Book number: 94056 Product format: Hardback Author: ANDREW MORTON

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Bibliophile price £9.50
Published price £20

Award-winning biographer and leading authority on royalty Andrew Morton turns his attention to our late Queen and her sister Margaret. 'Margaret had a confession to make. She told her sister that she had fallen in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend, their father's former equerry who now enjoyed the ancient title of Comptroller of the Queen Mother's Household... Tall, slim with piercing flinty grey-blue eyes and an unwavering gaze, he was every inch the matinee idol - and a bona fide war hero to boot.' He was one of 'The Few', a Battle of Britain pilot who had saved the nation from Nazi conquest. But Peter was almost sixteen years Margaret's senior and had two boys of school age and was soon to be a divorcee. Margaret must obtain the Queen's permission before she married any man but both sisters knew that the teachings of their church were hostile to divorce. They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends, but when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward VII decided to abdicate the throne, the dynamic between the sisters was dramatically altered. Margaret would for ever more have to curtsey to the sister she called Lilibet and bow to her wishes. Elizabeth would always look upon her younger sister's antics with a kind of stoical amusement, but Margaret's struggles to find a place and position within the royal system was often a source of tension. Morton uncovers the hidden truths about the infamous romance between Princess Margaret and Townsend and whether she was really forced to choose between love and livelihood. The sisters? education was conducted at home, usually at Buckingham Palace with its 775 rooms and a staff of more than 700, their lives strictly protected and they rarely played with other children. Elizabeth was serious, Margaret affectionate, pretty and playful. From the idyll of their early childhoods, through their hidden wartime lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father's death and Elizabeth's accession to the throne, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh plays an important role in this collective biography. Insightful and informative, there is never a dull page. 384pp, 16 pages of colour and black and white photos. Contents same as 93915.

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ISBN 9781789293364

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