A woman of a certain age who has three cats underfoot, and has the dream of filling her passport with stamps. Books, classical music, tea, cats, movies, art, fancy needlework, and anything else I can think of.
Let's face it, the world went crazy this year with the news of the impending birth of the UK's newest royal -- HRH Prince George of Cambridge, the first child of Prince William and his Duchess Kate. Reporters camped out in front of the hospital, bookies took bets on if it was going to be a girl or boy, and the regal name that would be bestowed on the heir. Merchants stocked up on all sorts of gewgaws, books and memorabilia. A good bit of it was on the silly side, but I do tend to gravitate towards books on the royals, and one publisher that I do trust is The Royal Collection Trust, the keepers of all the art, artifacts, photographs and what-have-you, and able to draw on some very good historians to craft their volumes.
This volume traces the young royals of the last two or so centuries, starting with Queen Victoria (and the greatest baby derby in history), Kings Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI, Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs -- Princes Charles, William and now, George. Some of the more enchanting objects are baby shoes, a collection of rattles, sketches and paintings, and photographs. Stories about unruly children -- Queen Victoria's brood of nine seem particularly inclined to mischief -- and at times, sheer adorableness all culminate with Prince George's birth.
However, quite naturally, there is a rather rushed feel at the end of this one. This book was certainly rushed to press just after the birth of the latest prince, and it shows. While the book as a whole is very good, with quality photographs, stories that are entertaining but never scandalous, and quite a bit of history that you don't find elsewhere, it's that cashing in on the latest royal frenzy that leaves a bad taste.
Still for that royalty addict that you know, this might be the perfect book for the holidays. I give it four and a half stars and a recommendation from me.
Oh and the next big event on the Court Circular is the christening of Prince George on 23 October 2013.
For the longer review, please go here: