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The Duchess of Kent: The Troubled Life of Katherine Worsley [Paperback]

Mary Riddell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Jun 2000
Katherine Worsley's marriage in 1961 to the Duke of Kent plunged her into a life for which she was ill prepared. She has not flinched from public duty, but has had ME, and in 1992 converted to the Roman Catholic church. This is a full biography.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (9 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330367099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330367097
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

As possibly the most regal of the Royals, The Duchess of Kent has endeared herself to millions with her cool elegance, her quiet calm, and her touching and heartfelt ability to strive for a cause. But the real Duchess--born into the kind of old-school upper class which deemed itself harsh but fair--has led a troubled life which, despite her enviable ability to bite the bullet and perform her duties with grace and honour has constantly battled with herself and her peers in order to become the woman that the world now loves. Mary Riddell's excellent biography is a sympathetic and intelligent book, immaculately researched and strong on detail, which charts the life of an extraordinary woman through her childhood, the evolution of her high-profile marriage-- only saved by the intervention of the monarchy and the Church of England--the tragic stillbirth of her last child, a nervous breakdown and the ensuing chronicle of ill-health and on to the present day with her strong bonds with UNICEF, her conversion to Catholicism and her persistent battle with ME.

The Duchess of Kent: The Troubled Life of Katharine Worsley is a royal biography not to be missed, and explains as much about the life of the Royals and the destructive impact they, and their courtiers, can have on outsiders who are drawn into their inner circle, as it does about the steely determination of a Duchess at odds with her own life. --Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The first biography of this remarkable woman.
Behind the dignified face in Wimbledon's Royal Box lies a complex woman, possibly never at ease with the family into which she married, yet with a sense of responsibility that has gained admiration and respect. Katherine Worsley's royal life has hardly been charmed: a strained marriage and a formidable mother-in-law, as well as a turbulent health history, are hard to label as the stuff of privilege. Mary Riddell explores this humanity, and the Duchess's search for emotional support, such as her conversion to Roman Catholicism. An immaculately researched analysis. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dignity of The Duchess 12 Jan 2001
I remember about 20 years ago,seeing HRH The Duchess of Kent,she was a vision of what I thought a fairy-tale Princess should be. After reading this excellent book,i have now understood the troubles and trails that she has had to face and come through. She is a true survivor,through ill health physical and mental and a difficult marrage into the gilded cage of The British Royal family. The book deals with all apects of this caring and compassionate woman,with great skill and it is not sickly sweet like many royal biographies. One can see the deep personal journey of the Duchess,a spritual journey in search of peace and her true self. It is an excellent,researched book of a well respected and liked Royal. A very worthwhile read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit repetative 15 Mar 2011
By Pinkmat
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was interested in reading the life story of The Duchess of Kent because I am an M.E. sufferer and wanted to see how it had affected her and how the diagnosis then changed to coeliac disease. Besides that, I'd heard she'd had an unhappy marriage so I thought it would be interesting reading. Well, it's a bit dull and repetative with the writer constantly going over the fact that Katharine Worsley had a close relationship with her father and repeating other aspects of her life ad nauseum so it's not a great read. It's o.k. but left me wondering why she is so unhappy with a man who so obviously loves her.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Title should be changed 16 Feb 2014
By rusty
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Did not learn much more than I already knew, I really admire this Lady but thought the title was negative and off-putting instead of
high-lighting her many talents and virtues, Could not imagine a book about The Queen being published with such a title yet her life
has been even more troubled !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A troubled life 1 July 2013
Mary Riddell has managed to produce a biography of a living member of the royal family which has both depth and candour. Much of her source material was based on interviews and the resulting book shows that she was trusted by those people whom she interviewed.

Riddell is extremely even handed in her assessment of the disastrous marriage (her words) of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. She does not apportion blame, but sees events from both sides.

She is perceptive in her discussions of the nature of royal marriages and her comparisons of the Duchess' predicament with that of Diana, Princess of Wales, are revealing.

However, there is a tendency, particularly in the last quarter of the book to 'over-egg the pudding'. Whilst one does not wish to diminish the mental suffering that the Duchess suffered, Riddell is rather heavy handed in her treatment of this aspect of the Duchess' life; there is a lot of going over the same ground. The book could have done with some editing in this area.

On the whole though, Riddell deals with atricky subject very well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and disturbing look at the Royal Family 14 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on
The author's research and detail here is incredible. She presents a well-rounded and unbiased look at the Duchess of Kent, and as much as I admired the Duchess for her determination and faith, I was thoroughly disgusted by the Royal Family's cold and insensitive treatment of her. Although the book drags a little bit, I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this subject.
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book to read. 2 Nov 2013
By christine l holmstock - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i always like to read about the royals and this book did not disappoint. it was a wonderful story and i did so enjoy it very much.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second hand books 5 Jun 2011
By Jan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So easy to find and buy a book you really want without having to leave your desk! Thanks again Amazon.
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