The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor

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9780007102150: The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor

The House of Windsor is a big business, though one with more ups and downs than the stock market. Prince Philip calls it “The Firm,” and all the royal executives and their powerful associates are supposed to make every effort to avoid even a hint of scandal that could diminish the reputation of the family business.

 

Unfortunately for the royals, for the past twenty years scandal and controversy have deluged the Queen’s family, putting everything at risk. Focusing primarily on the years after the death of Diana and leading up to the heir to the throne’s marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles this past April 9th, royal insider Penny Junor offers a sympathetic yet utterly candid look at a family that has made itself the world’s soap opera in THE FIRM: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.

 

Can “The Firm” survive much longer? Will Charles or even William decide that the throne is not worth the trouble? Can this, the ultimate family business, weather this storm of spiritual (though not fiscal) bankruptcy, or will momentum and a cadre of brilliant advisors keep the enterprise in business for years to come?

 

THE FIRM investigates the Family’s relationship with government, the press and the people.  It looks at whether the institution can reach out to those, particularly the young, who see the House of Windsor as insignificant.  It asks, in short, whether the British monarchy has a future.

 

Penny Junor knows the answers in this sure-to-be controversial book—the first to be published on the newly restructured royal family. 

(20050627)

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About the Author:

PENNY JUNOR is a top London journalist who has covered the royal family for over twenty-five years.  She is the author of previous biographies of both the Prince and the Princess of Wales and two British Prime Ministers.  She is married with four children and lives in Wiltshire, England.

Review:

"... a solid analysis of the monarchy." --Booklist
(20050801)

London journalist and longtime Windsor-watcher Junor (Home Truths, Charles: Victim or Villian?, Charles and Diana: Portrait of a Marriage, etc.) considers the British royal family''s continuation into the 21st century in this sympathetic account, covering Diana''s death to the present day. The explanation, Junor believes, lies both in the "magic" of the monarchy and in the family''s organization into the titular businesslike entity, a phrase coined by Prince Philip. She asserts that the value of the monarchy-during this era without hierarchy, deference and respect-is to act as "a fixture in this morass" of modern life. Junor has met nearly all the royals, as well as many of their associates, and her observations plus long excerpts from interviews give the book an insider feel. This is a favorable, respectful portrait: Junor tempers any criticisms with admiring descriptions of the royals'' good deeds, especially their charity work. And despite the book''s subtitle, she doesn''t dwell on the royal scandals, focusing instead on the details of her subjects'' lives and personalities. This approach generates some extraneous chapters, such as the passage exploring the minutia of the Queen''s private interests (e.g. horses). However, this book''s depth and gentle commentary on a subject usually dominated by tabloid exposs should gratify those with an affectionate interest in Britain''s monarchy. Color photos. (July) (Publishers Weekly )

JUNOR, PENNY. The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin''s. 2005. c.464p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 0-312-35274-3. $25.95. HIST Readers of this interesting and occasionally jaw-dropping look at the world''s most famous dysfunctional family will find plenty to engage them. Journalist and royal biographer Junor (Charles: Victim or Villain; Diana, Princess of Wales) tells the reader that "the Queen...believes that with few exceptions everything that has gone wrong for the monarchy in the last twenty years has been attributable to Mrs. Parker Bowles." And the reason Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party? "Today''s young are blissfully unaware of history (some of them aren''t even taught it in our schools)." The reader comes away from the book feeling that had this family ever actually sat down and talked to one another a lot of their very public misfortunes might have been avoided. However, Junor doesn''t just dish the dirt. She goes to a great deal of trouble to explain how "The Firm" works (and the queen, Princes Philip and Charles, and Princess Anne work very hard indeed) and at what actual cost to the nation. Given the Royal Family''s frequent appearance in the headlines, this work is sure to be in demand. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., MA (Mellett, Elizabeth Library Journal )

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