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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
This book is full of facts and juicy details about the lives of Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry--the so-called "heir and the spare"--their school years, military careers and love lives. I believe the two brothers are serious about carrying on the work of their late mother, Princess Diana, but they also indulged in a lot of partying and heavy drinking while growing up. I've read a lot about Britain's royal family, so I didn't learn anything particularly new from this book. But the author does do a good job of showcasing the extremely close bond that the two brothers share, and the fact that they've turned out to be seemingly happy and well adjusted.

However, I can't get over the fact that the book's title is totally misleading. I read this to learn more about William and Kate's romance, and I was extremely disappointed. Kate Middleton is a very minor character in this story. In fact, there's more emphasis on Princess Diana than on Kate! It seems obvious to me that the publisher asked the author to write a new chapter or two on William and Kate, and changed the original title just to capitalize on the royal wedding. If you're interested in learning about Kate Middleton or her romance with William, you won't find a lot of information here. By the end of the book, Kate remains very much of an enigma. So be warned: New title or not, the focus is strictly on William and Harry, not "the making of a royal romance."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2011
I really enjoyed this book- you never know EXACTLY how much is 100% true, but it seems like the author did her homework and made an interesting read. It stops after the engagement, but since I watched the wedding on TV that was ok with me- it gave a great look behind the scenes of the royal family and really demonstrated how hard Prince William tried to experience things as normally as possible. I think it paints Princess Catherine in a very positive light (I'm reading another one that tends to make her look more like she's climbing the social ladder). It is also really interesting to read about Prince Harry and his antics and his special relationship with his brother. I recommend it if you're interested in these young royals!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
This was an interesting read! I enjoyed getting an inside look into the story of Prince William and Kate Middleton's courtship. There was also tidbits about Prince Harry and other members of the royal family, including the late Princess of Wales, Diana. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Windsors.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2011
While this book doesn't seem to have an new scoops on the royal princes, it is a concise, well written book. Reading about what the princes have accomplished and how they have flourished and floundered in the years since their mother's death was informative. I hadn't realized Prince Harry took almost a 2 year gap "year". The royal girlfriends (and now wife) certainly have a hard path. I certainly didn't realize their military training was so rigorous and intense. It truly is their career at this point in their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
This book tells the story about Prince William and his brother Prince Harry from birth until Williams engagement to Kate Middleton in November 2010.

While the book does detail the early lives of Princes William and Harry (including Harry's secret deployment to Afghanistan) the majority of the book details the relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The book goes into details about the various stages of their relationship-in college their post college break (after which Prince Phillip wrote Kate a letter telling her that the best thing to do would just to give William some space) their reconciliation years and their engagement in November of 2010.

While a lot of it is not new information for many people it is a good read for people interested in the royal family
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
What you get for your money is, and the cover says so, is a "revised and expanded edition of (2010's) William and Harry, behind the Palace walls" by the same author. It's a nice enough book but not worth the money if you already have the hardcover version, buy it only if you don't have the earlier book. If memory serves me correctly, don't buy it for Kate info- she only came in at the last for a chapter or two and ends with the engagement .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 5, 2012
Overall, I enjoyed this dishy retelling of a lot of gossip and tabloid pieces. The majority of it sheds a golden glow over the entire royal family. There were not many surprises, but its nice to have a narrative structure enveloping a decidedly romantic modern day Cinderella story. My only complaint is that the book is actually a repackaging of an earlier book focusing on William and Harry, so there is a lot about Harry-- I would have enjoyed more Kate. But by the end you'll be as enamoured with Diana's boys as ever and rooting for the royal couple.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2011
I was disappointed with the content of this book. I thought there would be much more about Kate. The title should not have been The Making of a Royal Romance since there was little about the "romance." It was a waste of my tiime. It seems like any British citizen could have written this book.
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This was an interesting book. I already knew some of what was covered here, but I thought the author of this particular account came across as well informed, balanced, honest and compassionate. If everything told here is accurate then I think it might round out our impression of the most famous family in the world. A big "IF", since a lot of the story is public knowledge and the more private things are up for grabs as to their truth or not.

Assuming that everything Ms. Nicholl reported is true, I think this has changed my opinion of the Royal Family and the tragic events that shaped William and Harry.

Contrary to much of what is told about this family, there are no heroes and villains in this book. Everyone is treated fairly but honestly. Diana comes across as the compassionate and unique, but troubled woman that she was. Charles's side of the story is given an attention that I hadn't heard before and I came away with a better understanding of what he went through in his disastrous marriage. No one is justified, but we see a balanced story of a tragic relationship that produced two very interesting young men. After listening to this book, I do realize that both Charles and Diana were good and loving parents, and the troubles in their relationship didn't change that.

William and Harry themselves come across as completely normal people who were born into a very abnormal situation. They aren't portrayed as saints, and their faults are covered without glossing anything over. However the "higher angels of their nature" are also covered, leaving me with an impression of people who are real and down-to-earth.

I was surprised that Kate Middleton is given a little less attention than I expected, probably because this book was originally intended as a biography of the two royal brothers. Kate was added into the story in a later revision after she and William became engaged. In order to get that full story, we'll just have to read one of Katie Nicholl's other books that focus more on the Duchess of Cambridge and her life. As it is, we hear a LOT about Chelsea Davy, and plenty about William's other girlfriends as well as Kate. At the end we know that Kate is "the one", but Kate's story is another book for another time.
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on December 24, 2013
This is a biography of Prince William and Prince Harry revised to include details about Catherine Middleton and her relationship with Prince William. It’s packed with all sorts of details about their youth, school days and time in the military including, but also going beyond, the familiar stories of their excesses which have appeared in tabloids. Author Katie Nicholl is the Royal Correspondent for a British newspaper who, after covering him for more than ten years, has found William to be a ‘sensitive, thoughtful and sometimes misunderstood young man who more than anything wants to be ordinary.’

The book reports the events and details of the princes lives extensively. There is their happy youth violently interrupted by the tragic death of their mother, Diana. A gap year then St Andrews college for William and Sandhurst for Harry. And William’s on-again off-again on-again relationship with Catherine Middleton and Harry’s on-again off-again relationship with Chelsy Davy. We are told what grades they earn, where they go skiing, who they hang out with and which country homes they swim around the moats in after a night of drinking. But while there is a wealth of this sort of relevant and irrelevant detail, it doesn’t really add up to much of great interest. And when we are told that at St Andrews University ‘William was developing a reputation for being aloof and even a touch boring’ we can believe it.

One other point of interest of this book is the truly impressive research the author has put in to cataloging the princes taste in alcoholic beverages. They really like to drink and have quite exotic taste indeed. Perhaps they got it from their father Prince Charles, who at the age of fourteen, we are told, ‘had got drunk on cherry brandy during a sailing trip to Stornoway with four friends.’ As teenagers William took Harry to the Rattlebone Inn, a sixteenth century pub near Charles's Highgrove estate, where he drank 'the pub’s potent Pheasant Plucker cider' as well as 'pints of snakebite, a mixture of cider and beer.'

Harry quickly establishes himself as the thirstier of the two princes. Before going to Sandhurst Harry spent time at a bar called Nam Long-Le Shaker where he held the record 'for being able to drink three of their White Panther cocktails in a row. The delicious but potent mix of rum, vodka and coconut milk is served in a giant glass and usually requires two people to drink it.'

While on a British Army training trip to Canada, Harry makes time to go to the bar and enjoy sambuca shots and rum and Coke. And when he reunites with girlfriend Chelsy after a breakup they dink two magnums of Moet et Chandon. Later they are seen sipping 'Porn Star Martinis, a cocktail of vanilla vodka, passion fruit and champagne.'

Not to be outdone, in college William went to dinner parties where claret, port or the bottle of Jack Daniel's which he would always bring were served and where he played such drinking games as "I've Never" 'which entails one player admitting to the others something she or he has never done and then asking the other if they have. If anyone has done the deed in question they must take a drink.'

We are told William prefers red wine to beer and Harry's favorite drink is Belvedere vodka and cans of Red Bull. (Their protection officers sip Coke.)

While this book doesn’t quite succeed in revealing the inner qualities of it’s subjects, it does have many of the answers to questions you might never have thought of asking, like how did they pay for all that booze? Answer, they didn’t. The ‘royal comp’ meant that their drinks were often provided free by the clubs where they drank.
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