The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor
Author: A.N. Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: August 01, 1993
Before you say it could never happen, read A. N. Wilson's spectacular account of privilege and profligacy, a riches-to-ruin saga as bizarre as any novel. 1992 was the year the roof fell in on the storybook existence of the British royal family, the Windsors, and Queen Elizabeth referred to it as the "annus horribilis." The British press could barely keep up with the succession of separations, divorces, and sex scandals that undermined popular support of the monarchy and may yet redefine its role in the political and social life of Great Britain. Readers with an interest in history (and perhaps a taste for the gothic) will be fascinated by Wilson's tracing of the present misery of the Windsors to the quarrels and eccentricities of elder generations, and perhaps to an even more ancient family curse, pronounced by a disappointed heir to the fortune. The author shows us how the constitutional crisis of Charles and Diana's impending divorce - de facto or official - is rooted in the bitter family struggle over the personal life of Edward VIII, who chose to marry a divorced American woman, and was forced to abdicate in 1936. From the glittering history of the Windsors to the tabloid exploits of the Duchess of York, and from Prince Charles's steamy telephone tapes to the ecclesiastical and political fallout of a royal divorce, A. N. Wilson fashions a dramatic narrative out of the strands of this all-too-human catastrophe. Can the Windsor dynasty survive? Or is there a new English revolution in the making?