PALACE: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco by Christian de & Charles Higham Massy

PALACE: My Life in the Royal Family of Monaco

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A pretentious and self-indulgent tribute to a royal brat. Massy, nephew of Monaco's reigning monarch, may have hoped to titillate his readers with his intimate knowledge of the political scandals and outrageous behavior of the royal family. Instead, he's compiled a series of vicious and vindicative recollections which he recites in a humorless and self-serving manner. Massy begins with a brief ""history"" of the Grimaldi family in a mysterious accumulation of miscellaneous anecdotes on various ancestors. Later chapters follow the author from infancy to adulthood in a redundant narrative of the trials of his existence with his hysterical, scheming mother, Rainier's sister. Lackluster descriptions of decor and landscapes accompanied by much name-dropping fail to bring the famous people or places to life. Massy is preoccupied with his portrayal of Princess Grace as a loving, compassionate, saintly soul, enumerating these same virtues every time she is mentioned. Massy is less kind to Rainier, whom he denigrates at every opportunity. According to his nephew, Rainier is a jealous, malicious, powerhungry monster--a man quite capable of cheating deserving relatives from rightful family inheritances. There is much of the usual international playboy circuit--expensive sports cars, six-month hangovers, enormous gambling stakes--but told without flair of style, the tales are simply soporific. Monaco's royal family and its court intrigues might well be the subject of an interesting book--but not this one.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Atheneum