Customer Reviews for

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Most approachable Royal bio I've read

Let me preface all of my remarks with this...I love the Royal Family. I'll read just about anything that comes my way about them, except for the tabloids.

That being said, I've read many books that were intellectually satisfying. I've read some terribly dry things. ...
Let me preface all of my remarks with this...I love the Royal Family. I'll read just about anything that comes my way about them, except for the tabloids.

That being said, I've read many books that were intellectually satisfying. I've read some terribly dry things. I've read tomes that were pedantic. And I've read books that were fluffy in their treatment.

And then there's Elizabeth the Queen. This is, by far, the most approachable and interesting biography of the Queen I've read. Sally Bedell Smith has written a very REAL and honest story of the Queen and her family. It is interesting and warm, not cold and plodding. I found myself hurrying home and through work and chores to settle in with this book. (I don't say that often at all.)

It is, in fact, reflective of her changed public image--from a stodgy and stand-offish monarch, to the warm and loving "grandmother" image she has grown into in the last 15 years. Definitely one I will recommend and purchase for my library.

posted by MeanOldLibraryTeacher on February 16, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

Currently reading this flattering portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II

I must say that this is a very informative book on the Queen, a much better portrayal than the author chose to give to Princess Diana.

I almost did not buy this one out of respect to Princess Diana, due to the hatchett job and armchair psycology the author chose to ...
I must say that this is a very informative book on the Queen, a much better portrayal than the author chose to give to Princess Diana.

I almost did not buy this one out of respect to Princess Diana, due to the hatchett job and armchair psycology the author chose to use to "diagnose" the late Princess. However, this one is not a surprise at all. The Queen seems at face value to be a very dedicated, hard working and genuine lady, taking her duties and responsibilites very seriously.

If only Ms. Smith had give Princess Diana the respect that she certainly deserved. So many charities, so many good works that she never wanted any recognition for. Being the superb role model for her boys that she was, they have, in turn, become the charming, responsible and altruistic men that I'm sure she would be so proud they turned out to be.

Great book on the Queen, but shame on you, Ms. Bedell Smith for trashing Princess Diana. Bi-polar? When did you get your medical degree?

posted by maccalover on January 17, 2012

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    Average

    I have debated whether to give it two or three stars. I enjoyed it for the most part but I have a few issues:
    1. I felt the beginning and middle was much more interesting than the last part. This one dragged but felt rushed at the same time.
    2. Enough with the horses! I had to skip page after page of raising and racing horses descriptions. I understand it is an essential part of the Queen's life but I don't need to know how a stallion mounts a mare.
    3. This is my biggest one. The portrayal felt extremely sympathetic. Obviously the writing is slanted. Now I am an avid biography reader and I believe authors have to respect their research subject but this was too much. Basically any bad that ever happened during her reign was not her fault. This is evident, for example, when describing her mothering skills with Prince Charles. And it is painfully overwhelming in the chapters concerning Princess Diana who is dismissed as unbalanced and trying to bring down the monarchy. And guess what? The Queen had nothing to do with anything that befell Diana or the couple.Prince Charles was appartently seduced by this troubled girl who acted one way before the wedding and another after. Everyone tried to help but Diana set out to destroy everyone. Then Prince Charles finally married the love of his life. Oh, and he didn't cheat first.
    So in the end, I would have appreciated more objective criticism but in the whole it was informative. The first half of the book is definitely better.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Good but not Kitty Kelly

    This book is good, but not personal enough. However it is very respectful of the Queen and I liked that, although it has too much history that I already knew and not enough human interest stories..

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Elizabeth a definite thumbs up

    Good read for those of us long entranced by the royal family. The Queen is portrayed in a very human light. You really get s feel for just how complex her job is!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    It's a history lesson with a slant

    I wonder how the book would read if the Queen were not alive when it was written? The book was very slanted to a perfect Queen Elizabeth II. It was a tribute that is well deserved, but, as a book to inform the reader, it has no substance. Just one sided praise.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    Good book, but author belittles some important topics!

    I enjoyed reading this biography. The Queen is an amazing woman. I have issue with some of the topics that I thought the author made light of. A perfect example is the Princess of Wales,
    Diana. The author depicts her as a troubled, self-centered person. She was nineteen when she married the prince! She should have considered this fact when persecuting her in this book.
    There are other issues which the author did not properly address . Read for yourself and you will see. I would recommend this book for fans of the monarchy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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