Book Review: The Crown: The Inside History by Robert Lacey

The Crown: The Inside History…


The official book to the critically acclaimed Netflix drama, The Crown, including additional material and exclusive images.

A fascinating exploration of Elizabeth II’s early years as Princess and Queen, complete with extensive research, additional material and beautifully reproduced photographs.

‘The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.’

Elizabeth Mountbatten never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her with a throne to fill and a global institution to govern. Crowned at 25, she was already a wife and mother. Follow the journey of a woman learning to become a queen.

As Britain lifted itself out of the shadow of war, the new monarch faced her own challenges. Her mother doubted her marriage; her uncle-in-exile derided her abilities; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; while her rebellious sister embarked on a love affair that threatened the centuries-old links between the Church and the Crown. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of resolve to ensure that the Crown always came out on top.

Netflix’s original series The Crown dramatised Peter Morgan’s powerful portrayal of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Written by royal biographer Robert Lacey, The Crown: The Inside History adds expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Here is Elizabeth II as we’ve never seen her before.




My Thoughts:

So, my obsession with the Queens of England continues as I progress from Victoria to The Crown. In between watching the series, I couldn’t resist picking up the book, released as a beautiful hardcover in November of 2017, by Allen and Unwin, just in time for Christmas!

And what a beautiful book it is. The only thing I like more than reading about history is looking at pictures about history, and this book combines the two perfectly. Don’t be mistaken into thinking this is one of those โ€˜The Making of…โ€™ books; far from it. Rather, The Crown details the background to each episode of the series within the historical context of the events it portrays. It’s really quite fascinating, and reaches beyond the people to the political and social history of England at the time. Filled with the major and the incidental, I enjoyed this book immensely.


I have a renewed admiration for Prince Phillip as well as a deep feeling of sympathy for Princess Margaret. Above all though, I am in awe of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Married to a second son who was never supposed to be King, her reluctance for the job of Queen Consort did not hamper her efforts and she really is a shining beacon of a woman who combined love and duty to exhibit compassion and dignity at all times. She was a people person and never gave her people any reason to not love her. With a mother such as her, it’s little wonder Queen Elizabeth II is in turn such an admirable monarch.


After examining Elizabeth I, Victoria, and now Elizabeth II, I will confidently pass judgement and say: long live the Queen. If history is anything to go by, our Queens do better than our Kings. They live longer and rule with far more productivity, dignity and compassion. And it’s not just me who thinks so, Churchill said it first!


The Crown is an ideal gift for any royal enthusiast and it makes for a gorgeous coffee table book as well. You don’t need to have watched the series to appreciate this book, it more than holds its own.



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