Cover image for Growing up royal : life in the shadow of the British throne
Growing up royal : life in the shadow of the British throne
Billinghurst, Jane, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Annick Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
154 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : portraits (some color) ; 21 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.1 8.0 51952.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA28.3 .B54 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



What child hasn't imagined life as a prince or princess? We read fantastical stories about them when we are young, hear about them in the news, and wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. Growing Up Royal is a fun, informative, and realistic look at a royal upbringing -- a true behind-the-scenes peek at what a life of splendor is really like. Filled with humorous anecdotes and engrossing stories of royals past and present, it soon becomes clear that despite some obvious differences, kids in a royal family are much like kids everywhere.

Tradition, politics, privilege, and restrictions all play out in the life of young royals. Learn of the many ways the current British royal family is adapting to the changes brought by modern times, and how these events have shaped the lives of future royals, particularly Prince William, second in line to the British throne and a heartthrob for young girls everywhere. Is it really so glamorous to be born into royalty? What's it like to have your every move watched by the public and the press?

From birth through to the teen years, all stages in the life of a young royal are explored, from the palace nursery to learning one's place in society. The book discusses the social scene behind the castle walls, royal leisure pursuits and sporting activities, and education (will it be private tutoring as in times past, with no schoolmates, or a private school?). Then there are the challenges of one's private life. Imagine a royal teen on a date - with bodyguards!

Growing Up Royal is divided into sections: What Does It Mean to Be Royal? , In the Palace Nursery , Realizing You Are Different , Behind Castle Doors , Royal Pursuits , Entering the Big, Bad World , Mad About Royals and Being a Royal Teen . Sidebars with interesting facts and tales are interspersed throughout the text. Get the inside scoop on Royal Families in Europe, Royal Servants, Royal Birthday Bashes, and much more! A table of contents and an index are included for easy reference. The sixteen-page photo section captures a broad spectrum of images that reveal even more about the life of young royals.

Author Notes

Jane Billinghurst has worked in book publishing, primarily as an editor, in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada for the past twenty years. She specializes in non-fiction books for adults and young adults. Jane currently lives in Saskatoon.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. Despite the slippery slope the British royal family has been sledding down in recent years, there are still plenty of young people who are interested in what it's like to live as a prince or princess. Although this is about royalty in general, the focus is really on the Brits, with special attention paid to the younger royals, William and Harry, and the Duke and Duchess of York's daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie. More than just a superficial biography, this offers an interesting look at the upside and the downside of royal life, punctuated by numerous kid-oriented anecdotes. Billinghurst draws readers in by framing the material as a question: Do you, the reader, have what it takes to be a royal? This personalization works well throughout the text, enhanced by sidebars offering information about topics that range from questions on the Eton qualifying test to definitions of royal servants. There are two inserts of well-chosen color photographs, but more would have been welcome. This is mostly for browsers, but it can also be used for reports on royalty. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-This book is an overview, and thus contains more trivia than biography. Through information gleaned mainly from magazine and newspaper accounts, Billinghurst describes everyday life, relationships with servants, responsibilities, etiquette, and more, and conveys the reality that being born a prince or princess is more about being a good public figure than about fun, frolic, and having it all. Though the book revolves mainly around contemporary British royals, with colorful photos primarily of Prince William and Prince Harry at different ages, information on other royals is included. The sidebars on various aspects of royal life, the author's note, and the extensive index are helpful additions. A secondary source.-Kim Harris, Newman Riga Library, Churchville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction Have you ever woken up one morning hating your life and wishing you could be someone else? Perhaps you have imagined that who you are is all a big mistake, and you were really meant to be born into a family that was fabulously wealthy. Then you would have servants to do your every bidding. You would shop in the best stores. You would go to wonderful parties. You would spend your vacations at posh ski resorts or on sun-drenched beaches on secluded tropical islands. Heads would turn wherever you went. Who lives that kind of life these days? You could be a movie star, or course, but then you're only as good as your latest movie. What if you end up being cast in a real bomb? You could be a member of a rich family. That's better. Still, there's no guarantee family squabbles won't fritter away the fortune, and money does not always bring social standing. No, if you want it all -- wealth, power, and image -- nothing beats being born royal. Imagine you are a prince or a princess. Your home is an enormous stone castle with turrets and steep winding staircases. Each morning when you're woken up, you throw open a wardrobe full of designer outfits. There are soft woolens and crisp cottons, all in your favorite styles and colors. Servants pad quietly into your room to ask what you would like to do today. Over a leisurely breakfast, you decide whether to take the dogs for a brisk walk through your private woodlands or to call for your fishing rod and a picnic lunch so you can try your luck in the river that flows through the royal estate. If you have time, you could check out the royal farm to see how the pigs are fattening up, summon the royal Rolls Royce for a drive into town, or invite someone famous to tea. In the evenings there are dignitaries to meet, movie premieres to attend, and ribbons to cut. For special occasions you wear glittering jewels or medals and fur-trimmed velvet robes. Everywhere you go, people line up to meet you. Newspapers write about you. People admire you. You are born royal. There are no auditions to be born royal, no interviews, and no elections. You don't have to take any tests or possess any particular talents. All you have to do is show up in the right family at the right time. No doubt you're thinking that with castles to live in, closets full of clothes to choose from, and carriages to ride in for those extra-special occasions, royal life has got to be the most wonderful life in the world. But are you right? What is it really like to be born a prince or a princess these days? Let's take a closer look and see. Excerpted from Growing up Royal: Life in the Shadow of the British Throne by Jane Billinghurst All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

What Does It Mean to Be Royal?
In the Palace Nursery
Realizing You're Different
Behind Castle Doors
Royal Pursuits
Entering the Big Bad World
Mad About Royals
Being a Royal Teen
Is This for You?
The Royal Families of Europe
Author's Note