Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell SmithNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect for fans of The Crown, this magisterial biography of Queen Elizabeth II is a close-up view of the woman we’ve known only from a distance—and a captivating window into the last great monarchy.
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.
Her early life was full of uncertainties, and her chances of succeeding to the throne seemed very slight once her half-brother Edward was born in She was then third in line behind her Roman Catholic half-sister, Princess Mary. Roman Catholics, indeed, always considered her illegitimate and she only narrowly escaped execution in the wake of a failed rebellion against Queen Mary in Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on her half-sister's death in November Her year reign is generally considered one of the most glorious in English history. During it a secure Church of England was established.
The monarchy of the United Kingdom , commonly referred to as the British monarchy , is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom , its dependencies the Bailiwick of Guernsey , the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II , who ascended the throne in The monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the prime minister. The monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative , these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent. The British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England , which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century.