The truth behind Netflix’s hot new series The Crown—and the woman who never wanted to be Queen
GLITTERING REIGN The then-Princess Elizabeth in 1951.

Elizabeth II was just 25 years old when her father, King George VI, died in his sleep from a blood clot in the heart. On that fateful day, the then-Princess Elizabeth was in Kenya on an official visit with her husband, Prince Philip. “My mother remembered very clearly that when she heard the news, [Elizabeth] paced up and down, up and down with Philip and the ladies-in-waiting,” says India Hicks, whose mom, Lady Pamela Hicks, is Philip’s first cousin and was present at the time. “The private secretary waited, and finally, when the Queen had gathered herself, she said, ‘I’m so sorry. We are going to have to go back to England.’ That was so indicative of

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