Thursday, October 27, 2022

Book Review: The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

Pages: 573
Genre: Non-fiction/Biography
Pub. Date: April 26, 2022
Publisher: Crown
Source: Library
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "The gripping inside story of the British royal family’s battle to overcome the dramas of the Diana years—only to confront new, twenty-first-century crises  “Never again” became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Princess Diana’s tragic death. More specif­ically, there could never be “another Diana”—a mem­ber of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the Brit­ish monarchy. Picking up where Tina Brown’s masterful The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the trau­matic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet. Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey through the scandals, love affairs, power plays, and betrayals that have buffeted the monarchy over the last twenty-five years. We see the Queen’s stoic re­solve after the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and Prince Philip, her partner for seven decades, and how she triumphs in her Jubilee years even as family troubles rage around her. Brown explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla Parker Bowles his wife, the tension between William and Harry on “different paths,” the ascend­ance of Kate Middleton, the downfall of Prince An­drew, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to step back as senior royals. Despite the fragile monar­chy’s best efforts, “never again” seems fast approaching. Tina Brown has been observing and chronicling the British monarchy for three decades, and her sweeping account is full of powerful revelations, newly reported details, and searing insight gleaned from remarkable access to royal insiders. Stylish, witty, and erudite, The Palace Papers will irrevoca­bly change how the world perceives and under­stands the royal family."


Tina Brown, veteran journalist, breaks down all the royal scandals as well as live events surrounding many important figures in the British Royal Family. It touches on Prince Philip, and a little bit about Princess Margaret. There's a deep dive into Queen Elizabeth, as you would expect, Kate Middleton's rise, Meghan Markle's entrance, Diana's struggle, William and Harry's heartbreaking stories, Andrew's debacle, Camilla Parker Bowles's long journey, and more.  If you are a Royal lover, this book shouldn't be missed. The Palace Papers by Tina Brown was irresistibly entertaining and one of my favorite books of the year.

The one thing I loved about The Palace Papers was the way that Tina Brown organized this huge tome. I thought she did a great job jumping around, but keeping everything coherent.  She gives us just enough information about each Royal family member that it felt like I was pulling up a set at the bar, grabbing my favorite cocktail, and getting the inside scoop. I have read a lot of books about Diana and Queen Elizabeth, but this book brings up things I didn't know, especially when it came to Camilla, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and of course, Prince Andrew. Somehow The Palace Papers got me sympathizing a bit with Camilla (who would have known!) and I liked the dive into Kate's background and her early days with William. I am a huge Kate Middleton fan, so I really enjoyed learning more about her family, her childhood, her incredible mother (!), and her school days. I also enjoyed learning more about Harry and his relationship with Meghan Markle, but I have to say, this book didn't make me feel much sympathy towards Meghan's issues and how she handled things. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I do appreciate Brown's insight into Camilla and her struggles in The Palace Papers. It definitely made me sympathize with her a bit more and appreciate the long journey she took to get to where she is now as Queen consort. I also felt like Brown dropped a ton of bombs about Prince Andrew and his fiasco. Whoa! I knew the basics, but the details surrounding this corrupt scandal are very upsetting for sure. I also learned a lot about Fergie. I knew the basics surrounding her story, but The Palace Papers took readers through it all, which was very eye-opening to say the least. Lastly, the book also touched on Prince Philip, which I found utterly fascinating as his background is compelling. He was quite the character!

If you are gearing up for a new season of The Crown and you love the Royals, you must pick up a copy of The Palace Papers. It was juicy, gossipy, and salacious in the best way possible. My review doesn't do it justice. It was utterly compelling and one of those non-fiction books that reads like your favorite novel. I highly recommend it!

So, are you a Royal watcher? Have you read The Palace Papers? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  



  1. I don't seem to have the same opinion as many on Camilla. While it was unfortunate the way their relationship was handled, they've now been married for so long and she is obviously a great partner for the King. Meghan, on the other hand...

    1. Yes, I am definitely warming to her. The book goes into a little more about her, which I definitely thought was interesting. Yes, the Meghan section was eye-opening. I think you'd like this book, Angela!


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