Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters

Grand Central. Mar. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781538700464. $28. BIOG
Celebrity biographer Morton (Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words) returns with another fascinating biography of the royal family, this time shedding light on the interpersonal dynamics between Queen Elizabeth II (b. 1926) and Princess Margaret (1930–2002). Following the two sisters throughout the years, Morton eschews the familiar tendency to categorize their relationship as one always living in the shadow of the other. Instead, the author illustrates the difficulties of their relationship, especially as Margaret was publicly expected to be loyal to the queen while privately struggling with being defined as the queen’s sister. Though much of the material will be familiar to viewers of The Crown, Morton offers more details of the sisters’ shared history and how it affected their relationship, both positively and negatively, throughout the years. He also pinpoints some scenarios in The Crown, such as the handling of the Townsend affair, that were made to appear more dramatic than the reality.
VERDICT Morton’s insightful analysis of the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret succeeds in humanizing two extremely public figures and the myths surrounding them. It will engage history buffs, biography readers, and especially fans of The Crown.
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