Do we really need yet another book on Prince Philip? What more is there to say about the man? Not a lot. But you can’t believe everything you see in Netflix’s The Crown. Ms. Seward’s biography is more than mere hagiography, although it is indeed reverential. And while she takes us painstakingly over well-trodden ground, she does produce some interesting information about Philip’s later years, in particular his relationships with Diana and Meghan Markle ... Ms. Seward has done a fine job of research, but her writing is flat and at times repetitious, as though some chapters had been previously serialized.
Prince Albert saw no reason to conceal the fact that he was a clever German. In consequence, he was hated in England. Philip learnt his lesson from his forebear, and cleverly hid both nationality and cleverness. As for his range of talents, he would have been a much more interesting monarch than his wife, but the end would almost certainly have been a republic. Since his wife became Head of State, it has been a stultifyingly boring life. But here is yet another boring book about it. Ingrid Seward, for more than thirty years editor of Majesty magazine (was it for this the clay grew tall?), must have banked, literally, on her subject’s death coming before the book’s completion. Alas, she has had to provide a hasty ending, replacing what would have been a moving description of the State Funeral with a few tastefully chosen words ... scissors-and-paste rehearsal of a familiar story.
The longtime editor of Majesty magazine presents a refreshingly nonhagiographic biography of Prince Philip (b. 1921). In her latest book on the royal family, Seward, a leading expert on the subject, paints a picture of a complex figure ... Authoritative and thorough fare for royal watchers.