by Andrew Morton
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add firstname.lastname@example.org as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 15 Dec 2022
Painfully shy, Elizabeth Windsor’s personality was well suited to her youthful ambition of living quietly in the country, raising a family, and caring for her dogs and horses. But when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated, she became heir to the throne—embarking on a journey that would test her as a woman and as a queen.
Ascending to the throne at only 25, this self-effacing monarch navigated endless setbacks, family conflict, and occasional triumphs throughout her 70 years as the Queen of England. As her mettle was tested, she endeavored to keep the monarchy relevant culturally, socially, and politically, often in the face of resistance from inside the institution itself. And yet the greatest challenges she faced were often inside her own family, forever under intense scrutiny; from rumors about her husband’s infidelity, her sister’s marital breakdown, Princess Diana’s tragic death, to the recent departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Now in The Queen, renowned biographer Andrew Morton takes an in-depth look at Britain’s longest reigning monarch, exploring the influence Queen Elizabeth has had on both Britain and the rest of the world for much of the last century. From leading a nation struggling to restore itself after the devastation of the second World War to navigating the divisive political landscape of the present day, Queen Elizabeth has been a reluctant but resolute queen. This is the story of a woman of unflagging self-discipline who will long be remembered as mother and grandmother to Great Britain, and one of the greatest sovereigns of the modern era.
Praise for Elizabeth & Margaret:
"The king of royal tea...Morton provides rich context on the coldness of royal life...Margaret’s tale is revelatory." —The New York Times
"A diligent and well-researched job, examining the closeness of the sisters and their conflicted relationship in a seamless, readable way." —Wall Street Journal
“Deliciously detailed, sometimes gossipy, often moving, this in-depth examination of royal siblings is sure to be in demand.”—Booklist
“Morton’s insightful analysis of the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret succeeds in humanizing two extremely public figures and the myths surrounding them. It will engage history buffs, biography readers, and especially fans of The Crown.” —Library Journal
Average rating from 96 members
The Queen: Her Life by Andrew Morton is a wonderful biography at one of the most fascinating, steadfast, respected (and a personal hero of mine), and truly stunning women: Queen Elizabeth II.
I have read biographies by Mr. Morton in the past and enjoyed them, and I will forever be a huge advocate of the late Queen Elizabeth II, so of course I had to read this.
While there was not anything new that I learned while reading this, I have read several biographies in the past of not just Queen Elizabeth II, but of many of the royal family. So, there is not much that would surprise me. That is not to say that this isn’t a wonderful biography, because it is, and I am impressed with the pace, content, and appropriate level of detail presented. Heavily researched, engaging, and entertaining, I really enjoyed revisiting Her Majesty’s long and eventful life. She will forever be missed.
Thank you NG and Grand Central Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 11/15/22.
This book was very interesting! It gave me all the information I wanted on the queen. It was written respectfully as well. I would recommend this book to a friend!
Anglophiles will recognize author Andrew Morton as the author of the biography Diana: Her True Story, the book posthumously announced to have been informed by Princess Diana herself through a series of secretly recorded tapes smuggled out of palace gates. Morton’s The Queen: Her Life, originally scheduled for release later in 2023, was expedited due to increased interest in the longest reigning female monarch in world history following her recent death.
Morton’s The Queen: Her Life explores the life of Elizabeth II from her birth through the death of her husband Prince Philip and the birth of Harry and Meghan’s baby daughter Lilibet. Morton aims to both humanize and contextualize the queen and to examine the relationships between the Queen and her parents, Prince Philip, her sister, and her children and grandchildren. Historical events and personal events, such as the weddings of Charles and Diana, William and Catherine, Harry and Meghan and Charles and Camilla are examined through the lens of their effect on the Queen and the monarchy and how the Queen’s actions and reactions changed as a result of her experiences over her lifetime.
Morton is a fantastic storyteller, and The Queen: Her Life reads as a believable peek at the woman behind the coronation robes. Morton tells both the story of the Elizabeth the world sees, a young woman carrying out her solemn duty on the world stage, and the story of the private Elizabeth, who delights in her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her horses, and dogs and has a fantastic sense of humor. Morton’s book is detailed, extensive, and well-researched; sources include first-hand accounts, interviews, books and news articles, and off-record interviews of anonymous sources including members of the royal family, their managerial staff, and their “Downstairs employees.” Morton’s The Queen: Her Life will be a supremely enjoyable read for fans of the Netflix series “The Crown,” readers interested in British history, and readers interested in the human story beneath the crown.
Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing an advance reader copy for purpose of unbiased review.
Regardless of feelings surrounding the monarchy itself, Queen Elizabeth II led an extraordinary life, and lived it, publicly, with unending dignity and grace, in spite of family issues, which every single family has. I greatly admired her. The end of her reign is the true end of an era; it’s difficult to wrap my head around.
I received access to, and began this, on 16 September ‘22, as the queue was ongoing. I was immediately drawn into the life of this remarkable woman and read it leisurely, as many of the details were ones I was already aware of. That didn’t make this biography any less enjoyable - Mr. Morton’s writing is respectful and doesn’t veer into tabloid. This closer look at the fascinating private and public life of Queen Elizabeth II (with her closeness to her horses, if she earned their trust, she felt that she had found a friend who liked her just for herself, is an in-depth and engaging read, she walked her corgi menagerie when she was feeling stressed, Balmoral was her favorite place, she loved her parents and missed her father her entire life, she grieved while showing the world the serene smile, she loved pockets and was never permitted to appear with her hands in them in public, as she got older, she finally got her pockets ❤️) is an enjoyable and worthwhile read.
I really appreciated the footnotes throughout the text along with the footnotes section in the back of the book.
I found Andrew Morton’s “The Queen” to be a well-written, very interesting examination of the life of Queen Elizabeth II. It focuses more on the relationships between the queen and various members of the Royal Family, and on the queen’s personality and fealty to the monarchy, than it does actual matters of state. Although, of necessity, it examines some aspects of the private lives and personal challenges faced by family members, it is not a “gossipy tell-all.” Instead, Mr. Morton’s examination limits itself to how those challenges impacted, or threatened to impact, the institution of the monarchy.
What emerges is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II as a woman of great charm, grace, and humor, possessed of strong emotions, who believed it was her duty to suppress those qualities in service of the nation. For her, duty and being of service always came first. This led her to act cautiously, sometimes to good effect and sometimes not (as in the case of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales).
Readers will learn much about the queen’s relationship with her mother and father (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), her sister (Princess Margaret), her husband (Prince Phillip), and her children and grandchildren, as well as with non-family members such as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Barrack and Michelle Obama. And they will learn how the Queen reacted to a rapidly changing world throughout her 70+ year reign; and of how she and her relationship with her subjects changed and grew.
While Mr. Morton makes his admiration for the Queen clear, he is not blind to her failings or mistakes, making the point that sometimes her greatest strengths—her devotion to duty, her bravery and steadfastness, and her cool-headedness and imperturbability—did not lead her to the best possible solution to certain problems. Then again, sometimes they did, especially when it came to foreign diplomacy.
All in all, I thought “The Queen” educational, enjoyable, and well worth the time. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Family, the British Monarchy, or the history of Great Britain over the last 70 years.
My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an electronic ARC. The foregoing is my independent opinion.
Andrew Morton is the pinnacle of authors when it comes to writing about the Royal Family. His newest book, The Queen, is no exception. I first read Andrew Morton's book, Diana: Her True Story when it was published back in 1992. This Queen is written in such a way that it respects and shares the deepest, truest aspects of Elizabeth II. Being published on the heels of her death, this book should easily be a bestseller, but Morton's writing alone is bestseller worthy every time. Thank you to NetGalley and to Grand Central Publishing for an ARC for review.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Romanus Cessario OP
Mary Anna Evans
Angela M. Sanders