In July 1956, Marilyn Monroe arrived in London—on honeymoon with her husband Arthur Miller—to make "The Prince and the Showgirl" with Sir Laurence Olivier. It was meant to be a happy time, but famously, did not turn out as she had hoped.
... exhaustively researched ... The real strength of Morgan’s book is her ability to place four months in a famous woman’s life under a microscope: who she met, what she wore, how she felt. Monroe’s genuine excitement about meeting the Queen and her endless friendliness to the fans who loved her are endearing. What emerges is not only a close-up of Marilyn but also a picture of someone who, like many of us, romanticizes people and places only to find disappointment.
When Marilyn Met the Queen is the tenth book written by Michelle Morgan about Marilyn Monroe, and her familiarity with the subject shows – both in her evident sympathy for the star and in the impressive level of detail brought to the research ... written in lively fashion, keeping the reader’s attention with a series of snippets that are as revealing about 1950s Britain as they are about film-making ... While this abundance of granular detail is the book’s forte, it also becomes its weakness. The author tends to hide behind the numerous quotes ... Given that The Prince and the Showgirl is not either actor’s greatest achievement, we may ask whether we needed an entire book devoted to the troubled shoot of a tedious movie. If When Marilyn Met the Queen is short on analysis, however, it delivers for the fans. The book is interested not in unpicking the star as a cultural or filmic phenomenon, but in revealing the real person 'behind the scenes'. Star studies may have shown that this is an illusion, and that, while the star is indeed a real person, she can only be understood as a multimedia construction, but fans don’t care and they can never have enough: what she wears, how she feels, how she sleeps, what she reads, her love life (she’s on her honeymoon with Miller), her health (her addiction to prescription drugs; was she pregnant or not?). In this respect, When Marilyn Met the Queen will not disappoint.
Fans of Marilyn Monroe and the Golden Age of Hollywood will enjoy this slice of the actress’s life that she spent in England in 1956 ... While covering a relatively short period between July and November, the book is chock full of history, personal anecdotes, and beautiful details ... While highly detailed, this book is an effortless read that will take readers back in time and make them want to watch their favorite Marilyn Monroe film ... An enjoyable peek into the past that provides insight into Monroe’s life and the zeitgeist of 1950s England. Film buffs and fans of the era will enjoy Morgan’s biography, as will any reader interested in Monroe and her enduring legacy.