>> Monday, April 23, 2012
The Royals the Lives and Loves of the British Monarchs by Leslie Carroll
I found out about The Royals via @onechicgeek on twitter. I was intrigued, mainly because it features 'rare memorabilia'. At the time I bought it, it was exclusively available through Barnes and Noble. Now it has finally come to Amazon!
The Royals is entertaining and the memorabilia is interesting, though the handwriting is impossible to read. Namely Princess Elizabeth (Future Queen Elizabeth I) letter to her half-sister Queen Mary begging her for an audience. Luckily the author gives transcriptions of these documents, otherwise you'd miss out on the point of them.
Reproductions of memorabilia include the execution warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots, William and Catherine's wedding invitation, the Instrument of Abdication, a ticket to Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee ball, as well as a 1901 funeral card for her. Also included is a reproduction of Charles and Diana's Official 1981 Wedding Programme, which, when compared to the original, is nicely done.
My main problem with this book is that there is some gossipy information that seems to be stated as fact: The Queen and Princess Margaret were conceived by artificial insemination. Prince Philip had numerous affairs. Yes, there are rumors about these things, but neither have been proven. So why perpetuate them? I'm not familiar with royal history beyond Queen Victoria, so I can't judge whether there are any other factual errors. Though one review seems to think there are several in the Tudors section of the book.
Were it not for the memorabilia inserts I probably would not have bought The Royals. In all honesty, while this book is a fun read, it would be unremarkable without them.
© Marilyn Braun 2012
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