Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rosvall Royal Books' new website

Finally, a new website for Rosvall Royal Books

and do not forget that I am the only source for Dearest Missy in the United States.  I get my books straight from Rosvall Royal Books.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Året I Billeder // 2011

For many years, the Danish publisher Lindhart og Ringhof published an annual royal year book that covered the duties and events that comprised the roles of the Danish royal family.  The publisher has ceased releasing the yearbooks, and now publishes Året I Billeder (The Year in Photos), which is in my view a real disappointment.

Judging the by the cover photo of Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark and their family following the baptism of the twins Vincent and Josephine, one would think the book celebrated a year in the life of the Danish Royal Family.  This is not the case, however.

This is a photographic year book of events that took place in 2011 in Denmark and abroad.  Yes, there is a bit of royal coverage including the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock. There are also photos of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik, but the riyals are not the focus.   The Arab spring, hunger in Africa, death of Qaddafi and Elizabeth Taylor are also featured in this volume

I think the publisher has done a disservice by eliminating the royal yearbooks.   This is a nice book, but it is not a royal yearbook.
The author  of the book is Kurt Stjernholm Riisberg.  The price is 99.95 DK.

A good source for Danish books is Gad.  Here is a link to their website:

Det Kungliga året 2011

It is always a joy to look through the latest edition of Det kungliga året (The Royal Year), the Swedish annual royal year book.  The 2011 volume focuses on Crown Princess Victoria and her new husband, Daniel.

The young couple, who are expecting their first child in early March, are immensely popular, and are taking on more duties.  The 2011 volume includes coverage of King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia's visits to Botswana, Poland and China.  Victoria and Daniel also visited China.

Elisabeth Tarras-Walhberg, former press secretary to King Carl XVI Gustaf, is the author of the original Swedish text.  The text is translated into English and German, which certainly enhances the sales of the book outside Sweden.

This volume includes the public duties of the King and Queen, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.

Madeleine, the youngest child of the king and queen, now resides in New York City, where she works for a charity, carries out few engagements in Sweden.

Nearly 70 pages of superb color photographs of the Swedish royal family.

The best source for ordering Swedish books is Bokus.

I think I can guess what the cover photo will be for the 2012 edition:  the first official photo of Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, and Princess Estelle.  This book is a must have for fans of the Swedish royal family, especially for the photos and the tri-lingual text.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coming Soon -- Dear Ellen

The book is 144 pages and has 350+ photos, also includes a double page family tree. The price will be $43.95 plus shipping

The photos come from the albums of the late Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia (Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark)

Published by


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The German Woman by Janet Ashton

Most of what we know about Empress Alexandra of Russia, consort of Nicholas II, comes from what others have written about her.  Our views, our opinions, are largely based on biographies, histories, and original news accounts.  The latter are, in my view, are largely biased because the early 20th century reporters were limited to what they could write about.  

Nicholas and Alexandra did not have the benefit of living in a free society, nor did they have a public relations staff to counter the criticisms directed toward Alexandra.  

We do get to learn a little about Alexandra's personality through her letters to Nicholas and final diaries, but her voice has always been muted.  Others have chosen to speak for her, but the voice has not always been adequate.

Janet Ashton has given Alexandra a voice in The German Woman (Belgarun), a print on demand book that was first published in 2008.

Yes, this is historical fiction, but this is Alexandra's story through her own eyes,, aided and abetted by a very capable writer, Janet Ashton, who made copious use of excellent sources.

This is what I call a comfy read.  Settle down into a comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate (or a glass of wine) and enjoy a good read.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Robert Hardman's book on Queen Elizabeth II due out in April ...

here in the USA, published by Pegasus

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Her Life and Times by Sarah Bradford

Way back in 1996, Sarah Bradford published Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen, which was a decent and competent work.   Fast forward to 2012 -- Elizabeth's  Diamond Jubilee - and Bradford publishes a new biography of Queen Elizabeth.

Except for the fact that  Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life and Times (Viking: L20:00) is neither new nor very good.  This 300 page effort offers nothing new about the Queen's life, nothing we didn't already know from her birth through marriage to motherhood and succession .. and of course, her relationship with the late Lady Diana Spencer.

By page seven, I knew there was going to be a problem.  Bradford was writing about Elizabeth's birth in 1926, the General Strike, and how "newspapers cooed over the birth of the King's first grandchild."    Turn to page 22, where Bradford again writes about the birth of Elizabeth and how the Duke and Duchess of York were happy to have a daughter.   The Duke wrote to his mother, Queen Mary, asking  "would you sooner  have another grandson?  Bradford refers to Princess Mary's son, George, who was born in 1923.)   Thus, if George was born in 1923 and Elizabeth was born in 1926,  George would be the first grandchild ... and he had a brother, Gerald, born in 1924, which gave George V and Mary two grandsons.

Move to page 26, where Bradford writes:  "Prince John, who had died of a final fit at Sandringham in 1917 -- perhaps on even on insider recollections of his great-uncle, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, who had been similarly affected."   Bradford was writing about George VI.   Prince John, who was mentally handicapped and suffered from epilepsy, died in 1919, not 1917.   Prince Leopold, a hemophiliac, bled to death, after falling at his villa in Cannes, France.

And then there is the reference to the late Duke of Saxe-Coburg being a relative of Prince Philip, and not being invited to Philip's  wedding.  Yes, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was educated at Eton, and was a committed Nazi, but he was not a close relative of the Duke of Edinburgh.   But he was the son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and by birth, a British prince.    Prince Philipp of Hesse is also tossed into the mix as a Nazi prince and, thus, missed out on an invitation to the wedding.   Philipp's brother, Christoph, was married to Philip's sister. Sophie.  Christoph was killed in a plane crash in 1944. 

(What do editors do these days?  It seems very little when such errors get past them  .. have you heard of fact checking ... yes, there are people who are royal experts who can read manuscripts for you .. and make sure the facts are accurate.)
There is nothing special about this book, which largely rehashes Bradford's first book.  Why bring out a book (to compete with other books) which has no real new information, brings up the same old stories over and over again,  and has no real merit as a worthwhile biography.

Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times is a real disappointment.  Bradford has produced winners, especially her biographies of Princess Grace and Diana, Princess of Wales.  Her biography of George VI was a major achievement.  This biography achieves nothing. 

Sarah Bradford is said to be at work on a new biography of Queen Victoria.  Say it ain't so, please ... not Victoria ... unless you found a secret stash of Victoria's letters and diaries that were burned by Victoria's youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, please find another royal to write about.  There are so many superb biographies on Victoria from Lady Longford's Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed to Cecil Woodham-Smith's first volume of what was to have been a two-volume biography.