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The Royals - Kitty Kelley (hardcover)

The Royals - Kitty Kelley (hardcover)

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The Royals - Kitty Kelley (hardcover)

The killer quill of Kitty Kelley, who skewered Jackie Onassis, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Reagan, goes for royal blood in her latest tell-all biography, The Royals. Fans of the 1992 book Diana used to bash her in-laws--Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story--and Prince Charles's 1995 riposte--Jonathan Dimbleby's The Prince of Wales--will detect much familiar material. So will anyone who's ever read a newspaper. Even so, Kelley has a great eye for the salable quote and anecdote, and her book makes for handy one-stop gossip shopping.
Here are a few of the nasty allegations Kelley collects in a history of Britain's top dogs: though the royals may love their corgis more than their children and spouses, they pinch the poor pooches' posteriors to make them bark into the phone to amuse the royals at the other end of the line. Also, the Queen Mother may have been born out of wedlock, and her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, may have been conceived by artificial insemination.

There are dozens of other stinky zingers in Kelley's book, mostly from anonymous sources. The late Princess Diana comes off the best, even though Kelley suggests that she may have shoved her 58-year-old stepmother down the stairs. Diana met her last lover, Dodi, after The Royals went to press, so there's nothing in it about them--though Kelley does relate previous 100 m.p.h. chases and press encounters ending in gore. It was a long, sad story leading up to the last crash, and Kelley tells the family's worst enemies' account of it in a tone colder than the royals themselves.
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