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Her Majesty: The Court of Queen Elizabeth II
By Robert Hardman
(Pegasus Books, 384 pages, $27.95)
After her sixty years on the Throne of Great Britain, what is there left that is both genuinely new and also interesting that can possibly be written about Queen Elizabeth II? The answer, as this superb new book shows, is a very great deal, which is nonetheless somehow fitted into fewer than 350 pages of text. This is because the author inhabits that gilded world between Royal confidant—Prince William granted Robert Hardman his first-ever book interview for this work—serious historian, and upmarket veteran Royal journalist. He’s the man the Court trusts to get his facts right, and if anyone knows what makes the Queen tick, it’s Hardman. When 99 percent of Fleet Street hacks are jostling outside the Palace gates trying to pay for a snippet of (often untrue) gossip from a lowly third-footman, Hardman is inside having lunch with the Lord Chamberlain in his private office on the second floor facing Admiralty Arch.