THE PALACE PAPERS by Tina Brown, narrated by the author

Camilla with her prince at their wedding on 8 April 2005.

As someone who is roughly the same age as Diana, Princess of Wales, and who, as a young woman, found Diana so compelling I wanted to be her best friend (like millions of others) I pressed the play button on my iPhone, not sure what I was going to find. After all, Diana has been done to death (pun intended) and what else could one say about her?

Queen Lilibet with her prince on their wedding day, 20 November 1947.

It turns out that Tina Brown is an extremely talented writer. And yes, she did find something new to say about Diana.

Generally speaking, I find biographies boring in the extreme. Too many authors turn their books into dull listings of events that happened in a person’s life when what everyone really wants to know is “what is this person really like?”

And this is where author Tina Brown shines, for she brought these people (even the Queen) to life.

Meghan with her prince on 19 May 2018.

We learn about the toxic dynamics that brought Harry and Meghan together. (As I suspected, Harry was looking to escape Dodge, and Meghan provided the perfect means for him to do so.)

We learn how e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y patient both Camilla and Kate had to be to catch their Royal princes, (and how shabbily the Palace treats princely girlfriends, so much so that most of these young women flee before the relationships have a chance of developing.)

Kate with her much-waited-for prince on 29 April 2011

We gain peerless insights into the love affair (and marriage) between the Queen and Prince Philip, whose 70-plus years of marriage weathered many storms.

And we learn about the savagery of the British tabloids that makes the lives of these ordinary, rather bourgeois people (who mostly just want to be left alone) hell.

If you or a loved one want to learn more about the British Royals, this is the book for you. Five stars.

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