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The Real Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

por Andrew Marr

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1803117,619 (3.53)8
Published alongside a flagship BBC television series to mark her Diamond Jubilee, this book is an account of The Queen's reign. With the flair for narrative and the meticulous research that readers have come to expect, Andrew Marr turns his attention to the monarch - and to the monarchy, chronicling the Queen's pivotal role at the centre of the state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and making a strong case for the institution itself. Arranged thematically, rather than chronologically, Marr dissects the Queen's political relationships, crucially those with her Prime Ministers; he examines her role as Head of the Commonwealth, and her deep commitment to that Commonwealth of nations; he looks at the drastic changes in the media since her accession in 1952 and how the monarchy - and the monarch - have had to change and adapt as a result. Indeed he argues that under her watchful eye, the monarchy has been thoroughly modernized and made as fit for purpose in the twenty-first century as it was when she came to the throne and a "new Elizabethan age" was ushered in.… (mais)
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Journalist and TV presenter Andrew Marr made a documentary to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee and this is the book which accompanies the series.
It charts the Queen's story from the time of her grandfather, George V, who she called Grandpa England all the way through to the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton last year. Marr presents a compelling case for the monarchy as well as telling the life story of an extraordinary woman. All the important historical events are included: the abdication crisis, the second world war, the early death if her father, George VI, the formation of the Commonwealth and the death of Princess Diana.
A very interesting and informative read, for both those who are for and against the British Constitutional Monarchy. ( )
  cathymoore | Jul 12, 2012 |
The Diamond Jubilee (60 year anniversary) of Elizabeth II this year seemed an appropriate time to read a biography and as there are hundreds to choose from I chose Andrew Marr's (which was written especially for the occasion) as I've wanted to read his History of Modern Britain for quite a while now.

This is not a gossipy biography of the Queen, as Marr makes clear in the preface (and in that respect the American title is rather unfortunate - it's not really an intimate portrait of Elizabeth II). Rather, it's an explanation of what monarchy means, how the British constitutional monarchy works and operates, the way the Windsor dynasty changed during the 20th century and what exactly the Queen does and how it's all paid for. There's also quite a bit of history and politics thrown in as it would be impossible to talk about the Queen's role throughout her reign without mentioning the various governments and ministers who have been in power.

As you might expect, this is a pro-monarchy biography rather than a republican one. It's unlikely to convince any republicans to change their minds but as someone who's always been a bit of a fan of our current Queen it made me admire her more for what she does on a day to day basis (and bear in mind that most people her age would have retired and been enjoying Saga holidays for the last twenty years). Marr is a very smooth writer and I found this to be a very engaging read and a good introduction to the British monarchy of the 20th century. ( )
2 vote souloftherose | Mar 25, 2012 |
I enjoyed it but it was a little too much politics and not enough good gossip! It is well written. The prose moves right along. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Feb 23, 2012 |
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For my mother, Anne Valerie Marr,

sometimes mistaken for . . .
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The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II will make millions of people reflective.
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Published in the UK as The Diamond Queen and in the US as The Real Elizabeth.
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Published alongside a flagship BBC television series to mark her Diamond Jubilee, this book is an account of The Queen's reign. With the flair for narrative and the meticulous research that readers have come to expect, Andrew Marr turns his attention to the monarch - and to the monarchy, chronicling the Queen's pivotal role at the centre of the state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and making a strong case for the institution itself. Arranged thematically, rather than chronologically, Marr dissects the Queen's political relationships, crucially those with her Prime Ministers; he examines her role as Head of the Commonwealth, and her deep commitment to that Commonwealth of nations; he looks at the drastic changes in the media since her accession in 1952 and how the monarchy - and the monarch - have had to change and adapt as a result. Indeed he argues that under her watchful eye, the monarchy has been thoroughly modernized and made as fit for purpose in the twenty-first century as it was when she came to the throne and a "new Elizabethan age" was ushered in.

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