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 Elizabeth marks sixty years on the throne, Hardman travels with her around Britain and the world. He meets Her Majesty's family- including Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge- 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 nation, but she has steered the Monarchy through more reforms in the last twenty-five 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. Elizabeth II sits at the head of an ancient institution that remains, simultaneously, popular, regal, and relevant in a twenty-first-century world. It is neither down to luck nor longevity. It is down to the astute judgment of a thoroughly modern monarch with no small assistance from the longest-serving consort in history. Here is the inside story.
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