Friday, 7 June 2013

New books: Madeleine on the surface

“This is a book about the world’s most beautiful princess”, states the Swedish journalist Daniel Nyhlén, former royal correspondent of Aftonbladet and Svensk Damtidning, in the preface to his first book, Prinsessan Madeleine, which was published by Lind & Co last week, just in time for the wedding of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill tomorrow.
And that is indeed what it is. But the author contradicts himself, for having written a paragraph of how beautiful, glamorous, hot and ravishing she is, he goes on to state that he has never cared much about the royals’ “glamorous and extravagant life style” and that there is something much more interesting about Princess Madeleine: the private person.
We are treated to 233 pages which mostly contain photos of Princess Madeleine since the age of nineteen, accompanied by brief texts about her graduation from high school, her friends, her partying, her family, her holidays, her dogs, her work, her public engagements, the Nobel banquets, her sister’s wedding, her beauty, celebrities she has met, her ex-boyfriends, her ex-fiancé, the media, her fiancé, New York and her engagement to the man she will marry tomorrow.
It can all be read in an afternoon, and occasionally it reads like a cheap novel – after Jonas Bergström proposed, “they kissed each other in the sunset over the beautiful-as-a-fairytale Bay of Naples”, we are assured, although neither of the two people present have ever said that they kissed or what time of the day it was. And the author repeatedly uses the word “literally” when he means practically, although I admit it would have been fun to see Princess Madeleine literally steal the show.
The photos are a mix of official portraits, photos from public engagements and paparazzi snapshots, some of them of very little interest. Focusing on Princess Madeleine’s looks, the author rarely gets beyond the surface, and therefore the book never really gets interesting. But Princess Madeleine is a very private person, and perhaps Nyhlén’s approach is at least better than that of Johan T. Lindwall of Expressen, who, in his so-called biographies of Princess Madeleine and Crown Princess Victoria, wants us to believe that he knows the members of the royal family so well that he can even tell us what they thought and did when alone in a room. And I am sure many “royalty fans” will buy this book, which is probably also the main reason why it has been written and published.

1 comment:

  1. :-) vilken fantastisk recension :-) korrekt, torr, ironisk och alldeles, alldeles underbar :-) Tack! / Karin i Sverige


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