In this wonderful and honest book, former press secretary to the royal family Dickie Arbiter reveals the inner workings of everyday life in side Buckingham Palace, and what its really like to be on duty with the Queen With four decades of experience covering royalty as a journalist and as one of Her Majestys press secretaries, Dickie Arbiter has had unprecedented access to the inner circle of some of the most intriguing news stories over the years, and is the only royal commentator to have witnessed the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and covered her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees Appointed a press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth II in 1988, Dickie was immediately catapulted into the media circus surrounding the world s most famous and divisive family From sailing in the Royal Yacht Britannia, escorting Prince Charles on far flung trips across the globe and the Commonwealth, and joining Her Majesty for washing up duties following a picnic in Balmoral Castle, to becoming one of Princess Diana s most trusted confidantes before briefing the worlds media of her untimely death, Dickie was at the forefront of the decision making at the Palace during the most turbulent decade in the monarchys reign Open, entertaining, enlightening, and surprising, On Duty with the Queen is a wonderful account of a once in a lifetime job and a truly unique service to the crown....
|Title||:||On Duty with the Queen|
|Publisher||:||Blink Publishing Reprint edition July 1, 2016|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
|File Size||:||673 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
On Duty with the Queen Reviews
As an amateur royal historian, I was looking forward to Dickie Arbiter's book since I first heard it was announced, and purchased it on the day it was released. However, it was not worth the wait. At best, this book was a self-indulgent collection of well-told stories Arbiter must regale at cocktail parties; hardly an inside look at working with the queen. The epitome of his grandiose view of himself: after retirement, he's asked to come back to the palace for two weeks. Arbiter titles Chapter 20, "Come back, Dickie-- we need you!"
Before purchasing this book on my Kindle I read previous reviews. I'm fascinated by the British Royals and how "the Firm" works so starting with that in mind I bought the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was intrigued by Mr. Arbiter's background as well as his many experiences as Press Secretary to the Queen. I was never bored. I felt that he gave a balanced portrayal of members of the Royal family. Those who dislike Camilla and Prince Charles will be angered by the way they are portrayed. Those who idolize Princess Diana will also be angered because in this triangle both strengths and weaknesses are presented - obviously from one man's point of view. But what I found endlessly fascinating is how the behind the scene activities and the PR worked during that time. Overall, I really enjoyed this take on British Royalty. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.
It's definitely not a tell-all book which no one really expected from Arbiter, but neither is it an interesting book about the inner workings of the press office at the Palace. That would have made far more interesting reading. For instance, just who makes the decisions about press releases or dealing with difficult issues? Does word come down from the Queen, her private secretary, the chamberlain? In the discussion of the communications with the press during the week after Diana's death, it seems as if no one was really in charge and Arbiter took it upon himself to ask Princes Edward and Andrew to make a public appearance. Considering the emotions of the people that week no one can really blame Edward for not wanting to be the canary in the mine.
I always prefer to read about the royal family when the book is written by someone who has been on the inside. Most of the hundreds of books written about them are just rehashing of old newspaper articles with a healthy dose of speculation and guess work. Mr. Arbiter, however, has been there. This book is his memoir so, of course, the stories are limited to things he was in involved in. I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of the PR surrounding the royal family and what the various staff members do. I think those who find this book boring were looking for sensationalism and this didn't cure their appetite.
Let's face it, I bought this for dirt about the queen and other members of the royal family. It turned out to be heavily centered around his life story, and there was far too much of his background pre-employment with the royal family. Who cares? The book took me weeks to get through because it was a real snoozer.
This is a gentle, respectful memoir of an important time in royal history. I appreciated Mr. Arbiter's polite, reflective reminiscences, found his own personal history interesting, and and enjoyed learning more about the role of a press officer. There is no gossip here, no low-down, tell-all dirtfest, and I'm glad, because that's not what I wanted to read. I'm glad I went by the excerpts of this book instead of listening to the negative reviews when deciding to order, because this book is definitely worth reading. Recommended.
As an Anglophile for 50 or so years, when I saw this book while browsing Amazon's English Royalty offerings my reaction was "Oh boy! One I haven't read!" But it was so bland I began wishing for my money back. Mr. Arbiter may have worked for the Queen, but not with any 'up close and personal' moments left for him to write about. I noticed that several other reviewers have agreed with me. The book is really more of a memoir of Mr. Arbiter. I found it boring and disappointing, and it makes me sad.
It would be great entertainment to have insight to the Royals. However you aren't going to get that in this book which is essentially rewritten newspaper stories from long ago.