Sally Bedell Smith, whose fifth biography, "Elizabeth the Queen, the Life of a Modern Monarch," has just been released, has scheduled a public appearance in Boca Grande.
Bedell Smith is visiting in Boca Grande with her husband, Stephen Smith, editor of the Washington Examiner. She will discuss her book at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The book is beautifully published with many photos, including one of Gasparilla Inn & Club owners Will and Sarah Farish with the Queen (although all are upstaged by the race horse in the picture.)
Sally Bedell Smith
My husband, Brit Hume, will introduce her, and a wine-and-cheese reception and book-signing will follow in the Woman's Club Room.
An accomplished journalist and a talented writer, Bedell Smith is also delightful company. We have spent many a Sunday talking politics with our husbands at one Georgetown bistro or another.
She is one of those rare people who are serious and fun. She is a complete grown-up who behaves, just often enough, in a perfectly charming girlish way.
Who: Author Sally Bedell Smith
What: Discuss and book signing for "Elizabeth the Queen, the Life of a Modern Monarch"
Where: Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium followed by reception at Woman's Club Room
When: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28
As did Queen Elizabeth, Bedell Smith learned to juggle a professional life with being a wife and mother. She has three children and is soon to become a grandmother for the first time.
"Finally," she would say, with a deep, grateful sigh.
My husband and I attended the 2007 garden party at the British Ambassador's residence in Washington when Bedell Smith met the Queen and was inspired to write the biography.
Bedell Smith is an excellent reporter. She once interviewed me for her biography of Bill and HIllary Clinton: "For the Love of Politics." About a minute into the interview I had forgotten I was talking on the record and was just enjoying a lovely chat. Her interviews tend to be simply conversations and she is skilled at getting to the truth, and teasing out the good stuff.
For "Elizabeth the Queen," Bedell Smith interviewed scores of people in the United States and the United Kingdom where she spent months researching the book.
She is respectful and fair and it shows in remarkable access to people who know Queen Elizabeth II, have worked with her or share her passion for horse breeding and racing. The result is a richly detailed account of the Queen's life, loves, controversies and joys.
Queen Elizabeth's story is also a history of our post-war world. She celebrates her 60th year on the throne this year, her Diamond Jubilee, and it has been a truly epic reign, one of the few unchanging things in our ever-changing world.
I recommend owning a copy, even if you read it on Kindle or listen to the audio book (as I am doing.) I was surprised by how little I knew about the Queen and what a deeply committed servant she is to her subjects.
Thank you for welcoming Bedell Smith to the beautiful community of Boca Grande and for welcoming my husband and me to this island paradise as well.
For more information on Sally Bedell Smith and "Elizabeth the Queen, the Life of a Modern Monarch" visit SallyBedellSmith.com and Elizabeth The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith on Facebook.
Editor's note: Kim Hume is retired vice president and bureau chief of Fox News in Washington, D.C. She is married to Fox New's senior political analyst Brit Hume and they have been spending winter months in Boca Grande since 2010.