Royal Service: My Twelve Years As Valet to Prince Charles

Royal Service: My Twelve Years As Valet to Prince Charles - Stephen P. Barry [These notes were made in 1984:]. Well, Mr. Barry didn't get to be a royal valet for a dozen years by being either indiscreet or a Royals-hater, so it comes as no surprise that, far from containing any scandalous anecdotes, this book is pretty mushy on the royals. I cannot believe that there was quite the personal distance between Charles and his valet that Barry implies with all his "sirs" and "your highnesses." But I found the account of palace hierarchy interesting: I had no idea it was so extensive. Barry attempts to defend himself against the charge that he left Charles' service after the wedding out of jealousy or ill-feeling over Diana. But it seems pretty clear that he and Diana, even if they didn't have a blazing row, never really hit it off. (The other woman who doesn't come at all well out of the book is poor old Anne, who is never mentioned without a sneer). In any case, if one puts aside the slightly sickening servility of tone, one is still left with a very interesting glimpse inside the private lives of a family whose privacy has, of necessity, become something of a fetish with them. Low-keyed though the revelations are, I wonder how the Royal Family took them.