Bower claims to have interviewed about 120 people for the book, and for my money the anecdotes in the book that ring most true are the ones involving the Queen.
Elizabeth II is no fan of her second daughter-in-law, the former Camilla Parker Bowles-turned-Duchess of Cornwall, referring to her as “that wicked woman”.
She refused to acknowledge Camilla for as long as possible, well after Charles and Diana’s divorce.
Her Maj considered Camilla vulgar and disliked her for not leaving Charles alone to try to mend his marriage with Diana, according to the book.
When Charles and Camilla eventually married, the Queen made her disdain evident by deploying the greatest power-move in her aristocratic, protocol-laden arsenal: as soon as the ceremony finished she snuck off to a side-room to watch the Grand National horse race with her new daughter-in-law’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.
When the Queen entered the wedding reception, the first announcement she made was the winner of the race.
In short, The Queen is a total boss. She may be restricted by protocol, hundreds of years of tradition and the heavy weight of responsibility for country and empire, but she still finds a way to make her feelings known.
Much to the reported dismay of her son and heir, she refuses to abdicate and make way for him.
No other public figure or head of state is comparable to her in longevity or sheer grit, and it’s impossible to think of anyone who has devoted themselves more, or for a longer period, to public duty, and yet the public knows next to nothing about what she really thinks about anything.
As the Royal family is rejuvenated and modernised by two young women - Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle - who have no aristocratic lineage or royal blood, it is worth remembering the original strong female royal.
It may be pushing it to call her a feminist icon.
But the Queen has out-lasted, out-witted and out-classed a lot of blokes, including her own son.