Overview (No Spoilers):
Recently, Luke and I have started watching the Netflix show, The Crown, which has naturally spawned much curiosity, Googling, and subsequently the picking up of Elizabeth the Queen to learn more about this long reigning monarch. Compared to many of the other historical figures I’ve been recently reading about, the time period in which Elizabeth II has resided over have been relatively peaceful, which literarily translates into a rather anticlimactic tale. Despite the story not having the trials of her father’s time, this book was a fascinating glimpse into the royal world that is incredibly foreign when compared to the rural farming setting I grew up in. Another fact that hinders Smith is that Elizabeth has been very conscientious of her public perception, and as such has allowed very few, if any interviews. Also, with her still being alive, her diary and correspondence are still her possession, whereas other authors have had such resources at their disposal. Several times throughout the book I felt as though Smith was bias for the Royals, and couldn’t seem to shake this feeling as I continued to read. Whenever I encounter this feeling in nonfiction it seems to leave a bad taste in my mouth after reading, despite enjoying the book as a whole. One key and interesting fact I will take away from Elizabeth the Queen is that Princess Diana wasn’t the perfect person I had always grown up thinking she had been. It makes sense that she had major flaws as every human being actually does, however it was hard to have this media driven façade stripped away. When trying to discover if I was the only one that felt this way toward Diana, I was met with resistance from friends and coworkers who did not want their perception of the perfect Princess marred. Overall, Elizabeth the Queen was an interesting read that allows the reader to garner insight into the Queen of England and the stable, reliable presence she has had over the United Kingdom and as Head of the Commonweath for 64 years.