Sunday, May 27, 2012

Royal Review: The Great Survivors by Peter Conradi

The Great Survivors: How Monarchy Made It into the Twenty-First Century by Peter Conradi
Published 2012
384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1846882159

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

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks for letting me know about this book Marily. It's going on my list of books that I need to buy. I just bought Penny Junor's book on Prince William this weekend.

Marilyn Braun said...

It's a very interesting book. Other than blogs, there doesn't seem to be very many sources for information,in English, on other European royal houses. Even then,if there is coverage, it's usually very superficial. This book shed light on those royal families and does it in an informative and interesting way.

I've never liked Penny Junor very much so I don't plan on buying her book. Let me know if it's any good or not! :)