The Untold Story of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother by Lady Colin Campbell: A Book Review

The Untold Story of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother
Author: Lady Colin Campbell
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Arcadia Books 
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 512
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Packed with stunning revelations, this is the inside story of The Queen Mother from the New York Times bestselling author who first revealed the truth about Princess Diana

     Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother has been called the "most successful queen since Cleopatra." Her personality was so captivating that even her arch-enemy Wallis Simpson wrote about "her legendary charm." Portrayed as a selfless partner to the King in the Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech, The Queen Mother is most often remembered from her later years as the smiling granny with the pastel hats. When she died in 2002, just short of her 102nd birthday, she was praised for a long life well lived. 

     But there was another side to her story. For the first time, Lady Colin Campbell shows us that the untold life of the Queen Mother is far more fascinating and moving than the official version that has been peddled ever since she became royal in 1923. With unparalleled sources--including members of the Royal Family, aristocrats, and friends and relatives of Elizabeth herself—this mesmerizing account takes us inside the real and sometimes astonishing world of the royal family.

     My Review: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, has lived for over one hundred years. She led a fascinating life. She is often portrayed to be a symbol of courage and moral support for Britain. However, this biography of the Queen Mother by Lady Colin Campbell portrays a different and darker side to the queen. Lady Colin Campbell tells us that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is not like the image of the supportive wife in The King’s Speech. Instead, she is ambitious, manipulative, selfish, and cunning. This portrait of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is the true story of the queen.

    I found this biography to be hard to believe. The author slandered her subject. I did not buy the story that Elizabeth was the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and his cook. The evidence for her claim was flimsy at best. I also found it hard to believe that the reason why she married Prince Albert is because she had been chasing Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, the whole time. However, when the Prince of Wales constantly kept his distance from her and rejected her, the author claims Elizabeth settled for second best, Prince Albert. There was no evidence to this, except based on the Duke of Windsor’s claims, which are very biased. Elizabeth is often made fun of by the author. She even called her fat many times throughout the book, and even stated that most men did not want her and often ran from her. The only man who wanted her was Prince Albert, and he was portrayed as a stuttering fool. Thus, Elizabeth is often depicted as a villain who pushed Prince Edward off the throne in order to become the queen of England.

  Overall, this was a very unreliable biography of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The claims the author made seemed very far-fetched and were backed up with little to no evidence. The evidence for her statements were based on either the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s quotes and what her deceased former mother-in-law said. Thus, this book was not historically-researched, but is mostly a long gossip article in the form of a biography. While I do admit that Elizabeth may not have been a saint, I definitely do not think that she was as villainous and selfish as the author claims. While there were some entertaining parts to the novel, I have to say that this is not a history book that is based on fact. Therefore, this was a very disappointing book. I bought it on kindle for $2.99, but even that cheap price was not worth it. I ended up having to return it, and quickly watched The Crown on Netflix to get rid of the sour taste in my mouth. For history buffs like me, I would not recommend this biography to anyone unless they like to read juicy gossip solely for pleasure. Thus, The Untold Story of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother is a book that should be read not for factual information, but only for entertainment.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5


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