Who better to write about history's most distinguished and powerful European women than a real princess? Princess Michael of Kent, well-loved after the publication of two popular history books, brings her unique, insider's perspective as a member of the British Royal Family to the fascinating portraits of eight European royal brides. Though of eminent birth and status in their own right, the women of Crowned in a Far Country all left their home countries to marry into the most coveted royal seats in the world. This absorbing book introduces us to the Prussian Princess Catherine, who later became Catherine the Great; to the Archduchess of Austria, later the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; to Maria Caroline, also an Austrian archduchess, and later the Queen of Naples; to the Austrian Leopoldina, who relocated to a new continent to become the Empress of Brazil; to Eugenie, known as the wife of Louis-Napoleon and Empress of France; to Vicky, daughter of England's Queen Victoria and later Empress of Prussia; and to the Danish sisters who ruled as Queen of England and the Empress of Russia.
Not just a window into the politics and power brokering of royal marriage, this work charts the transformations of privileged princesses into women of power and historical importance.
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(234mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
The author's ongoing chronicle of royalty (The Serpent and the Moon, 2004, etc.) continues with the tales of poor little princesses married off abroad. Some of them-can you imagine?-lived among people who didn't speak French! Or hadn't seen operas! Princess Michael begins by noting that she's terribly interested in political history, but that she prefers what she calls "the lighter side." There aren't too many juicy tidbits among the profiles (even in the section about Marie Antoinette). We learn lots about what these royal expatriates wore on important occasions. Queen Victoria's daughter Vicky, for example, looked great in "white moire, trimmed with Honiton lace" at her 1858 wedding to Prussian King Frederick III. We learn a little about what they ate (pretty much whatever they wanted) and sometimes what they thought. She tells us that Danish princess Alexandra, married to Vickie's scapegrace brother Bertie, Prince of Wales, inherited her interest in politics from her father; ten pages later, the author credits Alexandra's mother. Princess Michael cannot shed or even conceal her belief that royalty are just better than the rest of us. When Austrian archduchess Leopoldina arrived in Brazil to marry its Portuguese ruler in 1817, she found no culture there. Former French Empress Eugenie was heartbroken when her exiled son died in 1879 on a noble mission "to conquer the troublesome African tribes." It was a "tragedy" that cultured Vicky had to live among louts in Germany, especially since her son, Kaiser Wilhelm II, grew up to be one of them.Superficial history related in tone-deaf, elitist prose. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - HRH Princess Michael
Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent is the author of two previous books, Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of Eight Royal Brides and Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours. For more than ten years, the Princess has pursued a successful career lecturing on historical topics. She lives with her husband, Prince Michael of Kent, in Kensington Palace in London and in their seventeenth-century manor house in Gloucestershire, England.