Elizabeth The Queen: The Modern Life of a Modern Monarch: By Sally Bedell Smith
People who read this blog may know that I lived in Manchester, England for a handful of years in my 20’s. It was a real ‘growing up’ time in my life. During that time I really fell in love with learning about the history behind the monarchy in the UK.
This year marks the the Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II. 2012 is marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. She is today queen regnant of 16 sovereign states, 12 of which were British colonies or Dominions at the start of her reign.
Queen Victoria in 1897 is the only other monarch in the histories of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and a few other Commonwealth realms to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. Following the tradition of jubilees past, a Diamond Jubilee medal is being awarded in various countries and holidays and events will be held throughout the Commonwealth.
I thought what better time to do some reading on her than now. I picked up ‘Elizabeth The Queen: The Modern Life of a Modern Monarch’. It’s a huge book – 537 pages in length and let’s say reading this book really hurts one’s breasts when in bed. But it’s well worth it.
If you watched ‘The King’s Speech’ last year – it only gave you a teaser into her childhood. But it‘s a nice springboard into how she was raised and how she puts duty as a monarch before anything else in her life. It’s quite emotional to have read how her connection with her family and her royal roots enabled her to make some pretty startling choices as a teen, young adult, married woman, mother and now monarch of not only England but other Commonwealth countries.
The book goes in depth into her love affair with Prince Phillip, how she coped with her father’s passing, glimpses into her coronation, her neglectful relationships with her children during their early years and those scandalous Diana and Fergie years to name a few.
The book is hardly written in a National Enquirer style but rather more from stories stitched together form history and people who either worked in ‘her world’ or knew her.
I wish there was more info on her relationship with Wallis Simpson. Also at times the book did tend to ramble on for too long about certain times in history. I think the writer really wanted to give as much enough as possible to really give you a sense of her, Elizabeth. She succeeded.
This book is a great holiday read and very easy to get through. If you want to get swept into luxury and learn about the monarch in England from the ground up – this is worth the investment. The book ends with Kate and Will’s wedding day. I loved that the book comes full circle and you as the reader get an honest snapshot into her mistakes, her successes, her conundrums and most of all her selflessness. She really is a genuine, hardworking and earnest woman behind the crown and orb.
Book Publisher: Random House
Price: $34.00 CAD