Notorious Royal Marriages
Sex! Intrigue! Scandal! Carroll’s newest offering chronicles well-known matrimonial pairings among European royals during the last 900 years. With a breezy and lively narrative, she gives the dirt on a parade of often mismatched couples, beginning with Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marital experiences with France’s Louis VII and England’s Henry II. Other notable alliances profiled include: Henry VIII and his flock of wives, George IV and Caroline of Brunswick, Francis Joseph and Elisabeth of Austria, Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, concluding with Prince Charles and his respective spouses, Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Parker Bowles. For those already familiar with these couples, there is little new information here, but novices will appreciate this entertaining and very readable collection. Although Carroll has done her research, this is “history lite,” and readers should be on guard for errors; an especially jarring one involves the identity of Lord Guildford Dudley’s father. Also, the year of Napoleon’s march into the Council of Five Hundred is given incorrectly. No notes or index; selected list of sources is appended.