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Celebrating the Life of HRH Elizabeth II

August 24, 2023

If you’ve read this blog much you know I can’t help but read lots of books about the British Royal Family. So I thought I’d compile a few of my recent faves to honor the one year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. For some reason, I had it in my head that she died in March, which gave me plenty of time. Luckily, I double checked myself because her official date of death was September 8, 2022. So here we are. As of this writing, the UK hasn’t completely fallen apart yet, so the family must be doing something right in this second post-Elizabethan age. Maybe some of these authors will explain why. 

Like the majority of the world, I did not know a time when Queen Elizabeth was not ruling Great Britain. I’ve read quite a bit about her family, but usually about her grandchildren. And I’ve watched The Crown, but as usual that does not give the full story. I enjoyed reading this one because it gave us a good look at her life. Morton does a good job balancing her life with her job. I haven’t read Morton’s Diana blockbuster yet, but after this one I think I will have to seek it out. I enjoyed Morton’s writing style. If you are looking for a comprehensive book about Elizabeth R, this is for you.

You know I had to read this one the minute it came out - thanks Lucky Day Collection! It was doubly fun because I read it at the same time that I watched the Harry and Meghan documentary on Netflix. The book was very detailed and Harry did not pull any punches. I felt like it got a little bogged down in the military sections, but that’s not my favorite topic to read about, so it could just be me. For me, the book really picked up once Harry met Meghan. Prior to this book, I didn’t really know much about how they met and what their dating life was like. It was shocking to read about all the drama behind the scenes with the Royal Family. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to make the decisions they did, but I’m glad they finally got a chance to tell their story.

I haven’t read much about the former Prince because he is not my favorite Royal. I figured maybe it was time since he now, finally, is officially King Charles III. One interesting fact from this is that the other two King Charles were less than successful. Hopefully he will be better - or at least less beheaded. There were some facts in here that I had not heard before, but I did think it was a little weird that the author glossed over William and Harry a bit. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because Charles has always wanted to be in the spotlight and in a book specifically about HRH, that is what we get. 

Ms. Nicholl is a journalist who has covered the Royal Family for a long time, specifically as the Royals correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. I enjoyed the pacing of this one. Each chapter takes on a different topic - from the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, to Prince Philip’s car crash, Prince Andrew’s fall from grace, the romances of William and Harry, Megxit, and the future of the Commonwealth and the Royal Family. None of the chapters were overwrought and they avoided bogging the reader down by rehashing the same old details. Not a lot of depth here, but that’s kind of what I liked about it. Good read if you are just waiting to hit the highlights or are looking for somewhere to start with this topic. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the death of the UK’s longest ruling monarch. If you need to get caught up on your British Royal history, these are the books for you.

Happy Monarching…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.