It would be hard to invent a group of personalities more extraordinary than the British Royal Family - known as 'The Firm' by Prince Philip. This book will look in depth at how the family really operates and will reveal how they behave behind closed doors. With showbiz stars and sporting celebrities now attracting the adulation once afforded to royalty, The Firm questions what the monarchy is for. Is it a hangover from the past, an expensive anachronism, a relic of a bygone age of deference and hierarchy, or is it an important and relevant part of Britain in the 21st century - something that gives stability and continuity to the country, and richness and glamour to our national life in ways that a republic never could? If so, do the media mock, hound and criticize the Royal Family at their peril? Could Prince William decide that the scrutiny of his private life is too high a price to pay? They live in the lap of luxury with valets and butlers, cooks and courtiers, but for all the palaces and privilege it is not an enviable life.
The work is hard, repetitive and unremitting, they are in the limelight from cradle to coffin, they have no privacy, no freedom, no voice and so long as Britain continues to want a monarchy, no choice. The Firm investigates the Family's relationship with government, the press and the people. It looks at whether the institution can reach out to those, particularly the young, who see the House of Windsor as no more interesting or significant than the players in a soap opera. It asks, in short, whether the British monarchy has a future.
Penny Junor is a frequent commentator on the Royal Family on TV and in the press. She is the author of a number of bestselling royal and political biographies.