"You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn't be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders - but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It's a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story."
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"London-based McRobbie flirts with real controversy only to evade it in this collection of rotten royal behavior, and her book suffers for it. During her unhappy marriage to society photographer Earl Snowdon, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister Margaret-notorious for her poor choice in men and being a spoiled, aimless, and ill-tempered alcoholic-allegedly enjoyed a threesome that was captured in photos so compromising that Britain's MI5 staged an elaborate heist in 1971 to steal them back. Banished to Constantinople to marry a Roman senator, 5th-century Honoria wrote to Rome's worst enemy, Attila the Hun, for help, sending her ring, which the barbarian chose to interpret as a marriage proposal and used as his excuse to invade Rome. Although Sarah Winnemucca lectured to thousands of whites as a "civilized" Indian princess and agitated on behalf of her Piute tribe to President Rutherford Hayes, Native Americans saw "her as a pawn in the pay of the U.S. government." McRobbie mostly ignores the escapades of contemporary royals like Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who has an illegitimate son with a convicted drug dealer; Sarah Ferguson, who sold access to Britain's Prince Andrew; or Monaco's Stephanie, lately divorced from a circus performer. Unfortunately, while McRobbie has the subject matter, her prose is sloppy, her attempts at cleverness fall flat, and her thumbnail portraits are shallow. Illus. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."