The Great Survivors: How Monarchy Made It into the Twenty-First Century by Peter Conradi
In 1948, King Farouk of Egypt is reportedly quoted as stating:
"The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left--the King of England, the King of Spades, The King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds."
He was incorrect. While the House of Windsor is, by far, the most media prominent, it isn't even remotely the only one left. Excluding their Asian, African and Middle Eastern counterparts, six other European countries are monarchies: Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and the Netherlands. Not to mention the royal rulers in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein. These are The Great Survivors. How they survived when other royal houses tumbled and continue to endure in the twenty-first century is something Peter Conradi (co-author of The King's Speech) tackles in his new book.
The author compares and contrasts the royal houses, covering territory on how they're funded, their controversies and scandals, succession, political power, and grudging love-hate relationship with the media. Clearly, there's more to the relationship between many of these royal houses than their link to Queen Victoria. But researching this information in any depth would require consulting several sources. Now it can be found in one. For someone like myself, with a passing interest in these monarchies but lacking the energy to delve into individual details, this book is a valuable and fascinating resource. A must have for any royal book collection.
© Marilyn Braun 2012
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