God Save the Matriarchs: Queen Elizabeth, Maxine Waters, and More Grand Dames Show Us the Way Forward

Town & Country
·2 min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Town & Country

Mothers know best—and it's high time we gave them their due. From great-grandmothers to godmothers, cultural icons to heads of state, our matriarchs are just the wizened, stalwart leaders to see us through these uncertain times.

For our November issue, Town & Country asked a wide variety of people to celebrate an inimitable cadre of venerable women. Below, read Gina Rodriguez on Rita Moreno, Naomi Campbell on Bethann Hardison, and more peans to queens (both literal and figurative) by some of their biggest admirers. Long may they reign.

Photo credit: TOBY MELVILLE - Getty Images
Photo credit: TOBY MELVILLE - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II

"Some of the most significant remarks Queen Elizabeth II has made during her reign came in 1997, when she addressed the nation following the death of Princess Diana. Speaking from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, with the grieving crowds visible below, the monarch began by saying, 'What I say to you now, as your queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart,'" Victoria Murphy writes.
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Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Kamala Harris Campaign
Photo credit: Kamala Harris Campaign

Shyamala Gopalan Harris

"When Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, Maya L. Harris immediately thought of the one person who wasn’t alive to bask in the significance of the milestone: 'You can’t know who Kamala Harris is without knowing who our mother was,'" Molly Jong-Fast writes.
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Photo credit: Alex Wroblewski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alex Wroblewski - Getty Images

Maxine Waters

"Like all great mother figures, the tireless congresswoman from California can do anything. She inspires and regulates. She launches legislation and memes. And she does this at 82, somehow walking the line between the relatable and the supernatural," Helena Andrews-Dyer writes.
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Photo credit: Jason Schmidt
Photo credit: Jason Schmidt

Betye Saar

"Few artists have had careers as storied as Betye Saar’s. Her recently opened exhibition, 'Betye Saar: Call and Response,' on view through January 31 at the Morgan Library and Museum, makes that abundantly clear. Saar’s work consistently challenges flattened representations of Blackness, instead articulating an artistic code informed by Saar’s maternal lineage, spiritual symbolisms, and cultural motifs that span the African diaspora," Jessica Lynne writes.
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Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images

Blaine Trump

"Against the odds, this soft-spoken Trump-in-law has always managed to stay above the fray of Trump land and fashioned herself a highly regarded, easy-going champion philanthropist. If the Trump name stands for something bold and grabbing, she represents something else that we expect of power families—noblesse oblige, political bridge-building, and self-deprecation," Bob Morris writes.
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This story appears in the November 2020 issue of Town & Country. Subscribe Now

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