AT HOME WITH THE ROYAL FAMILY by Paul & Peter Russell James

AT HOME WITH THE ROYAL FAMILY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For those who've always wanted to know exactly what the Royal Footman, the Mistress of the Robes, the Lady-in-Waiting, the Poet Laureate, the Keeper of the Swans, and the Yeoman of the Gold and Silver and The Glass and China Pantries actually do for the Queen of England and her family. Russell, a former butler to the royal household, and James, billed as a ""veteran chronicler of the members of royalty,"" explain that the royal family needs a staff of some 300 full-time and 120 part-time employees in Buckingham Palace and the royal residences. After all, ""Ceremonies keep alive our ties with the past, forge stronger links with the nation's heritage."" Keep in mind, say the authors, that Buckingham Palace alone has 600 rooms, more than 300 clocks and 300 telephones. There are two people just to keep the royal clocks ticking properly and four to look after the royal coffee. (The Queen takes hers light without sugar. The Duke of Edinburgh prefers his with sugar, sans cream.) Some staff members keep track of what the Queen wears on what occasion and with what accessories, while others see that each knife, fork and spoon is measured with a ruler before state dinners to see that each is placed properly. The authors also list The Royal Line of Succession, The Queen's Titles and Distinctions, Who's Who in the Queen's Household, countries visited by HM Queen Elizabeth II Since 1947, and a sample of the Royal Engagement Diary for October 1985. Those who were hoping for some People magazine-type dirt about Di, Fergie, etc. will be sorely disappointed.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1986
Publisher: Harper & Row