Culture & Literature
The Queen

The Queen

The Queen (2019)

This collector’s edition from the makers of BBC History Magazine charts the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Inside you will: ◆ Trace the story of Elizabeth’s life, from princess to queen ◆ Meet key people in her life, from family to ministers ◆ Follow in the Queen’s footsteps on royal tours across countries and continents ◆ Share an insider’s view of the primary royal residence, Buckingham Palace ◆ Explore key events that have shaped the Queen’s world ◆ Explore social change during her lifetime

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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$16.59(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min.

When Elizabeth II was born in April 1926, Stanley Baldwin was prime minister, the General Strike was a few weeks away and the scars of the First World War were strongly evident in British society. Since then, Britain has experienced tremendous changes, but one thing has remained constant – the Queen, our longest-reigned and longest-lived monarch. In this collector’s edition, we’ve compiled and updated a number of articles that have appeared in BBC History Magazine and The Queen, a special edition published in 2016. We’ve also included several new articles, written specially for this edition. You’ll discover the Queen’s journey from a young princess with no expectations of the crown, through her wartime service, marriage and family, to her recent jubilee triumphs. At the same time, we chart some of the transformations…

13 min.
princess elizabeth before she was queen

In April 1926, Britain was on the brink of the General Strike called by the TUC. There had been an economic perfect storm: the postwar crash in coal prices, combined with the government putting Britain on the gold standard, had put mining under pressure. After a government commission recommended reducing miners’ wages, the stage was set for an all-out strike of miners and other workers covered by the TUC, including railway and transport workers. But despite being in a crisis, the home secretary Sir William Joynson Hicks could not be excused witnessing the legitimacy of a royal baby. The Duke and Duchess of York – George V’s second son, Bertie and his wife, the former Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – were expecting their first child. Although the baby was not a direct heir…

11 min.
philip the loyal royal consort

The recent years of Elizabeth’s reign have witnessed several quiet revolutions: the rise to prominence of a new generation, with some unexpected new members, and an increased awareness of Prince Charles as his mother’s natural successor. But perhaps the most surprising is this – a fresh appreciation of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prickly and sometimes problematic, yes, but one half of the partnership that has triumphed over not only the ups and downs common to any couple, but the fluctuating fortunes of the British monarchy. This is the longest marriage in British royal history, and Prince Philip has, said the Queen in her Golden Wedding speech in 1997, “quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years”. A partnership that has entered its eighth decade, a feat for any…

3 min.
the royal wedding

When on 20 November 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, there were qualms about whether a large public ceremony was appropriate. Should it not be held quietly, at Windsor? The country, after all, was still in the grip of wartime rationing. But though some MPs did complain about the cost, Winston Churchill declared it would be “a flash of colour on the hard road we have to travel” – and it was clear the public felt the same way. Huge crowds came to see the wedding presents on display at St James’s Palace, such as the sapphire and diamond set from the king, who also gave Purdey guns. Eleanor Roosevelt, more practically, sent towels and kitchen cloths, and President and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek a dinner service of Chinese porcelain. Gandhi…

5 min.
the coronation becoming queen

The durability of Britain’s current monarch – for Elizabeth II has reigned longer than any other – means that only those now nudging their 70s (or beyond) can recall her coronation. Yet many people too young to have any personal connection to the events of June 1953 share a kind of folk memory. We have all seen the grainy images of the young, female monarch, a symbol of modernity and postwar progress. There is a widespread feeling that, for all the pomp and ritual, her accession marked a definitive break with the past in the UK. In historical terms, 1953 seems like only yesterday. The 1950s was the decade in which much that is now familiar first entered the national consciousness: rock ’n’ roll was born and teenagers invented, austerity…

9 min.
inside buckingham palace

London is full of old buildings dating back hundreds of years, so you would be forgiven for thinking Buckingham Palace is one of them. Of the occupied royal buildings, in fact Windsor Castle is the oldest, having been originally established by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. St James’s Palace is next oldest, established by Henry VIII in the 16th century, followed by Kensington Palace, developed by William III and II and Mary II in the 17th century. The concept of Buckingham Palace dates back only as far as George IV in the 19th century. The palace’s origins, however, can be traced back to the English poet and Tory politician John Sheffield, the 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, who in 1703 built himself a home and called it Buckingham…