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Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  16 reviews
“In 1953, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Alice was dressed from head to foot in a long gray dress and a gray cloak, and a nun’s veil. Amidst all the jewels, and velvet and coronets, and the fine uniforms, she exuded an unworldly simplicity. Seated with the royal family, she was a part of them, yet somehow distanced from them. Inasmuch as she is remembere...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 16th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2000)
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Sep 04, 2014 ^ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in the Europe of the first half of the twentieth century.
What a very challenging biography this must have been to write, yet how very interesting and rewarding it must have been to research.

Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece was both a beautiful young lady, and a truly remarkable woman. I repeatedly found myself asking the question, “Could I have coped / cope with as much change in my life as she experienced in hers?” Having to date lived a largely straightforward and settled life, that question becomes absurd and perfectly impossible to answer.

The fou...more
Remembered today as Prince Philip's mother (if at all), Alice was born in Windsor Castle and died in Buckingham Palace - although she lived for much of her life in Greece and for a few years as a prisoner in European mental institutions. Her final resting place is Jerusalem.

Vickers comfortably guides us through the various factors in Alice's life: her many royal and aristocratic relations, ranging in time from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth and crossing the whole of Europe (one needs to consu...more
This is a heavily annotated account of the life of Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece, Princess of Battenburg, and the mother of Prince Phillip. I had never really heard much about her, but she really was a character. It is a shame that so much time passed between her passing and this account of her life, which is based mostly on letters written by, to, or about her. It is not at all novelistic, nothing is made up, and apologies are made where gaps occur. Nevertheless, I found it an interesting re...more
Sometimes I rate books by how quickly I read them. Granted, I picked this up in Delaware while on vacation, but still, a 400 page book should not take me nine days to read. The problem is that there are so many people to keep track of that are explained exactly once. Royal families are usually quite large, and names are often reused, so it's almost impossible to keep various members straight. I also found this biography rather tedious. There is *so* much detail, regarding Alice's every single mo...more
Dianne Landry
Prince Philip's mother was a fascinating lady. Grandaughter to Queen Victoria, cousin to numerous royals across Europe, she was always a little different due to her deafness. She spent years in a Sanitarium being treated for a mental disorder, lost her daughter and her family in a horrific plane crash, sheltered a jewish family in Nazi occupied Greece and became a nun, founding one of the first orders dedicated to social work rather than contemplation.

She was a fascinating lady and this was a wo...more
Shawn Thrasher
Alice, Princess of Greece (Prince Philip's mother) was an eccentric who seemed to be on the periphery of great events throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries: the periphery of the British Royal Family (Queen Victoria's great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II's crazy mother in law), the periphery of the Greek Royal Family (almost but never quite ruling Greece), the periphery of both World Wars and the Cold War. Never a decision maker, never a mover and shaker, but always around for great even...more
Nancy Brandon
Very thorough and sensitive to family. The lineage charts at back are a must. Knew royals were intertwined but not to this extent. Bravo for Prince William for bring in fresh bloodline, and non German, to England.
May 22, 2012 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Royalty and History Buffs
Shelves: history, biography
This si a good outline of a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. I found it a bit hard to read at times, but this was because I didn't know too much about the Greek Royal family. It shows how Princess Alice of Greece lived and how she adapted to life in the Greek Royal Family.

I found some places in the book focused more on others, whereas some focused on her relationships with the very large family which she was a part of. Still, this does give a good idea of what her life was like. It also gi...more
Rebecca Huston
A very good biography about the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Alice of Battenberg. Fascinating story about a woman who was mostly deaf, had mental illness and who led a life full of events that would have broken many lesser souls -- the loss of a daughter and her family in a plane crash, exile, living in Athens during Nazi occupation -- and having the daring to shelter Jews, and other tribulations. Very well written and very readable.
Mar 12, 2008 Sue rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: history
I read this after reading Victoria's Daughters (which I thought was a better book). This is about Princess Alice of Greece a great-grand daughter of Victoria. The book was well researched and interesting, however it was often difficult to keep the players straight. I enjoyed the look at European Royal families in the early years of the 20th Century. I purchased the book based on the description in the Bas Bleu catalog.
If you like biographies and late 19th century and 20th century European history, as well as reading about the earlier British Royal family, this book is a good read. Enjoyed all the history tied to the world wars. The author did amazing research, citing personal letters which provide interesting insights into some historical figures.
An interesting woman, was Prince Philip's mother. Converted Catholic, bipolar, one of a kind. The book was a bit more detailed than necessary but still worthwhile.
Lisa Hayes
Explains an awful lot about Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Mountbattens......
Wonderful biography of Prince Phillip's mother. Very readable.
Jan Kramer
And we thought our lives were complicated...
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