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3.3 out of 5 stars43
3.3 out of 5 stars
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This book, based on Sarah Goodall's twelve years' worth of experience working as a 'Lady Clerk' for Prince Charles is an amusing read if you've an interest in the royals and their strange little ways. Sarah herself comes across as a 'Hooray Henrietta' type of person who likes to have a swift drink and a laugh, which is no bad thing but it ultimately leads to her downfall. The detailed accounts of her work, her undeniable hero-worship (which borders onto hagiography) of the Prince is slightly nauseating at times but she's tempers it with a self deprecating wit which belies her intelligence at times. Actually Sarah's fluffiness is fairly amusing at times and her naivety of believing that Sir Jimmy Saville could be the Princess of Wales's father is very funny indeed.

She does include a fair account of her love life during these twelve years which seem very busy indeed! I kept imagining a hoard of Gordon Gekko types as her `outsider' boyfriends as well as the fine, upstanding heterosexual members of staff she loved to hunt, which juxtaposes nicely with her time at Balmoral. She's clearly no fan of Diana, whom she refers to as either the `Bossette' or `The Nation's Number One Fashion Icon' mainly because her immense loyalty to the Prince makes her feel that way but she's a little inappropriate in what she thinks whilst standing by her coffin in my opinion. After her eventual dismissal from the Palace, she seeks an audience with her hero, the Prince, but there are cross wires and he believes that she's referring to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease! All in all, it's an easy book to read if you've an interest in such matters and it'll probably raise a smile or two during certain chapters.
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on 6 January 2016
Well I read the reviews before buying and a lot of them were pretty bad, with remarks such as 'she' the author was fixated about her love life, she could not be taken seriously and was inappropriate etc. Other reviews were good and I agree. It was a good read with my taking the book on board in the manner it was meant to be understood. That is, with an aura of frippery surrounding a core of deadly seriousness. I learned a lot about Charles and Diana and bearing in mind I have read many books about them this was surprising. This book should be read with a book on Diana by Lady Colin Campbell. Campbell wrote the book on Diana's behest and she, Diana, wanted 'people to know the truth.' The 2 books are remarkably similar.
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on 2 June 2007
This book left me with a feeling that having worked as a Lady Clerk to the Prince of Wales was just an excuse for the author to write all the gory details about her love life.

If this had been written factually it may have been a better read. I found the inconsistencies - complaining about being poor on Palace wages but then frittering all the money her father sent her for a flat on clothes etc - irritated me, as did her apparent disregard for others feelings. There are too many episodes of this to give examples!

Having finished it (just) I have learnt next to nothing about the Royal Family (certainly nothing new) but loads about the love life, finances and social life of someone I have no interest in at all.

If you are looking for a book which gives an insight into life working at the periphery of the Royal Family this is not it. If you are looking for a book about a Lady Clerk who got a little too big for her boots (to be fair, she does at least admit that), then this is it.
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on 15 April 2010
This book reads like a pupil's essay. It's entertaining but literary at freezing point. If you're into reading a book within 2 hours and not wanting to have your brain active, it's the stuff for it. In the end I thought "well, another self pittying story from a red-carpet-sick wannabe". At least she is honest at the beginning, saying that she has written this whatever it is for money. I can understand that but not quite the rest.
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on 15 March 2015
After reading other reviews I really wondered wether to download this book! I am so pleased I did.. It is funny, extremely well written and gives the reader an I site into the day to day goings on in and around the various royal residences .. A great read from who I felt was a genuinely caring royal worker
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on 19 October 2006
The Palace Diaries is both interesting and humorous. If you are keen to have a light-hearted look at what 'allegedly' goes on behind Royal doors...then give this book a read.

I am sure Ms Goodall has many more juicy stories to tell regarding her time with The Royals! Maybe a follow-up at some point?
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on 6 December 2013
would definitely recommend this book. loved the inside gossip and had me giggling to myself in parts. very interesting and didnt want this book to end!
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on 8 February 2015
I couldn't put this book down, I found Sarah Goodall's descriptions interesting, she has a wonderful way with words. I hope she has found happiness.
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on 7 October 2006
Just finished this book. I thought it was a really sad book. There are some interesting and funny parts but I felt that Ms. Goodall was really holding back and not telling the full story out of fear perhaps of the Royal family? The back stabbing that goes on is chilling.

She nauseatingly gushes over and grovels at Prince Charles' feet. And although she tries to kiss Camilla's feet too (why not-if you can't beat them, join them) in the end it did not do her any good.

It was very disturbing her thoughts as she stood by Princess Diana's coffin - something to the effect of "Good-bye you strange woman!

Her sexcapades were pathetic and it was really sad how she dumped 2 or 3 lovely boyfriends and ended up alone with her memories!

There is a hilarious part where she arranges a meeting with the Prince two months after she had been canned. She says that she is very upset at what happened and the clueless Prince thinks she is talking about the recent Foot and Mouth epidemic among the cattle! Good reading for a long, rainy day!
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on 29 December 2006
I thought this book was extremely funny. It was not a book for people who are very serious about the royal family, however. Everyone I know who has read it enjoyed it very much. Like another reviewer, I though Goodall's love life was pathetic with the poor choices she has made over the years. Maybe she has learned a few lessons along the way. She certainly does have wit and a self-effacing sense of humor.
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