Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: The Queen: A Life in Brief

Author: Robert Lacey
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages: 176
Released: 2012
Rating: 4/5


Robert Lacey provides readers with a brief history of Elizabeth II who is currently celebrating her jubilee year. Lacey portrays a young girl who was destine to reap the benefits of royalty, but never be crowned Queen. She was the equivalent of Princess Beatrice today. After her Uncle abdicated the crown when his marriage wasn’t approved, her father was next in line, Elizabeth; his oldest became heir to the throne. Elizabeth’s parents had very different parenting styles; her father was stricter while her mother was more laid back. Her mother warned her husband that he could be strict, but never jeopardize the relationship he has with his children. There needs to be a silver lining that would not cause their children to push away. Elizabeth was secretly engaged to Prince Philip, and had to wait for her father’s approval to announce their news. Her father approved of Philip, but he wasn’t ready to give his daughter away. Lacey briefly describes her children, including their marriages and divorces. Charles married Diana but he was always in love with Camilla. His mother forced him to make a choice, he never tried to hide his love of Camilla. In the wake of Diana’s death, Elizabeth’s main concern was her grandsons. She wanted to shield them, and take them away from the media attention. This ultimately caused Elizabeth to be scrutinized by the media who thought she should have remain in Buckingham for the people, and Charles should have taken care of his sons on his own. Lacey provides a brief but detailed summary of her life thus far.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Elizabeth II. I hadn’t read much about her previously, and wanted to read more about her life and family. I learned a lot of things I hadn’t known and I would really like to read a more in-depth account of her life. I would love to learn more about her involvement during the Second World War, as well as the separation from her parents. England was under attack, and her parents had to keep their children safe. Charles and Diana has a tumultuous relationship, and it seems like Elizabeth tended to side with Diana. I would really like to know more about their family dynamics. Lacey provides readers with a brief history, but it is enough to spark an interest in her life and cause readers to seek out further information. I recommend this one to anyone who would like to know a little more about the person we call Queen Elizabeth II.


  1. I love reading about the royal family, this one looks great.

  2. How interesting! I never knew Elizabeth sided with Diana. I hope to read it soon.

    1. I had the impression that it was the opposite. I'm really curious about their relationship and how it differed from the media's portrayal.

  3. I thought also like Kathy - makes me very interested also in reading more!

  4. This is a non-fiction I would probably enjoy..thanks for bringing it to my attention and I like that you learned things you didn't know since often times these tend to be the same old facts.

  5. I agree with Kathy...that alone makes the book sound interesting to me.

  6. I admire that you can read and enjoy these types of books. They are mostly boring for me, but its cool seeing them through someone else's eyes.

  7. I am fascinated by the Royal family so this is a book I would probably really enjoy!

  8. I have a penchant for reading about the British aristocracy, no matter what the time period, so I am slowly getting more and more excited about this book. It needs to reside on my shelves soon. Great review on this one!

  9. I also didn't think Elizabeth sided with Diana. I was surprised to see it's only 176 pages, which makes it a quick read for those who want to learn more about the British Queen.

  10. This sounds like a fascinating read! Too bad you don't get quite as many details in the 176 pages as you might have liked, but it's good that it piqued your curiosity enough to want to seek out more books on her life.

  11. This sounds very interesting. I've never read a book about her before. I'd love to know what really went on during Diana's death and how it differs from what is believed to happen.