At the time of Elizabeth II’s accession, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States and Joseph Stalin still governed the Soviet Union. It has often been said that she never put a foot wrong during her seven decades as monarch, and even those ideologically opposed to Britain and its governments have lauded her. Remarkably, she retained her relevance as sovereign well into her nineties, remaining a reassuring constant in an ever-changing world.
Royal biographer Ian Lloyd reveals the woman behind the legend over seventy themed chapters. Drawing on interviews with relatives, friends and courtiers, he explores her relationship with seven generations of the royal family, from the children of Queen Victoria to Elizabeth’s own great-grandchildren. He also sheds light on some lesser-known aspects of her character, such as her frugality and her gift for mimicry. In addition, we see her encounters with A-listers, from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, and her adept handling of several of the twentieth century’s most difficult leaders.
Above all, Lloyd examines how the Queen stayed true to the promise she made to the nation at the age of 21, ‘that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service’.