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Download Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, by Sally Bedell Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,488 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sally Bedell Smith Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace. 
 
In Elizabeth the Queen, we meet the young girl who suddenly becomes “heiress presumptive”when her uncle abdicates the throne. We meet the thirteen-year-old Lilibetas she falls in love with a young navy cadet named Philip and becomes determined to marry him, even though her parents prefer wealthier English aristocrats. We see the teenage Lilibet repairing army trucks during World War II and standing with Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. We see the young Queen struggling to balance the demands of her job with her role as the mother of two young children. Sally Bedell Smith brings us inside the palace doors and into the Queen’s daily routines—the “red boxes” of documents she reviews each day, the weekly meetings she has had with twelve prime ministers, her physically demanding tours abroad, and the constant scrutiny of the press—as well as her personal relationships: with Prince Philip, her husband of sixty-four years and the love of her life; her children and their often-disastrous marriages; her grandchildren and friends.
 
Compulsively readable and scrupulously researched, Elizabeth the Queen is a close-up view of a woman we’ve known only from a distance, illuminating the lively personality, sense of humor, and canny intelligence with which she meets the most demanding work and family obligations. It is also a fascinating window into life at the center of the last great monarchy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fascinating….After 60 years on the throne, the monarch of Britain is better known for her poker face than for sly wit or easy charm. Yet in biographer Sally Bedell Smith's Elizabeth the Queen, Her Majesty sparkles with both. Via interviews with a legion of royal watchers, from horse trainers to lords and ladies, Smith teases out a woman both austere and animated, duty-bound yet undeniably authentic. More
  • All the details are here for the reader to gather a comprehensive picture of a life so rarefied none of us could imagine it….[Smith] brings into focus the personal side of the ordinary-extraordinary balancing act that has been not only the queen’s trademark style but also the cause for continued appreciation. Booklist
     
    A respectful, engrossing, and perceptive portrayal.
  • She was so young, and the task was so enormous. Yet with grace and a determination to do her duty come what may—and so much has indeed come—Elizabeth II studiously made herself part of the fabric of global civilization in the most tumultuous of times. This is a terrific book about a fascinating figure. JON MEACHAM
  • A deeply researched, unvarnished, and therefore totally fascinating portrait of the transcendent icon of our age . . . Many authors have written about Elizabeth II, but none of them can match the literary style, wit, or insightful commentary of Sally Bedell Smith. AMANDA FOREMAN
  • In an era plagued by flawed public figures, the world’s most famous woman has graced her realm impeccably for sixty years. She does so by being both mysterious and grounded. Sally Bedell Smith, through great reporting and insightful writing, provides a revealing look inside the palace to show how the Queen balances being both modern and traditional. Our celebrity-saturated world could learn a lot from her—and from this book. WALTER ISAACSON
  • This is a biography that avoids none of the difficult questions. Sally Bedell Smith asks them in a way no one else has dared. NANCY MILFORD
  • Elizabeth the Queen shows the woman as well as the monarch, and helps us to understand how Elizabeth has become a key figure in the history of our times. MARGARET MACMILLAN
  • Elizabeth the Queen is an engaging, insightful, and altogether entertaining journey through the life and trials of the world’s most beloved monarch. By the end of Sally Bedell Smith’s winning book, I felt as if I had a new friend in Buckingham Palace. TOM BROKAW
  • A compelling, deeply human portrait of the remarkable Elizabeth II. This is a biography not to be missed. LYNNE OLSON
  • Sally Bedell Smith’s Elizabeth the Queen is a remarkable and sympathetic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. At the same time, it provides a fascinating picture of the major modern enterprise that monarchy has become. It is a deft and very readable book. MICHAEL KORDA
  • Sally Bedell Smith's book on Queen Elizabeth II is an enterprising, well-researched and intelligent work on a difficult subject, and deserves to be widely read. PAUL JOHNSON

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tracy | 2/16/2014

    " This was a marvelous book. E II R is someone to be admired for so many reasons, not the least is which her solid commitment to reign for the best of the Commonwealth and be as a-political as possible. She's smart, stays informed on everything that might affect the many countries and cultures of the British Commonwealth, and weathers the storms her relatives create. My only challenge was I needed a dictionary at hand to look up some of her terminology. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate Irwin-smiler | 2/12/2014

    " A fairly fawning and superficial look at Elizabeth II. At least now I think I'll remember which one was Princess Margaret and Princess Anne. I disappointed to say I'm still not clear on the queen's actual constitutional role tho. Fortunately, it was an engaging read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary | 2/8/2014

    " An unauthorized biography of Queen Elizabeth. The 1st half was very interesting. But the 2nd half was boring, prime ministers, tours and scandals involving her children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kelly | 1/29/2014

    " This was a engaging book to read. It was a flattering biography that made any of the Queen's flaws understandable. For example, I was in my early teens when Charles married Diana and always felt more drawn to Diana's side of that royal story. This book showed me another side, one that is more favorable to Charles and his family. The compelling writing and plentiful photographs made the 555 pages of main text go quickly. Then there were 130 pages of source notes, bibliography, index, and acknowledgements - all of which show the research that went into the book. I enjoyed it very much! "

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