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The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe (Audiobook)

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When Angela Kelly and The Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace.Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history When Angela Kelly and The Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace.Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen.In The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen has personally given Angela her blessing to share their extraordinary bond with the world. Whether it’s preparing for a formal occasion or brightening Her Majesty’s day with a playful joke, Angela’s priority is to serve and support. Sharing never-before-seen photographs – many from Angela’s own private collection – and charming anecdotes of their time spent together, this revealing book provides memorable insights into what it’s like to work closely with The Queen, to curate her wardrobe and to discover a true and lasting connection along the way.‘The book documents the unique working relationship between Her Majesty The Queen and the woman who has been her Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser for more than two decades: Angela Kelly. It gives a rare insight into the demands of the job of supporting the Monarch, and we gain privileged insight into a successful working relationship, characterised by humour, creativity, hard work, and a mutual commitment to service and duty. Angela is a talented and inspiring woman, who has captured the highlights of her long career with The Queen for us all to share.’ – Samantha Cohen, Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen (2011–2018)


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When Angela Kelly and The Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace.Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history When Angela Kelly and The Queen are together, laughter echoes through the corridors of Buckingham Palace.Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen.In The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen has personally given Angela her blessing to share their extraordinary bond with the world. Whether it’s preparing for a formal occasion or brightening Her Majesty’s day with a playful joke, Angela’s priority is to serve and support. Sharing never-before-seen photographs – many from Angela’s own private collection – and charming anecdotes of their time spent together, this revealing book provides memorable insights into what it’s like to work closely with The Queen, to curate her wardrobe and to discover a true and lasting connection along the way.‘The book documents the unique working relationship between Her Majesty The Queen and the woman who has been her Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser for more than two decades: Angela Kelly. It gives a rare insight into the demands of the job of supporting the Monarch, and we gain privileged insight into a successful working relationship, characterised by humour, creativity, hard work, and a mutual commitment to service and duty. Angela is a talented and inspiring woman, who has captured the highlights of her long career with The Queen for us all to share.’ – Samantha Cohen, Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen (2011–2018)

30 review for The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe (Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra X has the munchies

    Why was the book written? The author had previously written Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe and this is more of the same. The title hints that there will be revelations about the Queen as only someone who has seen her in her bra and knickers would know. But the revelations are few and far between and not really pleasant to read. If the Queen says something nice or amusing, it is elevated as if it was extraordinary but if anyone else said it, no one would bother mentioning it. I'm not bi Why was the book written? The author had previously written Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe and this is more of the same. The title hints that there will be revelations about the Queen as only someone who has seen her in her bra and knickers would know. But the revelations are few and far between and not really pleasant to read. If the Queen says something nice or amusing, it is elevated as if it was extraordinary but if anyone else said it, no one would bother mentioning it. I'm not big on that kind of people-worship. There are a lot of fillers inserted as chapters, by other staff, by photographers, by designers on how wonderful Angela Kelly is, what a joy to work for, such a privilege to be invited to work for the Queen. Major toadying. I wouldn't say it was boasting as I think these were probably inserted by an editor to pad out this insubstantial book. Angela Kelly is no writer, there is no depth, no insight, no glimpses from the 'other side of the coin' of how the Queen "really" is. Since Angela makes a point of saying right at the beginning of how she is absolutely loyal to the official secrets act and would never breech confidentiality in even the smallest way all there is left to write about is the dresses. So that's what she writes about, since she did that already in another book, I ask myself, why was this book written? It's not unenjoyable or enjoyable, you can skim long passages, it's somewhere between boring and a perfect example of 'meh'. 2.5 stars, at best. ___________________ Notes on Reading I once read that the Queen said "I am an ordinary person with an extraordinary job". And I believed it, but she's not. She's not like us at all. When Prince William, who is her grandson and second in line to the throne, got married and the invites went out the first thing all the women did was concentrate on getting the right outfit. I'm sure that Carole Middleton, mother of the bride, had the outfit, jewellery and accessories all sorted out months before. But the Queen only decided three weeks before that she'd like to wear something in yellow. Who does that? She not only lives in a different world, she doesn't see the world the way we do. But I ask myself is it the position or is the money? I recently had a short relationship, 3-4 months, with a billionaire racing car driver. He did odd time-related things too. When we got to Daytona for the PCA OktoberFast, the practices were next day (these determine pole position on the grid) and he decided he wanted a spare engine 'just in case'. So he got an engine air-freighted in overnight. Just like that. Who does that? This book is a lot like the cream sprayed on your dessert, on your key lime pie or chocolate layer cake, in restaurants: it evaporates really fast and leaves a puddle of something sweet and insubstantial on the pudding. It might as well not have been there it's so evanescent, as is this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    You know how when you had to write a paper in school and there was a minimum length requirement so you just kept repeating and rewording the same thoughts over and over? That is this book. Kelly seems like a truly sweet lady (edited: I take this back post-Finding Freedom). But as she still works for the Queen, the “revelations” are not a thrill. This is stodgy from start to finish.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    An insightful look into the Queen through her dresser and wardrobe. The planning, design and accessorising of the Queen's extensive wardrobe. It conveys the impression that Kelly does it all. I think not! An insightful look into the Queen through her dresser and wardrobe. The planning, design and accessorising of the Queen's extensive wardrobe. It conveys the impression that Kelly does it all. I think not!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liz Smith

    Pleasant I can't quite put my finger on it. Angela comes across as a very competent dresser to HM but I didn't like the inclusion of so many personal endorsements from family and co-workers. It all felt a little too self glorifying. Pleasant I can't quite put my finger on it. Angela comes across as a very competent dresser to HM but I didn't like the inclusion of so many personal endorsements from family and co-workers. It all felt a little too self glorifying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    There was much that was fascinating but so sycophantic and lots of exclamation points.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Barbour

    Some interesting details, but I felt there was way too much patting herself on the back by the author. I don’t understand why letters were included in this book that praised the author. As a result, I skipped these parts and found the book to be disappointing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kellie Wilson

    Amusing and lighthearted Such a lovely account of her majesty the Queen. Angela Kelly writes descreetly and with joy for a job she clearly love

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    This book does not work well as a Kindle read. It contains lots of photographs of The Queen, her clothes and jewellery but it is impossible to appreciate the details on a small black and white screen. As an autobiography it is an insubstantial 'puff'. There is little of Angela Kelly's life before she joined the royal household apart from a short piece about her upbringing in Liverpool. It appears that the whole point of the book is to state repeatedly how wonderful it is to work for The Queen. it This book does not work well as a Kindle read. It contains lots of photographs of The Queen, her clothes and jewellery but it is impossible to appreciate the details on a small black and white screen. As an autobiography it is an insubstantial 'puff'. There is little of Angela Kelly's life before she joined the royal household apart from a short piece about her upbringing in Liverpool. It appears that the whole point of the book is to state repeatedly how wonderful it is to work for The Queen. it read more like a hagiography than an autobiography. Having said that, I only spent 99p on it and so it was worth the money and I did learn a few fascinating details about life in the royal palaces.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    A bit disappointing. It's very nicely produced with some lovely pictures of the clothes. The interesting bits for me are the details of how it all works (with a question or two unanswered - does the Queen (or The Queen) not keep any clothes in her different houses or does it all have to be packed for travel with every move?), the research before overseas trips to make sure the colours are appropriate and not likely to cause offence, and to look for extra features which might please the host coun A bit disappointing. It's very nicely produced with some lovely pictures of the clothes. The interesting bits for me are the details of how it all works (with a question or two unanswered - does the Queen (or The Queen) not keep any clothes in her different houses or does it all have to be packed for travel with every move?), the research before overseas trips to make sure the colours are appropriate and not likely to cause offence, and to look for extra features which might please the host country, and of course the clothes. I am quite intrigued by the state dresses but there is not much about them or about evening gowns, so I am guessing that Angela Kelly mainly does the day wear and cocktail dresses. Less good things: it is quite obsequious but you would expect that. Angela Kelly comes across as a bit defensive (she doesn't forget a slight) as well as boastful. She has a fantastic job and it's fair enough to be proud of what she has done, and I don't think she needs to be chippy about her position - but then again we can't tell just how much unpleasantness she might have put up with in the early days, when the Royal Household was maybe not too welcoming (seriously, her being divorced was an issue?) It's not very well written and there are too many puff pieces by family and friends, perhaps to pad it out a bit. There's one thing (typo?) which should not have got past the editor - Queen Anne wasn't doing anything in 1871!

  10. 4 out of 5

    KC

    This book was interesting but just okay. Full of great photos and Angela Kelly is certainly talented. It’s just a world that most of us cannot grasp. The history, power, wealth. A bit overwhelming from a commoners POV. (The queen is a cutie tho)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Harris

    A fascinating glimpse of life behind the scenes in the Queen's household. As the Queen's Personal Assistant and senior dresser, Angela Kelly describes her numerous duties including consulting with Queen about suitable fashions for every occasion, caring for delicate fabrics and conducting advance visits to royal tour itineraries to plan the Queen's wardrobe. Kelly also describes the more unique aspects of her role including ironing on the royal train (following the rhythm of the train "like surf A fascinating glimpse of life behind the scenes in the Queen's household. As the Queen's Personal Assistant and senior dresser, Angela Kelly describes her numerous duties including consulting with Queen about suitable fashions for every occasion, caring for delicate fabrics and conducting advance visits to royal tour itineraries to plan the Queen's wardrobe. Kelly also describes the more unique aspects of her role including ironing on the royal train (following the rhythm of the train "like surfing") and letting the bookies know when to close the betting on the colour of the Queen's hat at Royal Ascot. There is an extensive section devoted to the Queen's fashions from the 2010 Canadian tour including her dress for the official dinner in Toronto, which included a shimmering crystal maple leaf design, and the beadwork created by the Mi'kmaq First Nation to adorn another dress from the royal tour. The author also worked closely with a sculptor in Saskatchewan to develop an equestrian sculpture and received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. I would have been interested to read more in the book about the history of the position of the Queen's dresser over the course of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. Kelly notes that previous dressers did not keep records concerning the provenance of materials in the Queen's wardrobe and I would liked to learn more about the challenges Kelly faced in organizing the Queen's fashions when she began her role. An engaging read that gives a sense of what it is like to travel with the Queen and work in the royal household. The audiobook is read by the author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fiction Addition Angela

    A Lovely account from Angela Kelly - The Queens PA and official dresser leads us into a glimpse of the household of our current Queen Elizabeth. As the senior dresser Angela Kelly describes her duties with the queen on a daily basis creating suitable fashions for all occasions. Full of beautiful photographs set in a world which we only know a fraction of. Angela is obviously a very important person in the Queens life and is involved in the fabric selection, the dress making, the alterations, hat A Lovely account from Angela Kelly - The Queens PA and official dresser leads us into a glimpse of the household of our current Queen Elizabeth. As the senior dresser Angela Kelly describes her duties with the queen on a daily basis creating suitable fashions for all occasions. Full of beautiful photographs set in a world which we only know a fraction of. Angela is obviously a very important person in the Queens life and is involved in the fabric selection, the dress making, the alterations, hat design you name it. Even ironing on the Royal train. A discreet memoir that shows she has a deep joy of the job she has done for two decades and clearly loves.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I wish the sections had been a little longer, but really enjoyable to read and great pictures.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I love all things about the British monarchy and had read Angels Kelly’s first book about dressing the queen. This go round, she delves deeper into the queen’s life and engagements. Loved it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This is the most boring book I have ever read. I dont know what I expected. I wasnt looking for a salacious tell-all. It needed more...anything. pictures? Sewing diagrams? Design drawings? Schedule replicas? It is the USA Today of books, where the headlines are completely sanitized and the articles somehow manage to take up space while offering not one iota more information or perspective than the headline. "Queen's dresser writes book". This is the most boring book I have ever read. I dont know what I expected. I wasnt looking for a salacious tell-all. It needed more...anything. pictures? Sewing diagrams? Design drawings? Schedule replicas? It is the USA Today of books, where the headlines are completely sanitized and the articles somehow manage to take up space while offering not one iota more information or perspective than the headline. "Queen's dresser writes book".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gail Fellus

    Angela Kelly’s book would have been an interesting short story. Her writing is poor and repetitive. By the book’s end it is clear that she thinks she is the best dresser, the best boss and the best friend to the Queen EVER.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie Jones

    Delightful, interesting, very proper. This is the story of Angela Kelly who worked as Queen Elizabeth's chief dresser for nearly 3 decades. She is very respectful of her previous employer and monarch but she still offers glimpses of the life inside Buckingham Palace that are fun. There are little things I'd never considered, like the fact that the Queen has someone break in all her new shoes so they are comfortable for her to wear, and the fact that she has rooms dedicated to housing, cataloguin Delightful, interesting, very proper. This is the story of Angela Kelly who worked as Queen Elizabeth's chief dresser for nearly 3 decades. She is very respectful of her previous employer and monarch but she still offers glimpses of the life inside Buckingham Palace that are fun. There are little things I'd never considered, like the fact that the Queen has someone break in all her new shoes so they are comfortable for her to wear, and the fact that she has rooms dedicated to housing, cataloguing, and organizing her clothes. There are 6 people on staff dedicated exclusively to her wardrobe. There are also a fair number of stories about wardrobe drama that make me smile. I think this is a book that my Grandma Kathy and Grandma Joanie would have adored, and that made me like it all the more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Nelson

    Interesting. Now I know how Process Beatrix's wedding dress was altered. Interesting. Now I know how Process Beatrix's wedding dress was altered.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gina *loves sunshine*

    I found this book to be super interesting!!!!!! The author tells the story of her time buying, designing and making the Queen's wardrobe. It was fascinating and held my attention throughout...not dishy at all! The book was just as private and stately as the Queen! Angela is obviously an important person in the Queen's life just in general! If you are a fan of Downton Abbey or any of the European time period shows and love to see what they are wearing - then you will appreciate how much effort go I found this book to be super interesting!!!!!! The author tells the story of her time buying, designing and making the Queen's wardrobe. It was fascinating and held my attention throughout...not dishy at all! The book was just as private and stately as the Queen! Angela is obviously an important person in the Queen's life just in general! If you are a fan of Downton Abbey or any of the European time period shows and love to see what they are wearing - then you will appreciate how much effort goes into dressing for occasions. This book was so vivid with description....about her wardrobe and anything related to it. I never realized how much thought goes into her clothes. For every outing, event, etc so much thought gets put in to how she should look, elegant or not flashy, so many ways to present her!! Also how important her wardrobe and the crown are in terms of traveling with it and pieces that are stored in museums, etc. I listened to the audiobook(through hoopla) which was narrated by the author and was fantastically done!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Goddard

    Angela Kelly truly has a wonderful gift for style, and the best part about this little book is how well it conveys her love for beautiful fabrics, well-tailored garments and clothing that is both stylish and comfortable. She also clearly has a deep respect and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II, which shows as well. Kelly balances the Queen’s down-to-earth unfussiness and frugality with the need to keep Her Majesty looking fashionable — there are some sweet stories about getting the tax back on s Angela Kelly truly has a wonderful gift for style, and the best part about this little book is how well it conveys her love for beautiful fabrics, well-tailored garments and clothing that is both stylish and comfortable. She also clearly has a deep respect and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II, which shows as well. Kelly balances the Queen’s down-to-earth unfussiness and frugality with the need to keep Her Majesty looking fashionable — there are some sweet stories about getting the tax back on some fabric purchases overseas and so on. One of my favorites is when Kelly told her Majesty that a certain fabric was all wrong, to the shock of other staffers, only to be backed up by Prince Phillip, who saw the fabric and jokingly asked if they were going to make a sofa cover out of it. There’s a challenge in writing a book like this, when your subject is a celebrity like the Queen. I understand and respect the Queen’s desire for privacy, given the intense spotlight she is under, and all that the tabloids write. And I respect Kelly for respecting that privacy. But it poses a big challenge for Kelly too — can she serve both the reader and the Queen? Kelly does the best she can, revealing mostly the surface side of her famous boss. There are interesting stories about how the staff packs the Queen’s wardrobe and how colors are chosen for certain events. But overall, it leaves the book feeling only as satisfying as I might imagine it feels to say hello to the Queen at a Garden Party. Sure, it’s wonderful to say you have seen her in a way most people never do. But you haven’t really gotten to know her. In the same way, the book shows the Queen mostly in a one-dimensional way, as a loving way, as a kind, considerate, endlessly thoughtful woman with a delightful sense of humor. While all of that seems true, it also makes her appear flat and not quite human. Kelly herself includes lots of accolades to herself from others who have worked with her or know her, including her own grandchildren, which is both unnecessary to the reader and self-aggrandizing. It’s an enjoyable, readable book and does a nice job capturing Kelly’s personality and love for her work. But for those looking for some deeper insight into the Queen’s personality or what life is really like behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, this book firmly shuts the door.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ

    If you love the Queen than you'll enjoy this peek inside her world. Note: Angela Kelly had the Queen's permission to write this book. If you love the Queen than you'll enjoy this peek inside her world. Note: Angela Kelly had the Queen's permission to write this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book is a highly enjoyable read. To my knowledge, this is the first book sanctioned by the Queen written by a staff member; a current staff member at that. Angela describes the Queen in a personal light without revealing anything too personal and nothing scandalous. Queen Elizabeth is interested in the details of every aspect of her job and what is reflected to the world. I loved the stories of local tribes, people and markets from her visits supply her wardrobe. That QEII enjoys a good barg This book is a highly enjoyable read. To my knowledge, this is the first book sanctioned by the Queen written by a staff member; a current staff member at that. Angela describes the Queen in a personal light without revealing anything too personal and nothing scandalous. Queen Elizabeth is interested in the details of every aspect of her job and what is reflected to the world. I loved the stories of local tribes, people and markets from her visits supply her wardrobe. That QEII enjoys a good bargain and is known to use fabric she may have given 30 plus years ago today. QEII is also a practical joker who takes it as well as she gives it. Prince Phillip is a person you can rely on when you need an honest opinion (when asked about a questionable fabric choice he responded with "are we reupholstering the couch?" Angela clearly loves QEII and by extension her job. Fun facts: Angela's assistant's is from Maine. For Halloween this assistant, Jackie, dressed up as Queen Victoria for the staff fancy dress party. QEII told her everyone that her great-great-great grandmother dressed her. First impression matter. Angela met QEII while working at the Berlin embassy. She refused to tell the Queen who was coming next since she had signed a confidentially agreement. QEII had a dream of a photo with her hands in her pockets

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Maddox

    More like a 4.5!! There were a few slower parts to it! But man, what a book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sali Coja

    I guess I had my hopes up too high for this book. Not to take credit away from Ms. Kelly’s duties to the queen but the book had a lot of nods to herself. I found Her description of some of the people mentioned to be a bit belittling. You are the Queen’s dresser, dear. Not the prime minister.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Gah. I was so disappointed in this book. The pictures are great, but, I could not get into the writing. I don't know if I'm just not British enough, but I really found the writing to be terrible - full of aggrandizement and (as Mark Darcy calls it in Bridget Jones' Diary) special pleading. Gah. I was so disappointed in this book. The pictures are great, but, I could not get into the writing. I don't know if I'm just not British enough, but I really found the writing to be terrible - full of aggrandizement and (as Mark Darcy calls it in Bridget Jones' Diary) special pleading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Malene Clementsen

    3.5 stars! This book probably isn’t for everybody (for most people, let’s be real) 😅 nevertheless, I enjoyed it - even though it could be a bit boring and Kelly’s language a bit repetitive, I enjoyed it because it like geeking out on these sort of things and I loved the anecdotes about the Queen!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Yasmine

    Some beautiful photos and I liked learning how these outfits get pulled together. But at some point, it became repetitive. Also it was a little weird that the author included all these testimonials about how awesome she is.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ozana Ozzy

    Interesting, quick read about Queen Elizabeth, good for passing time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    utterly enjoyable - it is fun to see what a wicked wit the Queen has. Every member of my family wants to read this and I PAID RETAIL FOR A HARDCOVER BOOK. ME!!!!!! read it!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra L. Manna

    What an absolutely delightful read! I feel like I got a unique and personal insight into who Her Majesty The Queen is as a person. Miss Kelly’s stories about working for The Queen and discussing her job was incredible. If I lived in the United Kingdom, I would absolutely do whatever I could to work for Her Majesty. What a fun and inspiring job! Rate Procedure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommend to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could What an absolutely delightful read! I feel like I got a unique and personal insight into who Her Majesty The Queen is as a person. Miss Kelly’s stories about working for The Queen and discussing her job was incredible. If I lived in the United Kingdom, I would absolutely do whatever I could to work for Her Majesty. What a fun and inspiring job! Rate Procedure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommend to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could not put it down, would recommend to a friend, but do not need to read again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Probably a good book that I enjoyed but there was something about it I did not love (e.g. The writing style, the POV, etc.). I would only recommend to a friend if it was their "type" of book. ⭐️⭐️ - A book I have below average feelings for and it would not come with a recommendation from me but I would mention it in conversation if related to the book topic at issue. ⭐️ - I finished the book but I hated every second of it.

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