The Queen Mum, Queen Elizabeth II's mother, gave just one interview at age 22 and guarded her privacy for the rest of her life. But a new official biography, to be published next month, draws on hours of interviews she secretly gave to a school headmaster.
"The book will be the most comprehensive account of the extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth by drawing on her private correspondence, other unpublished material from the Royal Archives, and the Anderson tapes," Daily Telegraph reports.
The book also reveals for the first time her thoughts on the abdication crisis of 1936, in which her husband suddenly took the throne as George VI and she became queen.
The tapes also discuss the royal family's decision to remain in London during World War II, when Buckingham Palace was bombed, as well as her reactions to the divorces and deaths of princesses Margaret and Diana. The Queen Mum died seven years ago at 101, and the forthcoming biography has been delayed by at least a year to comb through the overwhelming volume of material.