Books about Queen Elizabeth II

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“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.” — Queen Elizabeth II

Our hearts are heavier this week. As the longest reigning monarch in British history, many of us have never known a time when Queen Elizabeth II was not at the helm. As we look back over her historic reign, here are fifteen different books that celebrate the life of an incredible woman. From deep-dive historical studies, to first-hand accounts, fictionalized historical novels, and humorous fictional stories like the Queen solving a murder mystery or jaunting about town on her own, we remember a Queen whose servant-heart and courage to step forward when duty unexpectedly called will forever be engraved in history.


Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman (Biography)

“Hardman distils Elizabeth’s complex life into a must-read study of dynastic survival and renewal. It is a portrait of a world leader who remains as intriguing today as the day she came to the Throne at age twenty-five. With peerless access to members of the Royal Family, staff, friends and royal records, Queen of Our Times  brings fresh insights and scholarship to the modern royal story. There will be no more thorough, more readable, more original book on the record-breaking Elizabeth II.” Read more


Philip and Elizabeth by Gyles Brandreth (Biography)

“This is the first major biography of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh—both royal, both great-great-great grandchildren of Queen Victoria, but in temperament and upbringing very different people. Her childhood was loving and secure, his turbulent: the Duke’s grandfather was assassinated, his father arrested, his family exiled, his parents separated by the time he was ten… This is a unique and revealing portrait of a remarkable partnership.” Read more


The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett (Mystery | Biographical Fiction)

“The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties. It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.” Read more


Queen Elizabeth II by Jen Arena (Picture Book | Non-Fiction)

For our littlest of readers, this biography of Queen Elizabeth is a lovely introduction to non-fiction and to an iconic woman. “This Little Golden Book about Queen Elizabeth II — the longest ruling monarch of the United Kingdom and mother to the future King — is an inspiring read-aloud for young girls and boys.” Read more


The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly (Biography)

Fully endorsed by the Queen herself, this book explores the extraordinary bond between Queen Elizabeth and her long-time dresser, Angela Kelly. “Sharing never-before-seen photographs – many from Angela’s own private collection – and charming anecdotes of their time spent together, this revealing book provides memorable insights into what it’s like to work closely with The Queen, to curate her wardrobe and to discover a true and lasting connection along the way.” Read more


The Gown by Jennifer Robson (Novel | Historical Fiction)

While this book is only loosely tied to the Queen, this historical novel features one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century and an incredible moment in history. “With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.” Read more


Queen Elizabeth II: The Queen Who Chose to Serve by Alison Mitchell (Picture Book)

“Princess Elizabeth never expected to be Queen. But when she was ten, her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated and everything changed… Her father took over as King, but after 15 years on the throne, he died. So when she was just 25 years old, Elizabeth was crowned Queen and has become the longest-serving monarch in British history. This inspiring children’s biography of Queen Elizabeth II chronicles key moments in her life. It also highlights her Christian faith, in particular what she has said in her Christmas Day speeches.” Read more


Before the Crown by Flora Harding (Historical Fiction | Biographical Fiction)

“Before the crown there was a love story… As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before. One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure. But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court. He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…” Read more…


Elizabeth & Margaret by Andrew Morton (Biography)

“From the idyll of their cloistered early life, through their hidden war-time lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, this book explores (Elizabeth and Margaret’s) relationship over the years. Andrew Morton’s latest biography offers unique insight into these two drastically different sisters—one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it—and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family, and the ways it adapted to the changing mores of the 20th century.” Read more…


Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (Biography)

Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. This lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town.” Read more…


The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford (Biography)

The Little Princesses was first published in 1950 to a furor we cannot imagine today. It has been called the original “nanny diaries” because it was the first account of life with the Royals ever published. Although hers was a touching account of the childhood of the Queen and Princess Margaret, Crawfie was demonized by the press. The Queen Mother, who had been a great friend and who had, Crawfie maintained, given her permission to write the account, never spoke to her again. Reading The Little Princesses now, with a poignant new introduction by BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond, offers fascinating insights into the changing lives and times of Britains royal family.” Read more…


The Queen’s Wardrobe by Julia Golding (Children’s Biography)

“Did you know the Queen’s crown weighs as much as a bag of potatoes? Or that she has her own tartan nobody else is allowed to wear? This book brings to life the story of a young princess who grew into one of the world’s best-loved and most famous royals, touching on wartime truck-fixing, ration-book wedding dress making, splendid gowns, trusty wellies, the Crown Jewels and jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond.” Read more…


The Queen: 70 Glorious Years by Royal Trust Collection (Photographic Biography)

“This official souvenir publication celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch. These photographs are accompanied by resonant quotations from speeches given by the Queen over the years, including her wartime Children’s Hour radio broadcast given at the age of fourteen, her first televised Christmas Speech in 1957, and her speech welcoming President Obama and the First Lady during their State Visit in 2011. With a varied selection of photographs from Her Majesty’s reign, The Queen takes readers on a photographic journey of a remarkable life of duty and service.” Read more…


Our Rainbow Queen by Sali Hughes (Photographic Biography)

“This riotously colourful book takes a photographic journey through Queen Elizabeth II’s ten decades of colour-blocked style. From the dusky pinks the Queen wore in girlhood all the way through to #NeonAt90, by way of that hat she wore on the announcement of Brexit, and not forgetting her trusty Launer handbag ever at her side, this must-have collection celebrates the iconic fashion statements of our longest reigning and most vibrant monarch.” Read more…


Elizabeth The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith (Biography)

“From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.” Read more…

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