Saturday 8 May 2021

Book ~ "Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters" (2021) Andrew Morton

From Goodreads ~This biography follows Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Margaret, as they navigate life in the royal spotlight. 

They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward Vlll abdicated the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forever more Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called 'Lillibet.' And bow to her wishes. 

Margaret's struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system - and her fraught relationship with its expectations - was often a source of tension.. This book explores their relationship over the years. 

Elizabeth was four years old when her sister, Margaret was born.  Though they were close, the sisters were different ... Elizabeth was quieter and more of a rule follower whereas Margaret was the more attention seeking sister.  Things all changed when their uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne and their father was suddenly and unexpectedly the king ...which meant that Elizabeth would someday become queen.  This shifted the dynamics between the sisters because Elizabeth now started being groomed to take over the monarchy someday and Margaret was left out, which she didn't like at all.

The book follows the sisters as they were growing up.  Things shifted again when Elizabeth married Phillip and didn't spend as much time with Margaret.  The book focuses more on Margaret after Elizabeth's marriage.  She became a party girl and started dating a married man (he eventually divorced his wife).  That relationship cooled as distance was put between them and Margaret ended up marrying someone else.  It was a hot and cold relationship, becoming freezing as the years went by, and they ended up hating each other.  There was bad behavior on both sides, including infidelity.  They divorced and Margaret moved on to a much younger man.  Margaret's smoking and partying behavior caught up with her and in her later years she wasn't in the best of health.  She ended up passing away at the age of 70.

I like reading bios/autobios and thought this one was interesting.   I liked the writing style.  It wasn't overly long as there weren't a lot of details and I was okay with the high level view.

There are lots of pictures at the end of the book from when they were children to Margaret's coffin being carried from the chapel.

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