THE amazing 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, which has witnessed a seismic change in British life, is well described in the latest book by historian and biographer Sarah Bradford.

The Queen was only 25 when she ascended the throne, yet from the start, she embraced her new role with all the dedication and self-discipline that have been the hallmarks of her reign.

This extremely readable book covers, in a non-sensationalist way, the many storms the Queen has weathered through the years, not least within her own family.

As she never gives personal interviews, the mystery of what she is like "as a person" can never be fully resolved.

Apart from her well-known equine interests, one gets the impression of a lady always in command of herself, and not to be trifled with, but with a good sense of humour and unexpectedly vivacious in private.

With her commendable but increasingly out-of-fashion virtues, it is unlikely that Britain will have another monarch quite like her again.


(Review by Anthony Looch)