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  1. Hardman, Robert. Our Queen I was rather put off by the cosy title, but found this popular book more and more compelling as it progressed. It’s a book not only of interest to royal watchers but the general reader. It must be difficult for any researcher invited to peruse the royal family’s private papers and private lives to give an objective portrait, but Hardman does pretty well. Andrew Marr’s comprehensive though somewhat hagiographic account of the Queen’s life did the job well too, but Hardman’s book supplies an abundance of intimate detail and scores of glossy pictures that show a perpetually smiling monarch shaking hands with dignitaries, beaming at crowds, and just occasionally dutifully solemn in her robes. This is a book for anyone who is remotely interested in what goes on, both on parade and backstage. The ceremonies and processions are meticulously detailed, the clothes, the carriages, the protocol, the cock-ups, right down to the sweepers of horse manure.
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