News & Events
Chaos Reigns: Read Leslie’s FOX News quotes and insights in the latest royal scandal. Read article.
Another audio dream came true this year! After a decade I returned to the narration booth (this time for Tantor Audio), to perform the two remaining titles in my Marie Antoinette historical fiction trilogy, as Juliet Grey, the pen name under which I wrote them. I narrated the first novel in the series, BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE, for Random House Audio in 2011 when the novel was published. My quest to bring the remainder of the series, DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW; and CONFESSIONS OF MARIE ANTOINETTE, to audio book has now been fulfilled. Revisiting these titles after such a hiatus; and performing the story of the last years of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI was a visceral and powerful experience. Release dates for the two titles are April 11, and April 18, respectively, through Tantor, Audible, and each title’s respective Amazon page.
As we bid a tearful farewell to Elizabeth II on September 8, I was in the midst of a months-long audio book gig, stepping into Blackstone Publishing’s NYC studios (yes, folks, I moved back home in March!) to narrate my 5-book nonfiction “royal” series (now part of Penguin/Random House’s Berkley imprint) that I’d written between 2007-14. INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES, ROYAL PAINS, ROYAL ROMANCES, and NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES were released in audio book (available at the Blackstone Audio site, Audible,and through the audio book link on each title’s respective Amazon page) in 2022. ROYAL PAINS will be released in audio on March 21, 2023.
In April, after the passing of HRH Prince Philip at the age of 99 marked the end of an era, I shared a personal anecdote with Fox News Online about my magical night with the duke in 2005.
In March, London came calling the minute the Sussexes’ blockbuster interview with Oprah ended in the States. The radio arm of the Times to appear on their pre-dawn programme to discuss the biggest bombshells dropped during the couple’s 90-minute sit-down.
I’d already spoken with Fox News Online about the BRF’s double standard in its harsh treatment of Harry & Meghan vs. the perennial kid glove approach to genuinely problematic family members such as Prince Andrew’s dicey friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Post-mortem interviews continued. The Associated Press interviewed me for a half-hour, with this edited snippet [click from the Google search to the Olean Times Herald] making the media rounds, social and general:
And Brooke Baldwin from CNN requested my take on Meghan’s revelations as well:
Back in July 2020, owing to my authorship of a chapter on Grace’s marriage to Prince Rainier in my nonfiction title Notorious Royal Marriages, I appeared on Grace of Monaco: Hollywood Princess, ITN’s first Grace Kelly documentary for Britain’s Channel 5; and in March 2021, I reprised my role (this time as both author and professional actress) to provide commentary for a second documentary, titled Grace Kelly: the Hollywood Years. Americans can see these documentaries on Youtube.
On May 6, 2020, the littlest Sussex, Archie Harrison, celebrated his first birthday. While we royal watchers are wishing many happy returns to the adorable tot, Fox News asked me what the benefits (and differences) of spending his early years in his mum’s Stateside hometown will mean for Archie. Unfortunately, there are still so many Meghan-haters out there (honestly, she never stole your lunch money–what is it with you people?!) that they just can’t even seem to leave her mothering skills alone, even on Mother’s Day!
I also spoke out on whether Harry and William had been connecting during lockdown, mending fences, especially now that the Covid virus had touched their own family, and they remain a continent and an ocean apart?
Rumor has it that Meghan may restart her pre-Harry lifestyle blog The Tig, now that she’s back on her home turf. Stephanie Nolasco asked me for my take on that assumption here. But as they celebrate their second anniversary (May 19, 2020) in Los Angeles, it’s likely that as life begins to return to a “new normal,” post-Covid, the Sussexes are more likely to do things together, as a team.
The Sussexes “step back from their duties as senior royals:
On January 9, just as we were getting ready to raise a toast to the Duchess of Cambridge (see my interview with Stephanie Nolasco at Fox.com about Catherine’s legacy so far and what we may expect in the future from Her Grace), her in-laws the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan) dropped a bombshell from Frogmore about their decision to “step back” from some of their royal duties and divide their time between the UK and North America.
My inbox flooded with requests from Fox News.com. from Agence-France Presse , from Slate.com and even from Sputnik in Russia, which can apparently see my house. Stephanie over at Fox.com wanted to know whether I believed this news really was a bombshell after all; and also whether a potential move to North America (although, to be clear, the Sussexes’ official statement did not specify whether “North America” meant the USA (Meghan is a native Californian); or Canada, which IS a Commonwealth country) was a harbinger of whether a reconciliation with the Markle side of her family was in the cards. Fox TV in NYC also interviewed me from Denver to discuss the racist bias against Meghan being a major factor in the Sussexes’ desire to step back from the firing squad of a bigoted press corps; and I shared my views on Fox.com on the couple’s being bullied out of the royal family by Harry’s elders, as well as different rules for different royals when it comes to being permitted to “capitalize” (or not!) on one’s title. On January 22 (1/21 in the States), I was featured on The Morning Show in Australia discussing Piers Morgan’s misogyny and why the term “Megxit” perpetuates a false narrative.
I’ve also mused as to what Harry and Meghan’s next steps might be. Can William and Harry reconcile and transcend the wounded feelings (Memo to Wills: no one likes to be told constantly that they are choosing the wrong woman or moving too quickly toward the altar).
On January 13, 2020, Harry was summoned to a summit at Sandringham with his grandmother, the Queen; brother William; and Prince Charles to discuss the family fallout from the Sussexes’ declaration of [partial] independence from The Firm. I wish to bloody hell that the editors who flak for the Murdoch-controlled/owned press on both sides of the pond would stop referring to this latest Windsor knot as “Megxit” because once again, it makes the biracial American who married for love into the royal family look like the responsible party for all of this hullabaloo — which is partly the reason why Meghan and Harry are looking to leave much of that toxicity behind. One wants to bop some crowned heads against the Axminster and say “You still aren’t getting it, are you?”
2019 ended with a bang of the best sort! I was incredibly excited when Michelle Ruiz at Vogue.com named AMERICAN PRINCESSS: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as one of her top 10 recommendations for royalty fans who can’t get enough of the Netflix series THE CROWN! It was a fantastic way to cap off 2019 (let alone the decade!). Read Michelle’s article here:
My audio book narration:
Some of you already know that I also enjoy a career as an audio book narrator!
Listen here to a sample of my award-winning narration for Maryka Biaggio’s historical fiction debut. PARLOR GAMES, about May Dugas, the real-life 19th-c. American con artist dubbed by the Pinkerton Agency “the most dangerous woman in the world.” Winner of an AudioFile Earphones award, the industry standard of excellence for audio book narration. AudioFile’s review states “Leslie Carroll flawlessly captures May’s charm, as well as her devil-may-care attitude. May is a compelling character, and Carroll makes her all the more so, while also doing a wonderful job of giving unique voices to the other characters—men and women alike. This story of Gilded Age schemes is delightfully fun, and Carroll’s narration is the perfect complement.”
I narrated Carrie Bebris’s sixth “Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery,” THE DECEPTION AT LYME (or The Perils of Persuasion) using a range of English accents for a gamut of male and female characters of all social stripes to bring Jane Austen’s beloved characters (and some of Ms. Bebris’s own creations) to vivid life, not only in the dialogue, but in the novel’s entire narrative. Please listen to the recording here. AudioFile Magazine praised my narration with “Leslie Carroll assumes the accent of the British gentry, drawing clear distinctions between characters who run the gamut from the friendly Darcys to the pretentious Elliots. Familiarity with Austen’s novels is not necessary to enjoy this series, although some listeners may be charmed enough to visit the original works.”
And under my historical fiction pen name Juliet Grey I recorded BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE, the first novel in my trilogy on the life of France’s most notorious and glamorous queen. I invite you to listen to a sample here.
As Juliet Grey I write about Gliding in Marie Antoinette’s footsteps for Peeking Between the Pages. Read Guest Post
Check out my interview on what might be expected from William & Catherine’s state visit to Canada in July 2011!
The Cambridges’ royal wedding:
With the March 1 release of ROYAL PAINS, plus an upcoming event of international interest, I had a whirlwind couple of months prior to the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011, with numerous guest appearances on radio and television stations from the US Virgin Islands to Maui, from New England to Colorado, and from Tampa to Kansas.
I was also interviewed from London on the wedding day by the Wall Street Journal and USAToday as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (you can hear the cbcradio interview below.) Actually, the interview requests began back in November 2010, as soon as William and Kate announced their engagement. When you’ve written books titled NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES and ROYAL AFFAIRS, the media comes knocking at your door.
On the evening of April 29, I spoke with Day 6 of cbcradio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), to give them a postmortem on the royal wedding and to chat about monarchs, marriages, and mayhem. Listen to my take.
“Sex and Politics: oh, yes, the twain do meet! On April 18, 2011, I spent a full hour discussing notorious royal marriages, royal affairs, royal pains, and the upcoming royal wedding on “Straight Talk with Holland Redfield,” AM 970, broadcast from the sunny U.S. Virgin Islands.” Listen to the show:
Read my chronological rundown of the 10 most notorious weddings in English history (and what made them such a big deal) in this article for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The CBS Nightly News with Katie Couric interviews Leslie during the week of the royal wedding. Read About/Watch the segment
Leslie on the New England Cable News network. Read the article
Billy Frank (Brainstorming with Billy the Brain) interviews Leslie on KKZZ AM 1400 (Ventura, CA) Listen to the show.
Quoted in USAToday’s weekend edition 4/21/11; frontpage article on the royal wedding at http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2011-04-21-royal-wedding-william-kate-england.htm
Watch Leslie on “Books Over Breakfast,” WCAX
Read all about why the life of a royal isn’t always tea and crumpets on www.msnbc.com at
http://bltwy.msnbc.msn.com/politics/why-being-royal-isnt-that-glam-after-all-9438.gallery Read the text on the right and scroll through the article by clicking on the red arrow on each subsequent screen; I’m quoted throughout the article, starting on the third screen or so.http://www.usaweekend.com/fdcp/?1297542435187