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ALS Related to Her Lengthy Tenure as a Bencher at the Middle Temple

Item: 22794
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ELIZABETH, QUEEN MOTHER. (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, 1900-2002). Queen of the United Kingdom from 1936-1952 and mother of Queen Elizabeth II. ALS. (“Elizabeth R”). 2pp. 8vo. Clarence House, October 20, 1960. Written on the recto and verso of her monogrammed stationery. To “Sir Henry” (British judge HENRY MACGEAGH, 1883-1962).

“I am so delighted with the charming little glass stands, and write to thank you most warmly for your very kind thought in giving me such a very nice present.

When I use them, I shall think of the happy hours I have spent at the Middle Temple & of my dear fellow Benchers –

I am indeed grateful – Ever, yours…”

King George VI’s wife and consort, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom from 1936 to 1952. Her popularity, steadfast support of British troops during World War II, and as symbol against fascism, led Hitler to brand her “the most dangerous woman in Europe,” (“HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother 1900-2002,” International Churchill Society, Upon her husband’s death and her daughter’s accession to the throne, her title changed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Queen Elizabeth

Opening of the temporary Library by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1946

Our letter relates to honors bestowed on the Queen Mother by the Middle Temple, one of London’s Inns of Court, known for its ancient premises built on the former headquarters of the medieval Knights Templar.

In 1578, Queen Elizabeth I became the first reigning monarch to visit an Inn of Court and “members of the Royal Family have been Benchers at the Middle Temple since 1861, when Albert, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was Called to the Bench. The Royal Bencher that arguably had the greatest influence on the Inn was Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Her election to the Bench in 1944 made her both the first woman and the first crowned king or queen to be made a Bencher,” (“May 2020: First Daughter of Domus – HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother,” The Honorable Society of the Middle Temple,

World War II wreaked havoc on the Temple’s historic premises, including the medieval Hall. Queen Elizabeth made frequent visits to the Temple including opening a temporary library in November 1946 and returning in March 1949 to observe the Hall’s restoration when she was elected Treasurer of the Middle Temple. She also ceremonially opened additional buildings including “the Queen Elizabeth Building in 1957 and the new Library in 1958.  She was also present at the re-dedication of Temple Church in 1958 with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh… Queen Elizabeth was a reliable presence at Grand Days and Family Dinners for fifty-seven years. Family Dinners, held in December, were conducted privately with Benchers in the Parliament Chamber, and the intimacy of the dinners made them a favourite of Her Majesty,” (ibid.). She attended the last dinner just three months prior to her death.

MacGeagh, a member of the Middle Temple since 1903, served as Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces and was called to the bench in 1931. He was honored with several knighthoods, including the Royal Victorian Order and Order of the Bath.

In excellent condition.

ALS Related to Her Lengthy Tenure as a Bencher at the Middle Temple

$200 • item #22794

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