Some of my reading this month- what little there was – has taken on a royal tinge, in keeping with the recent Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
I’ve been dipping into Andrew Marr’s The Diamond Queen and rediscovered Jeremy Paxman’s On Royalty to put some of the pomp and ceremony into a slightly sceptical, journalistic context. Both are very readable, entertaining reflections on the reign and character of Elizabeth II, with some ‘insider’ access to her staff, houses and family members. Both journalists describe themselves as former republicans so they’re not overly mawkish and sentimental. Both are surprisingly admiring of Elizabeth Windsor herself and the peeks behind the palaces’ closed doors are fascinating.
At the other end of the spectrum, I treated our two children to their own royal reading: Me, The Queen and Christopher by Giles Andrae and Tony Ross for my 7 year old son which he read by himself after lights out (behind closed doors, the Queen likes to dance to disco music in her tracksuit and eat baked beans, with obvious consequences). Peppa Pig Meets the Queen has been a bedtime essential for my 3 and a half year old daughter for the last week; even the Queen must put her wellies on before jumping into muddy puddles, apparently. Richard Brassey’s The Queen is another very informative and well illustrated children’s introduction to the Queen’s life and reign.
And glaring at me from another shelf is Becoming Queen, the early life and reign of England’s only other Diamond Queen, Victoria. Yes Ma’am, I will be with you shortly.
These bibliophilic treats will probably last longer than the bunting around our neighbourhood.