Cover gilded youth

For as long as the British royal family has existed, royal children have been brought up in ways that seem bizarre and eccentric to the rest of us – the royal family’s obsession with making their children tough and independent as early as possible by farming out their parental duties to paid staff goes back centuries.

Gilded Youth looks at centuries of royal and aristocratic children misbehaving, often hilariously – from Edward VII smashing up his schoolroom to Prince Andrew peeing on a stable lad’s shoes; from Princess Margaret putting horse manure in a footman’s pockets to Diana Spencer wearing crop tops, snogging a local village boy and drinking cider in a bus shelter; from a teenage Prince Harry throwing up in the street to Prince William becoming completely shut down and obsessed with doing the right thing regardless of the feelings of his brother. Even Queen Elizabeth herself reacted oddly to her upbringing, becoming in many ways obsessively compulsive – as a child she insisted her shoes should always be positioned in the same place, her lunch set out exactly the same way each day and that for tea she have jam pennies (small rounds of bread and jam), which she was still eating every afternoon into her nineties.

The younger generation have to insist they want a normal or ordinary upbringing for their children because that goes down well with the public, but this is just window dressing. Gilded Youth looks at how, when it comes to children, the British royal family is still living in the Dark Ages.

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  • Hardback, 304 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785907647
  • 28 February 2023
    Available to pre-order
  • £20.00

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  • ISBN: 9781785907975
  • 28 February 2023
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