Why The Queen Never Fidgets

In a major new biography, Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, paints a revealing portrait of Elizabeth II on the eve of her becoming Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Here, in an extract from her book, “The Queen’s Speech,” she explores the trials that shaped the young princess. The future queen’s nanny took her orders not from Princess Elizabeth’s mother, the Duchess of York, but from her grandmother — Queen Mary, the wife of George V. Queen Mary was a formidable character, who insisted that Elizabeth, as a toddler, be taught how to wave and smile. ‘Teach that child not to fidget,’ she would bark. In return for the reward of a biscuit, Elizabeth would learn how to control her bladder for hours on end. Don’t pee and you get a treat — the Queen received the same training as her beloved corgis.

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