Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Book Review: World History by Mohamed Al-Fayed

In 1483, two young prospective heirs to the throne of England, Edward V and Richard, 1st Duke of York, were locked away in the Tower of London by Richard III, who had proclaimed them illegitimate and therefore unfit to rule the country. They were never seen again, and the discovery of a pair of children’s skeletons found in the Tower two hundred years later seemed to indicate that the boys had been murdered. The identity of the killer, if indeed there was one, has been disputed by historians ever since; was it Richard III himself, Richard’s right hand man Henry Stafford, or Henry Tudor, future king of England? Well at last, the answer to the riddle has been found. According to Mohamed Al-Fayed’s new book, World History, the Princes in the Tower were killed by Queen Elizabeth II, who was aided by MI6.

It may sound far fetched, but Al-Fayed has a lot of circumstantial evidence to back up his claims. A diary written by someone living close to the Tower mentions “a lady with a tiara and a faraway gaze” wandering around and looking shifty. Also, a bottle of gin has been dug up by archaeological teams near the site, indicating that the Queen Mother may also have been at the location many, many years ago. The fact that none of the current Windsors were alive at the time does not seem to bother Mister Al-Fayed, who claims that the Princes were killed by Elizabeth II “so that she would get used to offing other Royals before she killed Princess Diana.”

Despite Al-Fayed’s book being a history text that covers many centuries, the current Royal Family features surprisingly often. The Watergate scandal that rocked Richard Nixon’s presidency in the U.S., for example, was instigated by Prince Philip, according to this book. Furthermore, The Titanic was not sunk by an iceberg, but was instead sabotaged by Prince Charles, who planted a bomb in the engine room. Indeed, Al-Fayed claims in the book that the first instance of human aggression in recorded history, some two hundred thousand years ago, was by perpetrated by a hominid known as Princess Eugenie of York.

Mohamed Al-Fayed holding a copy of his new book, World History

Indeed, it is a recurring theme in World History that events – usually ones with negative repercussions – were caused by current Royals, and that they performed these actions in order to further their cause of killing Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed, the author’s son.

Some of the prose in the book is beautifully written. The life and times of Mother Theresa, for example, are conveyed with such poignancy and feeling that one is at times moved to tears at the kindness and charity shown by this modern-day saint. This clarity of feeling then turns to angers when we learn of her death at the hands of Princess Michael of Kent, who killed the nun on the same weekend as the Princess of Wales’s car crash. According to Mister Al-Fayed, this was done with the intention of distracting people from the events in Paris.

Al-Fayed’s World History really comes to life in the modern ages, when he is discussing the familiar things that have shaped our current lives. Who can forget the OJ Simpson car chase, so thrillingly described here? The writer certainly has done his homework on the subject, revealing at great length how the whole thing was instigated by the Queen, who wanted the secret service to practice chasing celebrities’ cars at high speeds. Again, his evidence for this is somewhat flimsy, saying that he was given the information by “a man in the pub in exchange for a pie.”

Mohamed Al-Fayed’s World History is a very eye-opening book. I was completely unaware that the British Royal Family had had such an influential hand in so many events, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the invention of the Panzer tank and Ben Johnson’s gold medal being taken away from him due to doping allegations. It really does surprise this reviewer to see so many events being indirect – or even direct – causes of the death of Princess Diana, from King Harold’s death in the Battle of Hastings (when he was shot in the eye by Camilla Parker-Bowles) to the bombing of the World Trade Centre in 2001, four years after Diana died.

This book is a great addition to any history lover’s collection, and a must for those little old ladies who collect plates with pictures of the Queen and her corgis drawn on them.

Conspiracy Theory, starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, is in video stores now.


p0nk said...

my first visit here. I read a few of your posts - good stuff, keep up the good work.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Thanks very much! If I can bring a smile to the face of just one person every day, I know I'm doing a better job than the writers for Two and a Half Men.

Captain Incredible said...

Not a difficult thing to do, sir - by the way, does Mr. Al-Fayed's book mention werewolves, at all? I seem to recall a comment by an eminent Doctor on the subject, in connection with the Royal Family...

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Werewolves are indeed mentioned in this esteemed book, numerous times, in fact. George III's supposed case of Porphyria (the proposed cause of his madness) is covered, as is the fact that Prince Charles was once bitten by a lycanthropic corgi and now stalks Hyde Park during a full moon. For this reason, all silverware in Buckingham Palace has been replaced, lest it be melted down and coverted into a bullet used to kill the heir to the throne.

Also worth a mention are the several chapters that Al-Fayed uses to discuss David Ike's suggestion that the Queen is a reptilian creature in disguise. Oddly, this discussion occurs in a section of the book that was otherwise on the subject of Renaissance-era architecture.