Cover image for Lady in waiting : my extraordinary life in the shadow of the crown
Title:
Lady in waiting : my extraordinary life in the shadow of the crown
ISBN:
9780306846366
Edition:
First US edition.
Physical Description:
vii, 325 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Originally published... by Hodder & Stoughton in Great Britain in October 2019."--Title page verso.
Summary:
"Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed "the greatest disappointment" and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive court life with her sense of humor intact. A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne's life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret's closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her "mad blood"; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities."--Publisher's description.
Holds:

Available:*

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Book 941.085092 GLE 0 1
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Library
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Stillwater Public Library1On Order

Summary

Summary

** New York Times Bestseller** USA Today Bestseller**The Sunday Times Bestseller** The Globe and Mail Bestseller**ABA Indie Bestseller** The Times (UK) Memoir of the Year**One of Newsweek 's Most Anticipated Books of 2020**

An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Anne Glenconner--a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. As seen on Netflix's The Crown.
Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed "the greatest disappointment" and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive court life with her sense of humor intact.

A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne's life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting , she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret's closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her "mad blood"; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities.

With unprecedented insight into the royal family, Lady in Waiting is a witty, candid, dramatic, at times heart-breaking personal story capturing life in a golden cage for a woman with no inheritance.


Author Notes

Lady Glenconner was born Lady Anne Coke in 1932, the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, and grew up at their ancestral estate at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, England. A Maid of Honor at the Queen's coronation, she married Lord Glenconner in 1956. They had five children together, three of whom survive. In 1958 she and her husband began to transform the island of Mustique into a paradise for the rich and famous. They granted a plot of land to Princess Margaret, who built her favorite home there. Anne Glenconner was appointed a Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret in 1971 and kept this role--accompanying her on many state occasions and foreign tours--until the Princess's death in 2002. Lord Glenconner died in 2010. Lady Glenconner now lives in a farmhouse in Norfolk.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Glenconner, former lady-in-waiting to England's Princess Margaret, provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at the British royal family in this heartbreaking and engrossing memoir. Born in 1932, the eldest child of the future Earl of Leicester and "the greatest disappointment on behalf of her sex," an entrepreneurial Glenconner found herself "in a great many odd circumstances" growing up, including a stint selling pottery traveling from town to town, on her way to adulthood. In 1953, Glenconner served as maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and in 1971, Princess Margaret invited her to be a lady-in-waiting, a position she held until Margaret's death in 2002. Throughout this time, Glenconner met presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and hobnobbed with celebrities including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Raquel Welch at Glenconner's husband's private Caribbean island. Glenconner's an entertaining writer, even as she describes being married to the volatile but charming Colin Tennant for 54 years, through his tantrums, absences, and affairs. She becomes wistful when she writes of suffering through one of her children's drug addiction, another's death to AIDS, and one's near-fatal motorcycle accident that left him in a coma for months. This memoir of life amid British royalty is full of understated wit and charm. (Mar.)


Kirkus Review

An insider's look at the world of palaces, princesses, and the pressure of public life.Readers who've already binge-watched the third season of The Crown needn't fret. Glenconner's meticulously detailed memoir of her life in service to the crown will whet the appetite of anyone hungering for more tales of Britain's royals. Opening with her childhood on the fifth-largest estate in England, the author chronicles her personal and professional life as lady-in-waiting and confidante to her childhood friend Princess Margaret. In Glenconner's capable hands, we learn about a motley cast of characters including her horse- and Harley Davidson-riding mother, a Scottish great-aunt who was a Christian Scientist, and the formidable Queen Mary, who intimidated her grandchildren but gave the author good life advice. A pleasing blend of detail and balance, the book provides sufficient glimpses into sumptuous palaces and shooting parties to inspire awe and keen insight into the people who inhabit them. Glenconner's candor about wealth and privilege enables readers to sympathize as she describes the emotional coldness of her parents and her father's undisguised disappointment at her not being born a boy. The fun of racing with the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret through her family's palatial estate and various royal residences could not make up for the fact that the author's worthor lack thereofwas predicated on her sex and marriage. The poor-little-rich-girl story is hardly new, but what makes this account fresh and poignant is Glenconner's use of affluent characters to demonstrate the extent to which class trumps power; even those at the top seem helpless to challenge tradition. By unflinchingly examining everything from her troubled marriage and her fraught relationship with her children to the solace she found in service, the author emerges as a flawed yet steely woman worthy of respect. In laying her life bare, she demonstrates the limitations of being a woman in the British class system, showing that privilege is no insulation from suffering or pain.A must-have for loyal royal fans. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Glenconnor has led a fascinating life, filled with soaring highs (maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation) and rather pedestrian lows (a traveling salesperson, hawking her mother's pottery). As lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret from 1971 until the princess' death in 2002, Glenconner embodied everything anyone could want in a companion: loyalty, dedication, tact, and a great sense of humor. She accompanied ""Ma'am"" around the world, to royal balls, receptions, and diplomatic functions. But despite her glamorous public persona, Glenconner's personal life was filled with loss. She married a philandering aristocrat known for his violent temper, lost one son to AIDS and another to drugs, and nursed a third through a life-changing traumatic brain injury. Her wildly unpredictable husband bought Mustique, a mosquito-infested island, and turned it into a private playground for the rich and famous (as seen in season three of The Crown). Whether describing scenes of delicacy or debauchery, these insider accounts are fascinating. Glenconner is unfailingly perceptive, honest, and amazingly down-to-earth, a survivor who embodies the British trait of ""getting on with it."" A definite thrill for royal watchers and fans of Downton Abbey, this entertaining peek behind the royal curtain should attract a wide audience.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2020 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Inspired to share her stories by visits from Helena Bonham Carter and Nancy Carroll in preparation for their roles in the third season of Netflix's The Crown, Glenconner weaves a captivating narrative that hooks readers from the start. From her early childhood in Norfolk to being Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation to her position as Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret and beyond, Lady Glenconner provides an open and honest look into the private lives of England's royal family and the most elite members of society. The author's sense of humor shines through in her writing, bringing levity to some of the difficult times that peppered her life. While her lifelong friendship with Princess Margaret allows readers to see a different side of the royal, some of the most fascinating stories involve the author's husband, Lord Glenconner. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in the British aristocracy and personality-driven memoirs. Glenconner, featured in the third season of The Crown, is a strong, intriguing woman whom fans of the show may wish to learn more about.--Katie McGaha, LA County Lib., Agoura Hills


Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 The Greatest Disappointmentp. 5
2 Hitler's Messp. 16
3 The Traveling Salesmanp. 37
4 The Coronationp. 59
5 For Better, For Worsep. 81
6 Absolutely Furiousp. 97
7 The Making of Mustiquep. 110
8 A Princess in Pajamasp. 130
9 Motherhoodp. 143
10 Lady in Waitingp. 158
11 The Caribbean Spectacularsp. 179
12 A Royal Tourp. 193
13 A Year at Kensington Palacep. 217
14 The Lost Onesp. 228
15 A Nightmare and a Miraclep. 247
16 Forever Youngp. 258
17 The Last Days of a Princessp. 274
18 Until Death Us Do Partp. 289
19 Whatever Next?p. 308
Acknowledgmentsp. 323
Picture Acknowledgmentsp. 325