By Flora Harding

Review by Marisa Stokley


Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.


Harding (Before the Crown) returns to the royal sphere with a tale those royally obsessed will eagerly devour. Engaged to the Prince of Wales and newly housed in Buckingham Palace, Lady Diana Spencer seemingly is living the life of all young girl’s dreams.  Behind palace walls, Diana struggles to discover who she is and who she will be as the Princess of Wales. Upon the discovery of a diary written by Princess Charlotte of Wales in the 1800s, Diana is drawn into the narrative of the young princess whose situation mirrors her own in many ways despite the 200 years between them. Told from alternating points of views, The People’s Princess brings a new perspective to the well-known story of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her predecessor who paved the way for the beloved princess who continues to impact the current royal family. Royal fans will enjoy glimpses of life within Buckingham Palace, Diana’s relationship with the Windsor family, and the royal wedding between Diana and Prince Charles. 

I purchased a copy of The People’s Princess. I was not required to write a review, and this does not influence my review, positive or otherwise. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

<a href="" target="_self">Marisa Stokley</a>

Marisa Stokley

Marisa Stokley is an editor of Christian historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction as well as general market fiction. A lover of all-things bookish and publishing, she revels in the literary musings of authors who write of the past and present through faith-driven stories. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in professional writing, and she is certified in editing through the Christian PEN. Novels she's edited have been nominated for the Selah, INSPY, and Cascade Awards. Marisa is experienced in all levels of editing as well as in writing, marketing, and research for the corporate sector, nonprofits, and publishing industry. She has coached new and experienced authors to craft their writing to deliver memorable characters, deeply moving stories, thought-provoking themes, and beautiful words. She believes in a firm, gentle, and encouraging approach to the editor-author relationship and enjoys forming those relationships with whom she works.