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Queen Elizabeth II is known for her grace, kindness, and poise, traits she seemed to inherit from her mother. However, her mom also had a wild and sometimes disturbing other side. So, what exactly made her such a loved and controversial queen?

She was a queen from birth and totally owned it

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon certainly knew she was a queen from the moment she was born. The Queen Mother was raised in riches and was unapologetic for it. The young woman knew the luxuries that came with her elite lifestyle — including a freaking childhood castle — and frequently used them to her advantage.

She’s so elite, in fact, that she made her husband propose a number of times before finally accepting his hand in marriage. She knew she had Prince Albert wrapped around her little finger, and didn’t mind being coquettish to keep him hooked. However, the riches-filled royal life wasn’t all fun and games, and some of it seemed to shape her in a more unsettling way.

So, maybe these weren’t the healthiest habits

Ever start breakfast with a good glass of booze? Well, The Queen Mother was known to…and have another six throughout the day. Today, it would probably be referred to as alcoholism. You may think this habit would lead to a hangover too massive to try to spearhead a country with, but the public sure didn’t see any of it. She passed the behavior down to the incredibly poised Elizabeth II, so I guess they’ve got the immune system for it in their royal blood!

Unfortunately, The Queen Mother was also raised during a very racist, prejudiced time in history. Since her family was at the peak of high society, she was completely surrounded by racist opinions and carried them privately with her for most of her life. This paired with her elitism to make her pretty dismissive of the value of the common people. Still, though she could play the part of royalty well, one thing was for certain: The Queen Mother wasn’t screwing around when it came to death.

When it came to death, she was a badass

In addition to her insane alcohol tolerance, The Queen Mother defeated death on a number of occasions. She was nearly blown to bits by the Nazis when they dropped a bomb on Buckingham Palace but walked away unscathed. She also beat cancer TWICE. She made it all the way to 101 years old!

Today, she is both adored for her work in parenting Elizabeth II and resented for her elitist attitude and prejudices. Even so, there’s still more to the rich and fascinating history of the unapologetic Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon!