The Queen Mother spent most of her time at Clarence House in London but had other homes as well — the Castle of Mey in northeast Scotland; Birkhall, situated near the royal retreat of Balmoral in Scotland; and Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. She was an avid follower of horse racing and was known to spend over her budget and to enjoy a glass of gin.
During the 1980s, the royal family was caught up in a number of scandals, mostly involving the marriages of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Queen Elizabeth II admitted that 1992 had been an "annus horribilis," but her mother smiled serenely through it. Polls consistently named her as one of the most popular royals; following the death of Diana in a 1997 car crash, her status as most beloved was unchallenged.
On her 100th birthday, thousands lined The Mall in London to catch as glimpse of the Queen Mother rode by in a carriage.
"I think that the queen mother is an incredible lady. She's coped with an awful lot in her life and never made a bad name for herself," said a fan along the parade route. "She represents what the royal family should be, which is dignified and caring."