The Queen

The Queen

3.66 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 33.02mm | 657.71g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • illustrations plates forms transparencies
  • 0246119438
  • 9780246119438

Review Text

Why the British love the Queen - her symbolic "decency, duty, morality," her "subtle blend of majesty and informality" - spiked with a few discreet indiscretions and bulked out with Household routine and Royal tours. Morrow has been Court correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph; she pulls off a sparkling first, kaleidoscopic chapter - thanks partly to some rich Elizabeth quips (to a teashop customer's befuddled "Excuse me, but you look awfully like the Queen" - "How very reassuring"; to Philip, seeing herself on TV - "Do look. I've got my Miss Piggy face on"); and she manages to sustain the mood, and crimp-up the thin material, for several additional chapters. There are zesty anecdotes - the hand-spun "loin cloth" Gandhi sent to Elizabeth and Philip's wedding, their sly exchange-of-messages via Biblical citations - and homely details (Elizabeth and Harold Wilson's wife "washing up" after an impromptu snack) - with the reminder that she's nonetheless "a confident, upper-class, grand, land-owning figure." There are intimations of anguish (a long, affecting account of how she learned, in furthest Kenya, of her father's death) and of loneliness (the attachment to the corgis, and to horses). There are references to "difficult times" with Anne, and to marital strains (both purportedly overcome); there are a very few boudoir tidbits ("Chocolate Kiss" rinse, that unflattering "pillbox red" lipstick); there is a professional Court-watcher's recognition - perhaps the book's one distinctive feature - of the royal family's very professional conduct in public (and, from the 1960s, PR-mindedness). But only highly susceptible readers will stick the course through tour after royal tour - though Morrow's accolades for Elizabeth's effectiveness abroad, and especially with African leaders, seem well-merited. (We're also privy to the "awful" 1980 Moroccan visit, "when the Queen was treated with a rudeness she had never experienced in twenty-seven years" - because, in the Palace view, the King "had never had a British nanny to say 'No.' ") An authentic, agreeable portrait of Elizabeth as she's publicly perceived - to be importantly supplemented, later this season, by a full-scale Elizabeth Longford biography. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 44% (4)
3 44% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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