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The Royals

Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

They are the most chronicled family on the face of the globe. Their every move attracts headlines. Scores of books have tried and failed to penetrate the royal facade. Now Kitty Kelley has gone behind palace walls to provide the first three-dimensional, comprehensive, and evenhanded portrait of the men and women who make up the British Royal family.

Kelley spent more than four years investigating the royal family. In addition to meticulous research into documented sources, she conducted hundreds of exclusive interviews with past and present employees of the royal household, royal friends and relations, courtiers, members of Parliament, and other intimate observers, raising the curtain on this most secretive family. Here are lonely royal children brought up without a proper education in isolated and artificial surroundings, 20th-century adolescents with 19th-century touchstones. Here are the sexual ambiguities, the alcoholism, gambling, and womanizing that were common in the House of Windsor long before Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. No one is spared; here are the scandals of the last decades: the doomed marriages, and the husbands, wives, lovers, and children caught in their wake and damaged beyond repair.

Illuminating the Windsors' arrogance, naiveté , and lusts - as well as hard work, dedication, and ability to survive the most humiliating disclosures - The Royals is Kitty Kelley's richest, most iconoclastic, historically significant, and compelling work.

©1997 H.B. Productions, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for Laurie
  • Laurie
  • 07-11-2017

Ties the Tin Can On Them

Most Americans know very little of the inside scoop on the current royal family. This book was a real eye-opener for me. She really knows how to wipe the polish off them and show them with all their flaws -- and there are many.

About the only thing she did not say (maybe because it's obvious) is that their behavior has to be put into some kind of historical context. The nobility was never really expected to display exemplary character until the 20th century. Prior to that, they could be, and were, pretty beastly. The royal family and most of the noble families have not evolved because they've been swaddled in the cotton batting of privilege and wealth. You've got to cut them a little break for not changing their behavior and attitudes as rapidly as the rest of the world. But just a LITTLE break! It's high time for some changes.

Good book and difficult to stop listening, even though I know some of these stories --

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila G.
  • 12-02-2016

A titillating and delightful insight....

I love Kitty Kelley's work and this is about a far and truthful insight I believe you're going to get. Riveting from beginning to end, I found the only thing to irk me a bit was the narrator's occasional mispronunciation, (Al, as in the word pal, thorp. Diana Spencer's home of Althorp should have been pronounced All-throp). A slight oddity, I accept, but that's just how we pronounce it here. I found a few of these. Apart from a few of these little slip ups in the narration - which would never have bothered the reader, only the audiobook listener - I loved The Royals and couldn't stop listening to it. I think though the exploits of the Duke have been underplayed, but, at the risk of making the story too much about him, I suppose the finished product is well rounded and very entertaining.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberlyn Troy
  • 07-11-2016

A Juicy listen! Long, but ICouldn't stop listening

If you love Real Housewives and celebrity gossip, you will love this. While I personally believe about 75% of this as fact, Kelley definitely didher research from other interviews and reports spanning decades.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Shorton25
  • 22-03-2017

Very Informative!

What did you love best about The Royals?

The insiders information. I didn't know that Prince Philip had so many trysts.

What did you like best about this story?

The author's ability to bring history to life. I enjoyed hearing about Queen Elizabeth's family.

Have you listened to any of Jennifer Van Dyck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

not applicable

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Prince William and Prince Harry's upbringing was rather sad although brought up with many things, nothing can take the place of a loving family. I was disgusted by Princess Fergie's shenanigans.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dorothy Lamb-Stovall
  • 19-02-2015

Very interesting

I thought this biography to be well written and insightful. if you're interested in the British royal family, you'll find this paced nicely and informative without being plodding. It fills in a lot of gaps and explains the back story of the current royals and their foibles. of course, it was written before there was the Middleton family, so there's nothing more recent really than Prince Charles and Camila. the voice recording is good and pleasant to listen too. All in all a worthwhile story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-05-2016

Tragic story...

Their lives would've been different if it were not for modern technology, paparazzi, etc. I've read about this royal family's ancestors who behaved the same but got away with so much because of the times they lived in...no cameras, no tv news, no radio, no cell phones or wiretapping.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth M Walters
  • 24-06-2019

DELICIOUS! Couldn’t quit listening!

An impending trip to the UK interested me in this 20-year-old book (which I had heard of 20 years ago but never read.) It was fascinating and wonderful, full of interesting tidbits. The narrator was great, but I wondered why they used someone with an American accent instead of British. As an 8th generation Texan, it’s hilarious that I, of all people, caught a mispronunciation. The Texas department store where Queen Elizabeth got her honeymoon negligee is pronounced JOSS-keys, not JOSS-kiss. Anyway, if you love royal gossip, this book is for you!

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  • Carol Davis
  • 07-12-2018

GREAT Book!

If you are a fan of Kitty Kelly, you will love this book! A little gossipy mixed in with truth. I suspect a lot of this is true, and if it is WOOOO! What a story! Keeps you enthralled and wanting more! You won’t regret THIS book (or audible) purchase!!

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  • La Suzy
  • 27-06-2018

Juicy

I've read a few of Kelly's book and this is her best one. I'm surprised William and Harry have grown up to be as functional as they are. Their parents are/were dysfunctional to the 10th power.

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  • Seth Andrews 358
  • 13-05-2018

Seems mean spirited.

This book makes money by failing to show respect for the privacy of the monarchy and seems even go beyond this. I think there is a way to educate without making the reader being made to feel sorry for the subject of the book, due to the invasive airing of dirty laundry by the writer.

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  • Ann D
  • 02-08-2014

More accurate than the media drivel!

Any additional comments?

I suspect Kitty Kelley received heavy criticism because her books reveal things that powerful people don't want revealed. Her sources here are former servants, formal documents and people who have witnessed interactions between each of these royals and others at public events. When the book was published, it was trashed as fantasy and rubbish. Since then solid evidence has come to light that confirms much of what Kelley wrote, including the two Royal children who were 'stored' in a psychiatric hospital until they died recently, this because their Learning Disabilities were considered an embarrassment.

This book is well written and narrated.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • tim.j.lee@btinternet.com
  • 08-11-2016

The narrator?!?!

I've always enjoyed Kitty Kelley's writing - but please re-record this one with someone familiar with English names and pronunciations! Ms Van Dyck commits dozens of errors, many of which are painful - Althrop, Altrincham, Home (as in the PM), even Jacqueline (as in Kennedy) to mention just a few. It gets irritating really quickly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eileen
  • 19-01-2016

Fantastic listen

Excellent story and an eye opener for sure. Highly recommend.Changed my view of the Monarcy somewhat

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen mary
  • 15-12-2017

Not well researched

The narrator insists on calling Diana " the Princess of Wales ". - she was never called the Princess of Wales in the U.K. - she was Diana Princess of Wales or Princess Diana . The use of the word Monarchy split up into three vowels is so irritating - MON - ARCH -Y - why ?

Every Duke is called DOOK . Apart from the narration the book is ok , not great but ok .

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • H.A.B.
  • 14-01-2016

FACINATING - well written and marvelous presented

If you could sum up The Royals in three words, what would they be?

FACINATING - INTRIGUING - AMAZING

What did you like best about this story?

i liked the fact that it gives an overall view on the Royal family ... without mercy - everybody was portrait... well put together ...

Which scene did you most enjoy?

there are too many to list them all ..

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

nothing moved me...but it ALL FASCINATED ME fascinated

Any additional comments?

this book is well researched, puts it all together and one truly gets the whole Royal Family presented - and lots of little details create an amazing picture....

once you read or listened to this book you can forget all the other books....

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  • kindle lover 46
  • 04-12-2014

excellennt better late than never

Where does The Royals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

First book I have read from audible very controversial when first published in fact a German friend brought it to uk it was banned in Britain. Easy to dip into narrAtion.even if you have to take a lot of it with pinch o salt it is thought provoking .o

What did you like best about this story?

Old scandal and rumour. The fact that it can now be read shows just how much Times have changed

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not really applicable. But I enjoyed reading about just how much the pomp has diminished

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was a shock to read just how much bowing and scraping went on.

Any additional comments?

I thought the quality of the diction very clear if this is typical of audible I will be very pleased