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on 29 June 2017
Poor innocent, young, naive Diana - her Fairy Tale was back to front - here was the beautiful girl who kissed her prince and the Prince turned into a frog! It beggars belief that Charles, with his Action Man nickname and who bedded any female with a pulse, whether she be married or not, decided that his virginal innocent bride would want to read the many volumes of the philosopher Laurens van der Post he took with them AND then discuss them whilst sailing the Med on her honeymoon on board Britannia!!
As a young girl swept off her feet with the thoughts of Romance to be had throughout her honeymoon, and like all young girls the heady expectations of maybe spending MOST of her honeymoon in a horizontal mode the poor young girl was bored rigidly Vertical with not only Philosophy to contend with but he took along his paints and easel so she could WATCH him create water colours!! His father, the redblooded Alpha Male, would have had no doubt whatsoever as to what to do on honeymoon - indeed, although I have much respect for Charles many good works, Philip must wonder how on earth he sired such a limp wet lettuce!
Diana never stood a chance, the ultimate sacrificial virginal lamb, when ALL she EVER wanted from life was LOVE. How on earth Charles got that one small word Love wrong is incredible. Diana deserved SO much more from EVERY member of the family she married into.
This book is the most definitive book I've ever read on the whole sorry tale of Diana's tragic life and I urge anyone to buy it. It reads like a Fly on the Wall perspective, quite incredible in the amount of detail it provides, and hats off to the author for the astounding amount of research she put into writing this book - she obviously has the right contacts in life! A brilliant book in all ways.
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on 13 March 2017
Excellent book, lots of detail I had not read before. Interesting Spencer family history; insightful analysis of the main characters personalities and motivation. Total page turner, addictive book. The latter chapters with details of the crash, Diana's emergency medical treatment; Charles' journey to collect and bring her home and the funeral ceremony had me in tears, so sad, the book brought it all back.
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on 15 July 2017
Not a lot of really new information, but well written. Tina Brown is a witty writer, and clearly has good sources of information. Not sure I believe all of it but it's a good read.
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on 14 June 2016
Very pleased with this purchase, excellent purchase.
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on 14 January 2015
Very well written and engrossing. Balanced appraisal of Diana and that whole era with many insider sources giving retrospectives. Definitely best of all the Diana biographies. Firstly the author can write, has great sources and this is neutral not gushing about Diana herself. Riveting read.
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on 8 June 2016
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on 16 June 2017
It is an OK read but certainly not impressed with the book.
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on 28 February 2015
Anyone interested in Diana should read this book. I have read most of them and this is the best of all. It shows warts and all and is not one sided but appears to be very truthful and tells a story of a lovely lady with flaws.
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on 11 May 2016
This must be THE definitive account if the life of Diana Princess of Wales. Beautifully written, impossible to put down and thoroughly researched. No other biography comes close to the calibre of this book. I would highly recommend it to other readers
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on 9 January 2014
This is essential reading for anyone who wants to know about the workings of power in the UK and beyond. Diana was always a great hit in the Latin community - where we - like much of the rest of the world - assumed she was assainated for considering marrying a Muslim, and opposing landmines. This book disputes this theory at some length, but meanwhile there is much inspiration in a memoir that is fluent interesting and engaging throughout!

Tina Brown does not opt for the adulatory approach in her assessment of Diana's strange and eerie ambition to be a member of the Royal Family from an early age.
Yet she does perform the awesome task of respecting Diana's status as international icon, while also respecting and having sympathy for her as a flesh and blood woman.
Frances Shand Kydd and Raine Spencer also emerge in a good light. These are English women I would like to meet (!) Tina Brown thinks Princess Anne is `more temperamentally suited than any of her brothers to be King'.
There is also the bigger picture: `England in the 1980s was defined to the rest of the world by three globe-trotting divas: Diana, Princess of Wales, Prime Minister Margaret Thatever and Joan Collins...The British Isles have shrunk a little since they reverted to a culture curated by men' Diana's gifts were supposedly small but radiant "An invisible thread of kindliness drew her to people who expected the least and needed the most...It is one of the saddest ironies of her life that just when she ws on the point of casting off the most toxic elements of celebrity culture and using her fame as collateral for daring social activism she should be locked by death in a freeze-frame of deadly glitz'.

According to Tony Blair, Princess Diana `taught us a new way to be British'. So this is useful book for people who want o find out how. Brown explains `at the beginning of the 1960s, to be British meant, in almost all cases, to live a life without surprises, to follow a path laid out by the circumstances of birth and the followays of class. The pattern was especially circumscribed for women...' Not for Diana! Although widely considered to be an airhead, post-marriage, she was spectacularly well organized in her projects and most of her dealings with the media, until catastrophe struck of course. The book conducts a very fierce examination of the ethics of photojournailists and the media at large.

Tina Brown is unflinching in describing Diana's historical rage at anyone who disappointed her or let her down in any way. Yet she is also enjoyably mischievous in her descriptions of the ways of the Windsors or `German dwarves' as Diana herself referred to them.
The account illustrates the very English quality of Fairness and we shouldn't necessarily envy the Royals. At Balmoral, one of their holiday homes, it is always raining, freezing cold and run on very starched and absurd regimes. With contingencies like this, and their senseless love of brutal outdoor sports, here is a very rich family that wastes no opportunity to make their lives as miserable and uncomfortable as possible.
Tina Brown is succinct in her assessment of the tragic marriage - `She was a work in progress, while Charles was a work in aspic...a man who had never been young...a man whose spiritual age has always been somewhere north of sixty-five...''

Now we just have 2 white female icons in the UK - Nigella Lawson and Rebekah Brooks - or a Brunette and Redhead to use western definitions of women - one highly popular, the other somewhat less so, one Saint, one Sinner, one Heroine, one Villain. Or are they? Maybe we shall never know. Kate Middleton we have to wait and see.

This account leaves a few questions dangling....whatever happened to Prince Edward, is bubbly Sarah Ferguson writing her memoirs? But this is not about them. Ultimately we loved Diana because she was one of us. While not quite Gandhi, Diana captured the imaginations and hearts of a huge constituency - from those who had endured really s*** marriages to those not especially good st school lessons, to those who had been bullied by their supposed betters and underdogs and outcasts everywherez. She changed minds and sponsored honorable political causes `Her struggles dramatised a journey the British people felt they had shared - from romantic naivety to bitter experience. They recognised her courage'.
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