Belfast Telegraph

A little poetic justice for Queen Mum

By Gail Walker

The revelation by the Queen's cousin, the Honorable Margaret Rhodes, that the late Queen Mum had a long and enduring friendship with the poets Edith Sitwell and, in later years, Ted Hughes, seems to have caused some surprise.

The idea that the Queen Mum - she of the daily gin, wee flutters on the horses, and generally all round steeliness - would be attracted to two high-falutin (and strikingly contrasting) poets sounds preposterous.

Yet while she was mourning her husband, George VI, mystical poet Sitwell sent her a book of poems about loss which greatly comforted her.

HMQM was equally taken with the dashing Laureate Ted Hughes, often asking him to dine with her when she'd speak to him knowledgeably about his work. He, too, was much taken with her.

It just goes to show a few things. That opposites do indeed sometimes attract. That people are rarely the lazy caricatures that are portrayed in the Press and on TV.

And that the Queen Mum was even more remarkable than we ever gave her credit for.

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