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on 24 June 2017
Well written by an intelligent, thoughtful and funny author
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on 11 October 2010
This book (as the title suggests!) is about Queen Elizabeth and her husband Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. It starts with describing their early lives, how they grew up, and then how they met and married, and then goes on to describe them as a family and as the Queen being the Queen. It was very clearly laid out and described, and provides a good background for if you know nothing, or not much, about the couple and want to know more. Theres a good bit of British Royal history in there as well, which is good.

I really liked this book. Although he did name drop quite often (and did admit it!) you really got the sense that Gyles Brandreth did know them, especially Prince Phillip, and had talked to people who really knew them, not just people wanting to create a sensation or sell their stories to the newspapers. It didnt really offer much critisism of them, but I think sometimes you don't need that in a book. Both the Queen and Prince Phillip were portrayed in a positive light, which I think was good, even though it did go over their percieved negative points - Prince Phillips numerous "jokes" for example. I am biased because I am a big fan of the Royal Family, but I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone who wants to know about the Queen and her husband in a well researched and non sensationalist way
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on 1 June 2012
I enjoyed reading about the Queen and Prince Phillip and how their marriage has evolved over the years. It was nice reading that they bicker and argue like any other couple but at the end of the day they still love and support each other after all of these years.
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on 7 October 2004
I was pleasantly surprised by this after ploughing through the opening prologue. There are a number of mistakes in there, which grated with me. Page 16, Brandreth refers to the memorial service for the terror attacks of Sept. 11 2001 as being at Westminster Abbey - it was at St Paul's Cathedral. He also refers to the re-sheduled date of Edward VII's coronation as 9 Aug 1902, which is before the date he first mentions as the propsed date on 26 June 1903. As it was postponed because of illness, this cannot be right.
Once I was past that point, however, the book became very readable. Brandreth clearly has had access to Philip and Elizabeth, (though there is perhaps a touch more reference to Philip than Elizabeth) and a number of family and friends. The book seeks to put right a number of myths and rumours about them, he is fiercely loyal to both of them, and through the book, he offers the wit and light-hearted yet serious style of writing for which he is well-known.
A difficult start, but a pleasure to read
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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2004
The two previous reviews have already clearly indicated that this double biography is rather a disappointment. I do share these views.
May I add a few remarks of my own: It was rather off-putting that the author constantly refers to theb fact how close he is to the Duke. What does he wants us to tell with that? That he had exclusive access to information otherwise not available or does he wants to boost his own standing? He is pretty clear about how he admires the Duke and well that does it say all: all is great about him. Actually no need to explore the life of the Duke further because he can do no wrong. Furthermore, why does the author states that certain things in the lives of the Queen and the Duke is not the reader's /public's business to deal with as it is private? Well what is the sense of investigating their lives if one is suppose to know only what they are willing to give away. Then just read the Queen's website!
All in all, I feel that the author is far to close to his subjects in order to give the reader an objective or even an interesting new inside in their lives, backgrounds etc.. It is a bit like the last books by Andrew Morton who writes in the style "I and Princess Di": this is "I and the Duke".
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on 21 September 2012
Borrowed this from the library as a talking book - glad I didn't waste money buying it.

Played this at bedtime and didn't get beyond the first disc. The little I heard (which was enough for me) seemed to be mainly about the author trying to persuade us he really knows the royals.

Maybe it gets better later on but my boredom threshold kicked in after 20 minutes and I was asleep.
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on 4 February 2016
Bought for a friend. Very nice book. Good transaction.
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on 23 June 2007
The Queen is just about my most admired living person, her dedication is amazing.

Brandreth quotes what makes them happy which I think is very true:

1) Dont be introspective

2) Live a full busy useful life.

He drops a lot of names - a lot - but so what, it is a really good insight into a wonderful couple.
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on 24 September 2004
I love the Royal Family. In the last 20 years I think I have purchased every single book that has been published about each of them. This biography may have been painstakingly researched, but it is boring, boring, boring. I learned nothing new whatsoever about either Elizabeth nor Phillip's characters. No quotes from friends that really sound like the inside scoop, no juicy behind the scenes stories like we got for so long with Charles and Diana, or even Fergie. Either the Queen and Phillip are so rigid and private they HAVE nothing interesting about themselves, or their real friends are so few and tight lipped nothing will be revealed, either way, nothing is what you get. The vague hints (denied of course) that Phillip constantly cheats on Elizabeth are nothing new, and Kitty Kelley did that one a lot better a few years ago in her book on the Royals. This is an enornmous disappointment. I learned nothing about even the Queen Mother (except that she was jealous when Elizabeth took precedence as Queen, which again has been said before), OR what the living quarters were really like in each of their homes/palaces (they sound more like 2nd rate hotels to me), only the briefest of sniping between family members,and nothing that shows them as loving and having a REAL relationship with each-other. Talking by memo and letter, and needing to have an appointment. Please. How pathetic. One nice snippet about how Princess Margaret raised 2 healthy children who have good marriages as compared to the Queen, whose kids have all been a mess, and didn't get anyhere near as much love. Of course, there are denials on all sides about how hard the Quuen & Phillip tried as parents, but it comes off as very unconvincing. The public relations about how dedicated they are and how hard they work has been rehashed a 1,000 times and could be said of any politician. This book is NOT a portrait of a marriage. The story of how they met, their respective childhoods, how shamefully Margaret was treated in the Townsend affair, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.
It is no wonder Diana hated the family and had such a hard time with Charles.
This book was a waste of money and time. I'll wait for Patrick Jepphson's latest coming up in a month or so, or Penny Junor's next spring and hope for something better.
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on 15 August 2015
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