First released in 2012, Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith (subtitled The Life of a Modern Monarch) is a brilliant biography of one of the most important figures in history, Queen Elizabeth II. In 1962, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was crowned the Queen of the United Kingdom (and also Canada, Australia, and New Zeeland). It was an immense responsibility for a 25-year-old woman who also had to raise her children.
With great access “into the palace doors,” Sally Bedell Smith gathered deep information and documented the personal life of young Elizabeth before she sat at the throne. Smith then “followed” the Queen in her day to day routines, role in family, and role in UK’s political life.
Cover and Details of Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith (PDF)
- Title: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
- Author: Sally Bedell Smith
- Publisher: Random House
- Date Published: January 10, 2012
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400067898
- ISBN-13: 9781400067893
Summary of the Book
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.
Reviews of Elizabeth the Queen
“An excellent, all-embracing new biography.” —The New York Times
“[An] imposing, yet nimbly written, biography [that] dwarfs the field…a most satisfying and enjoyable read, one to be savored at length.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Smith breaks new ground, [with the cooperation of] more than two hundred people, [including] the Queen’s relatives and friends…[A] smart and satisfying book.” —Los Angeles Times
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