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May New Reads

We have brand new stock in the libraries for the upcoming Jubilee!

Queen seasons

A Queen for all Seasons by Joanna Lumley

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth this year. She is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and the very first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. ‘A Queen For All Seasons’, introduced and compiled by Joanna Lumley, is a perceptive, touching and engaging tribute to this unique woman.

Other side

The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly

When Angela Kelly and the Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace.  Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen.

In ‘The Other Side of the Coin’, The Queen has personally given Angela her blessing to share their extraordinary bond with the world. Whether it’s preparing for a formal occasion or brightening Her Majesty’s day with a playful joke, Angela’s priority is to serve and support. This edition has updated to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Queen times

Queen of our Times by Robert Hardman

This is an insightful biography, based on exclusive research, of Queen Elizabeth II, bringing us the full story of one of our greatest and best-loved monarchs.

Crown and sceptre

Crown and Sceptre by Tracey Borman

The British monarchy is the one of the most iconic and enduring institutions in the world. It has weathered the storms of rebellion, revolution and war that brought many of Europe’s royal families to an abrupt and bloody end. Its unique survival owes much to the fact that, for all its ancient traditions and protocol, the royal family has proved remarkably responsive to change, evolving to reflect the times. But for much of its history, it also spearheaded seismic change, shaping our religious, political and cultural identity and establishing the British monarchy as the envy of the world.

The palace papers

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

‘Never again’, became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Diana’s death. More specifically, there could never be ‘another Diana’ – a member of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the British monarchy. Picking up where The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.

Tina Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey that shows the Queen’s stoic resolve as she coped with the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and her partner for seven decades, Prince Philip, and triumphed in her Jubilee years even as the family dramas raged around her. She explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla his queen, the tension between William and Harry who are on ‘different paths’, the ascendance Kate Middleton, the disturbing allegations surrounding Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals. Despite the fragile monarchy’s best efforts, ‘never again’ seems fast approaching.

Philip the final portrait

Phillip: The Final Portrait by Gyles Brandreth

This is the story of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – the longest-serving consort to the longest-reigning sovereign in British history. It is an extraordinary story, told with unique insight and authority by an author who knew the prince for more than 40 years.

Philip – elusive, complex, controversial, challenging, often humorous, sometimes irascible – is the man Elizabeth II once described as her ‘constant strength and guide’. Who was he? What was he really like? What is the truth about those ‘gaffes’ and the rumours of affairs? This is the final portrait of an unexpected and often much-misunderstood figure. It is also the portrait of a remarkable marriage that endured for more than 70 years.

Philip and Elizabeth were both royal by birth, both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria, but, in temperament and upbringing, they were two very different people. The Queen’s childhood was loving and secure, the Duke’s was turbulent; his grandfather assassinated, his father arrested, his family exiled, his parents separated when he was only 10. Elizabeth and Philip met as cousins in the 1930s. They married in 1947, aged 21 and 26.

The last queen

The Last Queen by Clive Irving

Unseen behind the throne, two sides of the royal bloodline competed for influence, and egregious family secrets had to be protected. Meanwhile, in public, a succession of family ruptures put the monarchy under unprecedented scrutiny from the world s media. From the turbulent loves of Princess Margaret to the tragic saga of Princess Diana, from the torments of Prince Charles to the arrival of Meghan Markle, tensions gripped the House of Windsor. Through all this, Elizabeth II remained steadfast in her values while many of those around her seemed to lose their moorings.

Clive Irving s gripping account casts new light on seventy tempestuous years of British history, exploring how the Queen, uncomfortable with the pace of the social and cultural changes in her nation, and often seeming out of touch, resolutely kept the monarchy stable in a rapidly changing world.

With unparalleled insight, Irving examines the pivotal events of the Queens reign and then steps above them to assess her role in the royal familys Faustian pact with the media. The final irony is, as Irvings carefully measured scrutiny shows, that in the last decades of her reign the Queen endures to become one of the most admired people in the world while remaining one of the least known and understood. She will likely be the last Queen of the United Kingdom.

The Diamond Queen

The Diamond Queen by Andrew Marr

With the flair for narrative and the meticulous research that readers have come to expect, Andrew Marr turns his attention to the monarch – and the monarchy, chronicling the Queen’s pivotal role at the centre of the state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and making a strong case for the institution itself.

The Queen

The Queen by Andrew Morton

Aged only 25 when she became Queen after the premature death of her father, king George VI, Queen Elizabeth II has become the stuff of superlatives: the longest reigning, most travelled and, for a shy woman, the Queen who has shaken more hands and made more small talk than any other monarch in history. She has been seen and believed by millions, either in person, on TV or in film. In this entertaining and insightful biography, Andrew Morton takes the reader behind the scenes to uncover the woman and her world.

Prince Phillip revealed

Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward

For more than 70 years until his death on 9 April 2021, Prince Philip was the Queen’s constant companion and support, but his vital role in the monarchy too often went largely unnoticed. Now, in Ingrid Seward’s superb new biography of the Duke of Edinburgh, we get the chance to read the full story of his remarkable life and achievements. 

Born into the Greek and Danish royal families in 1921, a descendant of Queen Victoria, Prince Philip‘s aristocratic credentials were second to none. But, only 18 months after his birth, the family had to be rescued by a British warship from the island of Corfu after his father was exiled. His nomadic childhood was spent in Germany, Paris and eventually England where he was sent to boarding school. At the age of 18, while studying at Dartmouth Naval College, he was asked to look after the King’s two daughters, 13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, during a royal visit. It was their first proper meeting and, only eight years later, their marriage in 1947 brought new light to the country after the perils of the war. But, within a few years, their lives were transformed when in 1952 she became Queen Elizabeth II, and he had to give up his naval career and learn a new role as consort, deferring in public to the monarch and even having to give up his surname.

Windsor sisters

Elizabeth and Margaret by Andrew Morton

They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward Vlll decided to abdicate the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forever more Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called ‘Lillibet.’ And bow to her wishes.

Elizabeth would always look upon her younger sister’s antics with a kind of stoical amusement, but Margaret’s struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system–and her fraught relationship with its expectations–was often a source of tension. Famously, the Queen had to inform Margaret that the Church and government would not countenance her marrying a divorcee, Group Captain Peter Townsend, forcing Margaret to choose between keeping her title and royal allowances or her divorcee lover.

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 their 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.

THE QUEEN purple

The Queen by Ian Lloyd

‘I get enormously impressed when she walks into a room,’ Princess Margaret once said of her sister. ‘It’s a kind of magic.’ Prince William recalled, ‘As I learned growing up, you don’t mess with your grandmother. What she says goes.’

At the time of Elizabeth II’s accession, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States and Joseph Stalin still governed the Soviet Union. It is often said that she has never put a foot wrong during her seven decades as monarch, and even those ideologically opposed to Britain and its governments have lauded her. Remarkably, she has retained her relevance as sovereign well into her nineties, remaining a reassuring constant in an ever-changing world.

In the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, royal biographer Ian Lloyd reveals the woman behind the legend over seventy themed chapters. Drawing on interviews with relatives, friends and courtiers, he explores her relationship with seven generations of the royal family, from the children of Queen Victoria to Elizabeth’s own great-grandchildren. He also sheds light on some lesser-known aspects of her character, such as her frugality and her gift for mimicry. In addition, we see her encounters with A-listers, from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, and her adept handling of several of the twentieth century’s most difficult leaders. Above all, Lloyd examines how the Queen has stayed true to the promise she made to the nation at the age of 21, ‘that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service’.

101 reasons

The Queen: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Her Majesty  by E Dunne and H Sutcliffe

Updated to mark her Platinum Jubilee, The Queen: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Her Majesty is a collection of all the things that make Elizabeth II a national treasure, from the profound impact she has had on 21st-century politics, to her superhuman ability to keep on waving and her fabulous collection of headscarves.

Did you know that she has established a whole new dog breed, the dorgi, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund? Or that in her lifetime she has given out more than 75,000 Christmas puddings?

With beautiful illustrations and humorous observations, this book is a joyful celebration of a monarch who will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

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