William Shawcross became a writer after leaving University College, Oxford in 1968. He was in Czechosl ovakia during the Soviet occupation; this inspired his first book, a biography of Alexander Dubcek, the Czechoslovak leader, which was published in 1970. In 1995 he wrote the BBC Television series Monarchy. In 2002 his BBC Television series and book, Queen and Country celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and examined the changing face of Britain during her reign. He lives in England.