Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Royal Review: William's Princess by Robert Jobson

I’ve had a hard time finding something nice to say about William's Princess by Robert Jobson. All I could come up with is that it has nice photos and at some point it must have had the potential to be better.

For people outside of the UK, the name Kate Middleton may mean absolutely nothing. But her name means a lot to royal watchers, with reactions ranging from idolatry to downright hatred. In case you’re wondering, Kate Middleton is the girlfriend of Prince William, the son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Wills and Kate have been dating for seven or eight years and when it comes to their relationship, there is no middle ground.

The book starts off with Robert Jobson getting an exclusive tip to a big story: the engagement of Charles and Camilla. Is he trying to prove his credentials? The “About the Author” covers his award winning career as a commentator. His first book was Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, co-written with Ken Wharfe (which I actually enjoyed). So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can focus on Kate, right?


Considering the title: William’s Princess. You’d think the focus would be on Kate. Well, indirectly it does. It starts with rehashing Charles’s love history, then Diana’s. I guess trying to predict William’s attitude towards marriage, so that when Jobson finally gets around to William, we’re primed and ready. William ‘has fallen in love young’, is ‘determined to not throw it away’, but ‘will not be bullied into marrying one of his own’. So now that we’ve established that William has a mind of his own, we can focus on Kate, right?


Ultimately, this book has next to nothing to do with Kate. Possibly because so little is on record about her. She’s ultimately portrayed as an attractive, confident, tolerant accessory in William’s life. Published prior to their April 2007 split, to Jobson, it’s a foregone conclusion that Kate will be William’s bride. Kate’s middle-class background is focused on, with a rather weak attempt to include some royal links in her family history. The importance of finding a suitable bride is covered in detail. But sometimes the book reads like a romance novel. Case in point:

…the turquoise waters of the Caribbean glimmered and gave way to emeralds, pinks and reds as the sun dipped towards the sea on the horizon. The sky glowed they sat in the cocktail bar..sipping their exotic drinks and absorbed in each other’s company…

If that doesn’t make you squirm then speculation on Kate’s virginity is sure to:

..the delicate matter of whether her virginity is still intact may not be an issue yet tackled…


If you’re interested in reading about speculation on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship, then this is the book for you.

Just don't expect to find much about Kate herself in it.

© Marilyn Braun 2009


Lucie said...

I totally agree with you. Of all the royal-related books I've read, I think this is one of the worse. I bought it because I enjoyed his writing with Wharfe too, and hoped he might shed an interesting light on the romance.
No page however brought anything new, I kept reading things and either thinking 'I already knew that because I read it in such and such paper/mag/blog' or 'it just sounds like you made that up to fill pages'.
I'm definitely not buying his third one about Prince Harry.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes, I was very disappointed by this. I really enjoyed Ken Wharfe's book, it was very straightforward, unlike a lot of the Diana bio's that have been written.

Wharfe must have written most of it though. I can only imagine what Jobson would have brought to it.

William's Princess could have been so much better. At the time it was the only one about her and you would have thought because of that it would have been more definative. Claudia Joseph's book does a much better job.