Kristin recently enjoyed The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden, a richly detailed historical novel about the childhood of Queen Elizabeth II told from the perspective of her governess. Here's Kristin's review:
In April, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II said her final goodbye to her beloved husband, Prince Philip, just days before her 95th birthday. It was heartbreaking to see the Queen live through such a monumental loss, and yet astonishing to see her continue to work and uphold her responsibilities as Queen of the United Kingdom and the entire Commonwealth. After witnessing these historical events, I went in search of a historical fiction novel about the childhood and early life of the Queen, and I was pleasantly surprised to find The Royal Governess on our library shelves!
This story follows the life of Marion Crawford, a very modern, confident and independent woman for her time. After finishing teacher’s college in 1932, her plans were to bring access to education to the poorest of slums and neighborhoods. However, through some unexpected events and connections, she secures the position of a lifetime as a governess to their Royal Highnesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose! Even though she ends up working in arguably the most elite household in the nation, Marion is determined that she can educate the princesses on how common citizens live and therefore bring about societal change from the top down. However, Marion’s job becomes increasingly important and regulated as she transitions from educating a Duke’s daughter to preparing her to be Queen after her father becomes King. She tries as much as humanly possible to offer the princesses real-life experiences, while also protecting them from the prodding media and the perils of WWII. For those of us who have never lived or worked in a royal household, this novel provides a very eye-opening experience.
The author has created one of the most informative and detailed historical fiction novels I have ever read, and it is certainly a must read for royal watchers! Months of research and information taken from controversial articles written by the real-life Marion Crawford went into creating this one of a kind novel about how a common woman was hired to both educate and raise Queen Elizabeth II. In summary, this majestic story of sacrifice, allegiance and love shines a captivating light onto the childhood of the longest-reigning British monarch in history and I strongly encourage you to pick up this book so you get your chance to see what life is like behind the walls of Buckingham Palace!
Reserve The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden here.
Check out Kristin's other picks here.