Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was styled "Queen Mother" during her widowhood.

Queen mother is defined as "a queen dowager who is the mother of the reigning sovereign". The term has been used in English since at least 1560.[1][2]


A queen mother is a person satisfying the following criteria:

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

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The following is a list of women who can be classified as Queen Mother at some point in their lives.

English Queen Mothers (title not used in earlier periods)

Scottish Queen Mothers (title not used in earlier periods)

British Queen Mothers


  1. ^ "queen mother, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.): "The widow of a king who is also the mother of the reigning monarch. "
  2. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary.