Book Review: Gordon Kerr's The Queen: Secrets and Celebrations of Her Majesty

2012 marked the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years as on the Throne. Not everyone could rule that long. Save for her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, so far, Her Majesty is the longest reigning sovereign in the British realms. Kerr’s coffee table book, Queen: Secrets & Celebrations of Her Majestyis a splendid recollection and a magnificent tribute to a Queen whose life and reign has been dedicated to the service and honor of her country. Indeed, in the words of Marilyn Braun, Her Majesty is the last of her kind, thanks to her  “dedication… her dignity, [and] her ability to remain impartial,” something which “the rest of the royals look diminished in comparison.”

Indeed, her Majesty occupies a special place in the hearts of the British people. For more than 60 years now, she has seen this island national through many ups and downs, but it is her deep sense of duty, and her devotion to her country amd family that engenders her such a sense of admiration and affection.

The book is a vivid diary that holds so many of the Queen’s most precious moments, including state visits, which are featured in the first chapter of this well-documented and colorful book. Also captured and recorded are the numerous formal occasions, including state openings of Parliament and other ceremonial duties that are steeped in pageantry and tradition. Away from such official events, the book also features Her Majesty’s personal moments that she shared with the Royal Family. From Her Majesty’s own wedding to that of her grandson William, the book details the most significant moments in the Queen’s life, as well as celebrations that are most dear to her, including the Trooping of the Colour, her Silver and Golden Jubilees. The book also features the Queen’s “informal” side. From meeting and rubbing elbows with celebrities during screen premieres and Royal Variety performances  to one of her walkabouts and meeting with ordinary people, the book shows how really approachable a lady she is, one that makes her stay connected to the nations and peoples which she rules.

Indeed, Kerr’s The Queen is a photographic narrative of the larger-than-life story of Queen Elizabeth II. It is story of dedication, dignity and duty but also one of achievements, happiness, family and joy. Indeed, it is a timely celebration of a treasured monarch.

About the author:

Gordon Kerr worked in bookselling and publishing houses before he started out his career as a writer. Since then, he has already published more than 30 books, most historical, including a Short History of Europe, A Short History of Africa and Great British Losers. 


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