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Sunday, November 7, 2010

The little Princesses By Marion Crawford

The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by her Nanny, Marion Crawford

The backstory on the first royal Tell All book
Marion Crawford, CVO (5 June 1909 – 11 February 1988) was an employee of the British Royal Family, the nanny of the children of King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret who gave her the nickname "Crawfie". Crawford was the named author of the book The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by her Nanny, which told the story of her time with the Royals. After the book was published in 1950, she was banished from court and neither the Queen nor any other Royal Family member ever spoke to her again.After the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, they conducted an overseas tour, visiting Canada and the United States of America. Shortly afterwards, the publishing house of Bruce and Beatrice Gould contacted Buckingham Palace and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to seek stories for publication across the Atlantic. Although the approach was refused by the Palace, the British government proved keen on the idea and suggested Marion Crawford, as the recently retired governess of the Princesses.

When the Goulds approached Crawford she first sought permission from Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother), who refused. However, the Goulds persisted and offered Crawford $85,000 for her story. Although Crawford accepted, she asked the contract state that Palace approval would be sought for any stories published. However, the contract allowed the Goulds to publish even if the Palace refused.
Queen Elizabeth was predictably furious and was quoted as saying: "We can only think that our late and completely trusted governess has gone off her head, because she promised in writing that she would not publish". The first note of displeasure for Crawford came when she failed to receive a Christmas card from the Royal Family in the year of publication.

As the first servant to cash in on the private lives of the Royals, Crawford was treated severely by the Royal Family, and they never spoke to her again. Despite this, the King and Queen received the Goulds, who published the stories, at Buckingham Palace.
Crawford retired to Aberdeen. The Royal Family regularly drove past her front door on their way to nearby Balmoral Castle. However, they never stopped to see the Queen's former governess. When she died aged 78 at Hawkhill House, a nursing home in Aberdeen in 1988, neither the Queen, the Queen Mother nor Princess Margaret sent a wreath.

My Thoughts:I found this book one day on Ebay and looked up Marion Crawford and found her Story so interesting on how the book came about and the Royal reaction to it when it was published. In this day and age we are so used to the royal tell all books that nothing shocks us now. Considering this is one of the First Royal tell all books it is really interesting there is No royal Secrets revealed here it was really written out of love For the Royal family and and respectfully done. I have to Wonder if The Family ever really read the book before they dismissed this lady from thier lives for good.  It looks like this book was republished
Since it was listed on Amazon  but my Copy is the orignal 1950's edition I am sadden that it did not come with the orignal duskjacket never the less it is a gem among my Royalty books. i would love to see a movie made from it some day Perhaphs  after her Majesty The Queen is we will see it on the screen.