Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor

Rowman & Littlefield
12
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The life of Princess May of Teck is one of the great Cinderella stories in history. From a family of impoverished nobility, she was chosen by Queen Victoria as the bride for her eldest grandson, the scandalous Duke of Clarence, heir to the throne, who died mysteriously before their marriage. Despite this setback, she became queen, mother of two kings, grandmother of the current queen, and a lasting symbol of the majesty of the British throne. Her pivotal role in the abdication of her eldest son, the Duke of Windsor, is just one of the events that provide the backdrop for both thrilling biography and for narrating the splendors and tragedies of the entire house of Windsor.
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About the author

Anne Edwards, a fastidious researcher and accomplished writer, is the author of several bestselling biographies of notable figures, including film stars Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, and Katharine Hepburn, as well as Margaret Mitchell. Edwards’s autobiography, Leaving Home: A Hollywood Blacklisted Writer’s Years Abroad, was published in 2012. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rowman & Littlefield
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Published on
Dec 5, 2014
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Pages
560
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ISBN
9781442236561
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Royal Sisters, Anne Edwards, author of the best-selling Vivien Leigh: A Biography and Matriarch: Queen Mary and the House of Windsor, has written the first dual biography of Elizabeth, the princess who was to become Queen, and her younger sister, Margaret, who was to be her subject. From birth to maturity, they were the stuff of which dreams are made.

“I’m three and you’re four,” the future Queen, then a child, imperiously informed her sister. The younger girl, not understanding this reference to their position in the succession, proudly countered, “No, you’re not. I’m three, you’re seven.”

The royal sisters had no choice in their historic positions, but behind the palace gates and within the all-too-human confines of their personalities, they displayed tremendous individuality and suffered the usual symptoms of sibling rivalry. Royal Sisters provides an unprecedented and intimate portrait of these most famous siblings during their formative and dramatic youthful years. It is also one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating stories of sisterly loyalty.

Edwards’s book is an honest look at how the royal sisters feel toward each other, their parents, their close relations and the men whom they have loved. It openly discusses, with new insights and information, the romance of Elizabeth and Philip and the tragic aborted love affair between Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend, and it has a cast of characters ranging from the youthful sisters’ suitors to Winston Churchill and the entire Royal Family. It is also the story of the making of a queen, of the high drama of her situation in the Townsend affair, of the real effect their uncle’s abdication had on the sisters’ lives, and of the internecine feuds that have brewed within the Royal Family since that time.

Brought vividly to life through the many personal interviews of close royal associates, filled with new facts, previously unpublished anecdotes and photographs, Royal Sisters is a never-before-glimpsed look at the relationship of the Queen and Princess Margaret.
The true story for fans of the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria, this page-turning biography reveals the real woman behind the myth: a bold, glamorous, unbreakable queen—a Victoria for our times. Drawing on previously unpublished papers, this stunning new portrait is a story of love and heartbreak, of devotion and grief, of strength and resilience.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
THE NEW YORK TIMES • ESQUIRE • THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY

“Victoria the Queen, Julia Baird’s exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography, brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europe’s monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public’s expense, and republican sentiment was growing. The Industrial Revolution was transforming the landscape, and the British Empire was commanding ever larger tracts of the globe. In a world where women were often powerless, during a century roiling with change, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand.

Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mother’s meddling and an adviser’s bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security—queen of a quarter of the world’s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach.

Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning.
"This is the stuff of fairy tales," said the Archbishop of Canterbury on July 23, 1981, after the 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer arrived in a glass coach for her wedding to Prince Charles. But everyone knows how that fairy tale ended.

Drawing upon intensive research and interviews, acclaimed biographer Anne Edwards, well-known for her revelatory and incisive books on members of Britain's royal family, here uncovers new details of Diana's life and her search for love; of her family background; and of a betrayal, historic in its outcome. What the public did not know at the time of her storybook wedding was the true story of Diana's troubled childhood-of the cold, autocratic grandfather who disdained her father, who was himself an abusive husband obsessed with having a son to inherit the Spencer wealth and title.

When Diana married Prince Charles, she joined the equally troubled House of Windsor, and was caught up in a plot Shakespearean in its deception and eventual tragic ending. Anne Edwards paints a vivid portrait of a woman desperate in her marriage, fearful of her life, who became devious-and often brilliant-in the moves she played in a treacherous royal chess game.

As in her superb biographies of other royal and celebrated women, Anne Edwards's Ever After transcends the one-sided views of Diana in a work that must be called definitive. At long last, and with all of the insight and narrative drama that have marked her previous bestsellers, Edwards brings us the first full-scale, authoritative portrait of a more intelligent, more resourceful, and sometimes more ruthless woman than we have seen before.

"Diana's many fans are sure to be delighted by Edwards's intimate prose and detailed descriptions." - Publishers Weekly

A moving and compulsively readable look into the lives, loves, relationships, and rivalries among the three women at the heart of the British royal family today: Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla Parker-Bowles, and Kate Middleton—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Good Son, These Few Precious Days, and The Day Diana Died.

One has been famous longer than anyone on the planet—a dutiful daughter, a frustrated mother, a doting grandmother, a steel-willed taskmaster, a wily stateswoman, an enduring symbol of an institution that has lasted a thousand years, and a global icon who has not only been an eyewitness to history but a part of it.

One is the great-granddaughter of a King’s mistress and one of the most famous “other women” of the modern age—a woman who somehow survived a firestorm of scorn to ultimately marry the love of her life, and in the process replace her arch rival, one of the most beloved figures of the twentieth century.

One is a beautiful commoner, the university-educated daughter of a flight attendant-turned-millionaire entrepreneur, a fashion scion the equal of her adored mother-in-law, and the first woman since King George V’s wife, Queen Mary, to lay claim to being the daughter-in-law of one future king, the wife another, and the mother of yet another.

Game of Crowns is an in-depth and exquisitely researched exploration of the lives of these three remarkable women and the striking and sometimes subtle ways in which their lives intersect and intertwine. Examining their surprising similarities and stark differences, Andersen travels beyond the royal palace walls to illustrate who these three women really are today—and how they will directly reshape the landscape of the monarchy.
The Grimaldis of Monaco tells in full the remarkable history of the world’s oldest reigning dynasty. For nearly eight hundred years, from the elegant Genoese Rainier I to the current Prince Albert II, the Grimaldis—“an ambitious, hot-blooded, unscrupulous race, swift to revenge and furious in battle”—have ruled Monaco. Against all odds, they have proved themselves masterful survivors, still in possession of their lands and titles despite the upheavals of the French Revolution and the First and Second World Wars, when royal heads rolled and most small countries met their demise.

With insufficient weaponry and military forces far too small to go into combat against their more powerful neighbors, France and Italy, the Grimaldis endured by their cunning and their shrewd choice of brides—rich women and high connections in the most influential courts of Europe, and often, strong sexual appetites. The French nobleman’s daughter who married Louis I later became the mistress of France Louis XIV. Her son, Antoine I was wed to an aristocratic wife who outdid her mother-in-law by having so many lovers her husband took to hanging them in effigy.

The seafaring adventurer Prince Albert I was unfortunate enough to have two wives, one British, one American, who ran off with their lovers. His second wife, the American Alice Heine, a fabulously rich heiress from New Orleans and the widowed Duchesse de Richelieu, was the model for Proust’s Princess of Luxembourg. Heine used her own wealth to bring grandeur, culture, and sophistication to the palatial center of Monte Carlo; and with the introduction of gambling, an internationally celebrated resort was born, initially for the privileged few and later for raffish café society,

The last section of the book is devoted to the most recent generations of the Grimaldis. Here, a new image of Rainier III emerges as both man and monarch, beginning with his blighted childhood as the son of divorced parents and of a mother scorned as illegitimate. And preceding the drama of his marriage to Grace Kelly, there is an account of his intense love affair with a French film start and reasons behind his sister’s lifelong malice and envy of him. The final note is necessarily tragic, detailing in full the deaths of both Princess Grace and Princess Caroline’s husband in sudden and shocking accidents
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