You look awfully like the Queen: Wit and Wisdom from the House of Windsor

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For fans of the ‘Windsors’ and ‘Now we are Sixty’: a beautifully illustrated collection of amusing and affectionate stories from inside the royal family.

Arriving at the theatre, the Queen and the Queen Mother appeared to be having words. ‘Who do you think you are?’ demanded the Queen Mother. ‘The Queen, Mummy, the Queen.’

About twenty years ago the Guardian first published two camp anecdotes about the Queen Mother. Readers reeled to see stories actually printed in a national newspaper that until then had had only an underground existence in certain circles. After that, tales about the royal family became respectable; they were also, quite rightly, believed. Taken as a whole they reflect the contradictory roles we like royalty to fulfil: unworldly and impossibly regal or engagingly domesticated and just like us, or camp, worldly and outrageous.

In this affectionate tribute Thomas Blaikie has gathered together a compendium of stories, many of them never published before, which provide access to a unique world. How exactly does a Queen react when she finds her footmen draped in her jewels? What does she do to amuse herself as she whiles away the hours sitting for her portrait? And how did the Duchess of Windsor and the Queen Mother really get on? This beautifully illustrated book answers these questions and poses many more in its celebration of the diverse personalities of the House of Windsor.

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About the author

Thomas Blaikie is a writer and English teacher. He reviews for the Spectator and the Yorkshire Post.

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Additional Information

HarperCollins UK
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Published on
Feb 17, 2011
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Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
Humor / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.”—The Wall Street Journal
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
“[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
“An absorbing, satisfying biography.”—Los Angeles Times
“Juicy and suspenseful.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly

BONUS: This edition contains a Catherine the Great reader's guide.
Your friends neglect to RSVP to your party invitation . . . co-workers munch their pungent meals near your office . . . pedestrians shout into their cell phones and practically knock you to the pavement.

Wishing that friends, family, colleagues, and oblivious strangers would mind their manners is lovely, but what about your own? You don’t mean to be rude, but in today’s carefree, high-tech, fast-paced world, how are you supposed to know what to do?

Thankfully, Englishman Thomas Blaikie’s witty and insightful guide will help you steer through this minefield of uncertainty and back onto the path toward civility–without a lot of fuss and bother. No need to worry about the proper way to eat soup or which is the salad fork. What Blaikie teaches you is more important: how and when to drop in on a friend, how to turn down suitors graciously, how to “move on” at a party, how to end a text-message conversation that’s gone on just a bit too long, and how to cope with myriad other twenty-first-century social traumas.
Always positive and cheerful, To the Manner Born offers commonsense, practical solutions. And if you don’t like someone else’s manners, yes, you really should try to do something about it–in the nicest way possible, of course.

“Thomas Blaikie is the perfect guide through the treacherous minefield of contemporary social mores: witty, amusingly abstruse, stylish and most importantly knowledgeable.”
–Will Self, author of Cock and Bull

“If everyone followed the rules of this book, well, I would certainly go out more. It is packed with good sense, sharp observation, and genuine helpfulness.”
–Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves

From the Hardcover edition.
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