The commonwealth

Elizabeth II’s devotion to the Commonwealth

It’s a question which would inevitably surface during any serious discussion of Queen Elizabeth II: who was her favourite prime minister? Unlike her grandfather, George V, who was clear that he favoured Ramsay MacDonald (and told him so), or George VI, for whom Winston Churchill was the clear winner, Elizabeth II always kept us guessing. Was she, too, a Churchill devotee? Some say she harboured a greater fondness for her first Labour PM, Harold Wilson, and not just because he was good company and shielded her from the republican wrath of his own MPs. He did not, unlike Churchill, outstay his welcome but timed his resignation to divert attention from

The Queen’s dedication to service was learnt at her father’s knee

If you have ever thought that there cannot be anything new to say or to learn about the Queen, you have not yet read Robert Hardman’s revelatory new biography of her in this, her astonishing Platinum Jubilee year. Hardman has spent the past 30 years researching and understanding the British monarchy, and he writes with an extraordinary fount of knowledge but, even more important, with a heartfelt appreciation of what has been called ‘the genius of constitutional monarchy’ and for the members of the family who implement it. He has interviewed everyone possible, including Prince Philip’s German great-niece and almost everyone else on the German side of the family, of