Most helpful critical review
72 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Gossip presented as fact and propaganda ruined it for me
on June 9, 2012
I would have given Junor's latest book more stars had she been able to control her obvious bias against Princess Diana and her blatant admiration of Prince Charles. In her efforts to do her usual hatchet job on Diana she makes Prince Charles and Camilla look positively saintly. Also there were some very questionable premises that Junor presents as facts and it seems she sometimes can't help her sometimes shrill tone in her attacks on the late Princess. And she contradicts herself in the process.
Junor presents the story of Prince William from his birth to his wedding to Kate Middleton and their first few months together as a couple. She devotes the first 100 pages about William's upbringing. I found it odd that she writes: "But Diana didn't know how to be a mother...she had never been successfully mothered herself and therefore had a skewed view of motherhood." Really and how is this known? Charles complained to his biographer Dimbleby about his upbringing also but Junor never accuses Charels about his not knowing how to be a father. Obviously William and Harry don't agree with Ms Junor's statement and later on in the book William and Harry are quoted as praising their mother to the skies. Harry quoted as saying: "She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for usto go unspoken or undemonstrated." William was quoted as saying: "We were lucky to have her as our mother." Obviously Ms Junor disagrees with the two people who were raised by Diana, her sons. I think Junor in her zest to do a hatchet job disregards her sons take on their mother.
Also, incredibly Junor absolves Charles of blame for returning to his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles when the marriage was "irretrievably broken down." Junor writes "He was racked with guilt about Camilla, little knowing about Diana's infidelities, which had begun years earlier." Excuse me? What infidelities and how many "years earlier"?, Junor states this as "fact" when there is no proof that Diana had "infidelities" prior to 1986 when he started the affair with James Hewitt after Charles returned to Camilla. Plus Diana flatly denied via the Settelen tapes that she had a physical affair with Mannakee. Junor apparently has manufactured "lovers" that DIana had prior to 1986. People should read other sources to get the real picture not Junor's statement. Diana is not here to defend herself conveniently for Junor. In another inaccuracy Junor says Diana and Hasnet Khan were having an affair for two years (1995-`1997). Had Junor done more reearch she would have noticed that Hasnet Khan in an interview said they he was not intimate with Diana until after her 1996 divorce from Prince CHarles. What also struck me was Junor's rather biased take on the alleged affair Diana had with Carling. Carling Denied the affair and his wife Julia never said Diana was intimate with her husband (there was no proof). Junor of course states: "ALthough there was no proof of adultery, the public, who followed the story in the tabloids were left with no doubt that Diana had been instrumental in the breakup." Really? I was one of the public and I didn't believe Diana to blame. WIlliam was even said to have a dartboard with Julia's picture on it (this account appeared in various biographies of Diana). Of course Junor leaves this out.
Laughably Junor wries, "He may have weakneses in his haracter but Charles has never been dishonourable?? Was it "honorable" to Charles to have an affair with a fellow officer's wife? Another married woman Lady Kanga Tryon had an affair with Charles only to be put aside rather cruelly by the prince. And what man of honor marries a naive young woman knowiing full well he prefers somebody else? Also I found it a oop out for Junor to fall back on the old "Charles was prssured to marry Diana" excuse. Charles was 32 year old and old enough to make his own decisions--I think he wanted to marry Diana to have heirs and I doubt he truly "gave up Camilla" totally.
Laughably Junor seems to just shrug off the adultery of Camilla and Charles. She claims that there was only one phone call between Charles and Camilla in the firt years of the CHarles and Diana marriage. This is refuted by the account of Charles' valet Stephen Barry who stated that Charles phoned Camilla several times during the honeymoon with Diana. She also goes along with the Great Thirty Year Love Story spin--Charles actually had two other mistresses Janet Jenkins and Lady Kanga Tryon and married Lady Diana, plous was serious about several women during hte alleged "thirty year love affair." Plus how can a woman married to another man be "faithful" to her lover. Junor also claims Diana maintained that Charles slept with Camilla the night before he married her. Diana never said this in any interview--I recall James Whitaker wrote this in one of his books and Diana never claimed this to anyone: Bashir, Morton or Settelen. Junor also tries to take away the sordidness (she didn't succeed with me) of the Camillagate tape saying that Camilla was "sexy and giggly" and Charles "found in Camilla the relationship he had so much hoped for with Diana". Note to Junor: Maybe if Charles had dropped Camilla totally he would haved found the relatonship he hoped for with Diana. She also said it didn't threaten Charles fitnes to be King. I disagree, this was an adulterous relationship that Charles had had with a married woman even years before he married Diana.
She also condemns Diana for the Panorama interview but seems to give a free pass for Charles for his airing of dirty linen to his biographer and his admission of adultery. She condemns Diana for being "nasty" to Tiggy yet gives Tiggy a free pass for publicly criticizing Diana's mothering skills. She claims that all Charles did was give Tiggy a kiss on the cheek when there are other "tactile" pics of Charles and Tiggy--Charles to me went beyond employer employee relationship with the nanny.
She claims the boys "hated" the yacht vacation with AL Fayed and his family. Yet the photographs show them enjoying themselves--either they were great actors or the boys really had a good time.
When Junor finally lets Diana be (for the most part) and moves on she goes through familiar territory: William going to Eton and to Uni, his meeting Camilla (though Junor claims for the first time I doubt that) his decision to go to Sandhurst, his courtship of Kate Middleton, and his charity work. There is an inordinate number of chapters on sports patronages which WIlliam appears to be concentrating on. Junor doesn't seem to think it inappropriate for Camilla to go to the 2007 Memorial Service for Diana and Camilla "wanted to support the boys." She says it was only Rosa Monckton's public complaints that stopped her. As I recall it was not only Ms. Monckton who found it outrageous for Camilla to even think about going. She only backed out at the last minute as well.
Junor's writing of William makes him look stilted and priggish. I do agree that the labeling of William the Good Prince and Harry the bad prince is very unfair--William also appeared to enjoy the night life as much as Harry (judging by pics of him leaving clubs).
Kate Middleton's background is described--the only things missing were the Uncle Gary Goldsmith scandal and the earlier "cooling off period" between William and Kate which was resolved when Carole Middleton helped them get back together at a bonfire party.
Junor also leaves out that in the infamous Harry in Nazi uniform episode, WIlliam was with Harry to help pick out the costume. This was reported in various acounts by other authors.
Junor sings the praises of Kate saying that she is "just like Diana" and fills the void. Nonsense. Kate is her own person and a newcomer, how she does as a royal has yet to be seen--as of now she's only doing part time royal duties.
The wedding is described at length with some color illustrations included in the book.
I wish Junor could have refrained from expressing her dislike for Diana and using this as a sort of propaganda piece for Charles and Camilla. It would have made a much better book.