known for his waspish tone in his diaries, before the publication of his first volume of diaries in 1997, his lawyers asked him whether he cared about seeing Princess Margaret again after reading entries about the Royal.

But despite his gossip-filled second volume, covering Royal scandals between 1988-2003, he said he has stayed closed to the Princes of Wales.

Over the years he said he has shared ‘charming correspondence’ with Prince Charles and described the friendly competition the two engaged in over gardening.

Sir Roy recorded impressions of a number of figures he met over the course of his career, including the likes of Elton John and Gianni Versace.

This is not the first time claims have been made about the Queen Mother’s attitudes to other parts of the world.

She was once described by the wife of a British ambassador to France as ‘rather mocking, not very kind’.

There was one incident where she was recorded to have walked into a reception for a Japanese prince with the words: ‘Nip on! Nip on!’.

And on another occasion the Queen Mother said she had ‘some reservations about Jews’.

Writing seven years after her death in 2009 in a piece for the Guardian, Tanya Gold said: ‘One of her ladies-in-waiting said her attitude to Africa was, “poor darlings; the Africans just don’t know how to govern themselves – it’s just not their form. What a pity we’re not still looking after them.”‘

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