- Narrated by: Sarah Lyall
- Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
- Release date: 11-07-23
Unroyal By Sarah Lyall AudioBook summary
Wallis, Diana and Meghan: Three Wives, One Narrative
One was a married American socialite who embarked on a scandalous affair with the future king of England. Another was an aristocratic ingenue whose winsome charm captured the world’s imagination. And the third was a thirty-something actress whose outspokenness put her on a collision course with the British public. The marriages of Wallis Simpson, Diana Spencer, and Meghan Markle into the British royal family sparked a series of crises that at times seemed to threaten the future of the monarchy itself. In Unroyal, veteran New York Times reporter and former London correspondent Sarah Lyall revisits how each royal wife threatened the stability of—and was ultimately rejected by—this most ancient and opaque of institutions.
Using archival material and interviews with experts like the bestselling author Tina Brown, the royal biographer Andrew Morton, and the social commentator and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, Lyall’s audio documentary examines three pivotal TV interviews in which each woman pushed up against the official royal narrative: Wallis in 1970, Diana in 1995, and Meghan in 2021. Lyall describes the differences and highlights the similarities between the women at these three flexion points to examine the endless codependent dance between the monarchy, the public, and the news media and to shed fresh light on the fraught intersection of power, fame, and family politics in an institution torn between tradition and modernization.
Narrated by the author against a beguiling soundscape of contemporaneous news footage and a spectral score, Unroyal blends the probing inquisition of You’re Wrong About with the historical intrigue of The Crown, serving both neophytes and obsessives a delectable royal feast for the ears.