||In this comprehensive and incisive official biography William Shawcross illuminates the long and complicated life of Queen Elizabeth, Briton's beloved "Queen Mother." The first "commoner" to marry into the British royal family, Elizabeth was a vivacious and pretty young woman from a wealthy family, and the emotionally troubled Prince Albert had to ask for her hand three times before she relented her freedom for the stuffiness of Buckingham Palace. Despite their differences, she was fiercely loyal to her husband, and received unprecedented access to the workings of state during the tumultuous years of World War II--experiences that were of great use to her after her husband died in 1952. For the next 50 years (she lived to the age of 101) she would provide a resolute source of cheer, charity, and patriotism for the United Kingdom. Shawcross's lengthy biography provides a wonderful look at her transformation from a young woman to the venerated figurehead of the monarchy.
||The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles—and the most beloved British monarch of the twentieth century.Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon—the ninth of the Earl of Strathmore’s ten children—was born on August 4, 1900, and, certainly, no one could have imagined that her long life (she died in 2002) would come to reflect a changing nation over the ourse of an entire century. Now, William Shawcross—given unrestricted access to the Queen Mother’s personal papers, letters, and diaries—gives us a portrait of unprecedented vividness and detail. Here is the girl who helped convalescing soldiers during the First World War . . . the young Duchess of York helping her reluctant husband assume the throne when his brother abdicated . . . the Queen refusing to take refuge from the bombing of London, risking her own life to instill courage and hope in others who were living through the Blitz . . . the dowager Queen—the last Edwardian, the charming survivor of a long-lost era—representing her nation at home and abroad . . . the matriarch of the Royal Family and “the nation’s best-loved grandmother.”A revelatory royal biography that is, as well, a singular history of Britain in the twentieth century.From the Hardcover edition.