From the moment Ella meets and then marries Serge, the Grand Duke, the story sweeps us into the royal family of Russia where we meet the whole immediate and extended family. Their concerns, worries, joys, sorrows, lifestyles (some rather questionable) and secrets- everything they experienced is made known to the reader through an engaging dialog and deep reflections that help us understand and feel what it may have been like for these people back then. I really enjoyed getting to know these royals!
Almost like watching a reality show (a very elegant one though!) Even Queen Victoria made her appearance! As the very grand matriarch- let alone Queen of England, Grandmama had been the one who helped raise Ella when her mother, Alice, passed away. Throughout, Queen Victoria gave off the sense that she had been a far better granny than a mommy. Of course the whole story though has Ella as the focal point- and as such she was magnificent.
A true beauty physically and spiritually, Ella lived through a marriage that did not seem normal by any standard. She and Serge had a platonic relationship that Ella somehow turned into a love story of the heart...and although difficult to imagine that being possible, Serge and Ella claimed to love eachother very deeply.
Ella's altruistic nature, her kindness and saintly soul is clearly seen by the way she cares for the poor, the wounded and ultimately when she forgives her husband's murderer. The most moving and heart-wrenching moment is certainly when she is being buried alive...and there too she captures a moment of hope, light and faith.
Elegantly written with care in depicting each character true to his/ her likeness, Christina Croft has taken a slice of the past and brought it back to life. Most Beautiful Princess will become an all-time favourite for historical fiction and non-fiction lovers alike.
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GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!