by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer
Rebecca Dean in true Philippa Gregory style tells the story of a young prince Edward VIII living a strict early life due to his father the then ruler, King George V, and the young Edward wanted a more interesting life for himself. His life turns around for th4e better when he meets the infamously stunning Houghton sisters, one of which, Lily becomes his favourite; courting her at all the special events they throw. He falls in love with her and discovers for once he feels he is starting to live a little as he had hoped.
His father does not like what his son is becoming though, and young Edward hates the fact he cannot chose her as his wife, as soon he might become king if a series of events happen due to the start of World War 1.
David, Lily's grandfather mentions a word for what Edward is; Weltschmerz, the sadness of comparing with the state of life with the ideal state at which it should be as Edward is in effect living in a prison as a prince, both as a heir to a grand throne in a confined place, plus his father's dislike of his choice of woman, and his actually having a life for himself with her. Lily can't truly understand what he is going through as hers is a life with no responsibilities, and even though she can lighten his mood when she is around him, ultimately, his father can control what he does, and who he sees.
In The Golden Prince, Lily Houghton is the only woman who can save him from a dull life within the palace obeying his father's every command. With her around he is his own man around his own circle of friends, without constraints. It is a period piece that is interesting only in the use of historical facts within the story rather than the romance angle itself.