You don't need to be a monarchist—or even British—to respect the devotion to duty and country that Queen Elizabeth II has exhibited over the course of her long life. Yet it can be difficult to remember that the unflappable gray-haired queen, in her colorful hats and sensible shoes, was once just a child. This thoughtful biography focuses on the queen as Princess
Elizabeth, from her parents' courtship and marriage, through her (surprisingly ordinary) early years and the abdication crisis to World War II, her marriage to Prince Philip, and her ascension to the throne at the tender age of twenty-five. Peppered with political insight as well as amusing anecdotes and heartwarming family stories—after the birth of her sister, Margaret Rose, Elizabeth announced she would call her "'Bud', because 'she's not a real rose, is she, yet? She's only a bud.'"
is an engaging portrait of a remarkable woman. (KG)