“My favourite program is ‘Mrs Dale’s Diary’. I try never to miss it because it is the only way of knowing what goes on in a middle-class family.”
- Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1900 – 2002)
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Peincess Margaret. She came to prominence in 1923 when she married Albert, Duke of York, who unexpectedly became King in 1936 when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth became Queen. She accompanied her husband on diplomatic tours to France and North America before the start of World War II. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. In recognition of her role as an asset to British interests, Adolf Hitler described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe". After the war, her husband's health deteriorated and she was widowed at the age of 51. Her elder daughter, aged 25, became the new Queen. In her later years, she was a consistently popular member of the family, even when other members were suffering from low levels of public approval. She continued an active public life until just a few months before her death at the age of 101, seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret.
Mrs Dale's Diary was the first significant BBC radio serial drama. It ran from 1948 to 1969 and centred on Mrs Mary Dale, a doctor’s wife, husband Jim, and the comings and goings of a middle-class society.