The Queen Mother

The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Who Became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Narrated by: Jennifer M. Dixon
Length: 25 hrs and 35 mins
4 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Packed with stunning revelations, this is the inside story of The Queen Mother from The New York Times best-selling author who first revealed the truth about Princess Diana.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother has been called the "most successful queen since Cleopatra." Her personality was so captivating that even her arch - enemy Wallis Simpson wrote about "her legendary charm." Portrayed as a selfless partner to the King in the Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech, The Queen Mother is most often remembered from her later years as the smiling granny with the pastel hats. When she died in 2002, just short of her 102nd birthday, she was praised for a long life well lived. 

But there was another side to her story. For the first time, Lady Colin Campbell tells us that the untold life of The Queen Mother is far more fascinating and moving than the official version that has been peddled ever since she became royal in 1923. With unparalleled sources - including members of the Royal Family, aristocrats, and friends and relatives of Elizabeth herself - this mesmerizing account takes us inside the real and sometimes astonishing world of the royal family.

©2012 Lady Colin Campbell (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Listen with a huge pinch of salt

I’m not really sure how to summarize his book. There is very little here about the queen mother‘s life. Lots of opinions and gossip. Lots of journeys down speculative roads. I would’ve preferred to hear about the political and social, accomplishments and impact that the queen mother had on her family the country and the world. Having said that the insights that the author gives based on her social connections and interactions with those that knew the queen mother is very interesting and like I said if taken with a pinch of salt, quite entertaining. A little more validation of allegations would have given this book some more clout in its authenticity. It has the feel of a gossiping, name dropping social expose rather than a serious look into the life of the wife and subsequent mother of two monarchs, Which would have provided us with extremely valuable and poignant information.

10 people found this helpful

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Pulp - and full of inaccuracies

Author had an agenda and stuck to it. Many wrong facts. I listened all the way through but felt committed.

6 people found this helpful

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A Real Person

Being an anglophile, I read everything concerning the Royal Family, English history, English gardens and English architecture. I have read the official biography of the Queen Mother and gave it positive reviews but did not write a review. This book I wanted to because of the negative reviews. One of the items I listen for is the references by an author. If I like a book I will purchase that book for my library for my own reference. Lady Colin Campbell, I feel, did a very thorough writing by referencing what she found thru her many years of research. Yes, part of the references can be hearsay, but the listener wants this too because it gives a well-rounded overall view of the person. Many of us never are given the complete view of history. But when you read as many books on one subject, biographies for me, your view is more complete and in depth. Thus, I would highly recommend this book. The narrator is well chosen, Jennifer M. Dixon. Her melodic voice was perfect for this piece. This is now in my Library both in Audibles and at home.

5 people found this helpful

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A gossipy novel about the Queen Mother

As I listened to Lady Campbell's book I wondered if she was attempting to create another she-wolf queen consort of England. The queen she described could be compared to other she-wolf queen consorts: Eleanor of Aquitane and Margaret of Anjou for example who were strong women, stronger than their king husbands.
The Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother Lady Campbell describes is narcissistic, manipulative, and extremely controlling. While she may not have had a perfect caring and loving personality, one has to look at her position in life. She was very powerful and used her power to help the people of the UK. She and her husband led the people through the horrors of WWII. They helped people survive and thrive during the Battle of Britian and were bombed along with them. Queen Elizabeth was a smiling tower of strenghth the her people during the was and afterward. In her long widowhood she continued to serve her country and her people. Whatever her motives, she helped people and did not sit back and enjoy the luxurious life to which she was entitled.

Yes this is an untold story of Queen Elizabeth. However, it seems based on gossip not fact. How sad. I suppose there are people who enjoy reading about the deep flaws in famous people. However, if we are to believe Lady Campbell, queen Elizabeth did bot have a authentic, or good bone in her body. She was pure selfishness. As a psychologist, I find this difficult to believe.

2 people found this helpful

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Drones on and on

This book is painfully long and boring. It may have been tolerable with a different reader. The author very frequently goes off topic to name drop about people she knew but is not related to story. She obviously dislikes Elizabeth the Queen Mother and it was evident all the way through the book. Don’t waste your time.

1 person found this helpful

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Harsh but occasionally interesting

This book was sadly mean-spirited, with an overload of speculation and questionable information. However, it also provided some authentic and substantiated fresh insights... occasionally.
It was a real challenge to listen to the entire book at times because it was so overloaded with unnecessary detailed information about royal and aristocratic bloodlines that it was extremely monotonous.
The author seemed to absolutely prize caustic, (but irrelevant), gossip which often rabbit-trailed away from the ‘story-line’ while peeking through the windows of acquaintances, strangers, and even those who were long dead and buried... most of whom, (both dead & alive), were irrelevant to the life story of the queen mother Elizabeth... having exerted little or no influence over her or her life.

1 person found this helpful

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life

I found the book interesting but harsh in personal comments about queen mother .but the book was good little dry in the middle l have re-read so not that bad

1 person found this helpful

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Unnecessary information

At one point I felt like I was in a British History class and we were going over family ancestry of 1900 England. Not a book I liked because the author got held up with family connections and jumped around from decade to decade at points. If she would have just focused on Elizabeth it would have been half as long.

Not my favorite Royal book

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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very enlightening

Explains why none of the royal family came to the defense of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. the Queen Mother Queen Elizabeth taught her children well.

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An intriguing and interesting biography...

I have just finished listening to this audiobook and must admit because of the mixed reviews I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but I am so pleased I did. Yes it was hard to listen to sometimes because I always had the impression that the Queen Mum was a dear sweet old lady and that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were a pair of greedy, lazy and feckless characters but this biography blows that general idea we Brits have right out of the water. I started to wonder about our dear old sweet Queen Mum when I read a quote she supposedly said to someone "I'm not as nice as people think I am", then another remark by Princess Diana too that was something along those lines and I wanted to know more about what was behind that sweet, smiling facade of the Queens kind mum that I had grown up with.

Some of the writing is a little bit flowery and the some of the names of the upper aristocracy went right over my head but I am interested in the Royal Family and their history and hearing all the links they had with other members of the Royal Families in Europe just made me want to learn more about them. I know in the other reviews I have read for this book there has been some criticism of the name dropping of different members of this huge family but I didn't find that irritating, it actually made me want to do more research to learn more about them.

Lady Colin Campbell has the unique position of moving in the upper class circles and lets be honest, that's where most of the juicy gossip is! I don't want to read another watered down, sugary sweet, official biography of a member of the royal family like Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, after all she was not just royal but a human being and she was flawed and complicated as all human beings are. This book had some real eye openers but ones that as shocking as they are, also make so much more sense now. Some of the things I learned from reading this book were actually how alike the Queen Mum and Princess Diana were, although before reading this I never would have thought that! They were very alike in a lot of ways, Lady Colin Campbell explains why and it's so obvious, how did I not see that before! There is one huge difference though, the Queen mum would smile sweetly through it all but the Princess of Wales could not, that's not to say one was right and the other wrong, just to say that as alike as they were, in so many ways, Diana did not have the ruthlessness that the Queen Mum had, she could not be a silent assassin when she had been crossed, Diana could not hold her anger in and the Queen mum did, with a sweet smile on her face.

This book also changed my perspective of Edward VIII, the King who never was, his wasted life was sad and I did not know how loved he was by the British people before he was made to abdicate by the British government and surprisingly by the Duchess of York (as Elizabeth was then known) who did not want a twice married divorcee on the throne of England. Elizabeth played that game very well, it was intriguing to hear what was going on behind the scenes of that political crisis and what part she had played in it. It softened my view of him and the other person I felt sorry for after reading this was Princess Margaret. I had always thought of her as spoiled, selfish and just a b*tch basically (excuse my french!) and had felt a bit sorry for the Queen mum having her as a daughter but that changed after reading this. They had a complicated relationship that was never helped by Elizabeth's jealousy of her daughters younger stunning beauty and I must admit I had always found it odd that Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret's ex husband still had good relations with his mother in law after he had treated her daughter so badly over the years. This book explains those relationships very well too.

So before waffling on anymore I just want to say how much I enjoyed this book and the other surprising thing I learnt from this biography was the name that the Queen mum gave herself after her husband the King died and when she was no longer the number one lady in the land. Usually dowdager Queens disappear quietly into the background but not this one. After you read this book you will see her whole character good and bad and the name she gave herself, the name of, 'Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother', and that's two Queens in her title, well nobody but her could have got away with that!

The narrator was so nice too, I actually didn't even notice her voice after I started listening to it which is a good sign because it was not irritating or dull or any of the off putting voices I have sometimes heard in other books. I hope if you purchase this that you enjoy it as much I did.