A lively, authoritative and revealing portrait of the Queen's life and work through the eyes of those who've known her and worked with her over the last 50 years. Queen Elizabeth is the most experienced figure in British public life. The most famous woman in the world, she is also the most private. The Queen has earned widespread respect and admiration as one of the most remarkable people of our time. How she has always put country and Commonwealth before family and personal happiness is the central theme of this book. Now, in her fiftieth year on the throne, Brian Hoey takes a searching look at the ups and downs of Her Majesty's long reign. He has had unrivalled access to past and present members of the royal staff and household for over twenty years, and has talked to many ex-Heads of State, statesmen, politicians and personal friends of the Queen.
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(197mm x 130mm x mm)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This is not so much a book abut the Queen as about everybody and everything surrounding her. It starts out by describing her daily routine (she insists on pouring her own cup of tea, dislikes red meat, drinks very weak dry martinis, must have the Buckingham Palace gardens completely cleared of extraneous people before taking her walk, feeds the corgis from silver bowls) and goes on to look at the whole way of life of her family. This is not a knocking book - generous and no doubt well-deserved tribute is paid to Her Majesty's service to the country - but there is no doubt that her family's way of life is very odd, by any standards. Perhaps we should admire her, well, some would say meanness; the author suggests Hanoverian housekeeping: Christmas presents to a staff paid less than any other domestic servants in the country are far from generous, and there is a special enjoyment of the fact that many creditors will happily accept a royal cheque but never cash it, preferring to keep the autograph. The family's notoriously quick corporate temper is celebrated: Her Majesty seems placid, but heaven help anyone who crosses the rest of the family - who demand proper tribute: Princess Margaret's daughter-in-law must curtsy on meeting her, Prince Edward likes to be called Edward Windsor but expects everyone in the room to stand up when he enters it; the Queen Mother's celebrated charm has a core of tempered steel. And the servants, too, counter their low salaries by imperious behaviour to those outside the Family, and even to each other: on a royal flight there are extensive ructions should a junior footman be seated next to someone too senior, and any outsider who presumes to hand Her Majesty a dropped handkerchief would get short shrift from the Royal Handkerchief Bearer in Ordinary. This is not a book most families would like to be written about them; but it is fascinating, with many previously unknown anecdotes (the Queen and Prince Philip had a portable radio installed under the seat of the gold coach so they could listen to the BBC commentary as they drove to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation). With 14 previous books about the royals under his belt, Mr Hoey probably knows all and more than all that is known about them; and tells most of it. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Brian Hoey
Brian Hoey has been a writer and broadcaster for over thirty years. He is Princess Anne's biographer, author of Monarchy (BBC Books), Invitation to the Palace: How the Royal Family Entertain (Grafton), All the Queen's Men (HarperCollins), a biography of Lord Mountbatten (Macmillan), and Her Majesty (HarperCollins).