Friday, April 19, 2019

The best books about Prince Philip

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Now that Prince Philip is the longest living descendant of Queen Victoria,  it is a good time to recommend a few biographies of Philip - the ones that I think are the best.

Tim Heald's  Philip: Portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh is perhaps the closest to an official biography that will be published in Prince Philip's lifetime.   The early life of Prince Philip was eloquently portrayed in Philip Eades's Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life and Basil Boothroyd's Prince Philip An Informal Biography, which included conversations with the Queen's consort.  Boothroyd's book was published in 1971.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Coming out in soon : Ira: The Life and Times of a Princess

I am looking forward to this book,  Ira: The Life and Times of a Princess, an authorized biography by Nicholas Foulkes. I look forward to reading and reviewing it after the book is published the UK in mid-June.  The US publication date is mid-June  It is now available for pre-order.

HarperCollins is publishing the book in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

HSH Princess Virginia Carolina Theresa Pancrazia Galdina of Fürstenberg was born in 1940, one of three children of Princess Tassilo of Fürstenberg and Clara Agnelli, daughter of Eduardo Agneli, an Italian businessman.

The Princess has always been called Ira.   Her paternal grandparents were Prince Karl Emil of Fürstenberg and Countess Mária Matild Georgina Festetics de Tolna, a member of a Hungarian noble family.  Maria's mother was Lady  Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton, whose first marriage to Prince Albert of Monaco, son of Charles III, ended in divorce, They had one son,  Louis II, Prince of Monaco.

Lady Mary was the daughter of William,11th Duke of Hamilton and Princess Marie of Baden.  Her marriage to Prince Albert was annulled before he succeeded to the Monegasque throne.

After the death of Princess Grace,  Princess Ira was often the companion of Prince Rainier, who was her second cousin as Lady Mary was their great-grandmother.  Rainier was the grandson of Prince Louis II and Ira was the granddaughter of Countess Maria.

 Ira's brother, Prince Egon, was married to the designer Diane von Fürstenberg.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

available for Pre-order Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918 by Helen Azar

Helen Azar's latest book is now available for pre-order:  Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918

From Amazon "In the twilight of the nineteenth century, a third daughter was born to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna—known to her family and friends simply as “Mashka”—grew into an empathetic, down-to-earth girl, unaffected by her imperial status. Often overshadowed by her two older sisters, Olga and Tatiana, and later, her brother Alexei and younger sister Anastasia, Maria ultimately proved to have a uniquely strong and solid personality. In Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918, by translator and researcher Helen Azar with George Hawkins, Mashka’s voice is heard again through her intimate writings, presented for the first time in English. The Grand Duchess was much more than a pretty princess wearing white dresses in hundreds of faded sepia photographs; Maria’s surviving diaries and letters offer a fascinating insight into the private life of a loving family—from festivals and faith, to Rasputin and the coming Revolution; it is clear why this middle child ultimately became a pillar of strength and hope for them all. Maria’s gentle character belied her incredible courage, which emerged in the darkest hours of her brief life. “The incarnation of modesty elevated by suffering,” as Maria was described during the last weeks of her life, she was able to maintain her kindness and optimism, even in the midst of violence and degradation. On a stuffy summer night in 1918, only a few weeks after her nineteenth birthday, Maria was murdered along with the rest of her family in a cellar of a house chosen for this “special purpose.” Two sets of charred remains, confirmed to be Maria’s and her brother Alexei’s, were not discovered until almost ninety years later, separately from those of the other victims of the massacre. As the authors relate, it is still unknown if these remains will ever be allowed to be laid to rest."


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Romanovs Adrift by Greg King and Penny Wilson

Am looking forward to reading Greg King and Penny Wilson's new book,  The Romanovs Adrift, which was just published by

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