My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage by Ingrid Seward
|My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage by Ingrid Seward|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A well-written, entertaining read. There are no great rvelations but numerous insights into the ways of the royal family. A recommended read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: November 2017|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
I'm writing this review on the eve of the seventieth anniversary of the wedding the the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh: it's an amazing achievement particularly when you add to the difficulties of maintaining any relationship for that period of time the burden of the Queen being our monarch for sixty-five years and the challenges of having to live their joint and separate lives in the public eye. Ingrid Seward gives us the story of the marriage and insights into both parties, particularly Prince Philip.
There would be little point in my giving you insights into what has happened in the last seventy years: the events have been lived out in the glare of publicity and frequently without knowledge or understanding of the facts behind the events. It would have been easy for Seward to give us chronological history and some commentary, but she goes a great deal further than that. There are no earth-shattering revelations, but a wealth of anecdotes: you'll be familiar with some of them, but many will be new to you unless you really are a dedicated royal watcher.
My worry was that this would be hagiography, but Seward gives a balanced view of the Queen and the Duke. I've always thought of Prince Philip as an unreconstructed war horse, but he comes across as rather more thoughtful and certainly more supportive of the Queen than you might have imagined if you've been watching The Crown on Netflix. I was surprised to find that the Queen is a great conversationalist if you're chatting about breeding horses - or one of her other animal-related interests - but otherwise she's rather stilted and many of the Duke's famous gaffes have been mood lighteners or jokes to move the conversation on. I hadn't appreciated either that the Queen is reluctant to face problems - a trait she inherited from the late Queen Mother and which seems to have been passed, to some extent, to her eldest son. She much prefers to ignore difficulties and hope that they'll go away.
I'm not a natural royalist - privilege by virtue of birth rather than merit sticks in my craw - but I have a sneaking suspicion that monarchy might be better than any of the imaginable alternatives, so I wasn't necessarily the target audience for the book, but I'll confess to finding it a very easy and enjoyable read. Seward has a particular talent for placing royal events in a wider context and being scrupulously fair about explaining how social norms have changed over the last seventy years. I finished the book in a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times by Sarah Bradford was published to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage by Ingrid Seward at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage by Ingrid Seward at Amazon.com.
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