Christopher Andersen's After Diana

I picked up this book after reading Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles, which I will review shortly, and I was disappointed. Usually, a writer who has written as many books as he/she has birthdays means the quality of the writing suffers. After Diana is such a book. I’m not sure Andersen spent as long writing this, as it took to get printed. If you read People, US Weekly, Sponkit, or something else of that nature, you are familiar with this book. I think Christopher Andersen merely complied a few years of pop culture articles about the Windsors and put them in book form.

But to review it, as I did spend a minute reading it. The style is lazy and unspecific. The information is unsubstantiated and reeks of gossip. Harry and William are presented as partying idiots, which I don’t think is true, but as I don’t know them personally, I can’t say. According to Andersen, Kate and William met when Kate was modeling lingerie (Queen Victoria: “Oh Heavens! We are not amused!”), and the picture is included…eesh. Andersen includes the gossip that Harry is not Charles’ child, sighting such convincing arguments as Harry has red hair and so did one of Diana’s boyfriends, James Hewitt…ergo!!! I suppose the fact that Diana’s blonde hair was actually a rarity in the long line of Spencer redheads, failed to pass in front of Andersen’s discriminating eye.

Few points are mentioned about William and Harry’s philanthropy or their commitment to their mother’s memory. Charles gets an easy pass, but Camilla does not, which is ok.

I am not a part of the group that says the monarchy is famous for being famous and that they are merely celebrities. Tradition and history mean a great deal to me, and I think that the fact that this monarchical institution has lasted longer than any other in Europe is something to be awed by. I do not think it’s appropriate to pull these people through the mud. Angelina Jolie and Queen Elizabeth should not be treated in the same manner, or, which is often the case with people who do know history, Jolie should not be treated better than Queen Elizabeth. Please. Andersen, I’m sure, disagrees.

Do you?


  1. Royalty is expensive, but I do agree that it is probably worth it. A benign, relatively powerless figure-head government does have its uses, mostly in creating a national identity and custodianship that does not exist with a purely professional government (which is what we have in the US now).

    The palaces do seem a bit hollow, however. You can't help thinking when in Westminster or the Tower that real power used to exist in these places. Downing street seems like a sorry little brownstone in an alley by comparison.


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