Across four generations—and now two continents—PEOPLE's new collector's edition features the latest on the British royals

June 26, 2020 11:28 AM
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The 2020 edition of The Story of the Royals

Ever adaptable, Britain's royal family recently retooled the pageantry of the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, which marks the Queen's birthday, to suit the age of social distancing.  The smaller but still regal event took place outside Windsor Castle where Queen Elizabeth and husband Prince Philip are isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.

That ability to adapt has served Her Majesty well, from the time she was a 10-year-old girl and learned that her uncle's abdication meant that she would ascend the throne after her father, King George VI.  Now 94 and with no plans to step down, the Queen has become a global messenger of calm and stability, as evidenced by a stirring speech that reached across oceans to assure those sheltering at home, that “many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”

RELATED: How Kate Middleton is a Bit Like Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth, Trooping the Colour 2020
Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Now in a newly updated special edition, The Story of the Royals: The Windsors TodayPEOPLE explores the triumphs and trials that have made the family what it is today, from the lineage-changing romance of King Edward and Wallis Simpson to the tragically early death of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to the decision of Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle to raise their young son Archie in America.

Filled with family photos, the 96-page issue edition looks at the way Prince William and Princess Kate balance royal duties with raising their three kids, George, Charlotte, and Louis, to have the most normal and loving childhood as their public lives make possible. “There’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in the world,” William has said of his firstborn, who will turn seven next month. “But right now it’s a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing as much love as I can as a father.”

Prince William with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
The Duchess of Cambridge

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Meanwhile, his brother Harry is enjoying a new life in wife Meghan's home town of Los Angeles, where their focus has been on their 1-year-old son and their charity work. (He is missing rugby, Harry admits.)  Their decision to live in America is the latest milestone in the long, special relationship the Windsors have had with this former British colony.  The new issue of PEOPLE includes a look back at royals who have spent time in America, beginning with the Queen's parents in 1939, when legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote a tune to welcome the first reigning British monarch ever to visit: “And what a great day it will be/ As the British King and Queen/ For the first time will be [in] the land of the free.”

For more about the Windsors past and present pick up People's The Story of the Royals, available on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.