British queen mothers

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Queen Elizabeth was styled "Queen Mother" during her widowhood.
Styles of
Queen mother
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Ma'am

Queen mother is defined as "a queen dowager who is the mother of the reigning sovereign".[1][2]


A queen mother is a person satisfying the following criteria:

  • She is the mother of the current monarch.
  • She is a queen dowager.
  • She must have been queen consort, but not having ceased to be so due to a divorce or annulment.

Queen mother does not mean mother of the Queen; it applies whether the current monarch is queen or king.

As a queen, a queen mother retains the style of Her Majesty.

List of queen mothers[edit]

Following is a list of women who, on the above definition, were entitled to be known as queen mother at some point in their lives.


  1. ^ "queen mother, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.): "The widow of a king who is also the mother of the reigning monarch. "
  2. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary.