In this magisterial new biography, New York Times best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith brings to life one of the world’s most fascinating and enigmatic women: Queen Elizabeth II.
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.
©2011 Sally Bedell Smith (P)2011 Random House Audio
“She was so young, and the task was so enormous. Yet with grace and a determination to do her duty come what may - and so much has indeed come - Elizabeth II studiously made herself part of the fabric of global civilization in the most tumultuous of times. This is a terrific book about a fascinating figure.” (Jon Meacham)
I am a retired Court Reporter and I LOVE books. All kinds of books but my favorites are mysteries and period books. I like civil war books and some biographies.
This is a very interesting and informative book about the Queen and her early days.
Biographies can be dry, but not this one! I was interested the whole time. Good narrator with great variety in her voice and the book was well researched and thorough. I learned so much about the amazing Queen Elizabeth II and now I really feel like I know the royal family. Thanks Audible for suggesting this book when the Queen turned 90!
Love historical fiction, good light reading, histories, and theological treatises.
Narrated beautifully, it is easy to catch the storyline of her life. 91 years goes by in a flash.
Well-written and beautifully read. However, a bit one-sided as it merely touches on the troubles of the Queen's children's marriages focusing mainly on Diana's negative image and not focusing on any of the other in-law members' images accolades or negatives. Princess Margaret's turmoils are barely mentioned and cease at age 21.
I have always been a royal watcher. Learning more about Queen Elizabeth just increases my admiration and respect for her and the life she has lived. "Long live Queen Elizabeth!"
This book presented the Queen not as a person, as I had hoped, but as a mythical figure, perfect in every way . I was drawn to finish it, but regret having wasted the time.
This was well written and interesting to read. I enjoyed getting to know the historic influences on the monarchy and the way it has changed in just this one lifetime. This is a much better book than the one by Sarah Bradford, even though they deal with the same subject matter.
Follow me on Goodreads too!
I am about 1/3 through and so far I am a bit bored.
Hopefully it'll get juicier when we get to the 80s...
Glad I am done, it was not that interesting overall.
J.F., CA. I am a voracious "bookaholic" who enjoys many different genres. I am often listening to/reading multiple books at the same time.
First of all this book is fairly boring. I agree with the reviewer that called this book a long PR statement. The queen is portrayed as a one dimensional caricature. It almost seem like the writer was afraid to present all sides of this lady. I have no doubt she is a disciplined and remarkable woman but to present her as perfect or near perfect is ludicrous. The people that were considered anti-establishment like Princess Diana were also presented in a one dimensional way - completely in a negative light. I cannot say I came away with any new insights in the queen and regretted wasting my credit. The narrator also has a monotone way of speaking.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.