Thursday, August 27, 2020

Review: The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden

The Royal Governess
by Wendy Holden 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In 1933, twenty-two-year-old Marion Crawford accepts the role of a lifetime, tutoring their Royal Highnesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Her one stipulation to their parents the Duke and Duchess of York is that she bring some doses of normalcy into the sheltered and privileged lives of the two young princesses.

At Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Balmoral, Marion defies oppressive court protocol to take the girls 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 upheaval of the Abdication and the glamour and drama of the 1937 Coronation.

During the war, as Hitler’s Heinkels 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 there when Elizabeth first sets eyes on Philip. But being beloved governess and confidante to the Windsor family has come at a cost. She puts her private life on hold until released from royal service following Princess Elizabeth’s marriage in 1947.

Kritters Thoughts:  Did you ever wonder about the childhood of Queen Elizabeth II?  What kind of schooling did she go through to prepare her for the life ahead of her?  How much did her uncle's actions affect her?

To be fair before I continue, I will admit I am a huge fan of all things royal.  All generations and all things royal.  I love historical fiction and combine that with my love of royal things then you have entered my wheelhouse!  Through the eyes of a governess who always strived to educate those who education could elevate themselves out of their circumstances, ends up devoting her life to trying to educate the future monarch.  And she forsook her own life and at a certain point due to a decision she made she was ostracized and this is her story before she was "kicked" out of the firm.  

I loved getting the insider look of all the royal homes and the day to day royal life through a character that got a close view of the workings of the royal family.  Marion Crawford tried to give the royal children real world experiences in the hope that when they became "rulers" they would have a realistic world view of their subjects and the people that lived in the country in order to make good decisions for the greater good.  I loved how she tried to give Elizabeth and Margaret well rounded educations, I believe that she probably contributed to Elizabeth's likability across the world.  

Although fiction, I appreciated that this book was rooted in truth and my hope is that there is a lot of truth to back up this story.  After reading this book, I am intrigued to read the book that Marion authored herself and the one that changed her life and standing with the royal family.  

If you have read The Gown by Jennifer Robson, you would love this book, if you loved this book you should go read The Gown!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 82 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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