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FFrom the author of The Governess, the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller about Elizabeth II's childhood teacher, comes a novel about the unknown story of the world's most famous woman.

The Royal Wedding of 1981 was an era-defining occasion. The whole world watched the young Diana Spencer emerge from her carriage onto the steps of St Paul's. But how exactly had she got there? What strange sequence of events brought this shy teenager to the threshold of becoming a global icon?

In her highly original and perceptive take, historical novelist Wendy Holden fictionalises Diana's little-known backstory. From Norfolk childhood, through schooldays and Sloane days, to the fateful meeting with Charles. From Althorp House to Buckingham Palace, from Britannia to Balmoral, she traces the places, events and most of all the people whose combined interests and influence brought the princess to St Paul's.

Central to it all is Diana herself. Growing up amid the fallout of her parents’ bitter divorce, she takes refuge in romantic novels and dreams of being rescued by a handsome prince. Meanwhile, the Royal Family are on the lookout. Prince Charles in no rush to wed but must marry for the future of the Crown. The right girl needs to be found, and fast. She must be young, aristocratic and free of past liaisons. The teenage Diana Spencer is just about the only candidate. Her desperation to be loved dovetails with royal desperation for a bride. But the route to the altar is full of hidden obstacles and people with their own agendas. When she steps from the golden carriage on her wedding day, has Diana’s romantic dream come true? Or is it already over?

“I am in awe of Wendy Holden” HEATHER MORRIS
“Delves beneath the glamour and public persona. Fascinating” WOMAN
“Scurrilous, funny, sharp, shot through with pathos” SAGA, Pick of the Month
“Fictionalises Diana's life in riveting and tender detail” PLATINUM
“Perfect for fans of The Crown” BELLA
“A compelling read” PRIMA

15 August | Paperback | Mountain Leopard Press | £9.99

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Reader Praise

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‘The most moving, heart-breaking royal story I have ever read. I had tears in my eyes and lumps in my throat continuously…this wonderful, wonderful novel brought Diana’s life into focus with such clarity, I felt I knew her as a friend.’
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‘Fascinating, shocking and excellently written. *****’
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‘Had me gripped from beginning to end…one of my favourite reads of this year. Perfection‘ *****
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‘Holden paints a dreamy portrait of Princess Diana’s coming-of-age in this incredibly well-researched historical fiction’
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‘A compelling behind-the-scenes look at Diana before Charles. Highly recommended.’
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‘Just when I thought I could not possibly adore or learn more about Diana, this book comes along. *****’
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