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Old 01-09-2019, 07:53 PM
Leopoldine's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: New York, United States
Posts: 610
I finished the book. That being said, it is the kind of book you can open to any random page and enjoy it. As it's a collection of interviews, there is no plot or thread that one has to follow.

The most surprising thing about this book is that Mr. Pope-Hennessey was given access to the current Queen's bedroom at Sandringham. Granted it was in the 1950's and it was not written about in the original book, but, in this book, it is described in detail and the description is very uncomplimentary. He described it as being more impersonal than a hotel room. It's my thinking that perhaps items of a personal nature were removed from the room by household staff before Mr. H-P toured the house.

On the whole I enjoyed this book very much. Mr. P-H had very keen powers of observation and his descriptions about the various royals and personalities he meets with are wonderful.

While the excerpt in the DM shows Pope-Hennessey to be knocking the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the two chapters about them provide a much fuller picture in which he thoroughly enjoys their company and attentive hospitality. As with most of the people the author spoke with, Mr. H-P tends to record his first impressions of them, warts and all, and then more warts, then, as he gets to know them and draw them out, they are revealed as very entertaining, considerate and warm-hearted. This is most true of the time spent with The D and D of Windsor.

The author's weekend spent with the Gloucesters and Princess Alice Countess of Athlone is very illuminating. You get a real sense of Prince Henry and his personality. Totally unpretentious. He comes across as most engaging.

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Old 01-10-2019, 06:15 PM
Lilyflo's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: England, United Kingdom
Posts: 908
I'm about half way through the book & enjoying it tremendously. It's tricky keeping up with the lesser known interviewees & who is related to which great aunt etc but google is helping with that.

Pope-Hennessy's ability to recall & record the details of decor, clothing & conversation is astounding & his wit is hugely entertaining. 10/10 so far.

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