Friday, September 12, 2014

Prince Harry Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor (Book Review)

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

The authoritative biography of Prince Harry by noted royal family biographer Penny Junor, author of Prince William: The Man Who Will Be King and The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.

Prince Harry, one of the most popular members of the British royal family, has had a colorful life. After losing his mother at 12 years old, he spent his teenage years making questionable choices under intense international media scrutiny, becoming known for his mischievous grin, shock of red hair, and the occasional not-so-royal indiscretion. As he's grown, he has distinguished himself through military service, flying helicopters for the RAF. He served in Afghanistan and continues to devote himself to his military career. He also follows in his mother's footsteps with charity work--he is the founder of Sentebale, a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, and works with many other charitable organizations to help young people in society and to conserve natural resources. As he reaches his thirtieth birthday, Prince Harry is proving himself a prince of the people. 

With unprecedented access to the most important figures in his life, Penny Junor is able get the truth about who this mercurial and fascinating royal son really is. A modern biography of a modern prince, this book offers an insider's look at the life of the man who is fourth in line to Britain's throne.

My thoughts-

I have always been interested in the royal family. Maybe it is because of the huge chunk of British ancestors that I have discovered through my genealogy research (several of them of royal blood themselves) or maybe I just find the whole idea of a monarchy intriguing. What little girl doesn't grow up dreaming of marrying a prince? One of the more interesting people from the house of Windsor is Prince Harry, but I realized that I truly don't know a lot about him, so I thought this would be a very interesting book to read. Prince Harry Brother, Soldier, Son spans Harry's entire life from before he was born to the present day. That means there is a lot of information about his parents, his brother William and his sister-in-law. Some of the information is rehashing of very public events, the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana, the births of both Harry and William, the ugly divorce of the prince and princess and the crash that ultimately took Diana's life. Some of these events offer a perspective on Prince Charles that I have never seen in the American media and make him far more likable and make me more sympathetic to his side of the story on several different things. The same can be said of Harry. Although he is a super likable guy already, some of the way that the media has portrayed him has made him out to be immature and careless and I feel like we get a better look at the prince as a whole. I especially like that the second half of the book focuses a great deal on his charity work and philanthropy. It is very evident to me that Prince Harry has inherited his mother's heart for changing the world. I really enjoyed reading Prince Harry Brother, Soldier, Son and getting a better picture of him as a whole. If you can get past the author's clear dislike of princess Diana, I think anyone interested in the royal family, the British monarchy or philanthropy will find this book particularly appealing. 

Prince Harry Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor is available now on


  1. Seems odd that they'd express dislike for his mother in the book, doesn't it? Otherwise it sounds great!

    1. I liked that this book gave me a different view on Prince Charles, but did not care for the terrible portrait painted of someone who is not here to defend herself. I have read that this biographer has written like this about her in previous books as well. I am sure that part of this book would not make Prince Harry very happy, but I do like that it gives a more in depth look into who Harry himself is. It is still worth a read.