Summary

For eight brief years, before he was tragically killed in a mysterious air crash during the Second World War, Prince George, Duke of Kent, son of King George V and Queen Mary, and his beautiful wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, were the British monarchy's - indeed, high society's - most glamorous royal couple; and as golden royal icons, they are still remembered. As a young man voraciously addicted to drugs and sex with men as much as women, marriage and parenthood for the impetuously wayward playboy prince, with his nightclubbing lifestyle and intimate liaisons, was seen as the only stabilizing influence. Enter the stylish and sophisticated Princess Marina, the cultured, artistic, and multilingual youngest daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and his Russian-born wife, Grand Duchess Yelena Vladimirovna. As Duke and Duchess of Kent, George and Marina were the Crown's most glittering representatives, not least in the aftermath of the abdication of George's adored elder brother, the briefly reigned King Edward VIII, the man not only with whom he had shared both home and high-flying lifestyles but who had helped cure him of his addiction to morphine and cocaine.
©2016 Christopher Warwick (P)2017 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 02-06-17

Engaging

The book has more information about Marina than George, but, of course, she lived longer. Marina (1906-1968) was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece/Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladiminovna of Russia. Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902-1942), was the fourth son and fifth child of King George V and Queen Mary. He was the younger brother of King Edward VII (who abdicated) and King George VI (Queen Elizabeth’s father). George attended the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and served in the Royal Navy until 1929. In 1939, he was appointed Governor General of Australia but this was cancelled because of the onset of WWII. George returned to the Navy as a Rear Admiral. In 1940, he changed to the Air Force and assumed a post at the RAF Training Command. He Married Marina 12 October 1934, and they had three children. Apparently, before and after his marriage he had a string of affairs. He died 25 August 1942 in a RAF plane crash in Scotland. There is a lot of mystery about his death.

Marina’s mother was a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Her paternal uncle was Prince Andrew of Greece the father of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband. Marina was eleven when they fled Greece when the Monarchy was overthrown. The King appointed her the Commandant of the WRENS (Women’s Royal Naval Service). She served in this role well into the 1960s. Queen Elizabeth frequently sent her to Africa. She was sent to Botswana when they became independent. Botswana named a hospital after her called the Princess Marina Hospital. She died in 1968 of a brain tumor.

The book was well written and researched. A lot of information about the Royal Families of England and Greece/Denmark was provided. If one is interested in the Royal Families or WWII history, this is a good book to read. Much of the book I found interesting, but, at times, I was bored with the descriptions of gowns and jewels.

The book was seven and half hours long. Gildart Jackson did a good job narrating the book. Jackson is a British award-winning actor and audiobook narrator. This is my first experience listening to Jackson narrate. I will keep an eye open for more books he has narrated.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Simone on 07-08-17

A Litany of Names

This was the biography of all the people AROUND George and Marina; I don’t really feel like I learned many details about G&M's lives…. Not a lot to say I guess.

It was a litany of names and dates and sadly I was confused from start to finish - I am familiar with the British Royal Family and the various branches of that tree, but NOT the Greek one!!!

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4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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