Anne Frank Was a Fan of Elizabeth, Long Before She Became Queen
A post by reader E.L. Koehler
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Bergen-Belson death camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its liberation by British soldiers. She paid homage to the victims, including Anne Frank, and met with survivors and liberators:
During their visit, the Queen and the Prince walked somberly around the 13 “mounds that mark where the mass graves are,” reported the BBC. “There was no pomp or ceremony; just a couple from the wartime generation taking their time to reflect and to pay their respects.”
The Queen bowed her head at the memorial gravestones for Anne Frank and her sister Margot. The royal couple also stopped to lay a wreath at the memorial obelisk in the camp that remembers the thousands of Jews, Soviet and Roma prisoners who perished there.
The accounts I found of the queen’s visit to Bergen-Belsen left out an intriguing fact – Anne’s fascination with Elizabeth.
On April 21, 1944, less than four months before her arrest, 14-year-old Anne wrote in her diary:
Today is the eighteenth birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. The BBC reported that she hasn’t yet been declared of age, though royal children usually are. We’ve been wondering which prince they’ll marry this beauty off to, but can’t think of a suitable candidate.
Anne also had a postcard of Princess Elizabeth among the photos pasted on her wall in the Amsterdam secret annex. It’s likely that of all the people Anne (or anyone else) wrote about in 1944, Elizabeth was the only one who would remain in the public eye for 78 more years.
That day’s entry also included a reminder that Anne might have had ambitions of being a writer.
I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they’ll take one of my fairy tales, under a pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don’t think I have much of a chance.
It was one of the diary’s poignant hints of what Anne – who also left behind short stories and a partial novel – might have achieved with her talent. Yet, stranger-than-fiction ironies followed her beyond her earthly life, manifesting her wish to leave an imprint on the world. What were the odds that her work would sell 30 million copies, and that Her Royal Highness would one day bow her head in homage to her teenage admirer?