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This is one of those puzzling books that operates on several levels. Undoubtedly, an eyewitness account of India's rush to independence, as seen by the teenage daughter of the last British viceroy, and an up-close and personal view of her cousin Queen Elizabeth as a bridesmaid and an attendant at her coronation, it is also the story of what it's like to be closely connected to royalty, but not actually royal.
If there can be such a thing as a commonwealth statesman in the 21st century, then Sir Donald McKinnon is its quintessence. Indeed, you might say that he embodies the institution's heritage, with its roots in the British Empire, as well as its multicultural, polyglot contemporary incarnation he guided as secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations between 2000 and 2008.
The remains of Yugoslavia's last king _ Peter II Karadjordjevic, who died in the U.S. in 1970 _ were flown back to Serbia in a solemn ceremony on Tuesday, despite protests by some Serb royalists in America.
Queen Elizabeth II became an unofficial Bond girl over the weekend after parachuting out of a helicopter with Daniel Craig during the lavish opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Her 60-year reign began amid gloomy post-World War II austerity, but Queen Elizabeth II has seen social and technological changes transform the world from her seat on Britain's throne. From a man setting foot on the Moon to the fall of Communism, the queen has witnessed dramatic world events, and withstood the challenges posed her sometimes troublesome family.