Monday, August 6, 2018

Princess by Jane Dismore

I was intrigued as soon as I saw this book on NetGalley because I don't know anything about Queen Elizabeth before she became queen (I didn't even know how she looked like when she was young!). So when I heard that this book also contained unpublished material from letters and interviews, I decided to request for it.

Princess is a sensitively written account of Queen Elizabeth's early life. It starts off with the moment she became queen (very sadly, she was one of the last people to know) and then backtracks to when she was born before going forward from there. It covers her childhood, marriage, and life as a newlywed.

I was actually pretty surprised at how normally her parents raised her. You always hear of extravagant lifestyles but it seems like Queen Elizabeth and her sister were raised to be as down to earth as possible. Part of it may have been the times where they grew up, but it seems like a part of it is also due to her parents and their personality. I felt that they had a very genuine and loving relationship, which was very touching.

Also touching was her relationship with Prince Phillip. Because she eventually marries him, the book does touch on key moments of his life before they met. There isn't anything scandalous in their love story, but it's a very sweet account.

The one thing that surprised me while reading was the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I didn't really have any views about them because I knew nothing about them except that the King abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, so it was a shock to find out that both of them had pro-Nazi views. I’m definitely going to side-eye anyone who praises Wallis Simpson now.

Overall, this was an interesting and informative account of Queen Elizabeth’s early life. The only thing I wish it added were photos of key moments - while they are probably just one google search away, it would be nice to be able to flip to them in the book. Hopefully it’s just my advance copy that doesn’t have pictures because I think it would add a lot to have them.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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