Tuesday, 29 May 2012


This weekend Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee and people all across the country will be paying tribute to her 60 years as Monarch. However one person who will not be raising her glass to the Queen, is 86 year old former pub landlady Margaret
Birch claims to have been friends with the Queen
Birch. She claims Her Majesty and Margaret were best friends growing up and spent nearly everyday together during their school years. Until one day Liz, as she was known back then, began to change.

"Liz and I just clicked, she was so fun to have around, always making jokes and smiling, we just made each other laugh" said Birch, from Mayfair,Central London. "At school we would try and sit next to each other in every lesson, we would chat and giggle a lot, often getting into trouble with the teacher, even after school had finished we would go to each others houses for tea".


Despite there being a huge gap in class between the two, this never really bothered Birch as Elizabeth was so down to earth. "I remember the first time I went round hers for supper, I was a little intimidated at first due to the sheer size of the palace she lived in, but she made me so welcome before long I felt relaxed and made to feel at home, I even joined in with ordering the house slaves around, it was such fun". Birch who owned the Rose and Crown pub in Mayfair for 41 years lived in a tatty two bedroom flat in Berkeley Square with her mum and two brothers. She can recall being very nervous when Elizabeth first came round hers for tea. "I really didn't want her to come over. My flat was embarrassingly small compared to her massive palace, but she insisted on it and did not judge me and my family at all, she ate all of her beans on toast and even helped with the washing up".

"We used to sometimes skip school and go to the park"  


The pair were to become closer than ever as they neared the end of their school years and even discussed going in to business together in the future. According to Mother of 3 Birch,  Elizabeth was keen to join her in the pub trade."We used to sometimes skip school and go to the park" reveals Grandmother of 4 Birch. "Maybe smoke a few fags, swig a few bottles of cider, talk about boys, you know normal teenage girl stuff, one day we got talking about the future and I told Liz I always wanted to own a pub, imagine my shock when Liz turned round and said that she did too, so we talked about going in to the pub trade together and she said she would talk to her parents about borrowing some money to get us started".


As time wore on Elizabeth became more and more distant and Birch was to see less of her. "I started to notice a change in her". Said Great Grandmother of 5 Birch. "She wasn't the bubbly Liz I had come to know so well and the jokey side to her character wasn't evident anymore, she was a lot quieter and had developed an attitude where she looked down on people, she wasn't coming out as much and took a long time to return my calls". Nothing, though had prepared Margaret Birch for what was to come only a few months later.


In early 1952, Birch spoke to Elizabeth for what would be the last time as they said goodbye after a shopping trip together in town. Birch tried to contact her on numerous occasions afterwards but to no avail. Weeks went by and Birch was worried something might have happened to her. She decided to call in at the palace to see if she was ok. "I knocked on the door one day and asked for Liz and they just said she was out and that was that, I couldn't believe she was ignoring me".

"I hope one day she opens up about her past"

Two days after this Birch was to find out from family that Elizabeth was going to be the new Queen of England. "I was shocked" said Great Great Grandmother of 6 Birch. "I couldn't believe it, so I checked the newspaper and there she was, Liz in all the Queen gear, crown and everything, maybe she knew all along, but I don't know why she didn't just tell me. To just stop talking to me like that, it still hurts to this day, maybe she's embarrassed to have been best friends with me now she's the Queen but I know what she's really like".

Despite writing to the Queen twice Birch still awaits a reply. "I was polite in my letters to Liz and said she would still be welcome to join me at the Rose and Crown if she fancied a change, but I haven't heard back so sod her. I hope one day she opens up about her past, but I doubt it".

When asked about the Queen's relationship with Margaret Birch, a spokesman for her Majesty said "There was no such relationship".

The Queen by numbers

The Real Queen
58 Was the number of years the Queen had been on the throne in 2010.

17 Is the number of Pembroke Welsh Corgies in Great Britain, the Queen owns 16. The other belongs to Bobby Davro.

349 Is the number of occasions The Queen has said 'who the hell was that' after meeting a famous celebrity.

278 Is the number of times Prince Charles has requested the doctor to check on the Queen's health in the last year.

6 Was the age of the Queen when she made her first Christmas speech in 1932.

0 Is how many goals the Queen scored in this seasons Premier League.

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