3 out of 4 stars
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Royal Marriages: Diana, Camilla, Kate, Meghan and Princesses Who Did Not Live Happily Ever After by Susanna De Vries is a non-fictional account of unhappy marriages and indiscretions throughout the history of Britain's Royal family. How Britain's kings and princes were forced to marry young virginal girls who were many years younger than themselves only to provide heirs but at the same time keeping their mistresses on the side.
A large portion of the book is about Princess Diana's life, and how her storybook wedding turned out not to be the fairytale marriage of her dreams. I discovered the story of Diana was indeed very tragic. Not just her death, but also her life. The very public image of her life, marriage, divorce, and death highly contrast with her very private and secretive life. It very clearly explains how Princess Diana's experience has resulted in a change in the tradition of arranged marriages for her children and possibly future generations.
Not being from Britain, I have not been as exposed to the tabloids and rumors of the Royals as much as those who live there. Consequently, I found this account of their history and lives intriguing. I learned many things I was not aware of about their experiences.
Royal Marriages is not Ms. De Vries' first novel about the House of Hanover-Windsor, their lives, and their sometimes public, but more often private indiscretions. It is evident to me that Ms. DeVries has done extensive research to bring this account to us.
This book is an excellent account of the effect of arranged weddings, the tradition of infidelity, and the difficult marriages found throughout history in the royal lineage of Britain. It very clearly depicts: "Princesses who did not live happily ever after" as the title states. Keeping track of the Royals, their family members, ancestors, mistresses, and relationships were at times confusing. However, there is a family tree diagram on the first page of the book that outlines all of the Royals including mistresses.
I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Overall I found it to be well written, but I found several grammatical errors, and I believe it would benefit with one more round of editing. There were a few words such as mould, furore, favourite, and councillors spelled in the British tradition that threw me but did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.
The author specifically requested a female review her book, which helped prompt my interest in reading it, but I think anyone interested in the British royalty would enjoy reading it as much as I did.
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