Monday 19 January 2015

Book ~ "A Brief History of the House of Windsor" (2013) Michael Paterson

From Goodreads ~ This Brief History tells the story of The House of Windsor. Starting with George V and going through Charles, Prince of Wales, all the way to Queen Elizabeth II. Plus it will touch on the next generations of the monarchy, with Prince William, Duchess Kate, and their son. 

The book will shed light on the fine line trodden between custom and modernity, grandeur and thrift, and influence and neutrality that has left this royal family more secure and appealing than ever.

I find the Royals interesting and thought this would be a fun read.

The book started by telling us that the Windsors came into being in 1917 during World War I ... that's when King George V changed his family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the less German-sounding Windsor.  What follows is a chapter on the last four kings and queens and the two future kings:
  • George V (1910 to 1936)
  • Edward VIII (January to December 1936) - he abdicated for the woman he loved
  • George VI (1936 to 1952) - the king in The King's Speech
  • Elizabeth II (1952 to present)
  • Prince Charles
  • Prince William

Though dry at times, I liked that the author gave a high level background on them and wasn't too detailed.  But I also liked that sometimes it read kind of gossipy ... he wasn't kind sometimes in describing the Royals as dumb, spoiled and self-serving.  But he also told of positive qualities and the good the Royals do/did.

It was interesting to read how the Royals were raised and educated and how that's changed over the years ... things are so different for William and Harry than they were for the those in the past.  Royals weren't allowed to laugh or even smile in public ... now the young Royals are having fun at concerts and sporting events.  The rules are less strict in finding a spouse.

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