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  • The Palace Papers

  • Inside the House of Windsor - the Truth and the Turmoil
  • Written by: Tina Brown
  • Narrated by: Tina Brown
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (210 ratings)

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The Palace Papers

Written by: Tina Brown
Narrated by: Tina Brown
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The “addictively readable” (The Washington Post) 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

“Frothy and forthright, a kind of
Keeping Up with the Windsors with sprinkles of Keats.”—The New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
The Washington Post, Elle, Town & Country

“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 listeners 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.

©2022 Random House (P)2022 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Zingers crisscross these pages like tracer fire. . . . [Tina Brown] becomes the ideal tour guide: witty, opinionated and adept at moving us smoothly from bedchamber to belowstairs while offering side trips to the cesspits of the tabloid press, the striving world of second-tier celebrities and the threadbare lodgings of palace supernumeraries.”The Wall Street Journal

“[Tina Brown] deploys her sterling contacts and deeply embedded sources, her familiarity with British royal history and her personal encounters with royals, palace courtiers, politicians and journalists to serve up a luscious feast of . . . well, yes, gossip. But what elegant gossip, dressed up in Brown’s stylish sentences and erudite insights.”—USA Today

“Gripping . . . [The] real power of this book is the cumulative picture it builds of lives as they have to be lived by the rules and customs of the Windsor palaces.”The Daily Beast

What listeners say about The Palace Papers

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Could not stop listening

What a great book full of fascinating glimpses into the royal family. Tina Brown is an excellent narrator.

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riveting

Tina Brown has proven many times that she can find the words to first and foremost - entertain and articulate the scene as it most likely is - and not speak down to the reader.

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Well Balanced (mostly) and Insightful

Overall a very respectable and deeply researched account of the players who make up the Windsor Royal family.

Ms Brown provides a mostly balanced profile of the actions and behaviours of the members of the firm, while offering her sharp witticisms and suggesting conclusions one can infer from them. If she observes hypocrisy, she’ll point it out. If there’s irony, even better. Still, if there’s pathos, she’ll leave some room for that.

She draws some pretty hilarious extended metaphors when she wants to point out a particularly scathing set of circumstances to characterize the Royal she’s unfolding. (My favourite being the cake metaphor attributed to Meghan and her offers of celebrity appearances… yes, please!).

Notwithstanding, there’s a tone, at moments, of elitism, that could also be interpreted as an assessment of who preserves the traditions of the monarchy best. For example, in speaking of Harry’s love interest one prior to Meghan, Brown’s criteria for why she would have made a perfect Harry-match is all about lineage, alliance and acquiescence. In a similar vein, she hasn’t a bad word for Kate / Catherine nor the Queen. To Brown, both upheld their duties impeccably.

Nevertheless, she leaves room for the desire for reform, as the reader learns, in the epilogue, of Charles’ aspirations to open his home to the public to honour his mother’s legacy.

As many readers will do, I cheered at the outcome for Andrew (no Prince title warranted here) and loved how the truth was scathing in itself.

She neither condemns nor supports Harry and Meghan’s actions, yet draws attention to motivation and psychology to explain behaviour. As such, for the most part, she asks the reader to draw their own conclusions and make their own value judgements.

While I may have been led somewhat by the astute persuasive skills of the author, I did just that.

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Brimming with Details

Really enjoyed listening to this author and her book of interesting details about all the important Royals. l thought I had heard it all before but instead I learned many new things . I will listen to again in its entirety in the future it's that good.

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Loved

Very informative from all angles. I have listened on repeat. Great job on all your research from all sides.
Great listen ❤️

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More than I expected

As a British born and raised woman, I have only experienced our Queen for most of my life. Now after more than 50 years in Canada, I have watched the machinations of royal court from afar. There is no-one to compare to HM the Queen in the world or in history. I am nervous regarding Charles/Camilla for all her loyalty and steadfastness to the crown. I struggle with forgiving and her role in undermining young Diana’s marriage and confidence. I realize Charles will be King, I am sure he will be a good caretaker, but get anxious because he has not honoured his first wife appropriately and wishes to make sweeping changes - some of which may be necessary but may also be Ill-advised in these turbulent times. However, it does give William & Katherine a chance to raise their beautiful family before the world welcomes them. I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot of things I had not been aware of over the years. Thank you Tina Brown

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Splendid!! Absolutely loved it!

I've been fascinated by the Royals since my first magazine glimpse of Diana when she first burst upon the world as a girl (of my age), Have followed the press drama for all those years and, of late, read many books (by many authors) so much of this book was not "new news" but, uniquely, it was fairly presented without a story-altering bias. Tina Brown's, The Palace Papers, was so well researched and read. As a Canadian, you just know she knows Brits, Americans, and the Royals inside and out along with the history, human folly, and culture clash that comes with those identities. Her sense of humour is woven throughout, her voice oh so wise, and her research impeccable. The epilogue swept me away... and will bring me back to her books in the future.

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Entertaining listen

I had certain expectations from the author, having previously read her biography of Diana. I was not disappointed! My only slight quibble is that I do wish authors wouldn't read their own books: the pace was very rapid-fire and got a little monotonous after several hours. Otherwise, it was great.

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Excellent!

Thoroughly enjoyable, Tina Brown’s recount of the Palace events entertaining and articulate. I recommend this book.

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Stark Honesty

Tina Brown, renowned as a trusted provider of the facts - be they blooming or dark - delivers an honest education on the subject of the House of Windsor with its current players. "Bouquets" for the positive and good, "Beefs" for the destructive and unacceptable. highly readable!

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