Review

Shadows Of A Princess: An Intimate Account by Her Private Secretary

by P. D. Jephson

If
you're a Diana fanatic (which I happen to be --- call it a sad but
guilty pleasure), then you will find SHADOWS OF A PRINCESS
remarkably entertaining. Except for an opening sequence in which
HRH finds herself the witness to a particularly pornographic drug
deal, which sets a nasty tone for the book at first, SHADOWS OF A
PRINCESS, written by her private secretary, P. D. Jephson (or P.
J., as the folks at K. P. --- or Kensington Palace --- called him),
gives every Diana fan the chance to look in on her day-to-day
adventures and get the behind-the-scenes details of some of her
particularly trying times during the last years of her life. It is
the most portentous book about Diana, Princess of Wales, to hit the
bookshelves yet.
Jephson has a winning way with words, an ability to be both
self-deprecating about his own trials and travails --- of trying to
keep Diana happy with her work and organized in her life --- as
well as funny but touching when reliving some of the crazier times
he spent with the Princess. It is just this openhearted and loving
tone that makes SHADOWS OF A PRINCESS a lot of fun --- we know that
we are reading a book in which the writer had both the best
front-row seat to the adventures of this imperfect but endlessly
fascinating woman and a lapdog's ability to see through the
not-so-nice stuff to encounter the loving, creative and searching
woman underneath the public persona. P. J. does Diana justice here,
and his combination of good and bad anecdotes about life with her
makes for interesting reading.
I
would suggest this book over the ones written by Diana's nay
sayers, because it is the only one (and believe me, I've read them
all) in which she is portrayed as both devil and angel yet
ultimately human. SHADOWS OF A PRINCESS would make a great holiday
gift for your favorite royal lover.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 23, 2011

Shadows Of A Princess: An Intimate Account by Her Private Secretary
by P. D. Jephson

  • Publication Date: October 9, 2000
  • Genres: Biography, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061015458
  • ISBN-13: 9780061015458