Palace: My Life in the Royal Family Monaco by Baron Christian de Massy and Charles Higham is a 299-page hardcover published in 1986 by Athaneum, New York, and is a stated first edition. The dust jacket is price clipped and has light shelf wear and surface rubbing. Inside, a previous owner's name is written on the front paste down in ink. The rest of the book is clean and the pages are unmarked. The binding is strong. The condition id very good.
If the bare facts of Baron Christian de Massy's life told the whole story, they would be enough to make him the envy of millions. The only nephew of Prince Rainier of Monaco; special friend of his aunt, Princess Grace; page at her spectacular wedding; and childhood confidant of Princess Caroline, de Massy has lived a life that has all the ingredients of a fairy tale. But in this frank and revealing memoir--one that by virtue of his royal birth must be a first of its kind--he tells another story, one of a family rent by jealousy, suspicion, and duplicity. Palace is the tapestry of a family's intimate history, spun with equal parts gold and pain.
In it we glimpse firsthand what it is like to grow up as part of a royal household. We observe the pressure to conform; the hours and hours of drilling in manners and deportment; the years of being consigned to the care of nannies (in de Massy's case, Nanny Wanstall, the cousin of Winston Churchill) and private tutors; the isolation from other children; the aloofness and bewildering estrangements of the adults around him; and the unhappy years that led to a youthful rebellion--and, later, to an irrevocable breach with his uncle, the Prince.
In between, de Massy offers us a number of vivid and penetrating portraits--of the incomparable Grace, whom de Massy adored and who considered her nephew an "outsider" like herself; of Caroline, who married and divorced his friend, Philippe Junot; of Aristolle Onassis, mastermind of Monte Carlo's commercial renaissance and father of de Massy's boyhood playmate, Alexander; and, finally, of Rainier--mercurial and distant.