Be The Expert
I am an armchair expert on the British Royal family from Queen Victoria to the present. One of my hobbies is playing “spot the error” in royal books. There’s a whopper in one of this year’s royal biographies–Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II (click to read the error).
I am also conversant in the proper use of titles of the British Aristocracy–the incorrect use of which is a major pet peeve of mine in historical fiction or in (nonfiction) history or biography. Yet, the misuse and incorrect use abound!
On Friday, I reviewed an otherwise excellent book of royal fiction–The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel by Georgie Blalock. The book is a very good read, but oh, my! The title problems were EVERYWHERE! (Publishers need to rehire fact-checkers). You can read all of the corrections and get a great grasp of titles here.
In case you are wondering, NO, I no longer watch Netflix “The Crown.” I stopped after the fictionalized scenes of Philip’s father blaming him for his sister’s death and of Prince Charles being fitted for Eton uniforms when it had already been decided he would go to Gordonstoun.
You can read more of my Royal Family pontificating by clicking on “Royal Family” in the word/tag cloud in the right sidebar.
Nonfiction Royal Books That I Recommend
You can click on the link to go to my original Diana-Free Royal Books list on Amazon. Many are now out-of-print.
You can click on the link in this sentence to see the Five Royal Books I Won’t Let Anyone Touch in my personal library. (Hint: One is signed by a now-dead royal).
I’ve included The Little Princesses even though it is somewhat discredited, so I’ve included the huge tome of letters by the Queen Mother which show lots of things the Governess missed due to being on vacation. Princess Margaret’s biographies are all pretty vapid and the ones on Lord Snowdon focus mostly on his sexual escapades.
I’ve included two Romanov books since Alexandra was Prince Philip’s great-aunt (and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) and George V’s cousin (and Kaiser Wilhelm’s cousin). I’ve included Royals and The Reich because they were Prince Philip’s brothers-in-law and were related to Queen Victoria in other ways. Princess Alice was Philip’s mother and her life was a fascinating story. It also illustrates why Prince Philip is the way he is. It is Philip and his family that makes the Royal Family much more interesting! After all, one of his uncles was Lord Mountbatten, the other, Mountbatten’s older brother, had a library of historic erotic and pornography that rivaled that of the Kinsey Sex Institute! And that gentleman’s wife was accused of an affair with Gloria Vanderbilt. And then there’s the Aunt who was in love with Nehru!
There is no “great” biography of either Edward VII or of his great-granddaughter Elizabeth II. There are biographies of them, just none worth recommending. I’ve listed instead, the book on Prince Eddy and the “biography” of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s marriage. George V was a boring King and his official biography is sleep-inducing, so I’ve included the far more readable book on Queen Mary and the newly released notes of her biographer which tell a whale of a tale! Queen Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren have vapid P.R.-type biographies except for Prince Charles. I’ve included two on him and one on Diana. I was not a fan of Diana, though in light of Meghan Markle I could now almost support Diana.
There you go! An expert experting on royal books!