7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Interesting overview of the British monarchy in the 20th century,
This review is from: The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and Her People (Hardcover)
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.