Britain’s Royal Family is always a source of curiosity, and their Monarch is no exception. Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, has been featured in a number of films, documentaries, and books over the past several years. Here are a few to enjoy.
The Queen, a 2006 feature film starring Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, portrays the turmoil in the Royal Family in the days following Diana, Princess of Wales’ death. This film portrays the public’s strong sentiment in favor of the Princess, as the Queen struggles with a proper response to her former daughter-in-law’s death. Mirren’s portrayal is sensitive, with a bit of humor thrown in, and well worth the viewing.
As Queen, Elizabeth has sometimes seemed detached from her subjects, and fiction authors have responded by imagining her in creative ways. Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader poses a unique notion: What if Queen Elizabeth became such an avid reader that she loses interest in her “duty,” and becomes more introspective and sympathetic to others? This novella is a quick, pithy read, and sure to bring a smile.
Author William Kuhn creates a different scenario for the Queen. In Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, the longtime Sovereign of the United Kingdom ponders what she might be find missing in her life. The answer, strangely enough, is Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia, the former Royal Yacht of the British monarch. Alone on an inclement winter’s day, Elizabeth grows restless. First, she decides to visit one of her horses, also named Elizabeth. Then she’s off to the cheese store to buy Elizabeth (the horse) some of her favorite cheese. And finally, Elizabeth boards a public train bound for Scotland to visit her beloved yacht. The chaos that ensues among the Queen’s staff and acquaintances by her unexpected journey helps cement relationships, and demonstrates loyalty beyond “duty” to their Sovereign. This book, like The Queen and The Uncommon Reader, adds a bit of warmth and compassion to a celebrated historical figure.
For more in the Library’s catalog about Queen Elizabeth, click here.
Grab a warm cup of tea and your favorite QEII tale, and enjoy!