Sunday, November 16, 2008


  • *** i found these scribes as i was the blog sphere... i thought i might just share with my blogger friends ... i was one of the late readers to these two books.
  • Note** *words copied as is ....RTL
Faces worn by courageous Princesses...
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Read also The Raja Bahrain's traumatic story : A Father's Rescue Mission... the other side of the story

At the tender age of 17 Jacqueline Pascarl-Gillespie was whisked away to a marble palace in Malaysia by the dashing Prince RB. From the moment they married the charming, loving man she had fallen in love with in her native Australia Princess Yasmin, was forced to suppress her intellect and maintain a public facade of aristocratic solidarity.

Following the birth of her two children, she returned to Australia, but far from walking toward freedom, she found herself enslaved again by a bitter custody battle which led to the eventual kidnapping of the children by Prince RB who returned them to Malaysia, where, seven years on, they still live without any contact with their mother. Once I was A Princess is 500 pages of almost unbearable pain. This harrowing autobiography of one woman who had to lose her own children before she truly found herself is not only a bitter account of a life of constant disappointment which begins as a child and builds to a death-defying crescendo in her adult life, but is also a story of love and passion so strong that a fight to the death seems almost inevitable.

A remarkable woman whose daily battle for her children has never lost momentum, Jacqueline has also found the courage to move on, setting up charities for children around the world and finding the strength to help other parents whose children have been taken from them. She is indeed a woman to be reckoned with. But behind the strength lies a sad, sad lady whose incredible past certainly makes for good reading, but is totally secondary to the fact that she is just a mother who, quite simply, wants her children back.
--Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

In "Once I Was a Princess", Jacqueline Pascarl related the gripping story of her abusive childhood and her subsequent teen marriage to a prince. What should have been a fairy tale with a happy ending deteriorated into a nightmare of deceit and betrayal - ending in the kidnapping of her two small children by her former husband, who spirited them back to Malaysia. In "Since I Was a Princess", Pascarl peels back the layers of her life after the abduction. She tells how she channeled her grief, forging an existence as an aid worker and humanitarian ambassador in war-torn countries and working with refugees and the dispossessed. She describes how she persuaded some of the world's most influential figures to support her aid work and became a human rights activist on the international stage, championing the cause of other parents whose children had been kidnapped and reuniting scores of families. Pascarl also explains how she lived frenetically as she painfully rebuilt her life and re-evaluated her relationships, grappling with the emotional complexities of a new pregnancy and beginning a second family. And she reveals for the first time the dramatic details of how, at last, she was able to be reunited with her long-lost children and make her family whole. Candid and compelling, "Since I Was a Princess" is an unforgettable ride through tragedy, loss and, finally, triumph.


Can you imagine what it would be like to be swept off your feet by a royal prince to live a charmed life in the marble palaces of an oil-rich nation - and then to watch your fairy-tale romance turn into a nightmare of Islamic superstition, isolation, betrayal and abuse? What would you do if you managed to escape your life of torment - and then your children were kidnapped by their own father? This is what happened to Jacqueline Pascarl. In "Once I Was a Princess", Jacqueline recounts her part in this controversial, headline-grabbing international drama with heart-rending honesty.

About the Author

After many years of working and commuting between war zones, Jacqueline Pascarl has now settled in her home town of Melbourne, Australia, with her husband.

Every woman must read this most heart-breaking story., 3 Jan 2000
By A Customer
The most heart-gripping story told by an amazing woman with down-to-earth honesty and desperation. Jacqueline tells of a love that only a real mother could know, a love so strong it can "move heaven and earth".
Jacqueline teaches a mother to savor and cherish every moment with her child. She teaches us to be thankful for our family and friends. Every woman and man must read "Once I Was A Princess", but most of all, every mother. Jacqueline's love for and raising of her two children should be the role model for many mothers and fathers.
Truly compelling. A true tale of child abduction, 11 Feb 2000
By A Customer
One of the most evocative books I have read in a long time. You have to keep reminding yourself that it is actually a true story as it is hard to believe that so many terrible things could have happened to one person. Definitely worth reading.
What a sad story..., 18 Feb 2000
By dinapatel (UK)
I found myself unable to put this book down despite all the sad things that have been written.. I feel so sorry for Jacqueline, but it is good to know that her experiences have not made her bitter but have helped her help others. A fantastic but sad book....
explores survival, and a mothers love for her children., 3 April 2001
By A Customer
A touching book, on child abuse, the sub-ordination of women, and the strength of a mother's love. Pascarl-Gillispie exposoes the trials and tribulations of being a asian in an all white society, which contunes into her experiences as a malasian princess. She shows how muslim women are treated in a patriarchal society and the devastation of child kidnap, when the kidnapper is the childrens father. I couldn't put it down, it was an excellent read. Pascarl-gillespie is an extraordinary woman, with immense inner strength, who tells her story in a m'matter of fact' way. The book itself was humerous in places,and despite the content of the story, was not a depressing read. I would highly reccomend it to anyone who likes to read factual work, as well as human survival.

a captivating true story of one's horrible encounters, 22 Jun 2001
By A Customer
i have just finished reading this book and i could not put it down. it saddens me to think that such a person could get away with doing such terrible things. this truely amazing book engulfed me and i felt as if i was actually going through it with her. iddin would be a few years yourger than me now, and i can't understand how he and shahirah have not been able to contact their mother still.

Heartbreaking, loving and emotional, 6 Sep 2001

chockybananna (Australia, Sydney)
i was so deeply touched by this amazing story ! what a wonderful mother, wife and friend. courage love and strength shines in her book and shows such commitment to her childrens wellbeing. a must read to anyone who has a big heart like Jaqueline Gillespie.

Fabulously written biography, 24 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Heat renching memories of the past were caught on paper in a gripping and emotionally binding story of Jaquelines tale of motherhood. I was glued to this book.

the most heart rendering book in history, 1 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Reading Once I Was A Princess was the most emotional journey I've ever been on. It compelled me to the core and I was deeply saddened by Jacquelines painstaking efforts to find her children. I desperately become so engulfed by the trauma that she was experiencing that I wish I could have had the power to do something to bring her some comfort. I could not put this book down, and certainly never got through a book as quickly as this, but still have not been able to find closure. I'm not even a mother but I was overcome with grief for her and the two children, I have real admiration and deep respect for Jacqueline who has learnt to keep fighting everyday.I hope and pray that wherever Iddin and Shah are that they are well and learn the real truth about their mother before its just too late.

A gripping story and a compulsive read., 1 May 2002
By megblythe1 (N.Tyneside, England)

I read 'Once I was a princess' after reading a couple of books by Jean P Sasson. This book however, turned out to be a book that made me read the Qu'ran (KORAN). It was unstoppable reading. I steamrolled through each chapter like a thriller then realised that it was after all a true story. The wooing of a 17 year old girl into marriage, robbing her of her identity and forcing her into Islamic practices. This book leaves no stone unturned.  This book is a must read and although it does not have closure it does leave room for hope.

A very sad and heartrending book., 30 May 2002
By A Customer
I have every sympathy for Jacqueline Pascarl-Gillespie and hope that one day she will be able to meet up with children again. Sometimes circumstances do change and you never know what's around the corner.
The book is well written and reveals a parent's anguish of losing her children and also being married to an abusive husband who forces an alien culture on his naïve young wife. She finds herself virtually a prisoner and in isolation to the outside world. It should help people who have been in similar situations to come to terms with what's happened to them.
Finally she gets to see her children, 5 Sep 2006
M.Mukhtar (UK, Manchester)

This book is excellent in everyway. The details of the suffering and the introduction of the malaysian royal family is well described. This book relates and introduces each chapter and story well. There are many small stories broken up in this one big story about a father kidnapping his children and the consequences on the mother and how she builds herself to handle the situation. Also to see what the mother goes through afterwards and other peoples reaction towards her, her rejection and the effects on other relationships is reflected well and very saddening.
In the book it was outlined that the children didn't like spending time with their father and when they were due to meet him they would make several excuses to avoid seeing him or spending the weekend with him.
What was interesting to see was that after 14 years the childeren have been reunited with their mother Uddin felt he has two homes now. Sarah has decided to live in Australia with her mother and she wants to make up for lost time. Also sarah and her mother have been in secret contact for over 3 years or so via email after sarah was able to track her mother down. It shows a happy ending to the story, but so many years have still been lost by the children and thier mother.
Also many people quoted as saying the mother was after the publicty and wasn't really interested in getting her children back. Also if she was found smiling in public while shopping people would say 'shes smiling she cant be sad'. This is the general publics misinterpretation of this story.

All consuming & an inspirational journey, 3 Sep 2007
By Realistic Reading Fanatic
At last a book written by a woman who does more than whine about the tragedy in her life. Misery memoirs can be hard core wallowing, but not this book. Jacqueline had a terrible childhood of abuse, married her prince charming but did not get the fairytale royal ending in a muslim country, instead when they divorced, he kidnapped her kids and then cut them off from her for 14 years! Instead of turning into a puddle of mush like most of us would, she fought for her kids and what she needed and still made time for life outside her own problems becoming an aid worker in war zones and helping others as an ambassador for CARE International. An inspiring lesson to us all. I don't agree with the earlier reviewer about the author's name dropping - I think she uses the famous people she meets in her fundraising efforts to illustrate how bizarre the celebrity world is and how different real life is when people die from lack of clean water in her alternate reality. When finally reunited with her kidnapped children Jacqueline doesn't seek vengance for the stolen years, she decides on looking forward not back. A must read along with her earlier book, Once I was a Princess.

Straight talking and brilliant read, 12 Sep 2007
This woman's book was an eye opener for me. A female friend gave it to me and I found myself drawn into Ms Pascal's descriptions and amazing journey - her experiences really made me understand the love of a mother much more deeply. She describes the moslem world in detail but still doesn't bag the religion at all even though it was used as justification to kidnap her children, Eden and Shahira.
I'm now looking forward to reading her second book, Since I was a princess.

Terrific real life story, 22 Sep 200
By Nikki Vaz (Australia)
Amazed to read this woman's life story. True and honest book with warts and all honesty. A friend bought this book for me and now I think that all young women should read this and learn. I now have a better knowledge of the Moslem world and even Kosovo and Africa and I can think more of others with a global perspective. Her kids are lucky to have her. Jaqueline has passion and commitment to issues that I can only hope to support in the future. I felt ashamed that I knew only a little of her honest story - she should named a woman to look up to and a role model who never gave up on her kids or her belief in making a world better. I will now donate to CARE too.

Moving, 1 Sep 2007
By Tamara (UK)
Having read Jaqueline's first book about 6 years ago, I was surprised to see this book in my library as I had almost forgotten about this case (I think it was given a lot more publicity in Australia).
It is an interesting account of Jacqueline's struggle to live without her children, as well as many snippets about her aid work accross the world. It talks about her relationships and new family. The eventual reunion with her now grown up children is very moving.
The only fault I could find with this book is the endless 'name dropping' of famous people she has met as well as boasting about the glamorous life she leads. However, in this case, I think she deserves it as she went through hell for many years.
Gripping and a lesson in life, 12 Sep 2007
Amazingly well written with humour and insight to a life most of us would never cope with. I wept when I read about her reunion with her two kidnapped kids. The descriptions of aidworking in strife torn countries and the author's work in Africa moved me to tears. It made me realise how much bigger the world is out there than the mundane life I lead and gripe about. Kudos to Jacqueline Pascarl for her guts and determination. I will now go out and buy her first book to fill in al the blanks. A must read for people interested in a bigger life.

among the few exclusive emails between blog owner with the author

january 25th 2008
Dear Jacqueline

I have just receive both books from my daughter as my 53rd birthday present. Been reading intently...jumped pages sometimes due to impatience, then back on the track again...

I am not a good writer but I managed to express my deepest sorrow for you THEN...
BUT now I am happy for you. Though a bit late to come to terms with all the news that was going on, I preferred to read it myself and refuse to listen to others.

Alhamdulillah, finally your children were sent back to the act of The Almighty.


Dear Emy,
How lovely it is to awaken to such a kind message!
I managed to work out how to locate your blog by using Google, and read your poem. It is beautiful and I am humbled that my books have moved you to such empathy and poetry.
I am so fortunate to occasionally receive the reflections of others because of my writing and I truly believe that my life is blessed. I now know that all of my four children are safe and that they will, grow into be decent and caring people.
Best wishes and love from

PS: I am curious, where do you live and how old is your daughter?

Dear Jacq,
Guess what? After sending the previous email, suddenly it struck me if this is really you or not? I sincerely hope it is...panda lagi cakak terengganu?

Dear Emy,
Thank you again for your incredibly kind and understanding emails. In answer to your query, yes, it is really me, although a little sakit with a very sore throat – the joys of having small children is that one tends to pick up their bugs very easily!
It is lovely to hear that you are a grandmother and I am happy for you. What a joy to know that you will be an on-going part of your grandson’s life.
Yes, I do still speak pelak Terengganu – Pelak Kerabat Di Raja really. But I am hopeless at writing in the Malay language.
Best wishes for a happy and peaceful life with your family.
  • ..... since last January 2008.


Donna said...

Wow, it sounds like an amazing story. I think I would have a hard time reading and getting through the book with all the emotion and sadness.

Thanks for sharing. Have a good weekend!

RoyalTLady said...


I was just passing by in your blog. Yes, indeed it was very moving stories told my the author herself. I reread the books and tears kept coming on the same pages.

See how a woman withstand such a traumatic life and survived. I am truly proud of her. Those traumas forced her a "jump-start" growing up life.

RoyalTLady said...

as i was editing...the paragraphs just would not respond...

i shall try again some time later...

azahar said...

I think I had met the Princess in person when she was with RB in Terengganu. In fact she had even served us tea after we had attended her collection of stray cats.

What she had experienced is traumatic no doubt, but what RB has undergone to save his daughters' faith was an act beyond compare of a father's love of his daughters.

I don't want to be biased on this issue. We have to look at things from both sides.

That's why I hate unfriendly divorces. It breaks families apart.

The Dutchess said...

Whay a sad story,and what a STRONG woman..

RoyalTLady said...

Both mother and daughter are equally strong to withstand and endure life in separation for such a bitter long time...

Amazing what Allah has offered them!

Including her farther, who endured such dangerous routes home to Malaysia... in wanting to save his children's faith in Islam.

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