The Queen and Di: The Untold Story begins with an intimate interview between Ingrid Seward and Princess Diana, herself. Using firsthand sources such as this, Seward has managed to provide new perspective on a relationship that has been the obsession of paparazzi and gossip columnists for decades: the conflicted bond between Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. Emily Gray's prim performance perfectly conveys the style and elegance so often associated with stories of the Princess. The Queen and Di is a delightful listen for anyone interested in the stories and gossip of Royal Society.
In this work, best-selling author Ingrid Seward, the longtime editor of Majesty magazine and perhaps the most authoritative writer on the royal family, takes the listener behind the palace gates of Buckingham, Balmoral, and Sandrigham, and shows us how the royals really live and operate among themselves.
Elizabeth herself as a young bride had to learn how to deal with all sorts of personal problems, including a sometimes difficult and wayward husband, so she was especially sympathetic to Diana's many idiosyncrasies and difficulties. From an insider's perspective, the author charts Di's ups and downs: her difficult childhood, bulimia, depression, and sometimes even paranoia, offset by her innate charm, compassion, and common touch. Diana just wanted to be loved . . . but love isn't part of the royal vocabulary. A few weeks before her death, Princess Diana called and invited Ingrid Seward to come to her house.
Drawing on her long association with Diana and what turned out to be Diana's last conversation with a member of the press, Seward provides astonishing insight into the Camilla Parker Bowles affair, as well as the views and opinions of one of the most adored and vilified women of the 20th century.
©2000, 2011 Ingrid Seward (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
It is not surprising that the Queens legacy will always outshine Diana's. However, I doubt even the palace would want the former Princess' name to be smeared to this level. She was not perfect. But this book offers Diana no allowances, if for nothing else, than for her naivete and youthful antics when first entering the palace gates. I doubt even her worst enemies of Windsor would find this to be a fair and balanced account.
There are interesting moments in this book, and the speculated comparison between two royal marriages keeps it interesting. The narrator gives some real life to the story with a rather good reading and accurate (though nasal) voice of Queen Elizabeth. Aficionados will appreciate the opportunity to compare the pro-Charles view against similar pro-Diana writings from other sources. Seward attempts to demonstrate a neutral attitude through occasional expressions of sympathy toward Diana, but ends up with the recognizably patronizing tone adapted by many of Prince Charles' biographical apologists. Her empathy for the Queen is more heartfelt and easier to understand, except for the tired assumptions about Prince Philip's supposed infidelities. She is far harder on the Duke of Edinburgh than on the Prince of Wales, offering justifications for confessed infidelity on the part of the Prince versus cold contempt for unproven behavior of the Duke. Still a pleasant listen, though if you indulge in only reading one book on the late Princess, this one is not sufficiently neutral to recommend.
I adore anything Ingrid Seward does, from interviews to books or articles. she brings truth to the mystery of Charles and Diana, opening up a window to the struggles of real people who just happen to be of royal blood. Narration is spot on with the different voices used by the narrator. it makes the book almost come to life, as if the Queen and the Wales' were in your living room.
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