From Meghan Markle to Princess Margaret: books to understand the royal family
Fascinated by the current royal rumpus? Kathryn Hughes picks the best literary insights into the British monarchy
If you have been fretting about the “unprecedented” royal rumpus, then relax. The good news is that it has all happened before and, what’s more, it has been so much worse. Here are some books to help you take the long view.
Let’s start with a warning for us all, principals and gawkers alike. Craig Brown’s Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret shows the Queen’s late sister setting dazzling standards in wanting to have her royal cake and eat it. It didn’t work and the result was profound dissatisfaction, not only for Margaret but with her, too. Gradually Britain fell out of love with its fairytale princess and came to see her as a spoilt and sullen old soak. In this masterly work of bricolage, Brown assembles vignettes that build up a portrait of profound sadness as Margaret fails in her attempt to forge a space where “senior royalty” can do exactly what it wants while still hanging on to the sparkles and the perks. Continue reading...
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