I love a good Royal Family book but I haven't ever dived into anything aside from Princess Diana, William and Harry. After Queen Elizabeth died, I was intrigued to read more about her and see what was left out of the first few seasons of The Crown.

Andrew Morton, who has written countless royal biographies, including 'Diana: Her True Story' which was the very controversial book released when she was still alive. I have another book in my library called "Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate Lives of the Windsor Sisters" that I haven't read but am excited too.

"The Queen: Her Life" by Andrew Morton was released on November 15th, 2022 and I received an ARC of it from NetGalley, which was the thrill of a lifetime. I didn't end up reading it until last month but I was surprised at how enjoyable it was.

It wasn't that I thought I wasn't going to like it but I thought it would be a little long winded and slightly boring. That's what biographies are usually like... but not this one. 

I flew through the pages and really loved it. It makes me look forward to reading the book about Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

Publisher's Summary

Painfully shy, Elizabeth Windsor’s personality was well suited to her youthful ambition of living quietly in the country, raising a family, and caring for her dogs and horses. But when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated, she became heir to the throne—embarking on a journey that would test her as a woman and queen.

Ascending to the throne at only 25, this self-effacing monarch navigated endless setbacks, family conflict, and occasional triumphs throughout her 70 years as the Queen of England. As her mettle was tested, she endeavored to keep the monarchy relevant culturally, socially, and politically, often in the face of resistance from inside the institution itself. And yet the greatest challenges she faced were often inside her own family, forever under intense scrutiny; from rumors about her husband’s infidelity, her sister’s marital breakdown, Princess Diana’s tragic death, to the recent departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Now in 
The Queen, renowned biographer Andrew Morton takes an in-depth look at Britain’s longest reigning monarch, exploring the influence Queen Elizabeth had on both Britain and the rest of the world for much of the last century. From leading a nation struggling to restore itself after the devastation of the second World War to navigating the divisive political landscape of the present day, Queen Elizabeth was a reluctant but resolute queen. This is the story of a woman of unflagging self-discipline who will long be remembered as mother and grandmother to Great Britain, and one of the greatest sovereigns of the modern era.

My Thoughts

The thing that I loved most about this book was the pace. It didn't start when Elizabeth was born, it didn't give a huge history on her family-- it gave you the facts. We didn't go through her entire life; we saw her as a little girl, when her father ascended the throne, and then when she became Queen. 

There wasn't a ton of unnecessary details but Morton gave you really good snippets of personal anecdotes that almost made it feel like she wrote it herself. It read more like a novel, a short retelling of Queen Elizabeth's life, instead of a history book. 

There were tidbits woven throughout that only those closest to the Queen would know and it added so much context to her life's story. 

I didn't miss those big historical moments as I knew most of them and have watched The Crown, so I appreciated the smaller, more intimate details of her life. 

Morton is a fantastic writer, that goes without saying, but there were two moments in the book where I got choked up. One of the chapters was called 'Then Along Came Diana', and then, when discussing The Gulf War, Morton says that miles away in California, a little girl lead her classmates in a March against the war. That girls' name was Rachel Meghan Markle. My entire body has chills right now.

History really does come full circle and everything is connected.

While Queen Elizabeth's life touched is more than her family, the Diana, William & Kate, and now of course, Harry & Meghan years tend to overshadow her but Andrew Morton did an excellent job at making sure Queen Elizabeth was front and center at all moments. 

She lived a long, beautiful life with many ups and downs but she made history. In our lifetime, we will never see another Queen of England and honestly, that makes me so sad but so grateful we were witnessed her reign.

The book was beautiful, a love letter to Queen Elizabeth and I would like to add the physical book to my collection for safekeeping. It's a stunning cover and a really great book to have in your collection.

If you love the Royal Family you'll love this book. If you're wanting to get more into biographies or want to dive more into the Royal Family, I think you will really enjoy this.


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