Having completed his trilogy about Queen Victoria, Mr. Whittle continues the genealogy with a domesticated (in the better sense) and well-appointed portrait of Albert Edward from rake to roue. Resentful as a boy of the Baron Stockmar who was the overseer of his childhood, reproved early on for his assorted misconduct by the mother he so admired (for her adroit management and intellectual competence), Bertie was married to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark who managed to hold her own against Victoria and found an additional source of strength in her innate maternalism. She would become ""Motherdear"" to all her children and however much Bertie strayed -- indulging his taste for ""fast women, jade and lobster"" early in their marriage -- he remained devoted to her and the family. Just as he was always loyal to his friends even at the height of scandal. Scandals there were in this ""vie orageuse"" which found him, at Mama's death, a virtually used-up man. . . . Mr. Whittle is not one to overplay his hand even when, as in this case, he has more cards than Bertie ever seems to have held in his sporting days -- it's responsible stuff for that respectable readership which surely no longer needs to be corroborated.