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The Diana Chronicles

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,290 ratings  ·  439 reviews

Ten years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she “the people’s princess,” who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy? Only Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of Tatler, England’s glossiest gossip magazine; Vanity Fair; and The New Yorker could

Hardcover, 560 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,290 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Yes, I've sunk this low and have no regrets.

If I learned anything from this massive gossip rag is that the royal family are a bunch of vapid, self-absorbed, spoiled, attention-seeking, messy people who can't keep it in their pants. Which makes me question why some (cough *kate middleton*cough*meghan markle*cough) are so keen on being a part of this pathetic circus. It takes a certain kind of person to crave this life.


Going to catch up on Crown next.
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: popculture
Too detailed, and yet, not detailed enough. You can't just say things like "Camilla's friends thought Diana had Borderline Personality Disorder" and leave it at that. Why did they think so? Did they say anything at the time, or is this a post facto diagnosis?

By the end I was thoroughly sick of Diana and Charles, neither of whom had/has a bit of sense. They both seemed smart enough, in different ways, but totally spoiled and not a bit strategic. I get the sense Brown was tired of them as well, a
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shut up.

Brown's work starts out with such promise. She offers an insightful look at not only the development of Diana from small, shy child to media mogul, but also the changing face of the British press and media from the late 60s onwards. This well-written discussion lasts for the first 200 pages or so. Once Diana and Charles say "I Do", it's back to business as usual as Brown rehashes the same old cover stories, photo ops, and leaked phone recordings. She almost pulls it back together at the
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My level of interest in this book fluctuated depending on the topic being addressed. The truth is, Diana Spencer was not an interesting person before she became involved with the royal family, and the sections about her early life could put you to sleep. The sections about Charles's early life, on the other hand, are pretty interesting. Reading certain sections was like watching a train wreck in slow motion; in many ways Diana was her own worst enemy, with an inability to learn from experience. ...more
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Why? Because someone left it at my house and because I just watched that movie "The Queen". The collective force of these two circumstances forced me to pick up the book and read it.

The book was okay. It's a pretty thorough examination of the Diana phenomenon, and it's well enough written for something of this sort, but in the end, it's just glorified celebrity gossip. The book tries hard to make us see that how the British feel about the monarchy is an important. I guess it the British
Oct 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
How could another book, and a 482 page book at that, on Diana possibly be entertaining or shed more light on the subject? Well, Tina Brown manages to do just that. Not only are the Diana Chronicles entertaining and very readable it begins by shedding a new light on Diana and the entire social climate of Britian during the eighties and nineties. Brown begins with a drama, the accident in Paris. Her writing is dynamic and flowing. It draws the reader in right away. No one can forget the images on ...more
Sep 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, 2007, england
After three weeks of lugging this giant tome onto the bus with me every morning, I'm finally finished. Several people asked, when spotting me with it, "why are you reading that?" Why indeed.
My fascination with Diana stemmed from childhood- there was a paper doll set involved, as well as the word "princess." I recall hearing about her divorce from Charles. I was sad when she died. But I didn't really know anything about her. Now I do.
Most interesting, I thought, were the chapters on her backgroun
Nancy Loe
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: royals, re-read
Mock me if you will, but this is a fair-minded look at the phenomenon that is Diana, Princess of Wales. I've read (far too many) of the biographies, both pro- and anti-Diana, and Brown offers information that's new to me and fresh insights.
Amy Platt
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
In my view Diana was an unsympathetic manipulator. I found myself feeling depressed when I read this book because she decided to live her life as a victim. Pitiful person.
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
You could call me a Princess Diana fan — a huge one, actually. I have been fascinated with her since she appeared on the scene when I was in high school. When she died, friends called me to check on how *I* was doing. I still think of her often. So, when I decided to read a book about her, it wasn’t with the expectation of really learning anything new. I really just wanted to kind of re-live her life again through words, and possibly see some big-picture themes to help make sense of a woman who ...more
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
As readable and enjoyable as the occasional bit of literary trash may be, I make no mistake regarding the fact that that's what I was reading when I read The Diana Chronicles. Sarah Bradford is a biographer and, to date, she owns the bragging rights to the definitive book on Diana, Princess of Wales. Tina Brown has gone to previously-published books, magazine articles, and interviews with more than 200 people for her own take on the complicated Princess, her reluctant husband, and the woman who ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s riveting, if you are a celebrity junkie like me. Brown in her trademark style that mixes gossip, opinion and true-blue reporting, paints a story of a potential fairy tale gone horribly wrong. In so many ways, the story of Diana is a story of how not to live a life - no real education, marrying for an idea of a prince, living through a bad marriage in the public eye, depressed and unhappy for the most part, never being able to escape the price of fame. Brown’s Diana is troubled, unstable, ma ...more
Michelle Ruiz Andrews
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is very much a journey even for the ardent royal watcher (hi!) at 500 densely packed pages. Brown practically provides the ancestry, back to Medieval times, of every individual introduced, which can feel excessive. But I also cannot imagine a more exhaustive, detailed (down to the inscriptions on the jewelry Chuck gave Camilla) or definitive account of Diana’s life, which also doubles as a window into how the monarchy and the House of Windsor operate - all very illuminating and timely ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t finished this book, but making it to page 265 was such a struggle that I feel like I deserve a win so I’m logging it as finished regardless.

I eventually gave up when the author imagined what Diana “might have responded” to an insult thrown at her by Charles, because if I’d wanted to read imagined responses I’d probably have picked up some historical fiction.

I’m sure Tina Brown did an absolute power of research for this book and there’s no taking away from the thoroughness with which s
Samantha Clysdale
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this book awfully written and to be honest a little b*tchy.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
WTF was this book? I'm ashamed I read it, although I did appreciate this gem of a quote: "Women who love horses usually love sex."
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s been too long since I finished this to remember why it got three stars in the end and not two. My lasting feelings about this book are generally dislike. It just wasn’t as exciting as it could’ve been. When it’s a story about a very interesting person. I learned a lot about the royal family. But too much about the things I didn’t care about and not enough about the behind the scenes types of things I wanted I guess. Diana seemed like a sad person. But as a kid when she died I rem
I read this years ago when it first came out. It was a simpler time, before the princes were married with kids of their own and the political climate of Britain and the world was not the mess it is now. Oh the joys of a time when the biggest scandal was a flag not flying over Buckingham Palace after the death of a divorced Princess of Wales. This book is quite long and detailed. I listened to the audio version this time around. It's nearly the length of a day. But it's a good way to pass an hour ...more
Anne McLeod
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I listened to this as an audiobook, as I had some driving alone to do and didn't have to please anyone but myself. Diana has always seemed such a sad, complex figure, and Brown's biography captured the different facets of her troubled personality. She also shines some light on the traditions of the monarchy which might well have done in a much stronger woman. She was so young and so invested in the mythology of romance, in contrast to so many girls of her generation. And she was a girl when she ...more
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
ok, so i picked this one up not because of a previously undisclosed interest in princess di but because of my interest in tina brown. yes, really. at first i was really into it, but then it became deeply repetitive, down to iterations of cliches such as "such and such was catnip for so and so." not surprising from tina brown, it felt like a magazine piece that went on way too long. the beginning (flash-forward to her death) and the end (death, redux) were great. the middle not so much.

the bulk o
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
Where to begin... I had no real burning desire to learn more about Princess Diana than I had already gleaned from skimming 100+ People magazine articles written about her over the last 25 years but I had great hopes that this would be a well-written bit of summer fluff. I was sadly disappointed. The book starts off with a somewhat enlightening yet boring discussion of the British class system and the impact that that had on Diana and the selection of Diana to be Charles' wife. After that, it's a ...more
May 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
I spent all Saturday and Sunday reading this. same old diana stuff. .but a strong Brown subtext and opinion. Diana was largely responsible for her own unhappiness and tragic end. She was smart in many ways but inflexible too marrying a fantasy that wasn't real and then falling apart almost from Day 1. Brown doesn't represent any times that diana tried to be interested in anything that her husband enjoyed, the outdoors, gardening--rather she wanted to be coddled and entertained.

It's one view but
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book and felt anew that Diana was not given a fair chance in tjhe royal family. She was indeed very immature and found life in the royal family very difficult. Much of the problem was that she was so likeable and so normal...not qualities the royal family sees as valuable. It is too bad that she abused herself as a way to cope and that she died just as she was coming into her own. Tina Brown, as a reporter for one of the tabloid newspapers covered Diana's activities and presents the ...more
Rashmi Tiwari
Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Continuing the Trashy Royal Snowed In Boston For The Rest Of My Life book tour. This was WAY too long and ultimately left me feeling like Princess Diana (who I knew very little about prior to reading this) was a spoiled, sort of psychotic, desperate woman who verged on shamefully illiterate (she kept a list of "hard to spell" words on her desk). I get the sense that I was supposed to witness her personal growth or something but she read as the same vapid waste of space from beginning to end. Tha ...more
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Royalty interests me. With the upcoming marriage of Will and Kate sparking my interest, I picked up this book. It seemed an interesting history, but then Tina Brown got in the way. Honestly, sometimes it felt like she was shoving herself into the scenes she wrote. The last portion of the book was like reading a tabloid. "I'm told" is used a lot. However, I did admire her insights into English newspapers, Diana's media skills, and to England's surprising display of grief after Diana's death.
Sep 17, 2011 rated it liked it
When I first started this, I thought, S***, it's Ernest Hemingway and his Paris wife again. Puhleeeese!

I read this on my brother's recommendation. While it was informative and explained a lot, i'M still trying to figure out why the rules are so different for those of us who work for our money and those who play for theirs and live their lives "abroad." I'm not talking royal protocol here. I'm talking values, ethics, authenticity, love, family, etc. And not just the rules, but how they play the
Bookmarks Magazine

There are few who could delve as successfully into Princess Di's life as the celebrated Tina Brown, who combines her journalistic savvy with the gossip only an insider could know. While she stresses Diana's role in changing the relationship between the press and the House of Windsor, Brown offers plenty of juicy details, "varying from credible to melodramatic to weirdly sitcomlike" (New York Times)

Yvonne Ryan
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
The best part of the book is the first 100 pages or so that paint a succinct picture of Britain's class system, and of how modern Britain has developed over the past 60 years or so. The rest is a shallow and sloppily written (in parts)that seems to rely on the (many) other works written on this subject.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
I tried to read this book, but couldn't bring myself to finish it. The (completely unsubstantiated) sentences that broke the camel's back?

Women who love horses usually love sex. It is no accident that, for girls, the onset of puberty is often marked by an obsession with horseflesh.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
I thought I was interested in Diana but then I bought this book and I found out that, unfortunately, it was not the case. I guess I'm too young to understand all the hype surrounding her life and death (I'm 18).

It's well-written tough. And I'll re-rate it when I can finally get through the whole thing.
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Tina Brown, Lady Evans (born Christina Hambley Brown) is a journalist, magazine editor, columnist, talk-show host and author of The Diana Chronicles, a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, a personal friend. Born a British citizen, she took United States citizenship in 2005. She became the editor-in-chief of Tatler magazine at the age of 25, and rose to prominence in the American media industry ...more

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