Queen and Country (BBC Radio Collection)

9780563536017: Queen and Country (BBC Radio Collection)

A celebration of the 50 years of Elizabeth II's reign that reveals a woman whose family is subject to increasing media intrusion, and yet one who maintains a majestic dignity.

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Watching Queen Elizabeth place flowers at a makeshift memorial to Diana in 1997, journalist (and renowned Nixon-basher) William Shawcross sympathized with the often misunderstood monarch: "I thought how lonely she must feel, and how perplexed she must be by the vast changes through which Britain has passed in the decades since her accession."

The U.K. is now not quite so united, not quite so British, not nearly so powerful as it was in the time of her father, George VI. Elizabeth has struck many observers as a lonely, aloof soul, struggling valiantly to hold a difficult family together while assuring her nation that the constitutional monarchy remains relevant in the modern world.

Over half a century of rule, Shawcross suggests, the queen has risen to every occasion and capably led both the British Commonwealth and the royal family, even if both have given her plenty of troubles in the bargain. This well-written and nicely illustrated portrait does a fine job of showing the many ways she has earned the affections, respect, and consent of her people. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

William Shawcross is the author of major books of contemporary history, most recently Deliver Us from Evil and the classic Sideshow. In 1995, he presented a BBC series entitled Monarchy. He lives in London, England.

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