The Queen: Her Life

Grand Central: Life & Style. Nov. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9781538700433. $30. BIOG
Best-selling royal biographer Morton (Diana: Her True Story) pens a solid but somewhat lackluster look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II, with the wistful epilogue completed shortly before her death on September 8, 2022. Morton reminds readers that the longest-reigning monarch in British history had been a celebrity since she was born, appearing on the cover of Time magazine and postage stamps even before her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936, making her unexpectedly second in line to the throne. Morton adeptly chronicles the queen’s life and 70-year reign since 1952 as she tried “to keep the monarchy relevant, often in the face of resistance from inside the institution itself. Hard-core royal watchers may learn little new information here, but Morton excels at those small details that show the monarch’s personal side, like when the queen was gleefully photographed informally with her hands in her pockets, something her mother had always discouraged her from doing.
VERDICT Published so soon after the queen’s death, Morton’s biography will be popular as a new generation of British royals takes the stage.
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