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Posted May 7, 2006
A lovely portrait of royalty as it used to be, painted in the words of a woman who devoted years of her life to royalty's service. 'Crawfie,' as a very young Princess Elizabeth nicknamed her new governess, had no idea when she accepted the post that she would be staying for more than a short time. She'd come to help the Duke and Duchess of York begin their little girls' education, after which Miss Crawford fully intended to take up the classroom teaching career of which she had always dreamed. She wasn't planning on growing to love Elizabeth and Margaret as she did. Nor had she any clue that one of her charges would someday sit on England's throne. The interlude Miss Crawford planned to spend with the Yorks lasted until after Princess Elizabeth's marriage. As a member of their household, she experienced history first hand when the abdication of King Edward VIII - otherwise known as 'Uncle David' - forced her employers to give up their private, comfortable, family-centered life. She kept their daughters out of harm's way during the frightening war years that soon followed and after the war's end, helped the family that by now considered her indispensible in guiding its 'little princesses' from adolescence into womanhood. Charming, but in no way saccharine, this recently re-released book provides invaluable insight into the character of the woman who has reigned for more than half a century as Queen Elizabeth II. Not by any means just for 'royal watchers'!
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