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3 biographies about the queen celebrating a Diamond Jubilee

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2. 'Elizabeth the Queen,' by Sally Bedell Smith

Sally Bedell Smith, a well-known American biographer of celebrities, includes many more anecdotes in her mammoth 663-page Elizabeth the Queen. The biography is readable but fawning and full of notebook-emptying detail about dry subjects like all the queen’s horses.

Smith too often turns to comments by the queen and others that don’t say much, apparently because there aren’t many that actually reveal anything. (The queen, after all, has never given an interview to a journalist.)

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