Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wartime princess

What with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and all I ought it was time to look at the Royals during wartime. This is Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor aged 19, 1945. She'd longed to join the war effort but her father would not allow it. For other women, conscription had been announced in late 1941. By 1943 90% of women were in war work. It wasn't until Princess Elizabeth turned 19 that she was allowed to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), enrolling in a course as a driver and mechanic.

Despite news reports of the time Elizabeth only spent days with the ATS, leaving the other girls to sleep in the dorm while she returned to Windsor Castle. During lecturers she was surrounded by officers though she managed to sneak away for cups of tea with the regular women. Service life lasted only a few months for the princess. When the King allowed her to sign up, he already knew the end of the war was nigh.

Despite the limited freedom this would have been a tremendous boost for homefront morale.

On VE Day Princess Elizabeth slipped away from the castle with Princess Margaret to mingle with the cheering London crowds. - Toodle Pip!


Anonymous said...

Though not a royal fan, I do love those early photos of Elizabeth motoring and being a mechanic. Dungarees can look rather alluring.

Curvy Kitty said...

Oh I so agree! I have a dungaree pattern in my stash!