Following our review of Marcia Moody’s book Kate: A Biography, I quickly dove into the latest book on the Duchess of Cambridge. In early October, Katie Nicholl’s anticipated telling of Kate’s life was released. After numerous appearances on daytime television and lifestyle shows, it was nearly impossible for a royal watcher to not be familiar with the book. So, out of nagging curiosity, I hopped on Amazon and ordered Kate: The Future Queen.
Nicholl’s book came with a lot of buzz, claiming to reveal things about Kate that we had never heard before. I consider myself well-versed in Kate’s lifestyle, personal history and family story, so I had no expectations of learning anything new. The book arrived two days after placing the order (I just love Amazon Prime) and I dove right into it.
The real highlight of this book is its narrative. The writing is very story-like – not too much, so it feels forced, but a little fun narrative here and there. For example, Chapter 4 begins, “Kate flew down the stairs as soon as she heard the letterbox clatter. It was Thursday, August 17, 2000, and the whole family had been waiting for the postman to arrive.” (Nicholl, 2013) These little, charming sentences pop up periodically throughout the text, making it feel much more like a story. It would be impossible to call the book dry – it is full of sweet moments like these, almost always imagined by the author, but familiar enough to feel true.
Unfortunately, there was a serious lowlight in the book – and that was the so-called “scoops.” Katie Nicholl claims that the book would reveal unknown facts, such as her decision to go to St. Andrew’s to meet William, her time during the infamous break-up, and other experiences that have never truly been revealed. While the author presents facts to meet her claims, there is so little evidence that the majority of the page is filled with fluff to make it seem like its true. For example, in Chapter 4, Nicholl suggests that Kate changed her mind on attending the University of Edinburgh with her friends and instead attended St. Andrew’s University to meet William. The sources she quotes seem very unsure, saying things like “as far as I know” and grouping Kate’s decisions based on a whole with her fellow classmates. This, along with the wild speculation during her courtship with William, and other “scoops” are too clouded by vague sources and uncertain facts that they cannot be truly believed. Certainly the information would not be regarded as scholarly evidence, nor would the evidence hold up in a court of law.
Despite this, the information in the book is great. This is a nice read about Kate’s life, being both thoroughly entertaining and informative. During the questionable scoops, as mentioned above, you can tell the information is wishy-washy, but it does not take away from the overall feeling of the writing. I really enjoyed this book. The chapter on the Royal Wedding brought me near to tears, filling me with memories of that magical day. The last chapter, focusing on Kate’s pregnancy and the birth of Prince George, was thorough, informative and fresh. Overall, Kate: The Future Queen was a lovely biography on Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
For more on Katie Nicholl, her book, and Kate’s iconic status, check out the video below:
Enjoyed this review! I haven’t yet read this book, but I read a previous book of Nichols’ about the royals when researching my own book on Kate for kids 🙂 I found it similar — quite a bit of fluff and quite a bit that was questionable and/or even contradicted in other sources. Thanks for checking it out and giving the scoop!
Meg @ A Bookish Affair says
I’m so looking forward to reading this book!
Meg, I hope you enjoy it!
Great review! I’ll have to see about picking up a copy. I just adore Kate but I’m leery of books like this usually. It’s nice to hear for the most part it’s lovely. Going on my Christmas list 🙂
Amy, it is a great book – very thorough and entertaining. I think you’ll enjoy it! I hope Santa leaves it under your tree 🙂