Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Book Review: Elizabeth & Margaret the Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton


This biography from a New York Times bestselling author follows Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Margaret as they navigate life in the royal spotlight. They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward Vlll abdicated the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forevermore Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called 'Lillibet.' And bow to her wishes. Margaret's struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system—and her fraught relationship with its expectations—was often a source of tension.. This book explores their relationship over the years.


One of the very first biographies I ever read was Andrew Morton's biography on Diana, Princess of Wales. At the time it was one of the most read books at the library, and after weeks of waiting, I finally went out and bought my own copy. I think I read it in a day. He gave us all a look into the Royal Family with that book and now he is back with yet another book on the famous family, this time with Elizabeth and Margaret.

Though written with respect to the Queen and family, he gave us a thorough history Of Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret, beginning with their childhood and continuing until Margaret's death in 2002.

He shows us how the decision of their Uncle David who became Edward VIII gave up his title and throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, altered Elizabeth, and Margaret's future greatly. It thrust the girls and their parents into a limelight none really wanted when their father then became King. This put Elizabeth next in line for the throne ( even though I am pretty sure she was anyway, because David was in his 40s and still not married when he took the throne ). This also made Margaret pretty much just the heir's sister, later the Queen's sister, and caused her a bit of jealousy. You will follow them through disagreements, love affairs, marriages, family deaths, and childbirth, and of course how they dealt with each other, Margaret a loyal servant to her sister and the crown until the day she died, and Elizabeth the loving sister to Margaret.

The two sisters differed greatly in personality and temperament, Elizabeth was shy and obedient, while Margaret was the life of the party, an attention seeker, very outgoing. He writes about Elizabeth and Margaret as sisters , and as individuals, giving us an insight into their relationship with each other, with lovers, and with family. He does spend a bit more time with Margaret which I enjoyed, as there are already so many biographies on just the Queen.

If you are a fan of the Netflix series The Crown, or just want a deeper look into the lives of these two women, or the Royal Family in general then you need to pick up Elizabeth and Margaret, you won't be disappointed.

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