Now a USA TODAY Bestseller!
“Engrossing. Fans of The Crown will devour this.”--Publishers Weekly
The revealing story of Queen Elizabeth II's beloved governess, Marion Crawford, who spent more than sixteen years of her life in loyal service to the royal family and was later shunned by those she has loved and served.
Marion Crawford can remember each of the wonderful years when she was governess to the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose: included in their lives, confided in, needed, trusted, and loved. These memories will never dim, ever. In Marion's mind, she will always be their Crawfie.
But things become increasingly complicated as the young royals navigate adulthood. It is May 1945 and Princess Elizabeth--the heiress presumptive to the British throne--has fallen in love, and the only member of her family who is happy for her is her governess. No one in the young princess's life thinks that Prince Philip of Greece would be a suitable husband for the future Queen of England. No one that is, except for Marion Crawford.
Crawfie wholeheartedly supports Elizabeth in her determination to marry Philip. She too has fallen in love--and has convinced her fiancé, George, that they must wait for Elizabeth and Philip to receive the King's blessing before she can leave her service to the Crown.
Over the next two years Crawfie is caught between loyalty to Princess Elizabeth; running the risk of alienating her royal employer, Queen Elizabeth; and losing the man she loves. But as Crawfie prevails to marry George and stands with him in Westminster Abbey on Elizabeth and Philip's wedding day, she is unaware that her troubled relationship with Queen Elizabeth is far from over. And just around the corner is a betrayal that will sever her bond with the royal family forever.
Arlen (the Lady Montfort Mystery Series) delivers an engrossing story of Scottish governess Marion Crawford, who served the English royal family for 16 years. In 1931, the Duchess of York hires Marion to teach five-year-old Princess Elizabeth. Marion is taken with the young princesses, "Lilibet" and Margaret, and in 1936 she witnesses the effects of King Edward VIII's abdication on the family. The move to Buckingham Palace proves hard on the princesses and their bond with Marion, whom they call "Crawfie." During the Blitz, Lilibet and Margaret take refuge with Marion and staff at Windsor Castle, and Marion comes to think of them as her own children, though by 1945 she is struck by Margaret's temperamental airs as well as Lilibet's neutral response to news of the atomic bombings on Japan ("Here she was displaying the sort of detachment that appalled me"). After the war, as Lilibet takes an interest in Prince Philip, Marion feels trapped between her love for war veteran George Buthlay and her duty to the royals and Lilibet, who needs support due to her parents' initial resistance to her plans to marry Philip. As Marion tries to achieve her own fulfillment, the story culminates with a heart-wrenching reversal. Fans of The Crown will devour this.