Danielle Steel’s ‘H.R.H.’ Is A Modern Day Fairy Tale [REVIEW]

Vaduz Castle

Behind the high walls of Vaduz Castle lives a princess who dreams of living life on her own terms. (Photo by Justin LaBerge, Flickr)

A father devoted to his country. A young woman with a thirst for freedom. The handsome stranger who dares her to follow her dream. When long held tradition faces off with new love, who will win? Find out in Danielle Steel’s H.R.H. 

Danielle Steel's H.R.H.

Delacorte Press

Princess Christianna and her brother Friedrich are the only two children of the Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. To the outside world, it may seem like these young royals have it all. But that’s only partly true. While Freddy is gallivanting around the world sowing his oats and constantly getting into all sorts of trouble, Christianna is expected to hold down the fort and be the respectable one in the family.

Having just returned home from four years at UC Berkeley where she experienced her very first taste of freedom, however, is a challenge, and one she really doesn’t want. Although she still keeps in touch with her classmates via email, they will never really understand her life, and so her only constant companion since returning to Europe is her dog, Charles. Now she spends her days cutting ribbons for new hospitals and shaking hands with her father’s subjects with a smile plastered on her face, and the monotony of it all is about to drive her mad. She longs to do something that actually matters.

When a terrorist attack in Russia claims hundreds of lives, she knows she has to do something, whether her father wants her to or not. At 24, she’s no child any longer, and so she flies to the scene under a cloak of secrecy with her two bodyguards in tow, Max and Sam. As she helps grieving, wounded parents and children all night alongside the Red Cross, something blossoms inside her that she can’t deny. She simply has to help others in a larger way than she can at home.

Much to her father’s chagrin, soon she, Max, and Sam are working in East Africa doing international relief work, again with the Red Cross, offering assistance to people with AIDS, malaria and other illnesses. Yet only the camp leader knows who she truly is. And as the three of them fall in love with the land and its people, they also befriend their fellow volunteers, including a midwife named Fiona and a handsome young doctor from Harvard named Parker Williams. Together, they work tirelessly every day, until one day something happens, and a special bond develops between Christianna and Parker that they are powerless to resist. But when violence breaks out in the vicinity, suddenly everything they’ve worked for is threatened, and the princess, knowing that duty and honor come at a high price, must make a decision that will change the trajectory of their lives forever.

Originally published in 2006, H.R.H. is classic Danielle Steel. Even though the novel is set in exotic locales and populated with charming people leading glittering lives, she nevertheless shows us her characters’ humanity, and proves that we truly are all the same beneath the wealth and gemstones. Here we meet a woman who is fiercely independent, even though she was never groomed to be that way by her father. In many ways, reading this, I was reminded of my wife when I first met her, because even though she grew up with little means, she always seemed to know what she wanted, and went after it. And that’s what endeared me to Christianna right away, and why I’m sure readers will respond to her in similar fashion.

This is a modern day fairy tale that reminds us to never give up hope, to understand what is truly worthwhile, and to fight for it no matter what. But it is also a tale that proves that even in the darkest moments of our lives, if we live with grace and heart, we will ultimately prevail and dreams can come true, even if we cannot always see the way out. If you missed H.R.H. when it first released, pick up a copy now. It is still relevant today, perhaps even more so, and is a story fueled by big dreams, loads of empathy, and a love that endures.

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Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel
(Photo by Brigitte Lacombe)


Danielle Steel has sold 650 million copies of her books internationally, and every one of her books is a bestseller. She is published in 69 countries and 43 languages.

Steel’s latest novel is Blessing in Disguise. Other recent bestsellers include Silent NightTurning PointBeauchamp HallIn His Father’s FootstepsThe Good Fight, and The Cast, all of which have leapt to the top of the New York Timesbestseller list, the Wall Street Journal list, and comparable best seller lists around the world.

Steel has written more than 172 books, 148 of which are novels; 18 children’s books, including Pretty Minnie in Hollywood and Pretty Minnie in Paris about her white long-hair teacup Chihuahua; four works of nonfiction, including His Bright Light: The Story of Nick TrainaA Gift of Hope: Helping the Homeless, and Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love; a book of poetry; and she has written the lyrics for a music album.

She also founded and runs two foundations, one named in honor of her late son, The Nick Traina Foundation, which finances organizations involved in mental illness, child abuse, and suicide prevention. The second foundation was established to assist the homeless. In 2002 Steel was decorated by the French government as an “Officier” of the distinguished Order of Arts and Letters and in 2014 she was decorated as a Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of the Legion d’Honneur in Paris. She lives in Paris and San Francisco and is the mother of nine children.

For more information about Danielle and her books, visit her home on the Web at DanielleSteel.com and her blog at DanielleSteel.net. Readers may also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

By Danielle Steel
323 pp. Delacorte Press. $27.

Purchase H.R.H. at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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