Tom Driberg

Resolute, dignified and intelligent: Elizabeth II inspired loyalty from the start

It was George VI who first called his extended family ‘the Firm’. Today, with so many injuries and key players on the bench, it might better be known as ‘the Team’ – and one struggling to avoid relegation. It’s what you might call a reign in pain. So it’s a good time for Alexander Larman to publish this appreciative, but not sycophantic, conclusion to his royal trilogy. Its predecessors were The Crown in Crisis (2020) and The Windsors at War, published last year. The latest volume concerns the period between VE Day in 1945 and the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth in 1953 when, in Larman’s telling, the royal