Wendy's Reviews > Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith
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Jan 30, 12

Read in January, 2012

This book is an interesting biography of Queen Elizabeth. Because we have seen so little of her personality in public I found it fascinating to learn about what she is really like. I think the first half of the book is much stronger than the second half. Her childhood and early years as a monarch are well covered and the author appears to have good sources who were within the inner circle. It seems that the author didn't have equally good sources for the most recent years. A lot of the modern day drama of her family is glossed over with the exception of Princess Diana's death. The book paints a very negative picture of Diana and it seems like it might have benefited from a more balanced approach to her time as a royal. I'm not saying that what was written about her is untrue but the author seems to have only spoken to the Queen's inner circle and not anyone close to Diana herself. That part of the book struck me as uneven in the reporting. I also think the last section of the book reads more like a list of trips taken without any depth given to their significance. Again, it's a great book but I think the second half needed more insight or perhaps only more time to give it perspective.

Overall if you have any interest on what it takes to be the Queen this is a great read. I came away with a new found respect for her and an appreciation for how difficult it must be to be a monarch.
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