Newish technology meets what Barbara Walters calls, in her video introduction, “a new chapter in the life of the monarchy.”
That new chapter is, of course, the marriage of William, the Prince of Wales, to Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, the “so-called commoner” (Walters again) whom he met a decade ago. The antecedent chapters are less fresh in memory, at least on this side of the Atlantic, among them the unhappy marriage of William’s father and mother, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and her untimely death—though the recent success of The King’s Speech has revived an interest in all things related to the star-crossed Windsor clan. Enter royal-watcher and pop novelist Green (Promises to Keep, 2010, etc.), a Briton resident in Connecticut who retains the requisite (unless you’re Christopher Hitchens) breathlessness around her royal subjects while never forgetting her genre roots: “ ‘Wow,’ he whispered. ‘Kate’s hot!’ So hot, he tried to kiss her that night…In a winning move, Kate played hard to get, but it was clearly only a matter of time before chemistry between them burst into a full-fledged romance.” The prose is merely serviceable, and there’s not much more than compounded cliché in the writing itself (“the royal family is as much a part of the fabric of our lives as cups of tea and crumpets”). The value added is the video and photographic add-ons, that film of Barbara Walters included. Indeed, this slick package is a nearly perfectly synergistic, corporate product: ABC owns Hyperion, the publisher, and the pages are stuffed with ABC footage, most of it very high quality, covering the last three monarchies. Further, Disney owns ABC, and it knows a thing or two about magical castles, which brings it all full circle.
It all makes a user-friendly, if fawning, keepsake of a particularly fortunate English couple’s happy day.