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How the Queen’s calm confidence can be traced to a single tip from her mother

How the Queen’s calm confidence can be traced to a single tip from her mother

To an observer, Queen Elizabeth II is the picture of confidence and unflappable poise, but this wasn’t always the case. It has now been revealed that a piece of advice given to her by her mother helped turn her from the shy girl she was into a confident woman.

A friend has claimed that the advice given to Queen Elizabeth II by her mother Queen Elizabeth I was “to walk through the very centre of doorways.” Lady Penn, former Lady in Waiting to the Queen Mother and friend of the Queen, said the Queen Mother, had been aware of her elder daughter’s natural shyness and had gently coaxed her towards being as comfortable in public as her future job would require.

Lady Penn said: “The Queen Mother told the Queen when she was very young to be brave.

“I think the Queen probably when she was young felt walking into a room full  of people was rather daunting.

“So she said to her: ‘what you want to do, when you walk into a room, walk through the middle of the door.’

“And I think by that she meant don’t sort of go in apologetically. You walk through as if, you know, ‘I’m in charge’.

“I think that was very good advice.”


How the Queen

Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Princess Elizabeth pictured at Windsor Castle in 1944


Lady Penn shares her recollections as part of a new eight-part documentary series, made by ITN, which sees the Queen’s childhood friends, former staff and politicians from throughout her reign offer their memories of the high and lowlights of the 65 years since the coronation.

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