First line: When Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born in the summer of 1900, Queen Victoria was the British monarch.
Summary: Known to many as the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon used her wit and charm to survive the both world wars, the loss of her husband and the years of change during her daughter’s long reign. Rather than the standard biography this is told through 101 little stories, memories and anecdotes from the decades of her long life.
My Thoughts: I found this book very enjoyable and different from any other biography I have read. It was written in such a unique way that I found myself saying just one more section, one more section…
So much is written about Elizabeth II but not as much about her formidable mother. She lived through tough times and was pushed into the role of queen by the abdication of her brother-in-law, Edward VIII. But even with this huge change in her life she took it on with dignity and strength. Even Hitler considered her to be the most dangerous woman in Europe. She kept her husband and her country steadfast during the long years of the Second World War.
However, after the war and the death of her husband she continued her years of service to the crown and her daughter, the Queen. My favorite parts were hearing about her personality. She smiled, teased and enjoyed a smart joke with the people around her regardless of their status. It seems that until the very end she took care of those around her and kept on smiling through all the tough times.
FYI: Perfect for fans of The Crown.
First line: After all the grand celebrations leading to my one
hundredth birthday, I had feared dreadfully that the calendar day itself
would be a disappointment.
Summary: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon,
also known as the Queen Mother, took on an important role during the
Second World War. Hitler even called her “the most dangerous woman in
Europe” because of her popularity and determination to stop the Nazi
threat. Using her position she helped Londoners get through the hard
years of bombings and rationing. Her support of her husband and Winston
Churchill made her a force to be reckoned with. She knew and
participated in the most important plans of the war. But even as she was
keeping the countries secrets she was hiding a few of her own.
I am not a 100% sure how I feel about this book. As a story it was a
nice easy read. I learned somethings about the time period and the role
of the royals during it. It was interesting to see what life was like
for them. Elizabeth sounds like a fascinating woman. She lived to be
over 100 years old. She saw the world change drastically. I really would
love to read a good biography on her someday.
But I had a hard
time believing some of the secrets she dealt with from her past. When
searching for any confirmation on them I only found one source which was
a tell-all book from a member of the aristocracy. I don’t know how
accurate it is but it made for an interesting story plot. And since the
queen mother is gone it will not be able to be truly known.
I immediately wanted to watch The King’s Speech and The Crown after finishing this!
FYI: This is perfect for fans of The Crown!
First line: One morning at the beginning of 2019, when I was in my London flat, the telephone rang.
Lady Anne Glenconner, lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, led a
spectacular life. She lived through the Second World War, carried the
train of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation and married to an eccentric
aristocrat. In her memoir she takes us behind the scenes of important
events in the British monarchy and her life. She has many ups and downs
but stays strong through them all.
My Thoughts: After watching The Crown I have become fascinated by Princess Margaret. I knew very little about her but came to love her wild side and the way she stirred up the monarchy. When I saw Lady Glenconner’s book on Netgalley I immediately had to request it.
The writing is very simple. It is almost like
having a conversation with the woman herself. It flows so easily and is
a lot of fun to read. You can feel her emotions as you read along. I
loved hearing her memories about life with the royal princesses. I was
shocked as she discussed her marriage. Her husband sounds like a very
difficult man to be around but that she stuck it out shows her devotion
and will to commit to her promises.
I loved looking for pictures
as I was reading. And I found the pictures at the end delightful. It
was nice to put faces to the names. Mustique looks like paradise. I have
never visited the Caribbean but this definitely makes me want to take a
The one thing I was missing was more insights into the
lives of the Queen and Margaret. They appear and play important parts in
her story but I expected more from reading the blurb.
FYI: If you love The Crown then this is a good follow up read.