Even if many people believe it, it’s not strictly true, royal historians say.
“There have been more times she’s been in tears than people recognize or choose to remember,” says Sally Bedell Smith, the acclaimed American biographer of the queen and other senior royals.
Bedell Smith ticks off a half-dozen occasions when the queen was seen to be in tears, and not just in 1997 when the beloved royal yacht, the Britannia, was retired. Contrary to how she’s depicted on TV’s “The Crown,” the queen shed real tears when she went to Aberfan, Wales, in 1966 to meet with survivors of a horrifying avalanche of coal waste that killed 144 people, most of them children in their school classrooms, Bedell Smith says.
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And at her sister Princess Margaret’s funeral in 2002, people who were there and seated near her told Bedell Smith she was “very tearful,” and “the saddest I’ve ever seen her.”
“She has shed tears but it’s been at appropriate times, such as the Remembrance Sunday commemorations” for Britain’s war dead every November, adds longtime royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, who spent part of her childhood in Kensington Palace as the daughter of a former press secretary to the queen.
But the widespread impression that…