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After Diana: William, Harry, Charles, and the Royal House of Windsor    by Christopher Andersen order for
After Diana
by Christopher Andersen
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

The Princess died. That isn't supposed to happen. In fairy tales, the Prince and Princess live happily ever after. But this is not a fairy tale. Princess Diana, the People's Princess, died a tragic death in a car accident in 1997 at age thirty-six. She left two young sons and a nation to mourn her passing. In After Diana, Christopher Andersen attempts to answer questions about Diana's private life, her relationships and how her sons are coping.

Diana was indeed a fairy tale princess, a young woman who caught the eye of the future king of England. Her life was a series of bright spots, followed by bouts of depression, insecurity, infidelity and finally death in a car with her lover, Dodi Fayed.

Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, continues to insist the accident resulted from Charles and the British government wanting Diana out of the way. In fact, Diana herself predicted she would die in an accident caused by the gray men who rule behind the throne at Buckingham Palace. She had raised serious riffles in the royal family and had a following all over the world. When it became known she was studying the Muslim faith, Fayed believes the intelligence agencies could not allow her, the future king's mother, to marry a Muslim. Of course, some insist Charles wanted her dead so he could marry Camilla, his mistress of twenty-five years.

There are details about the minutes after Diana's death, what was done and what was not done, Charles' reactions to her death and the Queen's insistence that she not be given a royal funeral. The author alleges that Diana's sons were forced to walk behind their mother's casket and that this prompted their uncle, Diana's brother, to make his well publicized remarks against the royal family at the funeral.

This book deals with Charles' many infidelities before and after he married Diana. Diana was not snow white either, in that she took many lovers while she was married and made no secret of her trysts after she divorced Charles. The intrigues of modern day royalty are clearly no less than the affairs history records of royalty before them. Are both of Diana's sons of royal blood or is Harry, who looks so much like James Hewitt, a result of one of Diana's many affairs? I suspect very few people know the answer because those in power refuse to allow DNA testing.

After Diana's death, Charles maneuvers to make Camilla his wife, trying to follow protocol for the royal family, then finally standing up to Mummy the Queen. The behind the scenes of the wedding, which the Queen did not attend, and the enormous amount Charles spends on Camilla are all here in black and white, along with how Wills and Harry accept the woman who broke up their parent's marriage.

Are Wills and Harry the seemingly well adjusted young men we see on TV wearing their military uniforms, or are they the wild things depicted by the tabloids, whose drunken flings make headlines? Wills like speed and enjoys expensive toys including a motorcycle given him by his Papa. Harry likes girls and is not shy about letting them know it. Do they openly live with their girlfriends with Charles' and the Queen's approval? This book would lead us to think yes, they do. How would their lives be different if Diana had not died? Who knows what the royal princes are really like? Only the young men themselves and perhaps a few of the people closest to them know the truth.

There are thirty-six pages of pictures in the book. The most shocking for me is a picture of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wearing Diana's favorite $5 million Prince of Wales emerald. Diana wore it as a necklace along with matching earrings Charles gave her as a wedding gift. Camilla pins it to her shoulder as a brooch. Does she wear Diana's matching earrings too? Who knows? If Charles is a billionaire, can't he present his bride with her own jewelry? Camilla will never be the beauty Diana was, nor will she ever be loved by people as Diana was, but she seems to be accepted by Wills and Harry and according to them, makes their father happy.

If you enjoy reading about the royals, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy tabloid news, you will enjoy this book. I didn't find anything in it that I didn't already gather from other sources in past years, which may or may not be true. According to the tabloids and this author, Charles, Diana, Wills, Harry and even the king and queen follow the age old traditions of royals through the ages - of bed-hopping, selfishly insisting on their way, to heck with anyone else, and spending fabulous amounts of British tax monies.

After Diana left me with a sense of wonder. Wondering why people with scads of money act as they do. Do they think their wealth and position give them a free get out of jail card? Wondering why Royal families are so revered? Wondering why people take the time to read about them, me included.

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