Friday, January 20, 2023

Coronation Books


Historian Roy Strong's book Coronation A History of the British Monarchy has been republished.   It is already available in the UK and will be released in the US at the end of January. 

When the Queen was Crowned is an excellent book by Brian Barker.  This book was published in 1976.

If you purchase these books and other products through the links, I earn a teeny percentage toward Amazon gift cards.  Thanks for using the links/

Friday, December 16, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative magazines

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Expect to see a plethora of new books about Queen Elizabeth II in the next year or so.  Andrew Morton's book, The Queen, has arrived and is in a pile, waiting to be read. Tessa Dunlop has written Elizabeth & Philip, a history of their marital life, and Gyles Brandreth's Elizabeth: An intimate portrait.  Brandreth has known the queen and her family for more than 50 years.  Both books are available in the United Kingdom.   

This post, however,  considers closely a selection of commemorative magazines that were published in the weeks after Queen Elizabeth's death in September.  I have chosen what I think are the best of the magazines that I have seen since late September.  While standing in the checkout line at a local supermarket,  I browsed several of the\ magazines that are not listed here because I was not impressed with the publications.  This includes Town and Country's not-so-special Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022 and the Life Magazine special issue.

 Hello! magazine published two commemorative issues: Royal Funeral Edition and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II In Tribute to Her Extraordinary Life and Reign.

The first issue is subtitled The Emotional Final Farewell Queen Elizabeth II Her Historic  State Funeral in Full.  This 130-page publication opens with a "final goodbye" to the Queen from the magazine's Royal Editor Emily Nash.  With text and color photos, the magazine documents the first days of King Charles III's reign, the late queen's journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh and then to London to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Hall and the Lying-in-Service, the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, and the Committal service at St. George's Chapel.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla's travels to Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland following the funeral are also covered.

The coverage of the Queen's death and the aftermath is comprehensive as Hello!  includes all members of the Queen's immediate family and their public presence in the days before the funeral.

The second Hello! magazine (148 pages) focuses on the late queen's life from her birth through her marriage, motherhood, her reign, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her fashion style, the queen in her 90s, the Platinum Jubilee and the breaking news of her death, followed by the family as their share their grief with the growing crowds outside the palaces and other royal residences,  

The concluding pages of this commemorative issue focus on the new king's proclamation.

The cynosure People Magazine's Queen Elizabeth Tribute Edition is "A Celebration of Her Life and Reign."  This 112-page publication has 10 chapters that spotlight different aspects of the late queen's life from her childhood, the war years, marriage and motherhood, the Coronation, the Silver Years, the Golden Years, Her Diamond Era, and the Platinum Jubilee.

The magazine does not include coverage of the queen's funeral.   Good historical details.  People magazine is correct in their assessment: "There won't be another like her."

The Queen is a truly special publication from BBC History Magazine.  The articles were written by historians and biographers Sarah Gristwood, Victoria Arbiter, Stephen Bates, Tracy Borman, and Kate Williams.   Elizabeth's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter also contributed to the 131-page magazine,

Yes, there is an abundance of photographs, but the focus here is the history of the queen's life and reign.  Kate Williams profiles the Queen's early years and her upbringing   Prince Philip and his "partnership" with the queen is examined by Sarah Gristwood.

Victoria Arbiter provided a timeline of the "key milestones" in Elizabeth and wrote two of the articles on the Coronation and Love Behind the Throne, where she discussed Elizabeth balancing family life and the "ceaseless demands of duty as a royal working mother."

Dickie Arbiter offers readers a history of Buckingham Palace.  There are also articles on other royal palaces, the queen's fashions, her prime ministers, her travels around the world (as the most traveled monarch in history), the Commonwealth, social change, the Queen on screen, Elizabeth and the changing world and Stephen Bates's article on the modernization of the monarchy under Elizabeth II.

This issue is divided into three sections: The Making of a Queen, Life as Queen, and The Queen & Her Legacy.

The Queen, with its well-written and diligently researched articles, offers readers more insight into the life and role of the late queen's life and reign.

A digital download is available here:

The Queen A Royal Life

This is an Australian publication that focused on all aspects of the Queen's life from childhood to her family and reign.  The magazine was first published in May to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee and updated in September after the queen's death. One chapter "The Royal Tours on Home Soil" is about the Queen's visits to Australia.  She first visited Australia in 1954.

The Queen A Royal Life was published by Partnerships and Magazines, a division of the Herald and Weekly Times in Victoria.  The articles are well-written and a delight to read, especially from an Aussie perspective.  Superbly illustrated.  

A digital copy is available for sale.

The Australian Women's Weekly Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

The editors have chosen to celebrate the queen's "extraordinary life and legacy" by selecting photos from their archives to illustrate the 250-page magazine.  There are also several long articles: Life Before the Throne, The Dawn of a New Era, Inside the House of Windsor, A Legacy for the Ages, and A Final Farewell.

Juliet Rieden, the royal correspondent for the Weekly, wrote "The Queen headed not just the Windsors but a national and Commonwealth family -- we all felt connected to her, a part of her long journey."

Yes -- there was a special connection, and not just for the UK and the Commonwealth, but also for Americans and others.

This commemorative issue was the first of three issues published by Australian Women's Weekly.  I have not seen the other two editions.

This a company in Australia that sells Aussie magazines.  The magazine is available but I do not know if the company sells outside of Australia.

Neither of the Australian publications is available through the US and UK Amazon sites.   EBay may have copies.

The final magazine on the list is Queen Elizabeth II: A Life in Pictures, published by National Geographic.  This was the first magazine I bought .. in the supermarket checkout line!  The price is $14.99 ($17.99 Can).

Erin Blakemore is the author of the magazine's text, which celebrates the Queen's "life of steadfast devotion."

Many of the photos come from National Geographic's archives.  This is my favorite of all the commemorative magazines  -- at least the ones I have seen -- because of its simplicity, thanks to Blakemore's words and the photo selection.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,  This is what I would like for Christmas, but I understand if you can't make it to my house -- the kids come first.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Royalty Digest -- final issue of the year


Looking to give yourself a wonderful Christmas present.   Royalty Digest Quarterly is the best royal history magazine!   Let's be honest:  it is the ONLY royal history magazine.   

You won't regret your present to yourself.

I am the author of the article on Lord Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Ashley's wedding.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

More new books to get excited about


Sally Bedell Smith is a consummate biographer.  I look forward to George VI and Elizabeth The Marriage that Saved the Monarchy.  Queen Elizabeth II granted Bedell access to her parents' letters and diaries in the Royal Archives.  The book will be published in April 2023 by Random House.

A British edition has yet to be announced.

[In full transparency, if you purchase these books or use the links to shop at Amazon or, I make a few pennies per sale -- whatever you purchase on Amazon through a link.  Amazon pays me in gift cards.  It takes time to reach the monthly threshold to earn a gift card, which I use to buy more books!!!!   Thank you.]


Sunday, November 27, 2022

My Years with the Queen by Lady Pamela Hicks


This book will be fantastic.   My Years With the Queen will be published in the UK on April 13, 2023.  The publisher is Ebury Spotlight.  

Lady Pamela's younger daughter, India Hicks, says the book will also be published in the United States.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

In Napoleonic Days: Extracts from the private diary of Augusta, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld


Augusta, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Saafeld (1757-1851) was the grandmother of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  Her diary offers good insight into the time period between 1806 and 1821.   The original edition was published in 1941.  This new edition includes photographs.

It is available in paperback and on Kindle.