ROBERT HARDMAN    Book Number: 86996    Product format: Paperback

Having presented a birthday gift to Her Majesty the Queen for her 90th birthday, our Annie is enthralled by the charm and diplomacy of our British monarch. In 1994 alone Her Majesty had hosted the President of the USA, been the first British monarch in history to visit Russia, completed a three-week ocean-going tour of eight Commonwealth nations in Central and South America and the Caribbean, led a yacht-load of world leaders across the Channel to reinvade France where she was saluted on the Normandy beaches by thousands of old soldiers, and just one month earlier with the French President, she had opened the Channel Tunnel. Just short of her 70th birthday, here was a stateswoman at the height of her powers. The world seemed impressed and yet in Britain, the Queen's central role in all this was largely eclipsed by a series of marital and financial crises. This was the state of play in the mid 90s. The monarchy might be something of a curiosity at times, but the Queen is still regarded today as a unique and benign bulwark of stability. Two days short of her 92nd birthday, the Queen opened what was certainly her last Commonwealth summit. In Buckingham Palace Ballroom, representatives of every faith and major organisation across the Commonwealth took their seats. In the Blue Drawing Room, leaders from 53 nations enjoyed an upbeat, informal, noisy and familiar atmosphere. They are lounging around on George IV's blue silk-damask Regency sofas and chairs, feet up, gossiping and cracking jokes. In the 1844 Room, staff are preparing the Queen's lunchtime reception and the Royal Chef and his team are preparing for the evening's banquet for 135. The Queen may have inherited her Crown, her Church and her Forces, but her 'family of nations' is different. She has transformed her father's old empire into the Commonwealth and has come to know its leaders better than anyone. Biographer Robert Hardman tells a true story full of new discoveries, fresh drama, intrigue, romance, exotic and often dangerous situations, heroes, rogues, pomp and glamour and at the centre of it all, the woman who has genuinely won the hearts of the world. Modern history at its best. Many colour and archive photos, 578pp in softback.
Published price: £14.99
Bibliophile price: £7.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781780898193
Browse these categories as well: Biography/Autobiography, Best Of British

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