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.
This ebook is made from the 2009 edition.
With showbiz stars and sporting celebrities now attracting the adulation once afforded to royalty, The Firm questions what monarchy is for.
Is it a hangover from the past, an expensive anachronism, a relic of a bygone age of deference and hierarchy, or is it an important and relevant part of Britain in the 21st century – something that gives stability and continuity to the country, and richness and glamour to our national life in ways that a republic never could? If so, do the media mock, hound and criticize the Royal Family at their peril? Has Prince Charles sacrificed the throne for love? Could Prince William decide that the long lenses and the scrutiny of his private life is too high a price to pay?
Penny will also look at how the dynamics of the royal household have changed over the last year and what repercussions these changes will have. Whilst in the hardback edition Penny Junor was able to discuss the implications of Charles and Camilla's marriage only two months after it was announced, the paperback promises to offer a host of new surprises and implication for the future of the House of Windsor, as well as an inside view of how The Firm have taken in their newest member.
Whatever happens over the next year, we can be sure that Penny will update this paperback edition to make it an essential buy for anyone who has even a passing interest in Britain's most dysfunctional and fascinating family.
About the author
Penny Junor is a frequent commentator on the Royal Family on TV and in the press. She is the author of a number of bestselling royal and political biographies.
London journalist and longtime Windsor-watcher Junor (Home Truths, Charles: Victim or Villian?, Charles and Diana: Portrait of a Marriage, etc.) considers the British royal family's continuation into the 21st century in this sympathetic account, covering Diana's death to the present day. The explanation, Junor believes, lies both in the "magic" of the monarchy and in the family's organization into the titular businesslike entity, a phrase coined by Prince Philip. She asserts that the value of the monarchy-during this era without hierarchy, deference and respect-is to act as "a fixture in this morass" of modern life. Junor has met nearly all the royals, as well as many of their associates, and her observations plus long excerpts from interviews give the book an insider feel. This is a favorable, respectful portrait: Junor tempers any criticisms with admiring descriptions of the royals' good deeds, especially their charity work. And despite the book's subtitle, she doesn't dwell on the royal scandals, focusing instead on the details of her subjects' lives and personalities. This approach generates some extraneous chapters, such as the passage exploring the minutia of the Queen's private interests (e.g. horses). However, this book's depth and gentle commentary on a subject usually dominated by tabloid exposes should gratify those with an affectionate interest in Britain's monarchy. Color photos.