30.4.15

A SILVER JUBILEE.

I recently finished Robert Lacey's Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor.  Book Review No. 7 will be short.  There are never authorised biographies of British royals during their lifetime, although Mr Lacey evidently had cooperation from people close to the monarchy -- this being a fraught practice as more than a few house servants have profited from their association by cooperating in telling tales out of school.  The book was written for the queen's silver jubilee, which took place shortly after the British economy was in terrible shape and a prime minister's best policy response was to cut the workweek.  Leave that aside, there's a lot about the interwar years and abdication and the "boxes" and the role of a constitutional monarch who is head of state of independent countries that are part of the British Commonwealth.  And during the war a Greek lieutenant of Danish extraction appears at a naval review ...

The author fights shy of editorial comment wherever possible, although there is much to engage a careful reader, even past the Diamond Jubilee and several prime ministers who were youngsters in 1977.

(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)

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