* Prices may differ from that shown
This is the latest book by the UK’s most prolific royal author, and he is as readable as ever. It’s a story that has been told before – but in separate books devoted to the protagonists individually. John’s approach is different because he weaves both their stories together skilfully so you can concentrate on them as a team rather than as an individual with a sidekick. Politics is an inevitable feature, but it doesn’t dominate and their personalities shine through. What makes most impact is the measure of criticism that they received as a couple and how they might have buckled under the pressure if they hadn’t been able to sustain each other. There’s a nice choice of illustrations - John has managed to find a few unusual pictures of the main protagonists that haven’t appeared before. And a marvellous cover utilising a little known Winterhalter. Mustn’t forget the very useful family trees. A very fair portrait of two characters who might have been very powerful and sane voices in world politics.
With the wedding of Vicky, Princess Royal of Great Britain, and Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia in January 1858, the prospects of a peaceful and harmonius Europe looked promising. The young couple was very much in love, yet several tragedies marred their marriage: the traumatic birth of their first son and heir, William; the death of Prince Albert, Vicky's father and the couple's political mentor, from typhoid; Frederick's estrangment from his father, and the Emperor's preference for Bismarck and the young Prince William; and the deaths of their third son from meningitis and then the fourth son from diptheria.