From one of Britain's best-known observers of the monarchy—an intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, England's longest-reigning queen, in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee

History has known no monarch like her. She has traveled farther than all her predecessors put together and lived longer than any of them. She has known more historic figures than anyone alive—from Churchill to Mandela, de Gaulle to Obama.

Now, the distinguished royal writer Robert Hardman has been granted special access to the world of Queen Elizabeth II to produce this enthralling new portrait of one of the most popular public figures on earth. Not only has Elizabeth II reigned through Britain's transformation from an imperial power to a multicultural nation, but she has also steered the monarchy through more reforms in the last twenty-five years than in the previous century.

Queen Elizabeth II sits at the head of an ancient institution that remains simultaneously popular, regal, inclusive, and relevant in a twenty-first-century world. It is down to neither luck nor longevity: It is down to the shrewd judgment of a thoroughly modern monarchy—with no small assistance from the longest-serving consort in history. Here is the inside story.