Picks and Pans Review: The Queen: a Biography of Elizabeth Ii

UPDATED 12/08/1997 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/08/1997 at 01:00 AM EST

by Ben Pimlott

Princess Diana's tragic death transported the aloof mother-in-law (who took too long to say she was sorry) to the center of worldwide attention. Following the frenzy of allegations about Queen Elizabeth's behavior, it is therapeutic to have British historian Ben Pimlott's levelheaded study of both the Queen—herself once the world's shining princess—and the family business she has directed for 45 years.

Charting the deterioration of the monarchy from the revered institution of the '20s to the dysfunctional family of the '90s, Pimlott (a professor of politics and contemporary history at the University of London) also celebrates the amazing resilience of the Queen. Elizabeth emerges as the heroic embodiment of dutiful dullness, steadfastly fulfilling her royal obligations in the midst of the chaos around her. Appropriately, for someone who is more at home with horses than people, she stresses, "You can do a lot if you are properly trained—and I hope I have been." As Pimlott observes, "She speaks of herself not as the owner of the Royal Stables, but as the occupant of one of the stalls."

While unflappable endurance is not the sexiest of virtues, neither is it the least of them, and The Queen helps us appreciate the capacities as well as the limitations of a woman who, whatever else happens, just keeps on going on. (Wiley, $30)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters