The Princess by British writer Wendy Holden is a work of fiction in the historical saga and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is a unique read and a simple revelation of a woman’s relationship with the People’s Princess before she became Princess Diana.
Diana Spencer was born to two wealthy parents, John Spencer and Frances Shand Kyddon July 1, 1961. The Spencers are of an old aristocratic British family which have been prominent since the 15th and 16th century. Diana earned the title of “Lady” when her grandfather died, and her father became the 8th, Earl Spencer.
The book opens with Diana’s younger years attending an all-girls boarding school. There she meets orphaned Sandy, whose parents died in a car accident when she was a baby. She had gone to live with her Aunt Mary, who believed all girls needed a proper education regardless of the lack of money. Initially, Sandy and Diana were not friends coming from very different backgrounds, but over time a strong friendship blossomed.
Forward to 1992, Diana invites Sandy to Kensington Palace. She has not seen her since her boarding school days, and opens up to her trusted friend. Sandy learns of Diana’s courtship with Charles and how their marriage was essentially arranged. They barely knew each other and were not compatible.
Holden offers an engaging account of the life of one of the foremost celebrities of her day. The book is a well-researched and meticulously crafted narrative, blending historical facts and fiction in a way that renders the story both informative and entertaining.
In this book, you can really get a feel for what a remarkable and down-to earth person Diana was. She wasn’t a woman who liked and wanted upper-class formalities. Diana wanted to be like everyone else and most of all, loved. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the fairy-tale life she dreamed of as a young girl.
I finished this book with great sadness, even though it has been twenty-five years since her passing no one will ever compare to her. Who knows what would have become of her had she survived. To this day her actions have impacted many across the world including her two sons, what a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
There are many books written about the Princess of Wales, but The Princess is a wonderful change from all the books that seem to want to show Diana in a different light. We all have our moments, but looking back it’s amazing how she held it all together given her circumstances. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed when reading this book.
I highly recommend it for Princess Diana fans and those who enjoy historical fiction.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Princess by Wendy Holden. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.