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The Queen Mum

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The "Queen Mum" was the nickname of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002), the mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

Portrayal on "Spitting Image"Edit

In 1985, Spitting Image met a lot of controversy when rumours spread that the show would create a puppet of the Queen Mother. Many Britons held a lot of respect for the widow of King George VI, since she stayed in London during the German bombardment of city in World War II and shared the fears and horrors many ordinary British people felt at the time. As she was already 85 years old at the time, some people felt it cruel to satirise her at such an old age.

The night the notorious episode aired, many people tuned in to see whether the rumour was true or not. The whole episode long there was no puppet of the Queen Mum. The end credits rolled on the screen, followed by a statement in which the makers of the show denied such a puppet was ever made. In a final scene, the Queen Mum's puppet did show up, expressing grief "since she looked forward to see it." Here, she was voiced by Jan Ravens.
The Queen Mother

The Real Queen Mother.

In other episodes the Queen Mum became a regular cast member, usually portrayed as a naïve, senile, optimistic old hag who drank gin on the sly and did outrageous things that other members of the Royal Family wouldn't dare to do. She was now voiced by Steve Nallon, who caricatured her voice to sound like an imitation of the Birmingham accent of actress Beryl Reid. This is partly because the Queen Mother's actual accent is known to the general public.

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