Queen Mother’s letter: ‘a positive jungle’

We visited Hinton Ampner during the spring holiday with some friends. We’re members of the National Trust, and with only £70.12 a year, we get to visit many historic spots, stately homes, gardens, woodlands and many more.

I was very intrigued by a handwritten letter by the late Queen Mother, who paid an impromptu visit to Hinton Ampner in June, 1972.

The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week after her visit, the Queen Mother wrote a letter of thanks, in which she joked about her own garden as being “a positive jungle” — I found this comparison rather amusing.

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit ...

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit the Canadian Pavilion at the World’s Fair . (New York City, United States). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Dear Mr Dutton,

It was such a delightful and unexpected pleasure to pay you a visit last week, and I greatly enjoyed seeing the lovely garden, and your beautiful house so full of treasures.

One does not often see a garden so well placed, with sudden exquisite views to thrill one, and my own garden looked a positive jungle  after your great walks and splendid  (clumps?) of shrubs of roses!

With my warmest thanks to your kindness and hospitality,

I am yours very sincerely Elizabeth R

Queen Mother described her own garden: ‘a positive jungle’!

Statue of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, i...

Statue of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in The Mall Unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 February 2009, the statue, by Philip Jackson, stands in front of that of her father, King George VI. To each side of the statue there are relief panels depicting scenes from the Queen Mother’s life, one of which is here:1371516. The £2m cost of the project was met by the sale of commemorative coins for the Queen’s 80th birthday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I asked one volunteer why the Queen Mother signed her name as  Elizabeth R.

I was told that as the Queen Mother Elizabeth used to be Queen, she could still use the title of  R — meaning Regina (Latin for Queen).

In that case, I wonder how we could distinguish letters by the Queen Mother, and the current Queen Elizabeth II, as both of them could sign their names as Elizabeth R?

If you have an answer to this, please kindly let me know.

HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wearing th...

HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother wearing the Queen Anne and Queen Caroline pearls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

King George VI (shown left) with Eleanor Roose...

King George VI (shown left) with Eleanor Roosevelt (shown centre) and Queen Elizabeth (shown right) in London. The King is wearing Royal Air Force uniform. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7 thoughts on “Queen Mother’s letter: ‘a positive jungle’

  1. rhmay

    We also joined and visited Hinton Ampner last week en route to the Petersfield bookshop. We found the lambs very endearing, but on this occasion did not penetrate into the house. It is amazing to me that the role of the Queen Mother could have been taken by so forceful a personality as Helen Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech, as HRH Mary/Elizabeth/Whatever always appeared stultifyingly boring and conventional to me.
    We visited the house a year ago, and now dammit I realise I never sent them a thankyou letter.

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      I must say I was taken aback by Helen Bonham Carter’s rather strong personality in The King Speech. I’m not sure the Queen Mother spoke with that accent either.

      My focus was the King and I love the King.

      Oh dear! You forgot to send a handwritten letter!

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  3. rhmay

    I agree that the mystery word is clumps. When there in the summertime last year I moted some fantastic sunflowers with red petals. I mean to return this year to see them again. B.

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