The Official Biography
On Sale: October 20, 2009
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The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the
Queen Mother: consort of King George VI, mother of Queen
Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles—and the most
beloved British monarch of the twentieth
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon—the
ninth of the Earl of Strathmore’s ten children—was born on
August 4, 1900, and, certainly, no one could have imagined
that her long life (she died in 2002) would come to reflect
a changing nation over the ourse of an entire century. Now,
William Shawcross—given unrestricted access to the Queen
Mother’s personal papers, letters, and diaries—gives us a
portrait of unprecedented vividness and detail. Here is the
girl who helped convalescing soldiers during the First World
War . . . the young Duchess of York helping her reluctant
husband assume the throne when his brother abdicated . . .
the Queen refusing to take refuge from the bombing of
London, risking her own life to instill courage and hope in
others who were living through the Blitz . . . the dowager
Queen—the last Edwardian, the charming survivor of a
long-lost era—representing her nation at home and abroad . .
. the matriarch of the Royal Family and “the nation’s
A revelatory royal biography
that is, as well, a singular history of Britain in the
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