Published By: Hodder and Stoughton
Released On: 28/10/2021
In 2022 Queen Elizabeth II celebrates seventh years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. She is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and the very first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.
Joanna Lumley guides us as we meet Princess Elizabeth in 1952, aged just twenty five, and about to become Queen, and brings us through to the present day when, as our matriarch, the Queen keeps the national ship steady, including in moments of crisis and suffering, Here are unique perspectives into some of the most fascinating aspects of the Queen’s life – her role as head of state at home and abroad, her private passions and public interests and a bird’s-eye look at key events that have held the nation together and the Queen in our affection throughout Britain and beyond.
Books about the Queen are not few and far between (that’s all the rhyming you’ll get from me), especially in this jubilee year, but there’s something special about this one. I mean, for starters, it is written by Dame Joanna Lumley who is a Queen in her own right, but it’s so sensitively, lyrically, beautifully, romantically written. The description of everything from joy (coronations, marriages, births) to sadness (death, funerals and grief) is so touching and well researched.
There’s an honesty to this book, almost like a friend is just talking to another friend about another friend.
We might think we know all there is to know at the Queen – her every move is photographed and catalogued after all – but these personal insights show us a side to the Queen very few have got to meet.
In hindsight, I think I would have liked a bit more of Joanna’s own views and experiences of the Queens, rather than just a paragraph or two introducing someone else’s notes. However, this is a nice balance between anecdotes by royals, dignitaries, and members of the public. It gives a more human element to the Queen and Prince Phillip; it gives a new poignancy in the wake of Phillip’s death.
I know there are some people who don’t see the point of a Royal family or of the Queen, and I respect that; but I personally adore her, and think the country – and the world – will be a lesser place when she is no longer in it.