Tina Brown Caught Royal Intrigue in ‘The Palace Papers’


Being Tina Brown, she rubs her shoulder pads with more elites in business: for example, she gathers under an umbrella with historian Simon Schama on her way to a 9/11 commemoration, or tells the sporty Mr. Parker-Bowles. She neither hunted nor fished in 1981. (“Are you a real intellectual?” he said with a slight noble sneer.)

Credit…Brigitte Lacombe

He proudly claims in The Daily Beast that Jeffrey Epstein was the first to reveal the extent of their “destruction”. An energetic showerhead, she congratulates herself on turning down an invitation: to the now-infamous dinner party Epstein held for Andrew in Manhattan and attended by Woody Allen; asked the advertiser if it was a “predator ball”.

But as in his previous royal biography, Brown seems constantly torn between blaming tabloid reporters for their most gruesome intrusions and enjoying their discoveries. News of the notorious phone hacking, with his nose visibly upturned, described Matt Drudge as a “US gossip hacker”, who exposed Prince Harry’s deployment in Afghanistan even as British media outlets conspired to cover it up. It describes Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the Phone. World is one of Fleet Street’s “big divas”, a “flashy social operator” (what exactly does she mean?) with “noble networking skills” and a “rolling mane of curly red hair”.

Brown is delighted to report that Prince Philip once sent a card with his private number to an anonymous socialite on the Caribbean island of Mustique, or that Princess Margaret gave her loyal employees ordinary household items such as an iron and even a toilet brush as a gift. .

In her delicious memory, “The Vanity Fair Chronicles” (2017), Brown also seemed to be split between America and England. But here, Old Blighty definitely wins (“winner” is such a Tina Brown term). He romanticizes the rain, writing from a pandemic shelter in Santa Monica: “Soul picnics in a stifling parking lot in Wimbledon; Wet strawberry carton in the Glyndebourne opera house; Soaked filth from the church door at Cotswold weddings; An attempt to hold on to what looked like a hat as the sky cleared at the Henley Royal Regatta.” (And here’s Schama again texting memories of chilly Pimm parties in the college garden with “girls whose faces are turning bluer than their eyeshadows.”)

Analyzing the younger generation who arguably saved the monarchy’s “whole crumbling theme park enterprise”, Brown likens Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to an Anthony Trollope heroine (whose parents were born “too stubborn and headstrong for Dickens”. “George Eliot’s women, by contrast], it was very complex and thoughtful”). As for the Duchess of Sussex and former actress Meghan, her story looks set to unfold. “Behind Variety’s hardcover copies” – which sounds like a short slut given the case print publications like Brown use to moderate.

The ‘Palace Papers’ aren’t exactly juicy or succulent – there aren’t enough new ones to come out of all the royal mess. Sparkling and outspoken, Keats is kind of interspersed with “Keeping the Windsors,” and like its predecessor, it will likely top the charts.



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