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The Queen's Secret

The Queen's Secret, May 2020
by Karen Harper

William Morrow Paperbacks
Featuring: Queen Elizabeth
384 pages
ISBN: 0062885480
EAN: 9780062885487
Kindle: B07V9F9DQD
Paperback / e-Book
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Fresh Fiction Review

The Queen's Secret
Karen Harper

Reviewed by Patricia Pascale
Posted May 7, 2020

Women's Fiction Historical | Historical

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowen-Lyon was Queen of England when her husband, Albert Frederick Arthur George, the Duke of York, the second son of King George and Queen Mary, aka Bertie, was thrust onto the throne. His brother, Edward, had been king for a brief time but his affair with his mistress, the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson, was presenting a serious problem. Not divorced yet, Edward refused to give her up. As she is deemed not acceptable, Edward abdicates the crown and they are exiled. Bertie is broken hearted at his brother's behavior as they have always been close. But there's nothing Bertie can do and Elizabeth is filled with hatred for both of them. She calls Edward a coward and a deserter and never speaks to either of them again.

This is Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's story.  Although she is a bit dowdy, likes her cocktails, and loves her family, she also hides many secrets. Behind the quiet voice and kind manners, she had a will of steel. Hitler called her "the most dangerous woman in Europe." During the war, Elizabeth sat in on all the secret meetings with the prime minister, Winston Churchill, and later with President Franklin Roosevelt.  She gave input and both men were fond of her and respected her opinions. They also had affection for Bertie and the girls. She protected Bertie and she stood by all of the decisions he made and made many of her own. Their personal relationship grew from a close friendship to an endearing love. She kept close to her people, rationing food the same as they did, and visited them often after air raids did their devastating wreckage. She spoke to them and encouraged them via her talks on the radio. Her beloved daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, were cherished by both king and queen. Young Elizabeth showed early signs of preparing to rule one day. She fell in love with the dashing and handsome Philip Mountbatten, nephew of King Constantine of Greece. 

If you like the royals, this will be an interesting and rewarding journey for you.  I enjoyed the in-depth stories surrounding the intimate reveals that have always been hidden behind a protective veil. What is the truth? Fiction? It makes a pleasant  voyage either way and I enjoyed this moving trip into the history of England during World War II and a vibrant queen. How thrilling to meet another powerful lady during the war.  Eleanor Roosevelt was an added delight as well as General McArthur and the thrilling description of D-DAY.

I recommend this book and know you will agree that THE QUEEN'S SECRET is Karen Harper's treasured and candid look at a courageous and adored queen. Very interesting tidbits of information are shared that show what a thorough job Karen Harper did while researching this time in history. This gem of a novel will keep you turning the pages.


Learn more about The Queen's Secret


If you love Jennifer Robson or The Crown you will love New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper’s novel about Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

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