When the Duke of Windsor abdicated the throne in 1936, his shy, uncertain, unprepared younger brother became King. Sally Bedell Smith was granted access to the letters and diaries of George VI and Elizabeth, to tell the story of how their love, devotion, and strong marriage led George VI to overcome insecurities and difficulty speaking and to become an exceptional leader.
While the couple’s story has been told many times before, it assumes newfound freshness against the backdrop of today’s relentless press coverage of the Windsor dramas. Smith’s lively account reminds readers that at its finest hour — whatever the historic sins or abiding iniquities of the British Empire itself — the crown managed to stand for selfless leadership, resilience and compassion for its people.
The author alternates nuanced accounts of their respective lives within the same aristocratic social set ... Smith gracefully brings us into her subjects’ inner world, a journey aided by a generous selection of photos.