For those of us under a certain age, Queen Elizabeth II of England is simply the Queen Of England. She has ruled England since 1952. We don’t know her as anything else or anyone else.
Kate William’s new book, Young Elizabeth, The Making Of A Queen, takes the reader back to Elizabeth’s childhood and tells the story of how she became Queen.
Born in 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen. Her father (who would only ascend to the throne after his elder brother abdicated to marry his American mistress) would later become King George VI, was the second son. Having no brothers or close male relations who could step in front of her, Elizabeth, the first-born of two daughters, became heir to the throne when her father became King. The book starts with an overview of Elizabeth’s family tree and includes her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. It then takes the reader through Elizabeth’s life up to her 25th year, when she ascended to the throne.
As an Anglophile, a history nerd and a feminist, I found this book to be very interesting. History is full of Kings, but Queens, especially ones that have ruled for as long as Elizabeth has are far and few between. However, the writing tends to be dry in some areas. I get that this is a memoir and not a novel. However, that does not mean that the writing cannot have a life and a bounce to it. I enjoyed it, but someone who does not have the interests I have may not.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.