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Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece Hardcover – March 28, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A chain-smoking, nearly deaf princess who ministered to the sick in Greek hospitals and soup kitchens, was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic at age 45, fancied herself a nun and sheltered a Jewish family during the Holocaust (for which she was posthumously given the title Righteous among the Nations, an honor Oskar Schindler also received), Alice is a biographer's dream. Born under the watchful eye of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria in Windsor Castle in 1885, Alice married a Greek prince who was actually Danish, German and Russian. And while she was devoted to Greece, she and her royal in-laws were never fully accepted by their adopted subjects. At age 84, she died in Buckingham Palace, where she lived at the end of her life at the behest of her youngest child and only son, Prince Philip, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth. This is the first biography of Alice, and it's hard to imagine anyone doing a better or more comprehensive job than Vickers, an authority on Europe's royals whose previous subjects include the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. By crafting the perfect blend of juicy gossip and historical details, Vickers makes it abundantly clear why Alice deserves to be known as more than just the queen's mother-in-law. Among the more memorable images he captures: the ill-fated Czar Nicholas of Russia, who was married to Alice's Aunt Alix, pelting his niece with a bag of rice and a shoe at her 1903 wedding. Never one to shrink from a challenge, Alice caught the shoe and used it to hit her uncle on the head. 16 pages b&w photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Vickers's portrait of Princess Alice of Greece reveals a woman whose life was both tragic and courageous. A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and mother to Prince Phillip of Great Britain, Alice had relatives in most of the royal houses of Europe. But despite such grand connections, her life wasn't easy. She witnessed firsthand the brutality of the First and Second Balkan Wars (1912-13) and World War I, and eventually she and her husband, Prince Andrew of Greece, were forced to live in exile, beginning an "extraordinary nomadic existence." Such trying circumstances eventually sent her over the edge, and she was committed to a sanitarium, but through sheer determination she recovered. Vickers emphasizes Alice's many virtuous characteristics, such as her profound spirituality and giving nature. She received the Royal Red Cross for her nursing activities during the Balkan Wars, and later in life she adopted a simple nun's habit and founded a sisterhood whose mission was to "go out into the world to nurse." Although Vickers spends too much time on unnecessary detail, for example citing nearly every case of influenza Alice contracted, this biography of a relatively unknown and complex princess is worth telling. Isabel Coates, Canada Customs & Revenue Agency, Ont.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (March 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312288867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312288860
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would imagine that most people outside the ranks of royalty enthusiasts have never heard of Princess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Andrew of Greece. If anything, they know her as Prince Philip's mother. And that's a pity, because Hugo Vicker's new biography reveals that Alice Battenberg was a truly remarkable individual.Alice was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, which must have seemed her only interesting point at the time of her birth. Her father was morganatic (half-royal) and her mother a princess from a minor German state. Her first years were spent among her multitudinous family (Vickers provides footnotes and trees to help sort everyone out), in the background and unnoticed. Alice's marriage was hardly a glamorous match. Prince Andrew was a younger son of the King of Greece and while charming, not all that interesting. Alice lived quietly until the 1920s, when a revolution in Greece and her own personal troubles caused her a certain notoriety. Vickers does a good job of covering Alice's physical and emotional ailments and is most successful in describing her growing religious faith. In this Alice is similar to her two Russian Aunts, Tsarina Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth. During World War II Alice protected a Jewish family at grave risk to herself, so that she was later declared Righteous Among the Gentiles by Israel.After World War II Alice continued to live in the background, now overshadowed by her only son, Prince Philip, who became the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. She remained a loving and wise part of the Royal Family however, as memories of her from her grandchildren and other relations attest.Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece deserves a place in the library of anyone interested in royalty as well as anyone who cares to read about honorable and decent people.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Princess Alice of Greece is one of the most fascinating of all the royals, but unfortunately, the least known. Perhaps the British Royal Family has kept the lid on this biography because of embarrassment? But Hugo Vickers tells this long repressed story in Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece.
Alice was born when royalty was at its zenith, and she was surrounded by some of the most important personalities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her great-grandmother was Queen Victoria. Her father was Louis of Battenberg, First Sea Lord and her brother was Dickie Mountbatten, Last Viceroy of India. Alice's sister Louise became Queen of Sweden, and her mother's sister was Tsarina Alexandra. Alice's youngest child and only son is Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II.
Alice topped an idyllic childhood by marrying Prince Andrew of Greece. In a day when most marriages were arranged, this was a love match. There was no familial opposition as Alice was from a morganatic marriage and her groom the 4th son of King George I of Greece. Unfortunately, her married life was marred by sadness, heartbreak and tragedy. The Greek monarchy and the Greek government were as unstable as the weather. On numerous occasions, Alice had to flee Greece with her family for extended periods of time. She lived through two world wars where a good many of her relatives were on the German (enemy) side including her sons-in-law. Her father-in-law was assassinated by a disgruntled Greek, and dozens of Russian relatives, including aunt Tsarina Alexandra and her entire family, were murdered during the Russian Revolution. A plane crash in England in 1937 took the lives of one daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a Hessian aunt.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Logan on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This really is a most enjoyable read about a fascinating woman. Princess Alice was the Mother of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of HM Queen Elizabeth II. If you want to understand the family Prince Philip grew up in I can think of no better book. Princess Alice was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and married Prince Andrew of Greece. Prince Philip is her only living child and her youngest. This book is a must for those interested in the Battenberg family of which Princess Alice was a member. Having read about Princess Alice's Mother, Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt (eldest sister of Tsarina Alexandra) who married Prince Louis of Battenberg (later Marquis and Marchioness of Milford-Haven) this book really is worthwhile but stands very well alone. There are loads of fantastic pictures. I highly recommend it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen H. on December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alice,Princess Andrew of Greece is the story of a fascinating,

not well known royal.

Born into the Battenburg Family of Germany,Queen Victoria

witnessed the birth of her great-grandaughter.Alice,was discovered to be deaf,but her mother taught her to read lips.

The deafness did not appear to handicap her.In her girlhood

she was extremely intelligent,and considered one of the young

beautiful princesses of her time.

In 1903 she married Prince Andrea of Greece(hence becoming

Princess Andrew.)The women in Europe,unlike England,took the

name of their husband when they married.

Alice was devoted to her godmother,Ella,Grand Duchess of

Russia.She imitated her charitable works and was a nurse

during the Balkan Wars(1913),that preceeded World War I.

It was here she first manifested her mania.Not sleeping for

three days and singlehandedly building Operating Theaters

in the midst of the War.

The Princess had four daughters and one son,the current

Prince Phillip of England.

In the 1920's she was unable to care for her chidren.Due

to the death's of many close relatives,Tsarina Alix of

Russia,Aunt Ella,it is believed her illness became worse

and she lost touch with reality.

The biography drags a little here,but I think it is because

she was in treatment seven years.

In her later years she believed she was an Orthodox Nun.

Without,a country,the present Queen Elizabeth allowed her

to live quietly in England.

If you read this book,first consult the geneology lists in

the back of the book.
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