Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Royal Book Challenge: Princess by Robert Lacey

Princess by Robert Lacey
Published 1982
128 Pages
ISBN: 978-0812963298

 Princess by Robert Lacey covers the period from Diana's engagement to the early months of her pregnancy with Prince William. Much like other books, it contains typical photographs of Diana at her loveliest, showing her burgeoning sense of style. The photographs offer few hints of the glamorous princess she would become. Nor do they offer any clues to the marital and personal troubles behind the smiles.

Many comparisons have been made between Catherine and Diana in terms of how they have adapted to royal life. The text offers some striking similarities between the two women. Notably Mr Lacey questions the adulation heaped upon Diana for doing nothing more than marrying into the royal family. By that point she had said and done very little of substance to warrant it. One passage about Diana is just applicable to Kate 30 years later.

'Our admiration, of course, derives from other things: her freshness, her royal status, the yet more royal status awaiting her in the future, her youth, her beauty - and her dress sense. She looks like a princess, groomed, elegant and clad in garments which are familiar to any woman but which, somehow have been dusted with an extra glamour..'

Mr Lacey offers a nice portrait of a princess on the verge of something greater. Given all of the troubles that would occur later, it's nice to read about a more innocent, younger Diana, with a glittering future in front of her.

© 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.


Rman said...

Hi Marilyn,

Princess by Robert Lacey sounds like it's pretty interesting. No doubt Diana was a very beautiful young woman and I think it was understandable that the media and admires feel head over heels in love with her when she came on the royal scene. The same is now happening to Catherine.

I think it took some time for everyone to realize that there was more to Diana than her beauty and fashion. With time and several years of experience, I think Diana gre into a hardworking and effective Princess of Wales. I actually think despite her private life going down the drain, she served The Queen & Country and Commonwealth with the best of her ability and I truly appreciated her sense of duty and compassion.

Now, I do wish the media and royal watchers would give The Duchess of Cambridge some time to grow. I really like how she's shining some light on her first couple of charities.

I see you still have your old radio broadcasts up. Are you still doing your radio shows?

Marilyn Braun said...

Hi Rman,

Nice to hear from you!

No I am taking a break from doing the radio show. Feel I'd said everything I had to say and there was nothing new to add. It was a struggle to come up with new topics every week. Who knows, maybe in the future that might change but for now it's nice to have a break.

Reading books about the early Diana is enlightening. Of course we now know her as this iconic figure who did so much for AIDS and landmines, but in the beginning, she was viewed the same way Catherine is now. Beautiful, a clothes horse and subject to excessive adulation that had nothing to do with her actions.

I've read a lot of comments on message boards where people want her to do more. I'm inclined to agree with this. After all of this time, she should be doing more. However it doesn't seem to be enough for some people so she can't win. In that respect I think people are being too hard on her. People want her to do charity work, then when she does, she's picked apart for it in the most minute, ridiculous detail. It's almost sickening to read it.

Although they have similar royal beginnings, Catherine is not going to be the next Diana. It remains to be seen whether she will have a similiar impact but I can't imagine anyone who expects instant results either.

Like Diana, hopefully Catherine will want to be seen as more than just a clotheshorse and she will let her work define her instead of what she looks like. Diana accomplished that, I don't see why Catherine can't do so too.

Rman said...

Hi Marilyn,

Oh Okay. I do miss your shows and the humor you brought to it. I hope do return but for right now, do enjoy your break.

Well, I think the media have always gone a bit crazy over the Royal Women of Windsor fashions. It was done to the then Princess Elizabeth/Queen, Princess Margaret, Diana, Sarah and Sophie. Now with this new technology, there are fashion blogs dedicated to what Catherine is wearing. I really don't think it will die down though.

Yeah, I too have read some comments about Catherine's official engagements. Of course she can do more but I think people have to realize that she isn't a full-time royal yet. Most recently William gave an interview and he has mentioned that he's finding it very hard now to balance out his military career and royal duties. It's now known that he and Catherine will have to make a decision on whether they will become full-time royals by next year or will they stay with the military. I'm hoping they will now dedicate themselves to full-time royal duties. I just think The Queen & Duke of Edinburgh need their help. I thought it was pretty powerful when The Queen decided to just have her, the Waleses and Cambridges on the balcony during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Charles & Camilla, William & Catherine and Harry really are the new faces of the Monarchy and I think that slim down view is way more effective within the modern Monarchy.

Yeah, those comments out there can be very scary but I think people just have to give Catherine some time to grow as a senior member of the royal family. She have a great group of charities she is patron of but those patronages will grow, she will be appointed to some royal regiments to support and her royal role will increase. Although it has been a year sine she become The Duchess of Cambridge, it really do take some time for all of this to happen. That's just the reality.