Linda Herrick is the Arts and Books Editor at the NZ Herald.

Book Review: Our Queen

Add a comment

Our Queen by Robert Hardman
Arrow $29.99

Book cover of Our Queen by Robert Hardman. Photo / Supplied
Book cover of Our Queen by Robert Hardman. Photo / Supplied

Robert Hardman, a former Fleet St royal correspondent and the man who interviewed Prince Charles in the BBC documentary Charles at 60, has had access to "every level" of the Royal Household, he trumpets in the introduction to this exhaustive study of HRH.

"With exclusive new material for the Diamond Jubilee edition" (the book first came out last year), it opens with an interview with Prince William, who says he has looked at photos of his grandmother when she stepped into the role at age 25 and concludes: "She looks so incredibly natural in the role." All the more remarkable, given what he and his brother were both up to at the same age.

This minutely detailed book - with breathless titles like "Her Achievement", "Her People",
"Her Image" - is for true devotees, but a dilettante's flick through the index provides a little fun. I repeat, a little.

Taylor, Elizabeth 292: The Duke of Edinburgh at a film premiere. "The Duke's eye was unavoidably drawn to to the low-cut dress doing battle with Elizabeth Taylor's cleavage," writes Hardman.

"Turning to his Comptroller, the Duke whispered, 'hop in'."

Elizabeth II, Personal Life, Likes & dislikes 47: "horses: good; spicy food: bad, etc. She likes driving fast but hates seatbelts."

"Key, John" gets six mentions. They're pretty bland. Actually, unless you are one of the aforementioned devotees, so is the book.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 May 2017 17:22:08 Processing Time: 420ms