Throughout history, there has been no Monarch like her. She is not merely the oldest Sovereign this country has ever known. She is the most worldly. She has travelled further than all her predecessors put together. She has met more historic figures than anyone alive - from Churchill to Mandela, de Gaulle, Reagan and Obama. And today, Queen Elizabeth II is no more contemplating retirement than she was when she came to the throne in 1952. She sits at the head of a hereditary institution so often associated with rigid tradition. And yet, it is more dynamic now than ever.
Having inherited a quasi-Edwardian institution nearly 60 years ago, the Queen presides over a Monarchy which has managed to remain, simultaneously, popular, regal, inclusive and relevant in a 21st Century world. She has done this so effectively that she is, beyond doubt, the most respected and popular figure in British public life. As she reaches a defining moment of her reign - her Diamond Jubilee - Robert Hardman explores the secrets of the Queen's success to produce a fascinating new portrait of a Sovereign who has witnessed more change than any since the creation of Great Britain.