Book number: 94379 Product format: Hardback Author: ANDREW MORTON

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Bibliophile price £12.00
Published price $30

Royal biographer Andrew Morton needs no introduction and this superb biography, published just before the late Queen's death in 2022, gives an overview of her whole reign, covering the same period as the blockbuster TV series The Crown, with a final chapter full of pertinent comments on controversial members such as Prince Andrew and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In her teenage years the young princess was particularly admired for her tapdancing and acting skills, and in the press her name was linked to several likely suitors. "Porchie", who later became her racing manager was, unlike Lord Euston, "safe in taxis", but when Elizabeth fell in love with Philip there was no indecision. Their early married life was shattered by the death of the King when, as has often been described, duty started to come first. The marriage had its ups and downs, with Philip's name sometimes being linked with glamorous women, but friends commented how even later in life there was a flirtatious relationship between the two and the spark never left. In the Cold War years the Queen played a diplomatic role, meeting the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and putting him at his ease by saying she had no idea what all the cutlery was for either. She had a serious role in influencing public opinion, for instance when she shook the hand of IRA leader Martin McGuinness. President Kennedy's wife Jackie criticised the Queen's style and said she was heavy going, but as Princess Margaret commented, "That's what she's for". Margaret's unhappy relationship with Peter Townshend and her subsequent divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones are fully discussed, as are the spate of royal divorces which initially caused the Queen great distress. The story of Prince Charles's marriage and affair with Camilla Parker Bowles is familiar ground, but there are interesting details such as the letter to the Queen from Andrew Parker Bowles's fellow officers complaining that the affair with Camilla was bad for the regiment. William and Catherine, Harry and Meghan also feature in the royal story. 427pp, colour photos.

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ISBN 9781538700433

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