Elizabeth II: Diamond Jubilee Books

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Jan 22, 2005
"Our Queen"
by Robert Hardman

published by: Hutchinson
date of publication: 6 October 2011
Hardback, 368 pages
ISBN: 9780091936891

Robert Hardman is the Daily Mail's Royal Correspondent.


History has known no monarch like her.

She has travelled farther than all her predecessors put together and lived longer than any of them. She has known more historic figures than anyone alive - from Churchill to Mandela, de Gaulle to Obama.

Now, the distinguished royal writer Robert Hardman has been granted rare and privileged access to the world of Queen Elizabeth II to produce this enthralling new portrait of one of the most popular public figures on Earth.

Only one other monarch - Victoria - has celebrated a diamond jubilee. As our Queen marks sixty years on the throne, Hardman travels with her around the country and the world. He meets Her Majesty's family, her closest advisers and her prime ministers past and present. He follows the devoted team around her, from her Lord Chamberlain to her footmen.

Not only has Elizabeth II reigned through Britain's transformation from an imperial power to a multicultural, multimedia nation, but she has steered the Monarchy through more reforms in the last 25 years than in the previous century.

Staff who would once have lived an existence straight out of Upstairs Downstairs or Downton Abbey now find themselves working in a surprisingly young and dynamic environment - with some interesting perks.

"So much has changed around the Queen yet she has remained utterly true to herself", says Hardman. 'There is this timeless quality about her. The more you talk to Her Majesty's family and to her people, the more you look at her life, the more impressive the scale of her achievement becomes'.

"Our Queen" sits at the head of an ancient institution which remains, simultaneously, popular, regal, inclusive and relevant in a twenty-first-century world. It is neither down to luck nor longevity. It is down to the shrewd judgement of a thoroughly modern monarch with no small assistance from the longest-serving consort in history.

Here is the inside story.

Publisher's blurb and cover image reproduced courtesy of Hutchinson


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My copy is already on order and I cannot wait to add this book to my collection.
Queen Elizabeth: Private side of a thoroughly modern monarch | Mail Online

25 September 2011

From the unwelcome visitor at the Palace to the joy of losing herself in a crowd... Robert Hardman reveals the private side of a thoroughly modern monarch


Few of those dashing through the duty-free section of Singapore’s Changi Airport paused to look twice. Perhaps the well-dressed lady browsing through the cosmetics section looked vaguely familiar. But it could hardly be . . . And so, for a contented hour or thereabouts, while her plane was being refuelled on the runway, Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed the novel experience of being just another anonymous transit passenger. ‘It was a secure area, no one was expecting her, and she had a lovely time browsing at the Clarins counter while Prince Philip went off to look at gadgets,’ says one of the royal party who accompanied her on that 2002 journey from Australia to London. ‘Those sorts of moments, that we all take for granted, mean a lot to her.’

Over-familiarity is discouraged...‘The Queen told me that she was very influenced by Queen Mary, who’d given her tips about how you behave as a Queen...One of them was that you never allow yourself to get too close to your advisers.’

What comes through time and again is the Queen’s sharpness of eye and mind. However traditional and formulaic the ways of the Royal Household might appear to some, complacency is out of the question.

She is smiling more these days, indulging her own interests a little more. If an awayday to the regions errs more towards horses and children than trade promotion, then so be it.

"I think the Queen found it quite tough sometimes. Of course, she misses her mother every day because they talked every day; they wrote letters to each other all the time. They were a tremendous double act. But it wasn’t a comfortable role for the Queen, always to be told how marvellous her mother was.’

Direct confrontation is not the Queen’s style...her preferred method of expressing disapproval is to say, ‘Are you sure?’ or simply to ask a lot of questions.

...‘She was born in the Twenties and brought up to believe that men get on with things, whereas women exercise power through quiet influence, not shaking their fists.’

when anyone proposes saturation security, she’s been heard to retort: ‘I have to be seen to be believed.’

...for royal sang-froid, it’s hard to match her remark after a concrete block was dropped on her car from a Belfast tower block. Shrugging her shoulders, she observed: ‘It’s a strong car.’

Her eye for detail keeps everyone on [their] toes

Just as she’ll find something unusual in the most repetitive situations, so the Queen loves the unexpected...Once, on an engagement in Lanarkshire, she noticed that her Lord-Lieutenant was having considerable trouble extracting both himself and his sword from the official car. Meanwhile, an embarrassed line of people were waiting for him to introduce them. Taking in the scene, the Queen marched up to the greeting line, with her hand outstretched.‘My Lord-Lieutenant appears to be having difficulty in getting out of the car,’ she said. ‘So I’d better introduce myself. I’m the Queen.’

Extracted from "Our Queen" by Robert Hardman, to be published by Hutchinson on October 6 at £20. © 2011 Robert Hardman.

Prince William on Queen Elizabeth in exclusive interview: 'My grandma is incredible' | Mail Online

'My grandma is incredible,' says Prince William in exclusive, unprecedented and candid interview with author and journalist Robert Hardman


The engagement had just been announced. Catherine Middleton had given her first television interview, with Prince William sitting proudly by her side. And it was now time to plan the wedding. Eager to include all their close friends in the great day, the young couple began to draw up the guest-list. But they found they had been pipped to the post: Buckingham Palace was there first. ‘I came into the first meeting for the wedding, post-engagement,’ Prince William tells me in a poignant and thoughtful interview about his grandmother, his first to an author. ‘And I was given this official list of 777 names — dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people — and not one person I knew.’ He chuckles as he recalls his own sense of helplessness. ‘They said: “These are the people we should invite.” I looked at it in absolute horror and said: “I think we should start again.”’Eventually, he realised there was only one person who could resolve the issue: the Queen herself. ‘I rang her up the next day and said: “Do we need to be doing this?” And she said: “No. Start with your friends first and then go from there.” And she told me to bin the list. ‘She made the point that there are certain times when you have to strike the right balance. And it’s advice like that, which is really key, when you know that she’s seen and done it before.’

...The future monarch certainly considers himself extremely lucky to have both his father and his grandmother to consult. Indeed, no trainee sovereign has ever had so much experience on which to draw.‘ My relationship with my grandmother has gone from strength to strength,’ he says...‘As I’ve got older, she’s become an even more important part of my life.'

...‘It’s very much the case that she won’t necessarily force advice on you,’ he says. ‘She’ll let you work it out for yourself. She’s always there for a question or two, for whatever it is you might need.

...Whereas he can ‘nip in’ to Ireland relatively easily...the country had been off-limits to the Queen all her life. ‘She was so excited about it and really looking forward to it. It was quite sweet.'

It’s also a contributing factor to the Queen being, in the words of one bishop, ‘the happiest I have ever seen her’. Not only is she supported by the most experienced Prince of Wales in history, but she can also take genuine pride in the calibre of the next royal generation down the line. And that clearly includes the new Duchess of Cambridge. Family friends at April’s wedding had never seen such an effervescent Sovereign. One describes her as ‘positively playful’ that day. ‘She was literally skipping,’ says another.

...does anyone in her family ever try to say to her: ‘Your Majesty, wouldn’t it be a good idea to take it easy?’ ‘We all do,’ Prince William replies with a smile. ‘We all try to sit down with her. My father and her other children say it a lot to her.'

Prince William...is emphatic...‘She cares not for celebrity, that’s for sure,’ he says approvingly. ‘That’s not what monarchy’s about. It’s about setting examples. It’s about doing one’s duty, as she would say. It’s about using your position for the good. It’s about serving the country — and that really is the crux of it all.’

Extracted from "Our Queen" by Robert Hardman, to be published by Hutchinson on October 6 at £20. © 2011 Robert Hardman..
Likewise I'm eager to read. Will make sure to pick up on the publication date so it might have a shot at bestseller list. I've heard there is a story from early in their marriage about the queen being photographed tossing shoes at prince Philip and the photographer graciously didnt publish. Lol times change and today that would be front page tabloid.
I'm really intrigued by this book. Will be putting it on my Christmas list.
ghost_night554 said:
Has anyone read this one yet?

Overall, I enjoyed it. However, it gets into a lot of political detail, just after the beginning, which doesn't interest me as much as the personal stuff. Each chapter looks at a different facet of HM's life, like her relationship with Philip, her Prime Ministers, the public, etc. So it is possible to read just the chapters of interest to you.
Hm interesting thank you for that! I'm torn over which one to buy I have 4 different options I'm looking at...

Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind the Throne
Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
A Brief Life of the Queen
Our Queen

any suggestions from anyone?
I read Sally Bedell Smith's bio "Elizabeth the Queen" and enjoyed it very much. I'm trying to get my hands on "Our Queen" and "A Brief Life of the Queen" at my library, but no luck so far. I'm just wondering how repetitious these books are all going to be with the exception of "Our Queen," which has the interviews with Princes William and Harry.
Ive read both Our Queen and ...Modern Monarch. I enjoyed them both very much. In both cases I had read excerpts from The Telegraph and that gave me a hint to the style.
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I read Sally Bedell Smith's bio "Elizabeth the Queen" and enjoyed it very much. I'm trying to get my hands on "Our Queen" and "A Brief Life of the Queen" at my library, but no luck so far. I'm just wondering how repetitious these books are all going to be with the exception of "Our Queen," which has the interviews with Princes William and Harry.
That's exactly what I wanna know. I read some of the excerpts that included the interview with William which is what originally drew me to the book but besides that how similar/different/accurate are they in comparison to one another.
Elizabeth II & Diamond Jubilee books 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee: Top ten Royal books - Telegraph

Dozens of books have been released this year to celebrate all aspects of the Diamond Jubilee. Here we review ten of the most significant, weighing up what each has to offer.



God Save the Queen: The Spiritual Heart of the Monarchy by Ian Bradley (Bloomsbury)


The Treasures of Queen Elizabeth
by Tim Ewart (Carlton Publishing Group - Andre Deutsch)


Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times by Sarah Bradford (Penguin – Viking)


The Queen: Diamond Jubilee Book by Richard Brassey (Orion Children's Books)


I Never Knew That About Royal Britain
by Christopher Winn (Ebury)


A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II
by Michael Paterson (Constable & Robinson)


Elizabeth: The Diamond Jubilee
by Jennie Bond (Carlton Publishing Group)


Sixty Glorious Years: Queen Elizabeth II – Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012
by Victoria Murphy (Haynes Publishing)


Queen Elizabeth II and Her Church: Royal Service at Westminster Abbey
by John Hall, Dean of Westminster (Continuum)


The Queen: The Diamond Jubilee
by Debrett’s (Simon and Schuster)
Thank you for The Books Cover and Names , Thank you for Posting Warren .
"Dressing The Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe" by Angela Kelly (Jan 2013)

Dressing The Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe: Angela Kelly: 9781905686742: Amazon.com: Books

Amazon blurb

Under grey skies, more than one million people gathered for the Thames River Pageant of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee. Huddled under a sea of umbrellas, some had even spent the night there to secure prime seats. But the wait proved worthwhile. As the parade passed, there atop the splendid Spirit of Chartwell stood the Queen, resplendent against the wind and rain in a smart crystal encrusted white coat and pashmina shawl. The effect was one of breathtaking beauty, and it struck just the right note with the rain-dampened crowd, reinforcing Britain as a noble maritime nation.

Dressing the Queen reveals the careful planning and preparation that went into the Queen’s wardrobe for the Diamond Jubilee, the first such celebration since that of Queen Victoria in 1897 and made all the more momentous by London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics. The secret to the Queen’s unfailing style is royal couturier Angela Kelly, whose team of dressmakers and milliners spent two years designing and bringing to fruition the creations seen in the events leading up to and during the Diamond Jubilee, as well as at the Olympics. In addition to presenting the right image, the Queen’s clothing must address a great many practical concerns—and all of her garments must be pristinely maintained. Of course, no outfit is complete without the perfect hat, and a chapter of the book is devoted entirely to their intricate and highly detailed creation.

v cover
reproduced for promotional purposes


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This has to be one of my favourite pictures of the Queen ever:

The Queen in Angela Kelly's book, Dressing The Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe.
I totally agree with you, this is a wonderful image! :flowers: The Queen is so relaxed there, and with a real and warm smile (not her "official" smile, which is quite nice already by the way).

I like the cover picture very much too :

A peek inside one's wardrobe: The Queen's dresser reveals Her Maj's style secrets | Mail Online(end of page)

Is it me, or is the Queen kind of really posing there, like a model would ? :lol: It's definitely not her "regal" pose, nor the "Granny" one : to me, it's more the way a much younger woman would pose for fun in front of a professional mode photographer !
AdmirerUS - you are a star! I couldn't remember seeing it before. Thank you v much!:flowers:
AdmirerUS - you are a star! I couldn't remember seeing it before. Thank you v much!:flowers:

You were probably blinded by the Princess of Swaziland and her Jubilee outfits that weekend.
My book just came today, and I'm devouring it!! I didn't have the heart to wrap it up and put it under the Christmas tree without looking at it first.
I got mine on Friday - was so excited that they released in the US early! LOVE LOVE LOVE this book
I'll be getting it next Tuesday ...Christmas Day as a present from a family member!
Like An Ard Ri, I got this book from my very kind sister for Christmas. It is just beautiful, even if you don't read any of the words the pictures alone are well worth the money. I loved the picture of the GGBI tiara, where Kelly points out that the shadow it makes looks like little children holding hands.

My little 2 year-old niece loves looking at the pictures while going "ooohhhh".
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