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tv   History Bookshelf Sally Bedell Smith Elizabeth The Queen  CSPAN  September 19, 2022 6:05am-6:56am EDT

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let me tell you because if we're going to have a long line this evening. so if you want a book signed, but you don't want to stand in
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line purchase a book leave it at the information counter for with the instructions of how you would like it signed and then you can pick it up anytime after tomorrow morning. we'll get it signed for you. i'm barbara meade. i'm one of the founders of politics and prose and this evening. i want to welcome sally bedell smith. i've introduced hers several times before and this evening. she's here to talk about her new biography of elizabeth who is in her 60th year as queen her diamond anniversary it is and chronicling the lives of william paley pamela harriman diana both the kennedys and the clintons. i think that sally has well established herself as a prominent biographer prominent
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and bestselling biographer i should say for the past 15 years. she's also been a contributing editor to vogue. and before that she wrote for time and she was a cultural reporter for the new york times. during the time just as a personal side that she was researching this biography. she and while she was interviewing over 200 people and spending six months in residence in london. her daughter was married. this was a true anglo-american event her daughter married in english army officer at the guards chapel, which is just what she says was a stone's throw for buckingham palace. um the part that i've just telling sally the part of elizabeth's life that i was so impressed with was her complete dedication being a well-informed monarch.
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she was regularly briefed by the prime minister and she assiduously went to her diplomatic red red leather box that came to her every day that had intelligence reports budget reporter reports minutes of a very sessions of parliament. she was just she was very studious in doing that. well, there's there's no recognized profession our school that you can go to to become a queen so she came at it really of with no experience at all, but she really successfully created a position in which she was both monarch wife and mother. but most of all i think in a royal family that had been so marked by scandal actually it was scandal that put her once again. it was the one that put her onto
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the throne and that was the the marriage of edward the eighth to the twice divorced wallace simpson and so that he abdicated in order to do that and that placed her directly in line of to succeed to the throne. um, she and then on top of that she's had three divorces in her family three of her children now have been divorced. she's had the lives of her two, daughters-in-law diana and camilla parker bowles both been in the gossip columns over and over again, and it's been something that she's so so successfully created her own distance from and it's never and she has by all reports and i think you'll certainly feel this when you finish the book is a
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well well respected queen, but sally will tell us about she's also been able to preserve a very good sense of humor and have a great what sally described as you want to be. so here sally to tell us all that. thank you very much. barbara said i was so tickled to see you here tonight, because i've so enjoyed being introduced. by you before you're always so thoughtful and your introductions and thank you very very much. um several years ago when the queen was at one of her yearly garden parties at buckingham palace making her way through a crowd of nearly 9,000 people and greeting a selection of guests. she was asking such standard questions as have you come far. when one woman looked at her and
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said, what do you do? several days later at a friend's birthday party the queen described the exchange and confessed. i had no idea what to say. it was the first time in all the years of meeting people that anybody had ever asked her that question. or my job in writing elizabeth. the queen was not only to explain what she does but to tell what she's really like. and to take the reader as close as possible to elizabeth the human being the wife the mother and the friend as well as the highly respected leader. today i'm going to talk first about what it was like to write about queen elizabeth. and second. i'd like to share with you some of the many surprising discoveries that i made about the queen. because she is the best known woman in the world. people feel is if they know her. but the real woman is very
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different from the woman in velvet and ermine. this is my sixth biography all of them about larger than life characters that barbara mentioned, but there is no one like the queen and she lives in her very own remarkable world. well other heads of state have come and gone elizabeth is the longest serving leader in the world spanning the 20th and 21st centuries. she is the 40th monarch in the thousand year history of the british monarchy. raining over the united kingdom of england wales, scotland and northern ireland along with 15 realms and 14 overseas territories. she is the second monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee marking 60 years on the throne, which is a milestone that you will reach on february 6th. the only other was her great great grandmother, queen,
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victoria. who celebration was 115 years ago in 1897 when she was 78 years old. if elizabeth who will soon turn 86 is still on the throne in september 2015. she will surpass victoria's reign of nearly 64 years. between the two of them victoria and elizabeth have been on the throne for 124 of the last 174 years. and have symbolized britain far longer than the four men who were kings between their reins. elizabeth is always surrounded by people. but being queen makes her a solitary and singular figure. it is crucial for her to keep a delicate balance at all times if she seems too mysterious and distant. she loses her bond with her
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subjects, but if she seems too much like everyone else she loses her mystique. she doesn't carry a passport. she doesn't have a driver's license, although one of her cousins told me that she drives like a bat out of hell on the roads of her country estates. she can't vote. she can't appear as a witness in court and she can't change her faith from anglican to roman catholic. and because of her hereditary position everyone around her including her closest friends and her family. bowels and curtsies when they greet her and when they say goodbye to her. although she was trained by strict nannies who prevented her from being spoiled. she was also trained from childhood to expect this deference. a friend of mine told me about the time when then princess elizabeth came to visit his family castle in scotland. and he playfully threw her onto a sofa.
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his father the twelfth earl of airlie took him by the arm punched him in the stomach and said don't you ever do that to royalty? the princess didn't mind my friend told me but that was the structure in which she was brought up. so how does a biographer particularly in american penetrate the royal bubble, especially when the queen has had a policy for the past 60 years of not granting interviews? actually, it really wasn't too different from the way i approached my other books which was to turn to those who knew her best for insights and information. i am a long time anglophile and i visited britain frequently over the past three decades and have made a lot of friends. some of whom help me when i was reporting my book on princess diana in the late 1990s. when i started researching the queen's life, i went back to a
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group of key sources. who agreed to help me again and to introduce me to more people? knew the royal family they also served as my advocates in getting cooperation from buckingham palace. my book on diana had been fair to the royal family and particularly to charles. so the senior staff at the palace briefed the queen. and they gave me the green light. as a result i had access to her inner circle of close friends and advisors. while the queen has disciplined herself to keep her views and emotions under wraps in public. those close to her shared with me some of her fascinating opinions and feelings. what worried her most about prince charles when his marriage to diana was falling apart, for example. what would happen if she became physically or mentally incapacitated?
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and even some politically sensitive opinions, including one hot button issue that she discussed with an american ambassador. her friends explained the secrets of her serenity and her courage and they sized her up sometimes in unusual unusually perceptive ways monty roberts the california horse whisperer who was one of her most unlikely friends. told me that when the queen gave him good advice she showed. an incredible ability to read intention just like a horse does. with the assistance of the palace. i was also able to watch the queen and prince phillip in many different settings at the garter parade at windsor castle while presenting honors at buckingham palace investitures. and at one of her annual garden parties at the palace. for that i received a
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personalized invitation on white pasteboard embossed with goal in gold with the queen's crown and cipher announcing that the lord chamberlain. had been commanded by her majesty to invite me. everybody got that. watching the queen at that garden party make her way along a line of people. i was struck by her measured pace her lord chamberlain. who is the senior official at buckingham palace later told me that she moved slowly to absorb everything that's going on and to take as much in as she can. i also marveled at her mastery of brief but focused conversations and her sturdy stance. a technique that she once explained to the wife of one of her foreign secretaries by lifting her evening gown above her ankle. and saying one plants one's feet apart like this always keep them
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parallel. make sure your weight is evenly distributed and that's all there is to it. as i observed the queen over the course of a year. i accumulated impressions that helped me understand how she carries out her role and how earnestly she does her job with great discipline and concentration in every situation. she is not just a figurehead. and she has an impressive range of duties every day except christmas and easter. she spends several hours reading those government boxes that barbara just described. they are delivered they are they are red leather boxes that can only be opened by four keys. she reads them in the morning and at night and even on weekends one of her close friends told me about the time during one of the queen's visits when she was deskbound all morning. must you ma'am. her friend asked the queen
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replied if i missed once i might never catch up again. mary somes who is the youngest daughter of went over the queen's first prime minister winston churchill told me that when elizabeth was a young 25 year old queen. her father had been impressed by her attentiveness that she always paid attention to whatever she was doing. it's hard to imagine the amount of information that the queen has accumulated over six decades and she has used it in exercising her right to be consulted to encourage and to warn when she meets with government officials as well as senior military officers clergyman diplomats and judges who come to her for confidential private audiences as she once said the fact that there's nobody else there gives them a feeling that they can say what they like the most important
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encounters of these encounters have been the weekly audiences with her 12 prime ministers. consider the trajectory from churchill who was born in the 19th century and served in the army of her great-great-grandmother, queen, victoria. to david cameron her current prime minister who was born three years after her youngest child prince edward. she actually glimpsed the first of her there her for the first time her future twelfth prime minister when he appeared at age 8 in a school production of toad of toad hall with edward. probably her most fascinating relationship was with margaret thatcher. and in the course of my reporting i gained some great insights into how that relationship worked and some of which contradicted the common view the queen does not have
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executive power, but she does have unique influence. in a role is head of state. she represents the government officially at home and abroad but she also serves as head of nation, which means that she connects with people to reward their achievements and remain in touch with their concerns. two decades passed the normal retirement age. she still does something like 400 engagements a year. traveling around the united kingdom to cities as well as tiny hamlets. charles pole who served as private secretary to both john major and margaret thatcher told me that the queen knows every inch of this country in a way. no one else does. she spends so much time meeting people that she hasn't understanding of what other people's lives are like she understands what the normal human condition is. she's also spent an extraordinary amount of time
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honoring citizens and members of the military for exemplary service in 60 years. she has conferred more than 400,000 honors and awards and given them in person over 600 times. people need pats on the back. sometimes she has said it's a very dingy world otherwise traveling with the queen was particularly valuable, especially the overseas royal tour. i took to bermuda and trinidad. she was 83 years old at the time and her program called for long days of meeting and greeting. her stamina was impressive matched only by 88 year old prince phillip. whenever they go off on a trip together like that the lord chamberlain always accompanies to the airport and phillip terms around and waves adam him and says mind the shop. i got a real sense of how much in sync philip and elizabeth are.
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with an expert choreography sort of like fred astaire and ginger rogers. i also saw aspects of him that contradict his caricature of rashness and insensitivity. he always watches the queen intently to see whether she needs any assistance. i once saw him bring a little child over to greet her he often spots people in the crowd who can't see very well and he'll walk them out to give them a better vantage point. when the queen needs a boost he's also there with a humorous aside such as don't be so sad sausage. on the last night in trinidad. i also witnessed a close range what i had heard about from several people that the queen doesn't perspire even in the hottest temperatures. the british high commissioner was hosting a garden party in his hilltop home on such a steamy evening that everyone
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including me was dripping from the heat. but after an hour of lively conversations with some 65 guests the queen walked past me very close by and there was absolutely no moisture on her face. one of her cousins who traveled in the tropics with her explained to me in her own inimitable way that the queen's skin does not run water. and that while it may look good it does make her uncomfortable. i saw further evidence of this a year later on july day at ground zero in manhattan when the temperature hit 103 degrees. and one of the women the queen spoke to said to me afterwards. we were all pouring sweat, but she didn't have a bead on her that must be what it's like to be a royal. during these trips. i was able to see the buckingham palace machinery on the road. to get to know the senior
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officials and to get a feel for the atmosphere around the queen and the way her household has changed from the early days when it was run entirely by aristocratic men. as i stood in the lobby of her hotel in trinidad her master of the household pointed toward a half dozen footman one of whom was a woman all dressed in navy blue suits. see sam over there. he said he has a master's degree in paleontology. it was a far cry from the stereotype of downton abbey. getting to know all the places important to the queen further deepened my understanding at her stables and berkshire one of her horse trainers took me out on the gallups, which are the rolling hills where she loves to spend hours in the early morning mist wearing her head scarf her tweed jacket and her wellington boots as she watches her racehorses work out.
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at hollywood house her castle in edinboro a former senior palace official gave me a private tour. i spent the night in the tower. of the castle of may which is the queen mother's house in northern scotland where the queen used to visit every year. i hiked the hills and walked along the river d at the queen's estate in the scottish highland balmoral. at sandringham her estate in norfolk where she retreats for nearly six weeks every winter i spent a day getting a tour of the stud farm with her stud manager and her head stallion groom. i also spent a day inspecting the royal yacht britannia, which is now a museum near edinburgh. and i was lucky enough to attend several dinners in the ballroom and the picture gallery at buckingham palace. i was not alas a guest of the queen, but i was invited by
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prince charles who was hosting the one his annual gatherings of his prince of wales foundation. but sitting at a table decorated with george the third silver guilt candelabra and sculpted centerpieces, i could immerse myself in the experience of being served by footman in royal livery in rooms where the queen entertains heads of state. but my favorite moments were at windsor. which the queen considers her real home? i spent time with two of the queens elderly first cousins who have known her longer than anybody else. both live near the castle in modest homes that the queen gave to them. and every sunday after church the queen drives her jaguar to visit one of the cousins margaret rhodes who greets her with a curtsy enhancer a gin and dubonnet. and they sit down and they chat about friends and family. as i sat on margaret's sagging
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sofa. in her living room where her dog's toys were scattered all around on the floor. i could imagine the queen sitting in the very same spot with her hat on her head. but completely relaxed. at public events. i watched the queen at a distance all was the smiling icon moving through the crowd careful not to engage too much. so it was especially helpful to have three social encounters at private gatherings and each time. i caught the animated gestures the sparkling blue eyes and the flashing smile familiar to her friends, but rare in public. on my first meeting during a garden party at the british ambassador's residence here in washington. i watched the queen have a spirited conversation with my husband about the kentucky derby and i remembered what the british artist howard morgan had
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told me after painting her portrait. her private side took me completely by surprise. he said she talks like an italian she waves her hands about two years later after i'd been working on the queens biography for a year. i met her again at a reception at saint james's palace this time in honor of the pilgrims, which is a group that promotes anglo-american fellowship. when i mentioned to her that my daughter was getting married in london. she asked when is the wedding? the fourth of july i replied. oh, she said that's a little dangerous. once again, i saw the smile and the twinkle. the third time was a month before the wedding of prince william and kate middleton again. we met at saint james's palace at a party given by one of the queen's cousins. i knew that the queen would be there, but i didn't expect her
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to stay 90 minutes and she was in high spirits. the atmosphere was much more informal than the pilgrims reception probably because so many of her friends and and family members were there. and she was making her way happily on her own without any attendance running interference for her. and what really struck me was that here. she measure to her own palace. but she was merely another guest which was a measure to me of her surprising humility. when i greeted her i told her that i'd recently been to the home of one of her american friends in florida. i've never been to that house. she said so i told her about it and particularly that how much of it had been designed for their grandchildren. yes. she said and they have so many don't they? clearly she didn't miss a trick. the first question that people ask me about the queen.
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is what was most surprising? what was the most surprising thing i learned about her which is very difficult to answer because so much was unexpected. one surprise was that humility that i just mentioned part of her side. that is seldom scene. behind her regal and dignified image the queen is also smart shrewd tolerant cozy sensitive lively funny compassionate spontaneous, keenly observant and even earthy. so i'll give you a few of many the many examples of these traits that i found. how about cozy? when the american artist frolic weymouth was at windsor castle to paint a portrait of prince phillip the queen invited him to lunch in her private dining room. to weymouth amazement the there were no butlers around to serve the meal. not only did the queen insist on
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serving him from a buffet. she also insisted on clearing the table. she stacked the plates. he said which is what we were taught never to do when we were growing up. another time. she was entertaining a larger group at a luncheon and she told the man next to her. i need to explain about the napkins as she looked down the table. she said they're doing it all wrong. they have the starched side down. so the napkins will slide off their knees. do it like this with the unstarched side on your lap, and then you tuck it under your bottom. what about spontaneous while driving a scottish cleric on a tour of her balmoral estate? she suddenly shouted hooray. as they passed one of her gamekeepers walking on the hills with a young woman. the queen explained that his wife had left him and she was
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absolutely delighted that he was out with a new girlfriend. sensitive when margaret thatcher had her 80th birthday party in 2005. she had become frail. and her mind had been impaired by strokes. as the queen approached the former prime minister extended her hand and the queen held it as margaret thatcher kurtzy tour. but what was surprising? is that the queen continued to hold her hand and then tenderly guided her through the crowd of 650 guests, which was a remarkable sight for the british who are unaccustomed to seeing the queen so physically demonstrative. compassionate when ira terrorists killed lord louis mountbatten the queen's cousin and phillip's favorite uncle along with several other members of his family. the queen cared for mountbatten's 14 year old grandson timothy natchbowl who
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had been severely injured in the attack. when he arrived at balmoral late one evening with his sister the queen was there to greet them and she served them soup and sandwiches took them to their rooms and even started to unpack them until she was prevailed upon to go to bed. timothy later talked about her unstoppable mothering he told me that the queen had been caring and sensitive and intuitive and that she had managed to get him talking about his traumatic experience in a way that nobody else had been able to do. funny british actress prunella scales got rave reviews for playing the queen in alan bennett's play a question of attribution. and when she was introduced to the queen she bowed and the queen said i expect you think i should be doing that to you. earthy, probably the least expected trait when you think of
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the prim and proper queen imagine her stalking stag on the hills of above balmoral in her macintosh trousers crawling on her stomach through the undergrowth with her nose up against the boots of the stalker in front of her. or visiting her yearlings in their stables and seeing that they seem to be suffering from respiratory problems. she blew her nose showed her trainer. what was in the handkerchief and said it's too dusty in here. there's no air needless to say. he promptly installed a better ventilation system. and finally something surprising because i just think the the image is so sweet. when the queen and prince phillip were guests of ronald and nancy reagan on a trip to california in 1983. reagan's deputy chief of staff mike dever asked the queen's private secretary why she was taking so long to prepare for the evening. the queen needs her tiara time. he said the private secretary
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explained that she has a little kit with tools that she uses to decorate certain diamond tiaras by hooking pearls or emeralds or sapphires or rubies on them depending on what she's wearing. her former crown jeweler david thomas confirmed to me that this pastime is something she enjoys a great deal. while such private glimpses may surprise many people elizabeth's behavior as queen has always been reassuring and consistent and predictable. her wise conduct and her unifying her role as a unifying force are more valued today than ever. long admired and respected she is now beloved. when she celebrated her golden jubilee 10 years ago. people realize that she was about stability continuity calm through adversity and humor when things are going wrong her
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former senior advisor charles. anson told me suddenly they got the point of the queen who had been doing her job for 50 years. now that she's reached her 60 year milestone. she is bigger than politics or celebrity or fashion. yet she has learned to move with the times making sure the monarchy is responsive without being trendy. her ability to adapt to a changing world is all the more impressive when you consider that she grew up really in an edwardian atmosphere. she is the sheet anchor in the middle for people to hang on to in times of turbulence her lifelong friend and former top advisor. david airley told me. she lives by the values we all wish to have which have made her life story inspiring for me to write write about and i hope that readers are equally inspired.
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thank you. middle for questions, please. can you go to the bike? it's right behind you. it's right behind you. can't talk. no, no. up here you behind just turn around to go you go to the microphone. it's right here right here. there you go. what was the relationship with diane and the divorce of child and the situation? which the situation diane and charles? well, that was one of the most difficult periods of her brain.
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i would say she was hoping that her that her son charles would marry happily and i think at the beginning they all thought diana was ideal. they seemed to be very they seem to be in love or at least they'd talked into thinking they were in love, but they were in fact very badly mismatched she was very welcoming to diana in the beginning. i think everybody underestimated how sensitive and and how kind of emotionally turbulent she was and how difficult it would be for her to adapt to royal life, but one of her queen one of the one of princess diana's close friends said that the queen always kept an open door for her. the problem was that you know, the queen can be a bit formidable and diana was very young and she was she was somewhat intimidated by her and so she didn't take that opportunity to go and spend time with her and and get to know her better. and the queen was very busy and
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she just assumed that other people would take take care of her and bring her along which didn't really happen. but a lot of the problems that happened between charles and diana were quite invisible to both the queen and prince phillip and it really wasn't until the book written by andrew morton that diana had secretly collaborated with that was published in 1992 which was 11 years after they were married and it was it was highly critical of charles. it was very damaging to charles and very tough on the rest of the royal family. so the queen not an you know not not i mean completely understandably viewed this as an act of betrayal and disloyalty and it was compounded by the fact that when she was asked about it. diana did not tell the truth. so at that point it became clear that it was going to be
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difficult for them to continue with their marriage. so they separated not long after that and then you know, we're because that reason that he chose a grandson and not her son to succeed. oh, she hasn't done that. no charles is definitely in line to succeed her. oh, yes. that's the way it works. yeah. i mean, i think there have been part, you know there have been public opinion polls that have indicated that a lot of people would prefer to see. the you know, beautiful young couple. succeed her but but charles is is the one yeah. thank you. thanks. somebody's at the mic, right? yes. perhaps i'll read about it in the book, but i wonder if the queen has ever commented to her circle of friends or publicly about the speech affliction of her father as she talked about it. um, well, i think i think it did
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i think to this extent. i think she was so she so admired him for his duty and and his absolute determination to overcome it. i think it must have been very difficult for her to see she once said that. the quality that affected her most about him was his steadfastness. and she learned a lot from watching him and from seeing him overcome. what was a you know almost crippling disability and yet go on and be an incredibly admirable king particularly during world war ii. i think that's when she saw her parents in a new light because they were very brave. they could have gone elsewhere, but they came into london every day that the girls were living at windsor castle, which was very well fortified and the king and and then queen elizabeth came and spent many nights
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there, but they put their lives on the line by going in the into london buckingham palace was hit nine times by bombs one of which almost killed the two of them. so she developed great admiration for both of them and in their duty and in their courage, seems as if it was sort of a lesson in empathy that most of the royals don't get. yes one of her first private secretary actually noted that after they'd taken a well the whole family. this was when she was still princess elizabeth and they had taken up trip to south africa and he said something to that effect that she has a she that he noticed of an ability to connect with people in a kind of empathy and sense of compassion that he said was rare in the royal family. she has seen the king's speech by the way. she did see it. she didn't initially she was reluctant to see it. i think because she was a little nervous about seeing her parents
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portrayed but her cousin margaret rhodes who with whom she has gin and dubonnet every sunday told me that she did she did see it after it had won the awards she was so, you know, i think people told her the reaction which was common there and here of applause at the end and and she she liked it. she wasn't effusive about it, but she thought it was fine, but she didn't see the queen didn't thank you eleanor. she made a pact with tony blair and as far as i can tell she's held to her end of it anyway. no. no, but she was she was told about it. yeah, i think one of the things that people, you know, talk about being a criticized the queen a bit about, you know, not lacking in compassion is about one of the things is that the doing gravitation between her and all the royal family and that duke and duchess of windsor. i think that has a lot of times that you know, they should be
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invited to like family greetings or but they were always excluded. i think there was a sort of like a comment around that time that yeah spoken. well, it was a very traumatic moment when edward the 8th abdicated and her father. became king. he had not been prepared for it and he wept to his mother and said i was trained as a naval officer. he did learn to be an admirable king and i think they you know, they they did. well, they think they were tough on them. i think one of the difficulties was the possibilities that the duke and duchess of windsor could have lived in england. that would have set up a parallel court. i think it would have been extremely difficult to have an ex-king and a current king living in the same place and so for that reason they wanted them to live in, you know someplace else during and during the war they lived in the bahamas then afterwards in paris, but i was
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struck that the queen did reach out to him. he came she you know, there was a repro small and it was at her instigation. he had to come to london for some eye surgery and she went and visited him in the hospital and there was a commemoration for for his mother queen mary and he was included in that. and when she was making a state visit to paris in 1972, he had already been diagnosed with cancer and that you know the queen knew that she that he did not have long to live and so she went and she visited him and it was apparently a very tender visit that they had together and his doctor said she had tears in her eyes and only weeks later he died. and she was very kind to the duchess of windsor who was in you know, she was heavily sedated and kind of out of it during during that during that period of time.
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but clarissa eden who is the widow of anthony eden said that she looked over at one point and saw the queen with her hand on the duchess of windsor's arm, and she said she was sort of treating her with nanny like tenant tenderness. so i think she one of one of her qualities is is a is it is a tolerance and a capacity for forgiveness and i think she exercised that there were other members of the family who worked quite that way. no other oh here comes somebody. that was a passerby. yeah, so but i briefly wanted to inquire. um, could you elaborate just a bit on the blow up over first ladies wrapped arm around. oh i have that in the book. i haven't i have absolute. i witness account from the queen's videographer who was
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actually recording the whole thing told me what happened and it was it was not as big a deal as it was made out to be what happened was as you can imagine. there's quite a disparity in height between the queen and michelle obama and they were standing at this reception for all the g20 leaders and they were first of all they were sort of comparing their shoes and then they turned to two ladies and waiting we're standing right over there and and they started to sort of demonstrate how tall she was and how short she was and and they quite naturally kind of as they were showing demonstrating this they put their arms around each other and you know, it's long been said that you shouldn't touch the queen although there have been many people who have over the years and she's become much more relaxed about it, and she but that i mean michelle sort of held lingered a bit and rubbed her on the shoulder, but nobody took offense except the british
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tabloid, press who decided to make a big deal out of it, but i talked to people at buckingham palace and they said everybody was in a very good mood that day and it was kind of in the spirit of how everybody felt so it would nobody took offense but much less the queen, okay. nothing else no. okay. thank you very much for coming. his first remarks after returning to the white house that evening. he addressed the nation from the oval office. >> good evening.
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today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack and a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist attacks. the victims were in airplanes, or in their offices. secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil despicable acts of terror. the pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet unyielding anger. these acts of mass murders were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. but they have failed. our country is strong.
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a great people has been moved to defend a great nation. terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings. but they cannot touch the foundation of america. these acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of american resolve. america was targeted for attack because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. and no one will keep that light from shining today, our nation sought evil. the very worst of human nature. we responded with the best of america, with the daring of a rescue workers, but the caring of strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. immediately found the first attack that implemented our government emergency response plans. gore military is a powerful and it is prepared. our emergency teams are working in new york city and
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washington d.c. to help with local rescue efforts. our first priority is to get help to those who are injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. the function of our government continue without interruption. federal agencies in washington which had to be evacuated today, are reopening for essential personnel tonight it will be open for business tomorrow. financial institutions remain strong and the american economy will be open for business as well. the search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. i have directed the full resources of our intelligent and law-enforcement communities defined those responsible and bring them to justice. we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
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behalf of the american people, i think the many world leaders have called to offer their condolences and assistance. peace and security in the world stand together on the war on terrorism. tonight i ask for your prayers for all of those who grieve. for the children whose worlds have been shattered. for all who sense of safety and security has been threatened. i pray that we comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken to the ages in psalm 23. even though i walk to the valley of the shadow of death, i fear no evil for you are with me. this is a day when all americans from every walk of life walk and resolve for justice and peace.
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america has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. none of us will ever forget this day. yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. thank youi want to extend a spek to our partners at the u.s. army command and general staff college for their long partnership, the library, and with their collaboration in this great series that we have going hollywood versus history, which we continue tonight, we've had a terrific time examine. the historical accuracy of movies, and we'll continue through at least the end of the year. so we hope you'll come back and we hope you tell all your friends to come back as well. there are a number of representatives here from the college and a number of command


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