Mary Riddell, in this sympathetic yet analytical book, addresses the possible affect on the young Katherine Worsley of parents who may have steered her too hard towards a royal marriage when their daugther had clearly been strongly attached elsewhere. Katherine Worsley’s marriage in 1961 to the Duke of Kent plunged her into a life for which she was ill-prepared. However she made a staunch soldier’s wife for the Duke and came to endure the shadow of her formidable mother-in-law, Princess Marina. But as her children grew up – particularly after a miscarriage and a termination – such as patronage of the LTA and appearances at Wimbledon she still relished, but she often looked like a haunted, hunted woman. Increasinly reticent about public appearances, worn and dispirited, the Duchess was finally diagnosed as suffering from ME – an illness from which the Duchess has since made a recovery. But the greatest evidence of her inner crises was her conversion to the Roman Catholic church in 1992 – since when she has regained much of her calm and public dignity. However, the Duchess remains a complex woman, riven with her own demons and perhaps never quite at ease with the Royal Family. Other complexities and paradoxes of the Duchess’s life are similarly scrutinised, as is her friendship with the late Princess Diana.
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