Elizabeth II was not born to be queen. She came into the world on April 21, 1926, the equivalent of the modern Princess Beatrice, first-born daughter of the Duke of York, destined to flutter on the royal fringe. So while Lilibet was brought up with almost religious respect for the crown, there seemed no chance of her inheriting it.Read more...
Elizabeth II was not born to be queen. She came into the world on April 21, 1926, the equivalent of the modern Princess Beatrice, first-born daughter of the Duke of York, destined to flutter on the royal fringe. So while Lilibet was brought up with almost religious respect for the crown, there seemed no chance of her inheriting it. Her head was never turned by the personal prospect of grandeur--which is why she would prove so very good at her job. Elizabeth II's lack of ego was to prove the paradoxical secret of her greatness.
For more than thirty years, acclaimed author and royal biographer Robert Lacey has been gathering material from members of the Queen's inner circle--her friends, relatives, private secretaries, and prime ministers. Now, in The Queen, Lacey offers a life of the celebrated monarch, told in six succinct chapters, accentuated by elegant color and black-and-white photographs that capture the distinctive flavor of passing eras and reveal how Elizabeth II adapted--or, on occasions, regally declined to adapt--to changing times.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-03-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Veteran royal historian Lacey bases this slim volume—the latest in a slew of books marking Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee—on his acclaimed bestsellers Majesty and Monarch. All three books include numerous off-the-record interviews that Lacey conducted with friends, advisers, and members of the royal family. As he puts it, “this little book is intended to distill and reshape what I’ve learned into one pleasant afternoon’s reading....” Elizabeth II’s reign is seen in more than 40 color and b&w photos and drawings. To encapsulate Elizabeth in six short chapters, Lacey opens with her 1929 appearance on a Time cover at age three. After her worldwide radio broadcast in 1940 caused “radio switchboards across America to be jammed with requests for repeats,” it became a bestselling BBC phonograph record: “In a time of danger, people yearned for reassurance from on high.” Lacey continues this anecdotal journey into the “second Elizabethan age” from what one observer called the “spiritual exultation” of her 1953 coronation to the eve of this year’s Diamond Jubilee. Effectively editing from his insider interviews, Lacey employs a meticulous, fluid writing style that steers clear of tabloid-type sensationalism for a restrained, dignified approach and a level of intimacy with more than a few emotional peaks. Agent: Grainne Fox, Fletcher & Co. (June)