Spanning 500 years of British history, a revealing look at the secret lives of some great (and not-so-great) Britons, courtesy of one of the world’s most engaging royal historians
Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination.
• stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II
• historical myths debunked and surprising “Did you know . . . ?” anecdotes
• four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors
Washington Post staffer Farquhar (A Treasury of Royal Scandals) probes 500 years of monarchical mishaps and misdeeds, screaming headlines and gleeful attacks by cartoonists. He uncloaks secrets, schemes, scandals, blood-soaked sheets, public humiliations, intrigues, and adultery. Illustrated with lineage charts and chronologically organized, chapters cover the houses of Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Windsor. Farquhar begins with "savage bloodletting" during the reign of Henry VIII, so "monstrously obese" that it took 16 yeoman of the guard to lower his enormous coffin. Bonnie Prince Charlie, attempting to reclaim the British throne for the Stuarts, was defeated at the Battle of Culloden, became a fugitive, and "spen the rest of his life as an embittered paper prince." Suspicions surrounded Ernest, duke of Cumberland, after one of his valets was found with his throat slit. With amusing anecdotes, such as Queen Victoria's coronation ceremony going "wildly awry," Farquhar's style is a breezy pleasure throughout.
Customer ReviewsSee All
King George stammering
Very one sided. Compared the chapter on king george's stammering to the movie The King's Speech. Big differences... Wonder what other important information was left out about the other Royals?