In Royal Service to the Queen: A Novel of the Queen’s Governess

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Marion Crawford, the governess to then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, achieved some notoriety after publishing an account of the princesses’ childhood, first through a series of articles in Ladies Home Journal and then a book. Crawford was the first to share “insider information” about the royal family––a decision that estranged her from the queen and the princesses she dearly loved and had sacrificed much of her life for.

This historical novel is written from her perspective and examines how a young woman from Scotland ended up being governess to the Duke and Duchess of York’s family. Crawfie strived to give the girls an education to fit their aptitudes and as much stability as possible during their World War II childhood. While her service was to the queen and king, her loyalty was always to her “girls” and that ended up being her downfall.

This novel is told in a few time periods––it takes quite a big jump from the girls being young children to young adults. A central piece early in the story is the decision of the former king to abdicate, resulting in the Duke of York becoming king. As a reader, I would have liked to hear more about this transition, as it is the foundation for the family’s later life. But, all in all, it is a splendid book!

Reviewed By:

Author Tessa Arlen
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Berkley 
Publish Date 29-Jun-2021
ISBN 9780593102480 Buy this Book
Issue December 2021
Category Historical Fiction