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Summary

...And What Do You Do? is a hard-hitting analysis of the royal family, exposing its extravagant use of public money and the dubious behaviour of some among its ranks.

In this audiobook, former government minister Norman Baker argues that the British public deserves better than this puerile diet. 

...And What Do You Do? is a hard-hitting analysis of the royal family, exposing its extravagant use of public money and the highly dubious behaviour of some among its ranks, whilst being critical of the knee-jerk sycophancy shown by the press and politicians. Baker also considers the wider role the royals play in society, including the link with House of Lords reform, and the constitutional position of the monarch, which is important given Prince Charles’ present and intended approach. 

...And What Do You Do? asks important questions about the future of the world’s most famous royal family.

©2019 Norman Baker (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"With our democracy in turmoil, it's right to be asking questions about constitutional reform. Norman Baker tackles the subject with his trademark energy and in forensic detail looking at the facts beyond the headlines." (Caroline Lucas)

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The tree that does not bend will be broken

Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has written a book about the royal family. There are lots of books about the royals, nearly all of them are sycophantic and nauseating. This one is different. Baker takes a step back and looks at the concept of the UK monarchy through our history and paints a portrait of the current incumbents. We hear of the distinction between monarchy and state and learn of the blurred lines concerning the ownership and control of the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall. We also hear of the extravagant expenditure of the extended royal entourage and the deals with governments that has ensured that state funding for the royals can only increase based on profits of the "Crown Estates", the secret wills, the stinginess in spending their own money and the extravagance using public funds such as the exorbitant costs of private jets and helicopters that we all pay for. This will be uncomfortable reading for any monarchist who will find it impossible to justify the lavish lifestyles coupled with the appalling behaviour of certain family members. We also hear of some uncomfortable secrets regarding the royals such as Edward VIII being a nazi sympathiser and the treatment and selection of royal servants.
Baker does have an admiration for the Queen, as most of us do, and falls short of calling for the UK to be a republic. He concludes by calling for a greater levels of transparency and modernisation of the way our Royal Family conducts itself in public. Anyone reading this book would be hard pressed to disagree with him.

27 people found this helpful

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Very informative

Great narrator and a very informative book.... I had no idea how much the Royal family were costing us and was under the impression that they make us lots of money through tourism etc.... I wasn't a big fan of the monarchy before starting this book and can clearly state that what little respect I had for them has now gone!

14 people found this helpful

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There is no such thing as Royal

I would have given this book 10 stars actually ,at last Norman Baker sticking his head above the parapet where others dare not tread and shining a light on the Royals , very well researched and thoroughly engaging book, uncovering more than a few gems of outstandingly unbelievable home truths about the royal family, from the sad and depressing insight on Diana's Will to the not so surprising closeness to Germany's National Socialism, this book should be on the school curricular, why oh why I we still putting up with this , very simple Read This...

9 people found this helpful

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What an unedifying bunch they are.

I've never been a fan of the Royals in any shape or form but up till now it's been a vague, uninformed opinion. Now that I have these new insights and information provided by this book I find them an appallingly greedy, selfish, vain and dangerously undemocratic institution.

This stuff should be taught at schools. The sooner we become a republic the better. The cringing sycophancy of politicians and the many other vested interests towards the Royals is nauseating. An excellent audiobook, well narrated. Hard to stop listening. Will definitely seek out more on this topic and more by this author.

8 people found this helpful

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Daylight robbery

The book is well written and read really well. The contents made me cross as to just how used we are. What fools to be so cleverly hoodwinked. I hope in my lifetime progress is made and the bicycles are purchased or the removal vans are called!

7 people found this helpful

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Don't read this book...

If you're easily angered by the upper class riding on the backs of the working class.

It's time to retire the majority of these "institutions" and close the House of Lords. Will it happen? Of course not because those that benefit are in control.

Keep paying your taxes people.

6 people found this helpful

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A real eye-opener.

This is a fascinating book and gives so much information that will really make you think deeply about what royalty is all about. It's rather a corrupt and self-centred institution.

4 people found this helpful

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What an insight into the royals.

This book is very informative. An excellent insight into the British royals.

I always felt there was a huge amount of smoke and mirrors in operation, what the public doesn't know etc. Particularly when it comes to their wealth and how the Windsor family add to it.

Nice to know the Queen's collection of baubles, art and antiques are also worth billions, and I do mean billions.

Oh, and there really is one law for the Windsor family and one for the rest of us.

I won't see them in the same light ever again.

A real eye opener. And since us mere plebian tax payers foot the bill for them, I am actually pretty annoyed at what goes on behind the doors of the palace.

Still, we can always eat cake to use a phrase.

4 people found this helpful

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Quite a revelation and an achievement

This is quite an achievement, and revelation! Norman Baker has uncovered so much information and goes into all the detail - the inner workings of the past and present; royal culture, finance and their relationships.

4 people found this helpful

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factually insightful

learned some things I didnt know that are due for reform to streamline the Firm

4 people found this helpful

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  • ANDREA GORSULOWSKY
  • 09-04-21

Good information

I could have done without the Trump bashing. What business is that of yours? None.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lizsmith
  • 03-12-20

Wow! Facinating!

As an American, the Royals have always held a keen interest of mine both of their past and the present family. The amount of research that went into this book is astounding. Lots of history
so much so that I did skip ahead a bit and that is why I gave 4 stars for the overall rating.
This monarchy cannot survive much longer as it is completely out dated and the country needs to be run by qualified leaders that are CHOSEN by its people.
I cannot understand why the country continues to allow it's taxpayers money to indulge every whim and fancy imaginable to these spoiled and presumptuous people who are living in an arcaic society. Although they have plenty of money they seem to insist on not using any of it, but rather have everything paid for by the tax payers. Exceptions are few.
Although the history is most interesting here, I found this book it's most entertaining and enlighting when references are made to the present day Royal Family.
Most of the secrets of how these people live have been stripped open . This a must read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-20

Interesting Read

Enjoyed this and learned a lot. lots of history and current information. Great read for anyone interested in the Royal Family

1 person found this helpful

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  • MHC
  • 25-04-21

Should be mandatory for all British ‘subjects’

This riveting eye-opener should be required reading/listening for every British subject. Meticulously researched, Baker’s work peels away the layers of ‘mystery’ the Royals would rather you didn’t know. With Queen Elizabeth’s tenure coming to an end, ‘...And What Do You Do?’ poses vital points if Britain is to remain relevant at all. The times they are a changing. Highly recommend.

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  • Eleanor Michael
  • 12-03-21

A very informative book.

Although it goes into too much detail from time to time , it is an enjoyable, eye opening book. I don’t understand why some of the most popular books are not available on audio as I thought they would be. For example books by authors Samantha Markel and Lady Colin Campbell.

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  • Judy
  • 08-03-21

Privileged Royals

To a Canadian who has always held a positive if low-key view of Queen Elizabeth II, Norman Baker's exposé of palace finances is a stunning revelation. We're often told that the queen is a wealthy woman in her own right, but the fact that she has acquired most of this wealth through the public purse is indisputable. She pays taxes, but on a "voluntary" basis, whatever that means. When Charles says that he will cover the cost of a fiasco that he has overseen in one of his charities, he does not mean from his own pocket but from the proceeds of that charity. Who and what are the mob of hangers-on who manage to draw so handsomely from the public purse that supports the reigning monarch and her immediate family?

To add insult to injury, the beneficiaries of all this taxpayer largesse labour under the mistaken notion that they are superior in every imaginable way to the subservient citizens of the realm. With the notable exception of the Queen, and Princess Anne and her two children, no one in this privileged bubble appears to hold a job or engage in any productive activity. Swanning about on the international stage does not constitute a meaningful contribution to society or the nation.

With the Queen approaching the end of her lengthy reign, perhaps the time is at last right for a changing of the palace guard. Trim the Royal enclave down to a manageable unit consisting of the reigning monarch and his or her immediate family; ditch the cousins and the aunts who cling to the ermine robes. Then explain to this nuclear Royal family that they are ordinary people who are expected to relate to other human beings in a socially acceptable manner; lose the curtsies and other outdated manifestations of so-called regal superiority.