I remember watching in shock, with my family gathered around the television, the night that Princess(not officially by title any longer but perchance by grace alone)Diana died. Certain individuals shine their light such that the whole world is touched and I believe she was truly one of those people. I have, since then, avoided much of the tell-all, sensationalized media and books released. Whatever sordid details people were able to eek out, exaggerate or even manufacture entirely have no interest to me.
This family- royal or no- suffered a terrible tragedy. As a mother, considering another woman's children left motherless strikes a deep chord.
While this book does tell the story of William and Kate and the journey that has led them to a committed relationship- the aspect of this I really enjoyed and found touching was the in depth storytelling by the author of all the background. So much of who these two young people are has been shaped by turbulent times. The author gives us some very true glimpses into the character of William. For example, after years of recurring nightmares of his mother's tragic death he began dreaming and worrying that his beloved Kate would come to the same end. He even considered that maybe he did not have the right to marry her and ask her to put herself in such danger as he perceived.
The author is honest but in a gentle and respectful way. This was a truly enjoyable, quick and easy read since it read so much more as an almost epic tale. I would say it is definitely worth the read if you have any interest at all in the royal family. Don't let the fact that it is a biography put you off- I found it really read easily, much more like a story than anything else.
One thing to mention, this is not JUST about William and Kate- it pulls in an entire ensemble of royal players,primarily so the reader can understand better the choices and actions that have been made.
You will enjoy the pictures, as well. I think a big piece of what made this book so appealing for me is that it did not portray an ultra-biased, oh-they-are-sooo-perfect-picture of their relationship and I know I can relate personally to the rough times that one sometimes must go through when preparing to share a life together.
There are some juicy bits, but the author comes off as very fair minded and sympathetic. Great read and I came away feeling like I knew and understood so much more how the monarchy operates. To the author- well done! To the potential reader- if this subject matter interests you, I think you might find this to be one of the better books available on the topic of the royal family.
on December 18, 2010
Although I have never been a huge fan of the Royal family, I have to say that I did admire Diana and, throughout the years, I have made a point of keeping tabs on how her sons were doing.
In fact, I always felt that William was somewhat fascinating and it always amazed me how he seemed to have such a strong relationship with Charles - the man who basically made his mother's life on earth a living hell.
Having said that, I admit that I, obviously, was not privy to the `insider' information and should probably not judge, but I was praying that William would turn out more like his mother and a lot less like his father (physically and otherwise).
Thankfully, William seems to be quite down to earth and I was happy to discover that he chose NOT to be the philandering `future prince' - constantly making certain that he and his antics show up in the press.
I was also very happy to hear about his upcoming nuptials and when I was asked to review William and Kate, the Love Story, I happily did so.
Firstly, this book is incredibly well researched and it is obvious that the writing was done by someone who has more than just a passing interest in the subject matter. All too often, a `cheesy' book will be hastily put together in order to capitalize on the splash of `publicity' (15 minutes of fame?) but this is not the case here.
The author takes us meticulously through the Kate and Will story - with the good and the bad and did a wonderful job of putting the readers in the moment - making us feel as though we were sharing in on some confidences.
I also enjoyed the pictures in the book - many of which I had never seen before.
Although I am sure this book will not be the only one covering Will and Kate, I have no doubt that it will be considered informative AND entertaining.
on August 24, 2012
This is a well told narrative of William and Kate. The author gives a lot of detail and drama so that you feel like you are living their romance. We get illuminating glimpses of William's upbringing, from the tragic nature of his parent's marriage to the way Diana made William her confidante. You feel a lot of sympathy for William who had to go through such stress at an early age. The chapter on Kate's background centered on her social climbing mother and grandmother, and her love for William even before they met each other. After they meet a lot of what goes on involves William's various flings, lots of drinking and partying and expensive shenenagans, Kate's patience and protectiveness when it comes to William. We witness her rising stature with her increasing acceptance with the royal family, the way she dealt with the paparazzi, how she tried to balance a life of her own with having a relationship with William. Along the way we are taken for a ride with all the trappings of their privileged lives: elite prep schools, exotic vacations, grand estates and hunting parties, designer clothes, ascots, polo, fame and constant dealings with the press, formal functions, ubiquitous security and paparazzi. It is fun and decadent and a little surreal. In addition, we also learn a lot about the monarchy and the events and scandals that have shaped it.
The book gave me some distinct impressions of the two young people themselves. William seems like a rather immature stereotypical white male with little self-awareness about his privilege. In his college years he was always groping females at parties and emerging in the early hours drunk. (Maybe in Britain that's normal behavior). To his credit he did well academically. He was totally careless of how he spends money, racking up thousands of dollars in one night at a bar, or taking joy rides on helicopters adding up to $100,000 of tax payer's money. Even while he was in an established relationship with Kate, his behavior with other women roused all kinds of speculation. He would leave her for weeks at a time, show up with his ex-girlfriend, and gave new meaning to the title of boyfriend-who-strings-you-along-for-years-and won't-make-a-commitment. It makes you wonder that if he were not Prince would Kate really put up with him for such a long time.
Kate, out of love or ambition or both, showed herself quite determined and clever in her pursuit of the Prince. She was willing to overlook every foible, endure every neglect, humiliation, as well as hassle from the paparazzi. She was helped in no small part by her family. Originally intending to attend Edinborough University, Kate switched to St. Andrews at the last minute at her mother's urging to be closer to William. She worked her way into his inner circle of friends and became one of three people selected to be his roommate the second year, and the only girl. After they graduated, her parents bought her a million dollar condo in London so she could stay in the game. She hired an image consultant to pick out her wardrobe and worked out to maintain her figure. She made sure that she would never be photographed drunk or disheveled. Her discretion and attractiveness won her favor with the royal family and the public. She made herself charming to her future in-laws and got them to include her in their outings, even when William wasn't around. She didn't pressure him about getting married or try to censor him. During their brief breakup, she made sure to be photographed looking very attractive and having fun with other men. The fact that she became Duchess of Cambridge at last is in no small part due to her patience and resourcefulness. When I look at the pictures of them during their courtship, she looks like the more mature one who knew exactly what she's doing. They love each other no doubt, and really clicked in terms of personality. But I get the feeling that it's really Kate's determination that made it work.
From this story, one learns a lot about the art of pursuing a man. Show up, but don't be too forward. Look attractive, be calm, be cool, be charming. Don't act desperate. Be patient and forebearing. Win over his family and friends. Have a life of your own. Be fun and don't try to get too serious too soon. Be strategic. Enjoy the ride.
on April 20, 2011
I would have given it more stars but from the get go I was turned off by the gossip. This is about the soon to be wed couple, Prince WIlliam and Kate Middleton and a lot of this is comprised of Kate commenting on various aspects of William (even before she met him( and from where did Andersen get this dialogue like what she said when she watched Diana's funeral in 1997. What truly turned me off is Andersen's gossip about Hewitt allegedly being Harry's faher whch I find rather tasteless. Incredibly, he believes Hewitt's change of story that he met Diana in June 1981 not 1986 as he had stated earlier(laughably Hewitt claims he said this under hypnosis-- and claimed he and Diana fell for each other but didn't get intimate until about three months after the birth of WIlliam. I suppose Andersen does this to explain why he doesn't push the innuendos that Hewitt sired William too. He pushes some innuendos about Harry growing to more and more resemble Hewitt --Andersen incredibly says the resemblence is "striking". I think ANdersen should look at pics--Harry look strikingly like CHarles in many pics and resembles a young Prince PHilip, his grandfather. I'm very disappointed in the author for doing this to Harry who is Charles and Diana's son. Andersen writes how Charles and Diana didn't get along while they expecting Harry. Diana told her biographer Morton the time she and CHarles were expecting Harry was the closet they had ever been.
THere are other contentions including how "well" Diana and Charles got along after the divorce. He leaves out that in July 1997 Charles had a lavish birthday party for Camilla which was a major reason Diana left the country to vacation with Mohammed Al Fayed and his family. Incredibly, he claims that Diana advised William "that if you find someone you love in life, you must hang on to that love and look after it..." and that she held up Charles and Camilla as an example of this! Diana was never on record as using Camilla and CHarles' liaison as any sort of example for WIlliam to follow!
Kate in the engagement interview stated she never put up posters of William. Yet Andersen says she did. There' a lot of dialog of what Kate and her family "said" to each other and what Camilla said to Tom Parker Bowles about Kate.How does the author know this exact dialog?
The author talks about Kate and William from their birth to the time William and Kate announced their engagement. As well as some familiar stories such as Kate modeling in her see through dress, the 2007 breakup, the reconciliation, and the ocntroversy caused by Kate' Uncle, Gary Goldsmith.
I would give this book a better rating had Andersen not relied on gossip even believing Hewitt's rants under "hypnosis." Very hurtful to Prince Harry and belied by Harry's striking resemblance to his parents, CHarles and Diana.
on March 20, 2011
The book is easy to read and mostly entertaining. Apart from this, although the book is titled William and Kate's love story, we get to read again about the Charles and Diana courtship, wedding, marriage, the fights, the two boys the marriage produced, and finally the divorce. I guess that is background but it was tiresome to read the re-hashing.
Also, I thought it was tacky (though not surprising )of author Christopher Andersen to bring up Prince Harry's parentage again. Inserting a few paragraphs about Prince Harry allegedly being James Hewitt's son seems to be the standard of the establishment authors. In the past whenever Prince Charles' side decided he needed to be built up in the eyes of the public, the approach was to attempt to knock Diana's character down a few pegs. At such times, Nicholas Soames would be wheeled out to blurt damaging yet unsubstantiated assaults against Diana. Now James Hewitt, is the one wheeled out to utter unsubstantiated, supposedly suppressed memory to damage Diana's character. Sad the only plan available to make Charles look good is to attempt to make Diana look bad -- especially now she is dead. Cruelly, such a campaign does not take Prince Harry's feelings into consideration.
One the subject of William and Kate, I did not come away with any real respect for William since he seems incredibly spoiled and selfish. Whether it is true or the way the book was written, he seems to lack respect for Kate's feelings. In fact, Kate has had to endure a lot of public slaps in the face (emotionally speaking) to accommodate William's moods and desires. Too many royal slaps really. In many ways, the Jecca Craig character (William's past girlfriend) seems to be another Camilla -- a woman who in several cases takes precedence over the current girlfriend.
Each time, William seemed to believe a pricey royal vacation in the sun was all that was necessary to square things with Kate, but these jaunts never stopped him from repeating another public insult two weeks or two months later.
So from what I read, William does not appear mature enough to be a good husband. After his breakup with Kate in early 2007, William appears merely jealous after having learned of Kate being out on the town having fun. So he wants her back. Jealousy does not equate to love. Maybe there is more to the William and Kate romance than meets the eye, but if the contents of this book is accurate, I fear Kate will ultimately have her heartbroken like Diana.
In fairness, I have never read a book about the royals that isn't on the trashy side. "William and Kate" is no exception, although it is more toned down than a lot of the Diana books I've read. This book begins by talking a lot about Diana and the way she heavily relied on William when he was growing up. The book also gives a short summary of Kate's background and the Middleton family history, and chronicles Kate's lifelong desire to hook up with Prince William (which is eerily reminiscent of Diana's longtime desire to marry Charles, if you as me). Kate and Will finally do hook up in college, and this book paints Kate as being an incredibly level-headed and patient girl who puts up with A LOT of crap from William over the years until she eventually manages to land her man. There's some new and juicy info in this book that I didn't know before (did you know Kate isn't the first girl Will proposed to?!). However, I have to admit that I felt slightly guilty reading this book, and any similar book, for that matter, because it covers so many personal details of these poor people's lives that have no business being in print. However, I took off work to watch the royal wedding yesterday and have always been a bit obsessed with the British Monarchy, and for that reason, I enjoyed reading every page of this book...so sue me!
on May 9, 2011
I found this book to be mostly interesting, although it had a bit too much detail that I did not need to know about some of the rowdy and/or drunken escapades of William and Harry, as well as Kate's downtrodden uncle. There was too much "sameness" about halfway through the book which caused the story to become boring and drag on unnecessarily. It seemed as though the author was reaching to find enough to write about, in some instances. I guess I was looking for the fairy tale with no flaws in this day of so much negative news. I almost wish I had waited to read this book until after the royal wedding.
I bought this book over others about William and Kate because I had read a previous Christopher Andersen book about Diana and found it to be interesting and well written. This book was not quite up to the standard of the other book, in my opinion.
on December 23, 2010
For Chris Andersen fans, and my wife and I certainly qualify, his latest--William and Kate--is a page-turner and an absolute delight. As always, Andersen's thorough reporting produces a fascinating portrait and perspective that is both insightful and revealing. New facts abound as we delve into the lives of this extraordinary couple and the rarified world they live in. Even with all the publicity surrounding their engagement, it is as if one came upon Will and Kate for the very first time. An added bonus is a superb collection of color photographs.
on February 5, 2011
I would strongly urge anyone who is thinking about purchasing this book to wait for a real book about the royal couple to come out. Preferably one which is written by someone remotely close to the royal family, and done with their blessings and their confirmation of the events which actually happened. I found this book to be filled with hearsay, gossip, and items already refuted by the royal couple in a public forum (only one of which was Kate denying the fact that she ever had a poster of William on her bedroom wall when she was growing up, which Mr. Andersen reports as fact more than once in the book). One has to ask themselves, if he didn't even get that simple fact right, what else is there?
Truthfulness or rubbish aside, once you get into the heart of the book, Andersen paints a very ugly picture of two very dysfunctional families, the Royals and the Middletons, and a relationship between two young people which doesn't seem like it has much chance of a happy ending, wedding plans aside. He would have you believe that Kate's mother has spent a lifetime literally pushing her daughter into the arms of the royal family at any cost, and the pictures he paints of William as being a boozing, womanizing, fun loving party kind of royal do nothing for the image of the future King of England. I think that the only people in the world who really know what this romance is about and the chances of it working out are William and Kate themselves, and I would find it hard to believe either one of them would have sanctioned the hearsay, gossip, and rumors that fill this book. Nor do I think they would have ever been amused at the author constantly referring to them as "Babykins and her Big Willy" throughout the entire book. If I had the chance to do it all over again, without a doubt, I would run past this badly written book and wait for something that's written with a lot more accuracy, and the cooperation and endorsement of the royal couple themselves. I think even one star is one too many for this waste of time.
on December 7, 2012
Much of the "information" you'll find in other books and magazines and, wherever Andersen gets his material (there's a section - 302-312- acknowledging the many people, many "anonymous", and books- very extensive list- if you read much Royal material you're sure to have some of it.
Who's the best writer?, I have no idea but I found Andersen took a bit of a Diana stance here (especially towards the end) and wondered about accuracy at times. He tells on page 11, 291 & 294 that Harry had Diana's ring, I've also read other claims that contradict this.
If you're running out of shelf space this book probably is not worth your time, especially since it runs up only to the point of the engagement announcement.