The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother: consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II,
grandmother of Prince Charles—and the most beloved British monarch of
the twentieth century.
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon—the
ninth of the Earl of Strathmore’s ten children—was born on August 4,
1900, and, certainly, no one could have imagined that her long life (she
died in 2002) would come to reflect a changing nation over the ourse of
an entire century. Now, William Shawcross—given unrestricted access to
the Queen Mother’s personal papers, letters, and diaries—gives us a
portrait of unprecedented vividness and detail. Here is the girl who
helped convalescing soldiers during the First World War; the young
Duchess of York helping her reluctant husband assume the throne when his
brother abdicated; the Queen refusing to take refuge from the
bombing of London, risking her own life to instill courage and hope in
others who were living through the Blitz; the dowager Queen—the
last Edwardian, the charming survivor of a long-lost era—representing
her nation at home and abroad; the matriarch of the Royal Family
and “the nation’s best-loved grandmother.”
A revelatory royal biography that is, as well, a singular history of Britain in the twentieth century.
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