First of all a big thank you to Rob Cox of The Tandem Collective for bringing this book to my attention back in February. I took part in the cover share and was very kindly gifted a gorgeous proof copy from the publisher Welbeck Fiction. It was released on August 20th 2020.
The drama of the Abdication, the glamour of the Coronation, the trauma of World War II – Marion Crawford, affectionately known as Crawfie, stood by the side of the royal family through it all.
In 1933, a progressive young teacher became governess to the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Determined to give her pupils a fun and normal childhood, she took them on buses, swimming at public baths and Christmas shopping at Woolworths.
For seventeen years she served at the heart of the royal family. But her devotion and loyalty counted for nothing when a perceived betrayal brought everything crashing down.
A thoroughly researched novel on the life of Marion Crawford, known as Crawfie, whilst she was governess to Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret for seventeen years.
I enjoyed reading this novel. I felt it was just the right blend of factual research and fictional story, which kept me gripped and entertained throughout.
Marion Crawford was training to be a teacher, before working for the royal household, and was very interested and impressed with the then new ideas and models on teaching. When she began working as governess to the princesses, she was very keen to introduce Elizabeth and Margaret to the modern normal world outside the palaces and castles.
I found it very interesting to read of how she managed to do this and of ‘her’ account of life with the royal family. I felt the author was very sympathetic to Crawfie without being overly critical of the then King and Queen. It goes on to address the book which was released after Crawfie retired and what this lead to, but what I found very sad was the brief comment in the book, that without any scandal of fall out, no one went to the funeral of the old Nanny either!
An entertaining and insightful read. If you are interested in the royal family this would be a recommended read, indeed for anyone who likes historical fiction in general. Wallis Simpson is naturally mentioned within The Governess and I believe this is the subject of the author’s next book.