'Royal Love Story' leads expected slew of books on Prince William's betrothal
LONDON - First came the royal engagement. Now, 10 days later, comes the first book.
"William and Kate: A Royal Love Story," by the Sun newspaper's royal reporter, James Clench, was published Friday in Britain, the first in a slew of new titles about the relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton that publishers hope will set cash registers chirping in the months before the couple's April 29 wedding at Westminster Abbey.
Published by Harper Collins and the Sun - both owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. - the book is scattered with photos by Arthur Edwards, the paper's long-serving royal photographer.
It is one of several books on the royal romance in the works. They include one by celebrity journalist Andrew Morton, whose 1992 book "Diana: Her True Story" rocked the royal family and punctured the image of Princess Diana and Prince Charles's fairy-tale romance with its details of bulimia, depression and infidelity.
"William and Kate: A Royal Love Story" - due to be published Dec. 17 in the United States - is a more reverent affair. It charts the romance between "the boy who would one day be king" and "the middle-class girl who had harbored a crush on him since her school days." The book traces "the greatest love story of the century" from the couple's first meeting at a university in Scotland. It claims that William's nickname for Kate was "Babykins," while she called him "Big Willie."
Publication comes just days after the Nov. 16 engagement announcement - and at the start of the lucrative Christmas book-buying season. Clench had written most of the text in advance and turned out the final 4,000 words in 48 hours.
"The engagement was announced on Tuesday, and the book was at the printer on Friday," said Anna Valentine, senior nonfiction editor at Harper Collins.
- Associated Press