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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

“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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ashleesgirl21 on 09-14-12

A Personal Look at a Great Queen

Would you listen to Elizabeth the Queen again? Why?

I would absolutely listen to this book again. I felt like I came to know her as much more than a figure-head for the British people. I was continually intrigued by the story and I found myself admiring the queen for much more than just her role as a queen.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I have adored Queen Elizabeth II since I was 3 1/2. She continued to be my favorite queen as I listened to this book.

Any additional comments?

Overall, this book is both amazingly crafted and wonderfully narrated. The narrator did voices both consistently and believably. Sally Bedell Smith did her research for real and although it could have been easy to be biased, I felt the presentation was very fair. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a closer look at Her Majesty, the Queen.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Brian on 07-10-12

An Enchanted Life of a Queen and Duty

If you could sum up Elizabeth the Queen in three words, what would they be?

Duty, Motherhood, and Love of Country

Who was your favorite character and why?

Elizabeth the Queen of course!

What does Rosalyn Landor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She brought compassion, reality and an incredible sense of personal knowlwedge and intimacy of a woman who will be remembered for generations.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The description of Elizabeth's relationship with her Father and losing him so young and being thrust into a role she may not have been quite ready for.

Any additional comments?

I would definately and likely be reading this again.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Hayley McCoy on 12-07-17

very thorough read, very enjoyable

full of all the scandal and glamour you would expect from the English monarchy but brought me to a sympathetic and supportive new view on the monarchy and this comes from a northern irish lass

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By HildaW on 03-13-15

superb biography

I was pleasantly surprised by this biography of Elizabeth11 . I though4 there wasnt much more that could be said but this book gives lots of detail behind stories others skim over. Well worth listening to

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2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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