At Home with the Royal Family by Paul James & Peter Russell (1986, Hardcover)

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At Home with the Royal Family
by Paul James & Peter Russell
Publisher:  Harper & Row, Publishers
Copyright 1986
Book Club Edition

Working for Her Majesty the Queen is like no other job in the world.  Behind the austere facades of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle lies a mysterious and fascinating world, steeped in centuries of tradition, in which hundreds of royal servants carry out an astonishing variety of tasks with clockwork efficiency.  So smoothly do the wheels of monarchy turn that very few people ever get a glimpse behind the scenes.

Peter Russell, who has worked as a butler in the Queen's and other royal households, now gives us a vivid picture of life above and below stairs, as well as an insight into the ceremonies and traditions that play such a large part in the life of the Royal Family.

He describes in rich and authentic detail everything from the day-to-day running of the Royal Household to the organization of state banquets, from the Queen's personal shopping and the exercising of her corgis to the designing of her wardrobe and care of her jewels.

In Buckingham Palace and the royal residences alone there is a staff of some 300 full-time and 120 part-time employees, each fulfilling a vital function in a complex hierarchy.  At Home with the Royal Family tells us just what the Mistress of Robes, the Master of the Queen's Music, the Astronomer Royal, and the Keeper of the Purse do.  And though some intimate details about the Royal Family are revealed here -- what they give one another for Christmas, for example, and the occasional bit of cockney repartee from the Queen Mother -- what is most clearly seen in these pages is that for the Royal Family, duty, the ritual of royalty, and its accompanying protocol can never be forgotten.

At last we understand how all the cogs fit together:  how past and present, old and new are brought together with faultless planning and devotion to keep alive the traditions and vitality of the monarchy today.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover.  Pages are tanned and darkening from age.  Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper.  Dust cover and flaps are tanned from age.  Dust cover shows a bit of edge wear and tear and creasing.


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