The institution of monarchy in Britain is in deep crisis. Scarcely a day goes by without some new revelation about the private life of some or other of the royals splashed all over the tabloid newspapers, and public interest in the House of Windsor is more feverish and obsessional than ever. Royal books written by journalists and royal watchers are ten-a-penny and all, without exception, concentrate on the private lives and traumas of their subjects.
This is the only book to take the present Queen seriously as the subject of historical biography, and to examine in depth the influences that formed her and the ideas she represents.
Ben Pimlott treats the Head of State - who has been uniquely placed at the centre of the national stage since childhood - to the rigorous and objective scrutiny he has applied to major political personalities, using a wide range of new sources, including interviews, diaries and letters, and papers in the Royal Archives.
Pimlott looks at the social, political and psychological aspects of his subject in detail, as well as at the changing role of the monarchy in the British Constitution. In the process, the book displays all the author's formidable analytic and narrative skills, and provides a gripping yet sensitive account of one of the most publicised - yet least known - figures of our time. It is vital reading for all those who care about public life in Britain – past, present and future.