Thinking of what books to read this weekend? Here are some of the hottest, best selling royal books that you shouldn't miss!
1. Diana: Her True Story - In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton
This biography of the Princess of Wales is unique in that the story contained in its pages would never have appeared had it not been for the wholehearted cooperation of Diana, Princess of Wales. The story is based on lengthy, tape recorded interview with Diana, supplemented by the testimony of her family and friends. Like Diana, they spoke with honesty and frankness in spite the fact it meant laying aside the ingrained habits of discretion and loyalty which proximity to royalty invariably engenders.
2. On Duty with the Queen: My Time as a Buckingham Palace Press Officer by Dickie Arbiter with Lynne Barrett-Lee
In this wonderful and honest book, former press secretary to the royal family Dickie Arbiter reveals the inner-workings of everyday life inside Buckingham Palace and what it s really like to be On Duty with the Queen. With over three decades of experience covering royalty as a journalist and as one of Her Majesty s press secretaries, Dickie Arbiter has had unprecedented access to the inner circle of some of the most intriguing news stories over the years and is the only royal commentator to have witnessed the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and covered her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees. Open, entertaining, enlightening and surprising, On Duty with the Queen is a wonderful account of a once-in-a-lifetime job and a truly unique service to the crown.
3. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang
Empress Dowage Cixi (1835-1908) was the most important female figure in Chinese history, ruling China for decades and bringing the medieval empire into the modern ages. In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly pictures Cixi as she fought against huge obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishment like death by thousand cuts and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women's liberation, and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections in China. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the stereotype that Cixi was a ruthless, corrupt and despotic ruler.
4. The Queen's Houses by Alan Titchmarsh
Balmoral, Windsor, Sandringham, Holyrood and, of course, Buckingham Palace. The five residences of the Queen and her family are icons of the British nations, and have been the setting for some of the most significant moments in the country's history. In this book, Alan Titchmarsh attempts to find out and explore the human stories behind the houses, from extravaant architects who built them, to the fires that have destroyed them; from the kings and queens who have grown up in them, to the household staff who ran them. Titchmarsh takes readers on a riveting guided tour of each one, combining new, meticulous archives research with his own personal experience and access to paint an initiative portrait of royal domesticity, and a fascinating history of the places they call home.
5. Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson
Britain's longest reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate. A. N. Wilson's exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources, to show us Queen Victoria as she's never been seen before. It explores the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria's coronation, her strange and isolated childhood, her passionate marriage, Prince Albert's pivotal influence, her widowhood and subsequent intimate friendship with John Brown, set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in Britain - and Europe's - history. Victoria is a towering achievement; a masterpiece of biography by a writer at the height of his powers.