When most people look at pictures of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, they see the sweet, doddery grandmother-of-the-nation. But that wasn't who she was...Also this:
She always said she never wanted to be queen and that being king killed her husband. She projected the vision of a martyr – presumably so Britain would be grateful for her sacrifice and allow her to live the life of a 17th-century empress, which she did. At her dinners there were pages behind every chair. She never wanted to be queen, she said – but how she loved the trappings! She married into the royal family, and became more royal than any of them...
She was, in fact, rather cruel. Two of her nieces, Nerissa and Catherine, were born with learning difficulties and spent their lives in institutions. She never visited them and when Burke's Peerage falsely reported them dead, she didn't correct the error. But when the scandal eventually broke, she made sure that Vickers noted that the madness was not from her side of the family... More at the link.
In his book, It's a PC World, the BBC presenter Edward Stourton recounts having a conversation with the late royal that left him convinced that she was "a ghastly old bigot"... Stourton... had just returned from covering a European summit. The Queen Mother reportedly commented: "It will never work, you know ... It will never work with all those Huns, wops and dagos."