Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Review: Prince Harry and Meghan: Royals for a New Era by Jill Sherman


American actress Meghan Markle is not a typical royal. Upon hearing the news of her engagement to Prince Harry, royal watchers cheered the addition of a woman of color to the royal family. This profile chronicles how Prince Harry met the American actress, their relationship, and their journey toward becoming a new kind of royal family.

While I have never been a "royal watcher", it is not hard to understand the fascination with this love story. From picture books to YA to adult fiction, how many old (and new) fairy tales have told of the girl from a rather plain background marrying the prince? And here it is in real life! Today's children and teens are too young to remember anything of Princess Grace of Monaco, so this is entirely new to them.

I have to admit...I really like Prince Harry. Not because of the royalty, but because in spite of it he could be any one of my students from my years of teaching. Getting into a little bit of trouble as a teen, then straightening himself out and showing what an amazing, caring person he is. The candid moments captured on so many news clips can't be taught or faked. He's just a nice guy. All of these ups and downs are outlined in the first 20-30 pages, not shying away from early drug use and partying.

The next part of the book tells us a bit about Markle's life. I did not realize she had double majored in theatre and international relations. I am going to guess there weren't too many required classes that fell under both! She interned at the US Embassy in Argentina, and had plans to go into politics, until life took a turn and she ended up with a role on General Hospital. She took on extra jobs to help pay the bills - a position many Americans can find themselves familiar with!

Their unique backgrounds, and the priorities and lifestyle that don't fit the stereotypical image of a royal couple will no doubt keep them a topic of interest to the public for the rest of their lives. Even readers who have not followed them in the news will find their stories as told in this well-written title intriguing. A good addition to any elementary, middle, or high school library looking to update its current biographies.

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