The Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth II's Childhood (Paperback)
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During the childhood years of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most famous women who ever lived, a young governess helped shape her into the icon the world knows today.
In 1933, twenty-two-year-old Marion Crawford accepts the role of a lifetime, tutoring the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Her one stipulation to their parents is that she bring some doses of normalcy into their sheltered and privileged lives.
At Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral, Marion defies stuffy protocol to take the princesses on tube trains, swimming at public baths, and on joyful Christmas shopping trips at Woolworth’s. From her ringside seat at the heart of the British monarchy she witnesses the trauma of the Abdication, the glamour of the Coronation, the onset of World War II. She steers the little princesses through it all, as close as a mother.
As Hitler’s planes fly over Windsor, she shelters her charges in the castle dungeons (not far from where the Crown Jewels are hidden in a biscuit tin). Afterwards, she is present when Elizabeth first sets eyes on Philip, her future husband.
But being beloved confidante to the Windsor family comes at huge personal cost. Marriage, children, her own views: all are compromised by proximity to royal glory. In this majestic story of love, sacrifice and allegiance, bestselling novelist Holden brings to life the early years before Queen Elizabeth II became monarch.
“This captivating page-turner whisks readers back in time to Buckingham Palace in 1933…A majestic story that delves into the incredible life of Queen Elizabeth II before she took her place on the throne.”—Woman’s World
About the Author
Wendy Holden is a British novelist of comedies of manners. She's authored ten Sunday Times top ten bestsellers and has sold over three million copies worldwide.
"A beautifully woven and exquisitely detailed story of strong upstairs/downstairs women whose lives entwine during some of the most significant periods of modern British history. . . a novel that will stand the test of time. I loved it."—Heather Morris, New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, on The Royal Governess
"An intimate view of the royal family at a time of great uncertainty and change, The Royal Governess is a beautifully written and richly detailed piece of historical fiction. Marion Crawford's dedication to her charges, as well as her passion for education and reform, shines through the pages. Through her eyes, the reader is transported back in time and thoroughly immersed in the lives of the British royal family. A delightful read!"—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to Key West
“Wendy Holden absolutely delivers in this perfect blend of story and history. The Royal Governess is a fabulous read for not only devotees of period fiction and the British Royals, but anyone with a hunger for a well-crafted tale. Lovers of The Crown will adore this!”—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
“A moving, gorgeously written page-turner. We peek behind the Windsors’ swagged silk curtains--the insider details are a total delight--but the story's beating heart belongs to the devoted royal governess, Crawfie. Holden takes the reader on a glittering, unforgettable journey.”—Eve Chase, author of The Daughters of Foxcote Manor
"This is a warm and often witty work of biographical historical fiction that deftly weaves fact with imagination into an engaging tale of life behind the palace walls. Fans of the genre and of the British royals will find it absolutely delightful."—Booklist
"Spirited, virtually clockwork enjoyment, humanizing the Windsor world through the death of two kings, the ordeal of an abdication and the very real dangers of a world war."—The Washington Post