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A QUEEN ADORED ENGLANDS ELIZABETH IICountess of Longford Elizabeth Pakenham was born in London England in 1906She attended Lady Margaret Hall and Oxford University where she studied classicalhistory and philosophy She later married Oxford professor and politicianthe seventh Earl of Longford in 1931 with whom she had eight children Sheworked as a tutor from 1930-36 in the Workers Educational Association andwas a member of the Paddington and St Pomcras Rent Tribunal from 1946-51She was also a Labour party candidate for Cheltenham and later for the Cityof Oxford After both campaigns proved unsuccessful Longford began her careeras a writer in 1954 where she concentrated on the topic of parenting Shelater turned her focus to British history and became recognized for hertalent as a biographer She was awarded the James Tait Memorial Prize forbest biography in 1964 for Victoria RI Longford claimed the Yorkshire PostBook of the Year Award twice with Wellington1969 and The Royal House ofWindsor Winston Churchill in 1974 It is with this same thoroughness andtrue human interest that she captures the life of Englands reigning monarchin The Queen The Life of Elizabeth IIThough surveys have revealed that at any one time between 15 and 30 of theEnglish people claim they would prefer a republic the majority uphold thetraditional support of the monarchy as has been the English custom for overa thousand years Since 1952 the endeared Queen Elizabeth II has played thisrole in her countrys politics as an important aspect of the modern nationsidentity As she has proved neither conservative nor liberal in her stanceshe has so come to symbolize a popular democracyIt was raining on the sunless April day in 1926 when Elizabeth Bowes-Lyonannounced to her husband of three years that it was time The Duke and Duchessof York were anticipating the birth of their first child As the doctorswere soon to discover this was not to be a routine delivery The child wasbreech and as night fell the decision to perform a
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