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The Diamond Queen

The Diamond Queen [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Marr
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Andrew Marr's absorbing new book leaves no doubt about the pivotal role played by the Queen herself . . . As a leading broadcaster, Marr has been able to watch the Queen at first hand, and the more he has seen of her the more impressed he has become. As you would expect, he is particularly acute on the political aspects of constitutional monarchy, but he also writes perceptively about individual members of the Royal Family, notably Prince Philip' --Mail on Sunday - 4 star review

'Next year's Diamond Jubilee will be marked by a clutch of royal biographies. Marr's line as a former political journalist guarantees that his own offering does not simply sink in the sea of sugary platitudes.' --Express

'Both Andrew Marr and Robert Hardman are serious students of their subject. Both write well and thoughtfully . . . both books contain a lot of information which will be new . . . Marr is particularly interesting on the relationship between the Queen and the BBC . . . So which to read? If you want what is primarily a biography, go for Marr. If it is the institution that interests you, go for Hardman. If you are an enthusiastic monarchy-watcher, read both.'
--Philip Ziegler, the Spectator

`Books of quality are appearing in advance of next year's Diamond Jubilee...Andrew Marr approached the subject as a former (youthful) republican won over in The Diamond Queen.' --Hugo Vickers, The Lady

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2784 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Unabridged edition (21 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I3PAXG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrew Marr was born in Glasgow in 1959. He studied English at the University of Cambridge and has since enjoyed a long career in political journalism, working for the Scotsman, the Independent, the Daily Express and the Observer. From 2000 to 2005 he was the BBC's Political Editor. He has written and presented TV documentaries on history, science and politics, and presents the weekly Andrew Marr Show on Sunday mornings on BBC1 and Start the Week on Radio 4. Andrew lives in London with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, highly enjoyable read 2 Nov 2011
I'm not often compelled to review, but this book deserves high praise. At first I wasn't sure about Marr straying into royal territory - I've always enjoyed his previous books about the history of Britain, but thought a book about the Queen and the monarchy might not be up my street, or his! Quite the opposite in fact - Marr lends his characteristic lightness of touch and pithy turn of phrase to the queen's sixty-year reign, revealing a fascinating portrait of the monarchy, but also of the nation. More than anything you come away with a wonderful sense of the Queen herself; the incredible itinerary she keeps up is much talked about, but Marr makes you realise quite how much she has contributed to the nation during her reign. It's a balanced account, full of insights and food for thought and you don't have to be a royalist to enjoy it.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Queen does 26 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Andrew Marr gives a very clear and interesting account of the Queen's life and reign, with particular emphasis on the immense amount of work she does. it is an excellent book to recommend as reading to any of those tiresome people who say 'the Queen doesn't do anything' or 'what use is the Queen?'. Actually, she is a lot of use, as this book clearly shows. Read this and decide if you could keep up with her for even a day, let alone for 60 years.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, insightful and intriguing...Superb! 18 Dec 2011
By Coll92
This is not a comprehensive biography, instead Marr cleverly interweaves elements of the Queen's personal life alongside the workings of the monarchy to show how they both shape each other and consolodate the position of the monarchy. This is a truly fitting analysis and tribute of a dutiful woman.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Marr's book, written as the Queen marks the 60 anniversary of her accession to the throne. It is not a straight-forward biography. Indeed to write such a book would be difficult on one level because most of the time, we can only guess what its subject thinks or feels about particular issues. We can only guess for instance, how the queen felt about the behaviour of her government during the Suez crisis. Marr gathers the evidence to help us to make up our minds, but we can't know for sure. What this book does is to put the Queen's life against the backdrop of the social and political changes she has seen during her lifetime, not just within the United Kingdom but across the Commonwealth. In doing so Andrew Marr shows how the monarchy has subtly changed and adapted, since the reinvention of the modern monarchy as a "model family" under the Queen's grandfather George V, and also gives his view about why the British monarchy has survived and what it's purpose is, in a modern, multi-cultural and democratic society.
It's a fascinating read about an extraordinary life but it's also the story of how Britain has evolved as a constitutional democracy since the mid-20th century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting slant on the Queen's reign 28 Jun 2012
By Hils T
Although the facts recounted in this book are pretty much common knowledge, the author uses them interestingly to reflect on the developing nature of monarchy through the Queen's reign, exploring her complex relationships with her government and particular politicians, the news media and the people she reigns over in this country and the Commonwealth. Any attempt to understand the Queen's character and philosophy inevitably looks at her family too and the author tries to assess how they will carry on her heritage into the future. It rambled a bit towards the end, I felt, but was still an engaging read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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 A 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. 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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Diamond 11 Jan 2012
By Strone
This is an excellent read for anyone who has lived for even a fraction of the Queen's 60 year reign: the presentation of the historical influences shows terrific mastery of detail balanced with the broad sweep of events; the analysis of the work done by the Queen is fascinating, and the author demonstrates clearly the significant influence of the Duke of Edinburgh in the stability of the Royal family. I found this a difficult book to stop reading, and will certainly be re-reading very shortly!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars think he enjoyed it.
Bought for my son, think he enjoyed it.
Published 25 days ago by Mrs. Marie A. Hancocvk
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Marr at his very best
A very well researched and informative read - no surprise there - Andrew Marr's trademark , of course. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Queen.
This is another fascinating biography about the Queen.There have been many books written about her but this one is exceptional in presentation and 'readability'. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carol
4.0 out of 5 stars yes
A good insight into the working of the monarchy. i am a royalist and loved this book. presumably if i got it in book form the pictures would have been 100% better but you can't... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christine Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Queen
Bought for mother in law as she love to read about all things Royal. It did not take her long to read this book and told us that she enjoyed it immensely
Published 5 months ago by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Queen
This was a Christmas present for a friend of mine. She is a great Royalist and collects all the "Royals" books. Turned out to be another 5 star success.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Rosemary Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars recommended
A very enjoyable and personal view of the Queen and her role. Whilst he claims not to be a royalist it is nevertheless an affectionate account. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jimmy P
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A very informative book written with a storyline. Andrew Marr has such a captivating style of writing while imparting so much information.
Published 8 months ago by Gemini
5.0 out of 5 stars He's a genius...
Andrew Marr is a genius in his class. Who could write another book about the monarch and turn it into a fascinatimg read with lots of new material.
Published 9 months ago by F.G James
1.0 out of 5 stars Much too long & very boring!
I bought this book ages ago & got tired of it but, with the lack of anything else to read, decided to give it another chance. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Katie
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Popular Highlights

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She has great authority and no power. She is a brightly dressed and punctual paradox. She is the ruler who does not rule her subjects but who serves them. &quote;
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‘Constitutional monarchy is a subtle device which enables us, anthropologically speaking, both to adore and kill our Kings; by dividing supreme authority into two, we can lavish adulation upon the Crown and kick out the government when we choose.’15 &quote;
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‘There is a great advantage in having your official head of state above competition and so above party contention. Constitutional monarchy is, paradoxically, a democratic institution: by giving your official head of state no power, it makes her representative of all her subjects, particularly the weaker ones.’ &quote;
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