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It would be hard to invent a group of personalities more extraordinary than the British Royal Family – known as 'The Firm' by Prince Philip. With an eye on the past, present and future, this book takes a look at how the family really operates and reveals how they behave behind closed doors.
The monarch is the United Kingdom's head of state, exercising powers that are circumscribed by common law, convention, and statute law. Nowadays, many of the sovereign's functions are ceremonial but in the past the balance between ceremony and decision-making was very different. The foundations of the modern monarchy were laid more than a millennium ago, in Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Britain, so its modern form is a stage in an evolution that has been shaped by attitudes towards divorce, the changing role of women, the democratization of society, dynastic intermarriage, financial demands, religious convictions, struggles for economic and political power, and territorial aggrandizement. Covering some of the most famous figures in world history, including William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, and Queens Victoria, Elizabeth I, and Elizabeth II, the Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy provides a chronology starting with the year 495 and continuing to the present day, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and over 600 cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, places, events, institutions, and other aspects of British culture, society, economy, and politics. This book is a must for anyone interested in the British monarchy.
The authoritative biography of Prince Harry by noted royal family biographer Penny Junor, author of Prince William: The Man Who Will Be King and The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor. Prince Harry, one of the most popular members of the British royal family, has had a colorful life. After losing his mother at 12 years old, he spent his teenage years making questionable choices under intense international media scrutiny, becoming known for his mischevious grin, shock of red hair, and the occassional not-so-royal indiscretion. As he's grown, he has distinguished himself through military service, flying helicopters for the RAF. He served in Afghanistan and continues to devote himself to his military career. He also follows in his mother's footsteps with charity work--he is the founder of Sentebale, a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, and works with many other charitable organziations to help young people in society and to conserve natural resources. As he reaches his thirtieth birthday, Prince Harry is proving himself a prince of the people. With unprecedented access to the most important figures in his life, Penny Junor is able get the truth about who this mercurial and fascinating royal son really is. A modern biography of a modern prince, this book offers an insider's look at the life of the man who is fourth in line to Britain's throne.
A far-sighted war hero or an ambitious networker promoted above his talents? Deservedly celebrated as a naval officer and confidant of world leaders, nevertheless, for some, Mountbatten’s talents remain questionable. In this timely new biography, Adrian Smith paints a different and convincing picture, of an essentially modern figure of a technocratic age, a nuts and bolts officer specialising in the technical branches of the Senior Service, and aristocrat perhaps, but devoted to professionalism and the lower deck. He traces Mountbatten's life and career in the context of the end of empire and the fading Europe of crowned heads, follows his studies at Osborn and Dartmouth and, importantly, at Keyham College of Engineering. He shows the dedicated student making the most of average abilities but coming out on top, then service in World War I on Admiral Beaty's flagship 'Queen Elizabeth, regretting that he could not serve at Jutland with his cousin, the future George VI. His 'apprenticeship' continued with service on state-of-the-art vessels like the 'Repulse', the fastest and most heavily-armed battle cruiser of the day, and took a significant turn away from the more glamorous deck officer role to the Royal Signal School at Portsmouth, later serving as Fleet Wireless Officer in the Mediterranean Fleet. It was Mountbatten's experience at Flotilla Captain and Captain of HMS 'Kelly' and the failure of the Dieppe Raid, after his promotion as Advisor on Combined Operations, that both established his reputation as naval icon with the common touch - in the film 'In Which We Serve' - and raised the controversy as to his strategic foresight. His qualities were to be tested almost to destruction as the volume ends with his appointment as Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia. Smith brings Mountbatten to life and uncovers the essential qualities. Beneath the rich, aristocratic, pleasure-loving and privileged exterior there was a deeply human, even vulnerable but driven character - and a pivotal figure in the imperial and military history of the twentieth century.
Each of these lavishly illustrated books serves up a brief and manageable portion of the Fraser-edited and much-touted Lives of the Kings and Queens of England. A set of six jewels for Fraser's crown.
The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II is a celebration of the Queen's reign through some of her wittiest, most sarcastic and humorous observations, revealing a fascinating side of her personality that often remains hidden from the public. When thinking of the Queen, our perception is often one of dignity and authority. She is seen as a serious figure: the British monarch, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the head of the Commonwealth. But as anyone who has ever met her will tell you, in person she has wicked sense of humour. Occasionally unintentional, like asking guitar legend Eric Clapton, 'Have you been playing a long time?,' sometimes sarcastic, and at other times downright silly, royal humour touches on every aspect of life, while always retaining a strong sense of dignity.
Ten years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy? Tina Brown knew Diana personally, knows her world, understands its players, and has far-reaching insight into the royals and the Queen herself. In The Diana Chronicles, you will meet a formidable female cast and get to know the society they inhabit...as you never have before. Diana's sexually charged mother, her subtly scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but eventually came to understand, and a terrifying trio of in-laws and relations: Fergie, the force of nature whose life was full of its own unacknowledged pathos; Princess Margaret, the fading glamour girl; the implacable Queen Mother and more formidable than all of them, her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate "other woman" into this combustible mix, and it's no wonder that Diana felt the need to break out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.

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