Remembering Queen Elizabeth ll: How Nursery World followed Elizabeth’s formative years

“She will also be attending the Youth Ball to be held at Government House.”


Following the announcement of the death of Elizabeth’s father, George VI, on February 6, The world of the nursery highlighted the king’s impact on the national psyche, despite his few years as monarch, in an issue published the day before the state funeral.

“The king’s passing last week has brought a sense of grief and personal loss to millions of people in a way that could never have happened before, even with the passing of the famous monarchs who have imprinted their character over a much longer period than his short but eventful reign of fifteen years.

It was “nowadays … possible to travel throughout the country and to all parts of the world in a comparatively short time”, which meant that “he had in fact met and spoken to many of his subjects, while that others thought they knew him well from photographs, films and television, or by listening to his voice on the radio.

The magazine featured a page with two photographs, one of the Duke and Duchess of York with Princess Elizabeth as an infant, and another with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at the time of the King and Queen’s silver wedding. queen in 1948 (below).

He quotes the king’s last Christmas message, “the last time we heard the king’s voice in our own homes”. “We live in often harsh and cruel times,” he said, “and if there’s anything we can offer the world today, maybe

it is the example of tolerance and understanding that runs like a golden thread through the great and diverse family of the British Commonwealth nations. It is an example he has set for us and which we can expect our new queen to follow, who in many ways characterizes today’s youth, combining parental duties with an availability for work. social and public activities and all that the modern world has to offer.


This issue devoted several pages to the upcoming coronation, including a two-page article by Sir Gerald W. Wollaston, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, “which has been specially written to help us tell children about this great event”.

The article gives an incredibly detailed account of how the ceremony unfolded, including the processions that take place when the queen “passes the abbey” and the words that would be spoken during it.

“Many think of the coronation simply as a spectacle, the most magnificent of those state ceremonies which we in this country hold with perhaps unparalleled dignity. But it’s not primarily a show, it’s a religious ceremony in which the Queen dedicates herself to serving God and the people.

It ends thus: “In his broadcast on Christmas Day, His Majesty asked for the prayers of all his subjects on this great and solemn occasion. It is indeed a fitting request, and all who are present at the Abbey or can follow the ceremony at home will surely comply. Those who witness the royal stroll through many miles of London streets will cheer the Queen and her husband with that enthusiasm which will assure them that the Sovereign is, indeed, firmly in the hearts and affections of all her subjects.


The same issue gave insight into the lives of the “royal children”, whose nursery was in the “pleasant second-floor bedrooms of Buckingham Palace”. Prince Charles and Princess Anne are ‘raised to modern lines without any undue trouble’
or formality.

The article features photographs taken in Balmoral Park, with Prince Charles, then four, in his car and Princess Anne, three, “giving her doll an outing” in a pram. very traditional look. ‘The Queen likes the children to be outside as much as possible, and they spend many happy hours in the woodland gardens of the palace, with the miniature lake and the waterfowl that Prince Charles likes to feed on stale bread.’ They have ‘a white rabbit called Harvey’ and a ‘Corgi terrier, Sugar’.

‘Prince Charles enjoys riding a tricycle along the garden paths, while Princess Anne diligently rolls her dolls in the little battered dolls pram that once gave the Queen and Princess Margaret equal pleasure.

Charles is described as “a vigorous, active boy with an exceedingly inquisitive mind and marked intelligence…He likes to ‘play a tune’ on his trumpet or bang energetically on his drum”. The Queen has taught him “the three Rs and he can spell many words in his favorite books, including Peter Rabbit and Babar the Elephant”.

While Anne and Charles are “too young” to take part in the coronation ceremonies at Westminster Abbey, they “will enjoy watching the processions and pageantry”. Prince Charles will be present to part of the coronation service at the Abbey and he and Princess Anne were to join the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the evening of coronation day.

How Nursery World covered the Queen’s Jubilees

nursery worldSilver Jubilee Cover Stars (June 2, 1977)


Golden Jubilee (June 12, 2002): Children flying the flag at Shotley Bridge Nursery School, near Consett, Durham, entered the Queen’s spiritGolden Jubilee when they hosted their own garden party.


Diamond Jubilee (June 11, 2012): Children at Hatton Hill Nursery in Windlesham, Surrey marked 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

Platinum Jubilee (June 1, 2022): The children of Gateways School performed a concert for parents as part of their Platinum Jubilee celebrations, featuring songs The Wheels on the Carriage go Round and Round, How Much is that Corgi in the Window and Crowns, Shoulders, Knees and Robes.

Dora W. Clawson