Ani's mom, a.k.a. the Queen of Kildenree, is strong, powerful, and definitely has a gift with words. According to Ani's wacky aunt, most rulers do, but we get to see this in action when her mom convinces Ani that shipping her away to Bayern is best for everyone. Check out how her people-speaking is described:
Her mother's magic with words was worming into Ani's mind. Already she was thinking, Yes, fine, whatever you did is fine. She pricked herself again and warned herself not to fall into the role of complacent listener. (2.88)
No wonder Ani is afraid of her. The queen's words come alive when she opens her mouth, and we totally get why Ani feels out of place as a princess (and her mom's daughter) in not being able to command the same respect with her own tongue.
Let's face it: a lot about what we know about the queen isn't particularly favorable. Ani doesn't paint a pretty picture of her mom's cold nature and way with words. Yet when Ani departs for Bayern, we glimpse another side of the queen, a side that perhaps Ani never knew was there. The queen gives her daughter a magical handkerchief and Ani tells us:
The thing felt thin and warm in her hand. She squeezed it and wished it were more than a token, wished it really could somehow carry safety and home and the love of a mother. (3.34)
Aw. The queen shows Ani a little tenderness, and it brings up warm feelings for her mama in return. Unfortunately, though, this is one of the only soft moments we get from the queen, which leaves us wondering whether she really feels sad over her daughter leaving or is just putting on an act to get people to like her. Ani wonders the same thing, but we'll leave the answer up to you, Shmoopsters.