Reviews for Hrh

by Elizabeth Holmes

Library Journal
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The British royal family and their fashions have been the focus of much interest and discussion in the media for four women in particular: Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Journalist Holmes was introduced to the House of Windsor when she covered the wedding of William and Catherine in 2011. In this book, based on her popular "Instagram Stories" series So Many Thoughts, she offers biographical sketches of these women, along with commentary on what they wore at key events. Included are photographs of the queen's iconic gowns, riding outfits, and tiaras. The approachable style of Diana, Princess of Wales, is depicted by the colors she wore throughout the years. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, or Kate as she is widely known, started out her royal life focusing on dresses with "every-girl appeal;" her style is indicated by both her gowns and her casual wear. Holmes describes the influence of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, especially her wedding gown and outfits she wore on royal tours. The author concludes, "One thing is certain: Meghan's mark on royal fashion is indelible." VERDICT Fans of the British royal family will enjoy this spirited retrospective, which should prove popular with a range of readers.—Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Queens Village, NY

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

This is a sweeping, retrospective survey of the fashions brought to us by four of the most-photographed women in the world: Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle. Bounteous full-page color illustrations accompany brief biographies that concentrate on how each of these royal ladies developed their individual, iconic styles. Outfits are placed within public, social, and personal context, and subtle nuances are highlighted, whether patriotic, diplomatic, speculative, or vengeful. The photos are stunning, but the best parts are the behind-the-scenes fashion tidbits sprinkled throughout the text. Elizabeth's coronation maids of honor had smelling salts sewn into their gloves in case their tightly-corseted dresses caused them to swoon; on a state visit to Ireland, Kate wore in turn outfits in green, white, and orange, the colors of the Irish flag; Princess Diana, six months before her death, auctioned off her royal gowns and raised $3.2 million dollars for charity. An introduction by journalist Robin Givhan acknowledges our insatiable curiosity for all things royal, and author Holmes' narrative effortlessly pulls us through the sweep of history, from WWII to Megxit, outfit by outfit. This is a visual feast suitable for fashionistas and royal watchers alike.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020

Publishers Weekly
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Fashion journalist Holmes debuts with a flattering and thoroughly enjoyable assessment of style choices made by Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Spencer, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle. In Holmes’s view, Elizabeth, typically seen as the fustiest of the bunch, is a “strategic genius” for her decision to dress head-to-toe in a single, sensational hue. Princess Diana’s clothing choices changed drastically during her 16 years in the spotlight, Holmes notes, from “demure and romantic” to “bold colors and big shapes that seemed to scream: Look at me!” Kate Middleton’s commoner status has influenced her style, according to Holmes, who lauds the Duchess of Cambridge’s habit of wearing “off-the-rack pieces” that burnish her “every-girl appeal.” Meghan Markle’s breezy, California-girl style took the requisite conservative turn when she married Prince Harry, though the scrutiny of the British tabloid press never let up, eventually contributing to the couple’s decision to distance themselves from the royal family and relocate to America. Holmes makes a strong case, in enthusiastic prose along with lavish photographs of all four women, that her subjects’ sartorial choices say as much about their positions in the royal family as they do about their individual identities. Royal watchers will delight in this breezy survey of Windsor family fashions. (Nov.)