Monday, April 25, 2022

New Royal books


Here is a selection of recent and forthcoming books about the British Royal family.  The book I look forward to most reading is the Duke of Kent's memoirs. A Royal Life.

Full transparency:  I earn a small percentage (teeny) from every Amazon and Amazon UK order through my links or the search boxes on Royal Book News and Royal Musings.  It takes a long time (at least 2 years to earn a $25.00 Amazon UK gift card.   

Dear Readers, you can order anything from Amazon through the search boxes or the links.

Thank you.

The Platinum Jubilee Cookbook


70 wonderful recipes, alongside profiles of Great British ingredients and diplomatic stories, to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

19th century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston once declared that 'dining is the soul of diplomacy and this unique and sumptuous new book, published as part of the celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen's 70 years on the Throne, presents 70 recipes from British embassies and high commissions around the world.

With a foreword by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, this book celebrates the landmark occasion of the Platinum Jubilee by bringing together recipes – many of them served during Royal Visits – that are proudly British, inspired by local influences from the embassy's host country, or a fusion of the two. Throughout, the book shows off the spectacular food and drink produce found within our shores that our embassies are proud to showcase around the world, including:

· Spanish Marmalade, from the Madrid embassy

· Green Fish Curry, from the Islamabad high commission

· Jollof Rice, from the Abuja high commission

· Mince Spies, from 'C', Chief of MI6

· Cardamom Lamb, from the New Delhi high commission

· Chicken Wellington, from the Lisbon embassy

· Toffee Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, from Chevening House

· Whisky-laced Bread & Butter Pudding, from the Washington D.C. embassy

Alongside the delectable recipes, stories abound of culinary diplomacy in action. Contrary to the clich├ęs, you will not find an Ambassador's table piled high with Ferrero Rocher, but the food is nonetheless central to the diplomatic cause. Ameer Kotecha delves into the Foreign Office archives to reveal diplomatic dinner party anecdotes through the years – the good, the bad, and the highly entertaining – and provides contemporary stories of food being used as a potent diplomatic tool. For the first time, this book tells the story of how nations break bread as a means of resolving differences and seek to get to the negotiating table by first starting at the dinner table.

A mixture of recipes, food history, anecdotes, and stunning photography, this book is an engrossing read for anyone with an interest in food, diplomacy, or British heritage. With contributions from Her Majesty's representatives around the world, it is also a celebration of Britishness that makes for a unique memento for the Platinum Jubilee, delving into an underexplored part of Her Majesty The Queen's reign.

The author is donating 100% of royalties from sales of this book to two charities: The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund (PWCF).

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

People Magazine Prince Harry interview


or Immediate Release

April 19, 2021 at 1:00pm ET

PEOPLE Cover Story: The Prince Harry Interview: On Meghan, Fatherhood and How the Invictus Games Changed His Life

NEW YORK - Prince Harry is opening up about the transformative power of the Invictus Games — and his own journey along the way.

"Life is full of extraordinary gifts and challenges, many that can be seen as lessons," the Duke of Sussex, 37, tells PEOPLE in this week's exclusive cover story. "Over time, I've learned that how we mentally approach and react to the ups and downs — those gifts and challenges — is what helps to define our own outcome."

The Invictus Games, an adaptive sports competition for wounded warriors founded by British Army veteran Harry in 2014, takes its motto "I am" from the famous William Ernest Henley poem, which includes the lines, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." For Harry, "the poem is a reminder that you have the power to take control of your life."

Harry, of course, has done just that: The current Invictus Games in The Netherlands, which run April 16-22, mark the first time he is attending as both a husband, to Meghan Markle, and a father, to Archie, who turns 3 on May 6, and Lilibet, 10 months – and the first time the self-described "proud papa" is arriving from his new home in California.

"Being a dad certainly adds another emotional layer to it," says Harry. "When I was in the Army, I promised myself I would be out before having a wife and kids, because I couldn't imagine the heartache of being apart for so long during deployment, the risk of possibly getting injured, and the reality that my family's lives could be changed forever if that happened. Every member of the Invictus community has experienced varying degrees of these things. I have tremendous respect for what they and their families sacrifice in the name of service."

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Christopher Warwick +2022


Christopher Warwick's website

Christopher Warwick, the acclaimed royal biographer, died yesterday, March 14, most likely at his home in Ascot. He was 72 years old.

 The news of his death was announced on his Facebook page. The cause of death is not known.  He was active on Facebook only a few days ago, and we chatted about the update of his biography on Princess Margaret. 

He was born on April 14, 1949, in Hendon, Greater London, the son of Leslie Warwick and Eileen Howard.

He is survived by his "Chris leaves behind his wonderful partner Brian Auld, his brother and sister-in-law and nephew who loved him so much."

Chris was the author of numerous royals books, including The Life and Death of Grand Duchess Ella, George and Marina, Duke and Duchess of Kent,  Her Majesty, Queen Mary’s Photograph Albums, and Kensington Palace.  He is also write The Universal Ustimov, authorized biography of the late British actor, Peter Ustinov.

He is best known as Princess Margaret's authorized biographer.  From his website: " both of my stand-alone studies, first Princess Margaret (published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson) and later Princess Margaret – A Life of Contrasts (published by Andre Deutsch) were written with the personal co-operation of the princess. To mark the twentieth anniversary of her death in February 2022, Albert Bridge Books published an updated edition of Life of Contrasts in e-book, hardback, and paperback formats."

He also wrote for Majesty Magazine and other publications and was often appeared on television (live and documentaries) because of his experience and knowledge.  He was one of the most consummate and professional biographers ever.  For Chris,  Facts mattered to Chris, but he also understood the emotions and nuances of his subjects' lives.

He took umbrage with how the Netlflix series, The Crown, portrayed Princess Margaret.  In August 2021, he told the Express:

"Thanks largely to The Crown, you get the idea that the Queen asked her to wait for two years [before marrying]. That’s not true.

"When Margaret went to the Queen, the Queen said: ‘In the circumstances, I have to ask you to wait for a year. Now, I think the idea was that it might have all settled down and gone away within that year. It didn’t.

"Margaret went back and said: ‘We’ve waited the year; can we now get married?’ And the Queen said: ‘I have to ask you to wait another year.  I think that was on ministerial advice."

In an earlier interview with the Express, Chris discussed Margaret's "difficult" role within the Royal Family. She once said to me: 'I never minded being the younger daughter. 'But I always minded the younger sister'."

Majesty's  Managing editor, Joe Little shared this statement with me:

"Chris Warwick edited Majesty magazine in the early 1980s and the association endured for some 40 years. A significant contribution from him will appear in our Platinum Jubilee publication, to be published at the end of March. We will miss his friendship and expertise."

Elisabeth Bashford, the author of Princess Mary the First Modern Princess writes: "I am absolutely heartbroken to learn that Chris is no longer with us. I was always in awe of his incredible knowledge and talent as a biographer. I wrote to him a long time ago after reading his biography of Princess Margaret and he wrote back to me as if he was surprised that anyone should hold him in such high esteem. When I began to research Princess Mary, I wrote to him again and that was how we developed a wonderful friendship. He was an invaluable support to me during the research and writing of my book. My husband always said that he could tell when I had been talking to Chris because afterward, my face would light up at the sheer joy of spending time hearing his anecdotes and witticisms. I was always telling him that he should write a book about his life but with his usual modesty, he said that only I would read it. If I have to sum Chris up the words that always come to mind and I am sure will be repeated by many, are generous, kind, highly intelligent, and funny. He really did love life though and he always seemed to be having fun whether it was appearing on a new television programme, visiting historical places, or going out to lunch. He will be missed by so many, and I am honoured to say that I knew him.

My thoughts are with Brian, his family, and of course his beautiful cats."

In 2019, Elisabeth interviewed Chris.

I recommend all, but my favorites are the Princess Margaret biographies,  The Royal Brides, and Two Centuries of Royal Weddings, which is one of the best books ever on British royal weddings.  

My condolences to Brian and Chris' family.


Monday, February 28, 2022

Courtiers: the Hidden Power behind the Crown by Valentine Low


For over 25 years, Valentine Low has reported on the Royal Family/  He is the royal correspondent for The Times.

According to The Bookseller,  British publisher Headline has acquired Low's first book, Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown.   St. Martin's Press will publish the book in North America.

Courtiers will be published in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook on September 29, 2022. in the UK.  The US publication date is in 2023.

The publisher's synopsis states: "Throughout history, the British monarchy has relied on its courtiers–the trusted advisers in the king or queen’s inner circle–to ensure its survival as a family, an ancient institution, and a pillar of the constitution. Today, as ever, a vast team of people hidden from view steers the royal family’s path between public duty and private life. The Queen, after a remarkable 70 years of service, is entering the final season of her reign without her husband Philip to guide her. Meanwhile, Charles seeks to define what his future as king will be, with his court-wielding ever-greater influence as he plans for his imminent accession.

"The question of who is entrusted to guide the royals has never been more vital and yet the task those courtiers face has never been more challenging. With a cloud hanging over Prince Andrew as well as Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal life, the complex relationship between modern courtiers and royal principals has been exposed to global scrutiny."

Fiona Crosby, Headline's Senior Commissioning editor told The Bookseller:  "Courtiers will be a must-read for anyone with an interest in the hidden forces behind the British monarchy. Valentine is both a talented journalist and a gifted storyteller so we are thrilled that he has chosen Headline as his publishing home."

And from Valentine Low: "As a royal correspondent, I have spent years watching the public face that the royal family presents to the world. But I have also seen the influence wielded by the people behind the scenes, the hidden advisers who help make the monarchy what it is today. As we head towards the end of the Queen’s long and illustrious reign, this book will answer the question: who really runs the show? Who sets the agenda–and what happens next?"

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

People magazine The Queen's Private Pain

 PEOPLE Cover Story: Queen Elizabeth's Private Pain: Royal Family Scandal and COVID Are 'Going to Take a Toll,' Says Insider

NEW YORK - Queen Elizabeth's COVID-19 diagnosis comes during an increasingly "tumultuous time" for the royal family.

Despite the 95-year-old monarch celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, marking 70 years on the throne, 2022 is off to a rough start. In addition to her latest health setback, the Queen is also dealing with several royal family scandals, including Prince Andrew's settlement with his sexual assault accuser, an investigation into Prince Charles' charity following cash-for-honors allegation and the 2020 departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

"It's a drip-feed of negativity for the monarchy," says a palace insider in this week's cover story. "I've not known such a tumultuous time as this."

A royal insider adds: "It just feels to be one thing after another for the Queen. It's going to take a toll."

The Queen no longer has her most trusted companion beside her following the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in April — just one of the many deaths of close confidants that the monarch has experienced in recent months.

"There's a difference between being alone and being lonely," says the palace insider. Factor in even mild symptoms of COVID, and it "must be hard," adds the insider. "Whatever the symptoms, when you're feeling below par, having to deal with the other problems is really hard."

A new biography about Princess Ileana of Romania


Acclaimed Romanian royal historian and biographer, Diana Mandache has written a new biography of Princess Ileana of Romania, the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie.

The publisher is Editura Corint, based in Bucharest.  The price is RON 93.50, which is about $22.00.

This book is in Romanian.  There is a need, a real need for an English translation.  Princess Ileana spent nearly 40 years in the United States, where she died in 1990.  She also has American grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   

Of course, I want to be able to read it as well, and I know many others will want to read it as well.  

Diana Mandache has written several books in English.