Growing Up Royal: Life in the Shadow of the British Throne

Growing Up Royal: Life in the Shadow of the British Throne

by Jane Billinghurst
     
 

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What child hasn't imagined life as a prince or princess? We read fantastical stories about them when we are young, hear about them in the news, and wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. Growing Up Royal is a fun, informative, and realistic look at a royal upbringing -- a true behind-the-scenes peek at what a life of splendor is really like.

Overview

What child hasn't imagined life as a prince or princess? We read fantastical stories about them when we are young, hear about them in the news, and wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. Growing Up Royal is a fun, informative, and realistic look at a royal upbringing -- a true behind-the-scenes peek at what a life of splendor is really like. Filled with humorous anecdotes and engrossing stories of royals past and present, it soon becomes clear that despite some obvious differences, kids in a royal family are much like kids everywhere.

Tradition, politics, privilege, and restrictions all play out in the life of young royals. Learn of the many ways the current British royal family is adapting to the changes brought by modern times, and how these events have shaped the lives of future royals, particularly Prince William, second in line to the British throne and a heartthrob for young girls everywhere. Is it really so glamorous to be born into royalty? What's it like to have your every move watched by the public and the press?

From birth through to the teen years, all stages in the life of a young royal are explored, from the palace nursery to learning one's place in society. The book discusses the social scene behind the castle walls, royal leisure pursuits and sporting activities, and education (will it be private tutoring as in times past, with no schoolmates, or a private school?). Then there are the challenges of one's private life. Imagine a royal teen on a date - with bodyguards!

Growing Up Royal is divided into sections: What Does It Mean to Be Royal?, In the Palace Nursery, Realizing You Are Different, Behind Castle Doors, Royal Pursuits, Entering the Big, Bad World, Mad About
Royals
and Being a Royal Teen. Sidebars with interesting facts and tales are interspersed throughout the text. Get the inside scoop on Royal Families in Europe, Royal Servants, Royal Birthday Bashes, and much more! A table of contents and an index are included for easy reference. The sixteen-page photo section captures a broad spectrum of images that reveal even more about the life of young royals.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
This offers an interesting look at the upside and downside of royal life, punctuated by numerous kid-oriented anecdotes.
— Ilene Cooper
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Chock-full of anecdotes ... the approach is smartly gossipy, well-researched and uninflammatory ... enticing charts and sidebars.
Book Report
Middle schoolers will be eager to read this inside look at childhood among the British royals.
— Patricia Beddoe
Cincinnati Enquirer
A fun, breezy read that pierces the royal armor just enough for a revealing peak inside.
— Sara Pearce
Canadian Materials
Growing Up Royal is a refreshing change from most adult royal biographies. Highly Recommended.
— Helen Norrie
Booklist - Ilene Cooper
More than just a superficial biography, this offers an interesting look at the upside and downside of royal life, punctuated by numerous kid-oriented anecdotes.
Book Report - Patricia Beddoe
Middle schoolers will be eager to read this inside look at childhood among the British royals.
Cincinnati Enquirer - Sara Pearce
A fun, breezy read that pierces the royal armor just enough for a revealing peak inside.
Canadian Materials - Helen Norrie
Growing Up Royal is a refreshing change from most adult royal biographies, which are often tediously correct or suspiciously censorious. Instead, Saskatoon author Jane Billinghurst immediately engages her readers by putting them in the situation of the royal offspring. Using [a] personal and humorous approach, the author is able to introduce plenty of information about royal families...and still keep the reader feeling personally involved. She also includes plenty of anecdotes showing the lighter and more human side of growing up royal... Sidebars contain a considerable amount of useful information on everything from royal residences to correct titles for palace servants. There are also two eight pages sections of colour photos plus an appendix giving the names and situation of members of ten European royal families. Suitable for grades four and up, this book could well be popular with older students, especially as it contains extra information on popular Prince William, the latest royal heart-throb. Subtitled Life in the Shadow of the British Throne, this is a lively and entertaining account of what it is like to be born royal. Highly Recommended.
Sara Pearce
A fun, breezy read that pierces the royal armor just enough for a revealing peak inside. —Cincinnati Enquirer
Sherri Forgash Ginsberg
Does a good job of describing the real life of the royals ... fascinating information and wonderful color pictures.
Voya
Billinghurst's light tone is filled with gentle humor, packing a surprising amount of information into the text.
Children's Literature
Designed as almost a guide for royal "wanna-be's," Growing Up Royal details, almost to minutiae, what life is like for the young royals of Great Britain. Anything you could possibly want to know about the royal family is outlined in this book, from a detailed outline of the British Royal Family Tree to the appropriate attire for a royal. Probably every reader will discover something new and quite surprising about the Royal Family. For example, I doubt few people know that Prince Charles is an avid collector of toilet seats or that Princess Diana used to toboggan down the staircases of Althorpe on tea trays. For someone with an insatiable interest in the life of a royal subject, this book is made to order. Written in a very casual tone with flecks of humor interspersed throughout, it is easy to read and often entertaining. 2001, Annick Press, $22.95 and $12.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer:Emily Cook
VOYA
What reader has not imagined life as a member of royalty, replete with servants, vacations at expensive resorts, wealth, power, and the best of everything? Billinghurst's book gives students a chance to find out what life as a prince or princess is really like. In this especially well-organized book, the first chapter asks "What Does It Mean to Be Royal?" before explaining how today's royalty enjoys less power than during earlier periods of history but still can make a difference through influence, dedication to charities, and public display of moral character. Succeeding chapters fill in the details surrounding the birth, childhood, and education of royalty, focusing mainly on the family of Queen Elizabeth II. This reviewer's favorite chapter explores all the British royal castles and houses, describing the purpose that each one serves for the royal family. Useful supplemental material includes two eight-page signatures of high-quality color photographs of the queen, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Princes William and Harry. The text is divided by gray sidebars that provide details about royal servants, family trees, and royals and the military. Billinghurst's light tone is filled with gentle humor, packing a surprising amount of information into the text. The index is full and complete. The author mentions some of the books she read in preparation and includes Web sites students can use, but a bibliography of works suitable for teens unfortunately is lacking. This interesting resource would make good supplementary reading in units focusing on current politics or British history,
— Debbie Earl <%ISBN%>1550376233
KLIATT
Princess Diana brought an intense interest in royalty to America. This book does a good job of describing the real life of the royals, especially Prince William, the second in line to the British throne. He has become a handsome heart-throb and his every move is watched and reported by the press. This volume shows the negatives and the positives of growing up royal in Europe, but its coverage is heavily concentrated on the British. It is in a teen-oriented format, with sidebars that contain fascinating information and wonderful color pictures. Its format, bigger than a normal paperback, is still a pleasing easy-to-hold size. Category: Biography & Personal Narrative. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Firefly, Annick Press, 154p. illus. index., Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Sherri Forgash Ginsberg; Chapel Hill, NC
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This book is an overview, and thus contains more trivia than biography. Through information gleaned mainly from magazine and newspaper accounts, Billinghurst describes everyday life, relationships with servants, responsibilities, etiquette, and more, and conveys the reality that being born a prince or princess is more about being a good public figure than about fun, frolic, and having it all. Though the book revolves mainly around contemporary British royals, with colorful photos primarily of Prince William and Prince Harry at different ages, information on other royals is included. The sidebars on various aspects of royal life, the author's note, and the extensive index are helpful additions. A secondary source.-Kim Harris, Newman Riga Library, Churchville, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550376227
Publisher:
Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/01/2001
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Have you ever woken up one morning hating your life and wishing you could be someone else? Perhaps you have imagined that who you are is all a big mistake, and you were really meant to be born into a family that was fabulously wealthy. Then you would have servants to do your every bidding. You would shop in the best stores. You would go to wonderful parties. You would spend your vacations at posh ski resorts or on sun-drenched beaches on secluded tropical islands. Heads would turn wherever you went.

Who lives that kind of life these days? You could be a movie star, or course, but then you're only as good as your latest movie. What if you end up being cast in a real bomb? You could be a member of a rich family. That's better. Still, there's no guarantee family squabbles won't fritter away the fortune, and money does not always bring social standing. No, if you want it all—wealth, power, and image—nothing beats being born royal.

Imagine you are a prince or a princess. Your home is an enormous stone castle with turrets and steep winding staircases. Each morning when you're woken up, you throw open a wardrobe full of designer outfits. There are soft woolens and crisp cottons, all in your favorite styles and colors. Servants pad quietly into your room to ask what you would like to do today. Over a leisurely breakfast, you decide whether to take the dogs for a brisk walk through your private woodlands or to call for your fishing rod and a picnic lunch so you can try your luck in the river that flows through the royal estate. If you have time, you could check out the royal farm to see how the pigs are fattening up, summon the royal RollsRoyce for a drive into town, or invite someone famous to tea. In the evenings there are dignitaries to meet, movie premieres to attend, and ribbons to cut. For special occasions you wear glittering jewels or medals and fur-trimmed velvet robes. Everywhere you go, people line up to meet you. Newspapers write about you. People admire you. You are born royal.

There are no auditions to be born royal, no interviews, and no elections. You don't have to take any tests or possess any particular talents. All you have to do is show up in the right family at the right time. No doubt you're thinking that with castles to live in, closets full of clothes to choose from, and carriages to ride in for those extra-special occasions, royal life has got to be the most wonderful life in the world. But are you right? What is it really like to be born a prince or a princess these days? Let's take a closer look and see.

Meet the Author

Jane Billinghurst has worked in book publishing, primarily as an editor, in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada for the past twenty years. She specializes in non-fiction books for adults and young adults. Jane currently lives in Saskatoon.

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