PRINCE HARRY by Penny Junor


Brother, Soldier, Son
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A look at how the rascally fourth in line to the British throne has been forgiven youthful indiscretions but faces serious career decisions at age 30.

English journalist and royal biographer Junor (Prince William, 2012, etc.) certainly knows her way around the royal PR office; she’s written about the rest of the family, so why not Prince Harry? In approaching this second Windsor son—beloved yet mischievous, a somewhat reckless rugby player and thrill-seeking Apache pilot—the author tries to establish her journalistic objectivity in the first paragraph by addressing his recent fall from grace, when he was caught on camera playing strip billiards with a bunch of young ladies in a Las Vegas hotel room. “It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much Army and not enough prince,” he remarked wryly. Yet Junor is sympathetic to this strawberry-blond athlete of charming mien and winning ways: He’s “impulsive, unpredictable and dangerous,” she says, but that’s his “genius.” Genius or not, he didn’t attend university like his older brother, William, but opted for Sandhurst military academy after Eton, having become enamored as a child by soldier play and spectacle at the annual Royal Tournament with his mother, Princess Diana. His early life with Diana was both deliciously magical and weirdly unnatural, since the Wales’ marriage went sour early on; Junor squarely blames Diana for the emotional turmoil in the house(s) and the comings and goings of various male visitors she did not hide. Recently, Harry has moved out of his brother’s shadow, embracing some good causes approved of by his father. For instance, in 2006 he helped establish Sentebale, which helps the “forgotten children” of AIDs-ravaged Lesotho, where he spent his gap year, and in 2012, he did energetic work as ambassador for his country at the London Olympics.

A premature biography that will interest devoted royal watchers.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1455549832
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2014


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