Monday, March 5, 2012

Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group 
Pages: 672 
Format: eARC (NetGalley) 
Buy the Book: Amazon 




Goodreads:  From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace. 
 
In Elizabeth the Queen, we meet the young girl who suddenly becomes “heiress presumptive” when her uncle abdicates the throne. We meet the thirteen-year-old Lilibet as she falls in love with a young navy cadet named Philip and becomes determined to marry him, even though her parents prefer wealthier English aristocrats. We see the teenage Lilibet repairing army trucks during World War II and standing with Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. We see the young Queen struggling to balance the demands of her job with her role as the mother of two young children. Sally Bedell Smith brings us inside the palace doors and into the Queen’s daily routines—the “red boxes” of documents she reviews each day, the weekly meetings she has had with twelve prime ministers, her physically demanding tours abroad, and the constant scrutiny of the press—as well as her personal relationships: with Prince Philip, her husband of sixty-four years and the love of her life; her children and their often-disastrous marriages; her grandchildren and friends.






Kritters Thoughts:  From before she took the throne through the craziness of her children and to the present day, this book takes you behind the scenes of both the political and personal life of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.  There are many reasons why I picked up this book, but with the royal wedding this past spring I, among others, has a renewed sense of curiosity towards the royal family and its inner workings.


Queen Elizabeth II is destined for the throne as an heir to the throne and no male sibling, little did she know that she would be taking her place in history at the young age of 25.  Newly married and still trying to find her place in the family, she takes the central role to a very large empire.  She has endured many years as the centerpiece and has had to endure a lot of scrutiny and tragedy.  The one piece of history that I was unaware of was the horrible year she had in 1992 with three of her children separating and divorcing, she had a year full of turmoil.  


A great book for anyone who has any interest in the life of a royal.  But beware this book is a chunkster and is definitely detailed, so for those faint of heart, this one may not be the read for you.  


Rating:  definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook Challenge 2012: 7  out of 25 


GR Cover Challenge 2012: What's It Worth?


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

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