George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Saved the Monarchy by Sally Bedell Smith

George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Saved the Monarchy by Sally Bedell Smith

Title:  George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Saved the Monarchy
Author: Sally Bedell Smith
Publisher:  Random House 
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, History
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  736
Date of US Publication:  4 April, 2023
My Rating:  5 Stars

My Thoughts 

The story of how "we four" came to be. 

After reading and enjoying the author's previous books about Elizabeth and Charles, I was so pleased to receive a copy of this which I began reading in    2022 and read over the course of a few months. It's so very detailed and in-depth at 701 pages that I preferred taking the time to read this at a more leisurely pace than I generally do. 

After the late Queen granted Sally Bedell Smith access to the National Archives as well as in Scotland, the author has done it again and given us a meticulously researched, well written and extremely engaging book about the wonderful relationship of George VI and The Queen Mother. I learned quite a few items of interest that I had been previously unaware of. 

A final note - I cannot imagine someone living a 102 year lifetime and remaining oblivious to the cost of one's lifestyle.


* Reading this definitely made me appreciate David's abdication even more as I can't imagine a more steadfast and caring presence than the late Queen was.

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the DRC!


A revelatory account of how the loving marriage of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth saved the monarchy during World War II, and how they raised their daughter to become Queen Elizabeth II, based on exclusive access to the Royal Archives—from the bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen and Prince Charles

Granted special access by Queen Elizabeth II to her parents’ letters and diaries and to the papers of their close friends and family, Sally Bedell Smith brings the love story of this iconic royal couple to vibrant life. This deeply researched and revealing book shows how a loving and devoted marriage helped the King and Queen meet the challenges of World War II, lead a nation, solidify the public’s faith in the monarchy, and raise their daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, shattering the Crown’s reputation, his younger brother, known as Bertie, assumed his father’s name and became King George VI. Shy, sensitive, and afflicted with a stutter, George VI had never imagined that he would become King. His wife, Elizabeth, a pretty, confident, and outgoing woman who became known later in life as “the Queen Mum,” strengthened and advised her husband. With his wife’s support, guidance, and love, George VI was able to overcome his insecurities and become an exceptional leader, navigating the country through World War II, establishing a relationship with Winston Churchill, visiting Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington and in Hyde Park, and inspiring the British people with his courage and compassion during the Blitz. Simultaneously, George VI and Elizabeth trained their daughter Princess Elizabeth from an early age to be a highly successful monarch, and she would reign for an unprecedented seventy years.

Sally Bedell Smith gives us an inside view of the lives, struggles, hopes, and triumphs of King George VI and Elizabeth during a dramatic time in history.


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