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Old 08-06-2005, 05:19 AM
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Books for newcomers to royal-watching

Are there any particular books you'd recommend to people who've recently taken an interest in royalty? For newbies to this site, perhaps?

What books helped you out when you first started paying an interest in this subject?

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Old 08-06-2005, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by norwegianne
Are there any particular books you'd recommend to people who've recently taken an interest in royalty?
Queen Victoria's Descendents by Marlene Eilers, Rosvall Royal Books ISBN 91-630-5964-9
A list of all the descendents of Victoria, with private photographs and a wealth of personal information and background. A great resource.

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Old 08-08-2005, 09:34 AM
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It depends on what interests you. For the War of the Wales, I recommend each of their respective sides: Morton for her and Dimbleby for him. One of the more balanced books would be Diana in Search of Herself by Sally Bedell Smith.

I would also recommend reading the books written by those who have worked for members of the RF.

Paul Burrell: A Royal Duty
P.D. Jephson: Shadows of a Princess
Ken Wharfe: Diana Closely Guarded Secret
Simone Simmons: Diana The Last Word

I would however, take these four books with a grain of salt. They are each written for specific reasons which are not exactly the right reasons. Wharfe's book is probably the most balanced of the four. Jephson's is filled with bitterness but does offer a great deal of insight into her life. Simmons and Burrell both vie for the glory of being the most important figure in Diana's life which ends up sounding more pathetic than important.

The better books written by insiders are:

Mary Clarke: Little Girl Lost (she was Diana's nanny)
Wendy Barry: The Housekeepers's Diary
Marion Crawford: The Little Princesses (QEII and Margaret's nanny)
Stephen P. Barry: Royal Sevice (former valet to Prince Charles)
Malcolm J. Barker: Courting Disaster. This book is really very funny. However it focus' on the behind the scenes of the Royal household and the people who work for the RF

If your looking for some older history try:

Matriarch by Anne Edwards. It's about Queen Mary and one of the best I have ever read on her.

Alexandra by E.E.P Tisdall. On Queen Alexandra and again on the of the best I have ever read.

I highly recommend reading the Duke and Duchess of Windors' autobiographies/memoirs. If you can find them, they are wonderful. (The Heart Has it's Reasons is hers and A King's Story is his).

The Duchess of Windsor The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson by Greg King is by far the best written, best researched and most balanced I have read on them.

All these books you can usually find at discount books stores or online at discounted prices. Good luck! :)
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:14 PM
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As others have said, it really depends on which royals you take an interest in. For the Windsors I'd pick "Monarch" by Robert Lacey, an excellent and recent bio of QEII and her family. Of the Diana ones my picks would be Andrew Norton's "Diana" and "Diana's Boys" by Christopher Anderson. For a more historic perspective I like "Alice" by Hugo Vickers (very interesting bio of Alice, the D of E's mother) and "Queen Victoria's Children" By the afore-mentioned John Van Der Kiste. If you want to read more about the Romanovs BTW, Van Der Kiste has a fabulous book on them. He is one of the premier royal authors of the day IMHO.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:11 AM
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Other books I would recommend about the Windsors are:

The Housekeeper's Diary by Wendy Berry
The Autobiography of Sarah, The Duchess of York
The Queen and Di by Ingrid Seward (take some things with a grain of salt)
The Day Diana Died by Christopher Andersen
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:43 AM
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If you are interested in Queen Victoria

Victoria RI by Elizabeth Longford

If Tiara & other Royal Jewels of England are your thing then

Tiara's, A history of Splendour by Geoffrey Munn
The Queens Jewels by Leslie Field
Everything I write here is my opinion and I mean no offence by it.
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Old 08-28-2005, 01:43 PM
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Have any of you read "Diana, Story of A Princess" by Tim Clayton and Phil Craig? I'm half way though it. It seems pretty balanced, not really taking one side or other, and talking about the fault of both parties in their marriage. I'm curious as to what others think of this book.
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by norwegianne
Are there any particular books you'd recommend to people who've recently taken an interest in royalty? For newbies to this site, perhaps?

What books helped you out when you first started paying an interest in this subject?
The book which started my interest was 'Tsar' by Peter Kurth, a marvelous picture book about the Romanovs. The book which helped me most was about all the royal families of europe by Christian Cannuyer. It was only available in dutch and french I believe.

I agree with Warren, Marlene Koenigs QVD is a must have. If you are interested in the Romanovs 'Romanov Autumn' by Charlotte Zeepvat could be a nice aquisition.
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Old 09-03-2005, 02:17 AM
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Well sadly a book didn't start my interest in Royals....its was a tabloid. It was when Princess Caroline's husband died.....after reading about it I started reading a ton of royal books & then I started my collection.

My first book that I really got is called Chronicle of the Royal Family. Its about the British Royal Family & only goes up to 1993....its kind of like little newspaper articles in the book....its pretty neat. I don't think its been published since, but I really like the book.

Another book, if your interested in Brit. Kings & Queens is called British Kings & Queens (neat title right?! :p ). Its by Mike Ashley. Here is the link to Barnes & Noble-

If your interested in Tudor England there is a book called The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir (she is a good author)

Another book (this is for the Romanovs) is called The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie. He's a great author too (In My Opinion of course)
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:33 PM
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I've recently developed an interest in the Spanish royals and am wondering if the members here could recommend some books in English about the restoration of the Spanish monarchy and King Juan Carlos' involvement. He seems to be very much respected in his country and I'm curious about the background to this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!:)
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:21 AM
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How about 'The Royals' by Kitty Kelley? It's full of juicy gossips and we don't know how much of it is true. But if some of the claims are slanderous and libelous, the writer should have been taken to court.
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:44 PM
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The book about Princess Alice/Andrew of Greece is a fairly easy read book, I think. The one written by Vickers.

I've also had many enjoyable hours reading a book (Kings and Queens of England, or something along those lines, it is fairly old - Charles and Diana are still together, in my copy of it, at least .) lining up the royal dynasties in England. It's been a fantastic travel-companion on the way to get an overview over it all - before you could find it all on the internet, anyway.

My interest in all of this was perhaps first woken when I read stories about the childhood of Empress Eugenie, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I in a series of books from my dad, "When the great ones were young." Fictional stories regarding historical royals' childhood - very moral, showing that the right things you do in your childhood can benefit your adulthood, but they were well written and inspired me to find out more.

I think I've waxed lyrically enough.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:24 PM
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The first book that I read that you may like is called Diana:Her True Story and another book I liked was A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell. A good memorial like book called Diana: A Portrait is a good read as well. I always like looking at all the pictures I belive there are around 500 in that book. The book does cost a lot around 50 dollars when I got it I think it was worth it.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:58 PM
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"Brewer's British Royalty" by David Williamson is a great little resource book. It is written in dictionary form and has small articles on almost anything one could want to know about the history of the British monarchy.

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Old 11-06-2007, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Exlibrarian View Post
How about 'The Royals' by Kitty Kelley? It's full of juicy gossips and we don't know how much of it is true. But if some of the claims are slanderous and libelous, the writer should have been taken to court.
I'm reading it right now and I'm dead laughing ! If you want to have a good time and you're not offended by what can be said on a Royal then read it. Kitty Kelley took 4 years to achieve this book and I say that I could have create much more gossips than her in a shorter time. It's like reading a sum-up of tabloid stories, of course all talking about money, sex, affairs, etc. She quotes conversations between Royals, describes rows between Charles and Diana with every single detail, ... Better read it like a piece of fiction !

And BTW, it's not for sale in the UK : The Royals (not for sale in the UK): Books: Kitty Kelley

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Old 07-07-2010, 06:03 PM
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World Royal Families by Edward Riley, Sandra Forty, Judith Millidge, by Compendium Publishing Ltd, and the Book Sales, Inc,Chartwell Books, Inc. Published in 2008, republished in 2009. On sale at Barnes and Noble for $19.98. It taught me things I didn't know and refreshed my memory on others. Beautiful pictures, a sort of coffee- table conversation piece.

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