Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It- Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Queen Elizabeth       Elizabeth the Queen is not a book for everyone but I must say that what could have been yet another long-winded tome into a life that has been well-covered turned out to be a well-written, easy read that offers some unique insight into the longest reigning English monarch in history.

While the Queen did not “authorize” this biography, the Palace did cooperate with the author making it a little more genuine than a tell-all and I am of the opinion that this woman’s life is one that has immense value if for no other reason than she is one of the best living witnesses to history. It is amazing to read through her life and realize the role she has had throughout her childhood as a princess and subsequent reign as a monarch. even though I “understood” that she was born into the family, I don’t think many stop to consider that she observed her grandfather, her uncle (who abdicated), her father, she lived through a war and then faced the pain of becoming Queen at the age of 25. THEN to think about all of the stuff that came afterwards…the things that made headlines in my lifetime. Suddenly this grey-haired, hat-wearing lady seems like an indomitable spirit that deserves everyone’s respect for the plain and simple fact that she has managed to adapt, change and yet, stay the course through six decades as a monarch and more than 20 years as a princess. It’s impressive.

Queen Elizabeth II remains the symbol of all that is best about Great Britain and will be the last such symbol for my lifetime. It is unlikely we will see another long reign for quite some time, but I admire her for how she took up her mantle and never shirked from her promise to dedicate her life in the service of her subjects.

Definitely worth a Borrow if royal history intrigues you.


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