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

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Once upon a time, in 1930s England, there were two little princesses named Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Their father was the Duke of York, the second son of King George V, and their Uncle David was the future King of England.

We all know how the fairy tale ended: When King George died, “Uncle David” became King Edward VIII---who abdicated less than a year later to marry the
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ebook, 288 pages
Published April 10th 2003 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1950)
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Christina
This book caused quite a scandal when it was published 50 years ago. It was the first real expose on the royal family. I enjoyed reading about little Queen Elizabeth's upbringing, especially how the royal family coped during WWII. Marion was her nanny up until Elizabeth's wedding day, but she was banished forever from the royal family after she wrote this book, which was sometime after Prince Charles was born. She was able to witness extraordinary events in Britain's history and I think this doc ...more
Jamie
In 1933 Marion Crawford was hired by the Duke and Duchess of York to be a governess for their children, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Crawford served the royal family for 17 years and after she retired, beloved by the royals but apparently not enriched by them, she wrote this memoir. They responded by shunning her for the rest of her life.

The book is undoubtedly a breach of their privacy, but a mild one by today's standards. There's nothing scandalous in it. Crawford appears to have been fo
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Mary Ann
Written with love and devotion for her two charges, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, Marion Crawford - "Crawfie" - wrote a wonderful social commentary on their sweet childhood in Buckingham Palace. As their nanny and teacher she shares in the most enchanting way what life was really like for these two beautiful little girls - one to become Queen Elizabeth II. After so many exposes on the scandals, tribulations and trials of the Royals today, it seems unfathomable that when released in 1950 ...more
Philip
This is an incredible book. I had no idea of how "royalty" lived and this tells the tale. It is hugely adoring yet still the author was ostracized for it. That is also amazing. Details like castles being cold without central heat, for example, are fascinating. And the courtship of Elizabeth by Philip. Or Margaret's tempestuous personality. Just fascinating.
Leigh
I couldn't believe it when I heard that Marion Crawford was shunned by the Royal Family after writing this memoir...it is nothing if not a beautifully written, complimentary and loving portrait of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose as children and of their family. I enjoyed it immensely.
Veronica
I loved this book!!! I couldn't stop reading it (i read it in 1 evening), it was so interesting. It is written by the Queen's nanny and gives an insight into the Queen's childhood. I loved the close relationship between the Queen, her sister and her parent's.
Louise Culmer
Marion Crawford was governess to Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret throughout their childhood and up until the time of Elizabeth's marriage. In 1950, she published this account of her years working for the royal family.

It is a charming book, full of interesting details about the family life of the royal family, and the characters of the two princesses. There are endearing pictures of the princesses at play, and enjoying a quiet and happy childhood with their parents when they were still j
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Marika Alexander
This was quite an interesting read, written by the governess of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Marion Crawford first became governess when Elizabeth (or Lilibet, as she was called by her family) was 6 years old and Margaret 2. She stayed with the family until Elizabeth's marriage to Prince Phillip, including 5 years at Windsor Castle during World War I when the King and Queen resided at Buckingham Palace. They would join the children at Windsor on the weekends whenever possible.

As Elizabeth
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Krista
This was a lovely little book written by the governess of the current Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret when they were wee small until Princess Elizabeth was married and a mother herself. The governess, Marion Crawford, was a sturdy Scottish lass who's greatest endeavor was to educate two little girls who would live public lives without conferring any special treatment or sense of superiority. Obviously, as Miss Crawford worked for the royal family for seventeen years, this is a v ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I thoroughly enjoyed this gem. First published in 1950, it is the story of Marion Crawford, who was the nanny to Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret. It begins in 1932 when Marion, called Crawfie by Princess Elizabeth, joined the royal household of the, then, Duke and Duchess of York. Crawfie was 24, and came to be the princesses' teacher. She stayed with the royal family until the time of Prince Charles' birth in 1948.

The story is tender and revealing. The Duke and Duchess relis
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Uco Library
Such a fabulous book! Marion Crawford, at the age of 22, was hired to be the governess in charge of the education for Princesses Elizabeth, age 5 and Margaret Rose, age 1. At that time, their father, the Duke of York, being the second son of King George and Queen Mary was content with his position in the Royal family as it was his older brother, David that would one day become King. But when King David abdicated his throne to marry divorcee’ Mrs. Wallace Simpson, the Duke and Duchess of York wer ...more
Caroline
A beautiful memoir, but...
My great enjoyment of this book was marred when I found out details of its publication. The author, Marion Crawford, wrote and published it against the will of the royal family. She made a great deal of money, but lost the trust and friendship of those she'd been so close to. What a tragic situation!

Ironically, the memoir they didn't authorize made me feel unparalleled admiration and sympathy for Queen Elizabeth II and her family. When I read it to my girls someday, I'
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Ronald
Fascinating memoir by the governess of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Too bad that after publishing the author was totally ostracized from the lives of the family that she had been so close to.
Nancy
This is a re-read from my childhood that I picked up again after seeing 'The King's Speech' this week. I loved this memoir growing up and it's given me a life-long interest in the doings of the British royal family. Reading it again as an adult, it's easier to read between the lines and see how the two princesses' characters differed from an early age and how far the royal family was removed from average lives. It's also impossible to read it without wondering in Marion Crawford really understoo ...more
Lili
A gentle insight into the lives of two young children, who happened to be royal princesses, written by their much loved former governess and containing some lovely photographs. This was a childhood read and it enthralled me at the time.

I've re-read it again recently and of course years later I now know how Marion Crawford was treated by the Royal Family following the release of the book and I am no longer enthralled, as I once was, by the princesses. Instead as I re-read the book it left me won
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Lotte
If you have any interest in British royalty (me!), you will enjoy this firsthand account of the childhood years of Princesses Elizabeth (now Queen) and Margaret. Published in 1950, this book written by the girls' governess soon after leaving the royal employ, caused ties to be completely cut between the royal family and their former governess. She had lived with them for 16 years and her betrayal was felt deeply. My intrigue was somewhat dampened by the voyeuristic feel of the book - seems painf ...more
Victoria
This book, written by Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood nanny is a near and dear favorite of mine. I re-read it in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and the glimpses into HM’s upbringing (at the same time revealing and respectful) never fail to endear me to her further. Sadly, the author was ostracized from the Royal Family for what was seen as a violation of their trust and invasion of their privacy. I would venture to guess that HM views its publication much more kindly in light of al ...more
Jacquelyn
I think this book is just SO sweet, romantic, harmless, exceedingly polite . . . and very interesting in that I couldn't help but wonder what Marion Crawford was REALLY thinking and feeling about the royal family and her role in their daily lives for so many years. But then again, I don't think I would want to know. Part of me understands why the family was upset with her Story -- it wasn't so much what she said, but just the fact that she said it. But, in any event, there's much here on the sur ...more
Sheila Hansberger
The author, Marion Crawford, writes of her years as governess to English princesses, Margaret and Elizabeth. In this true account, she provides insights as to how the royal family lived day to day. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that it is sweetly, delicately written, the royal family turned their backs on Crawford as though she had betrayed them when the book was first published in 1950.

But times have changed. In today's world of paparazzi and tell-alls by the hired help, this story seems
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Vikki
Marion Crawford, the author of this book, was Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's nanny. When she wrote this book(in 1950), she was never spoken to by the royalty again. This was further complicated because she had been given and lived in a house on the grounds of Buckingham Palace. It was seen as a scandalous book in that time. Now, it seems that nothing in it was scandalous. She said that Queen Elizabeth was always very responsible even at a very young age. She said that Queen Elizabeth ...more
Kathryn
I still have this book from my childhood and must get it out and read it again, especially after just reading a fictional book that includes time at Windsor during the war (Princess Elizabeth's Spy, by Susan Elia MacNeal). MacNeal noted that this was one of the books she used as reference/research for her book.

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Heather
I enjoyed the content of this book but found the style of writing annoying at times. I found it fasinating to learn things about Queen Elizabeth II at an early age, especially since I am really into the history of British Royalty at the moment.
Ilse
This is the first "grown up" book i ever read. I was 12 and never forgot it. I just ordered a replacement copy. My 5 star rating is based on preteen memory. I wonder what my septuagenarian rating will be? Check back for updates.
Giedra
My mom had an old copy of this that she brought over for my daughter to read this summer. Of course my daughter hasn't opened it yet, but I read it. Very interesting to read about Queen Elizabeth's childhood!
Stephanie
This was so interesting to me that I read it in one sitting. I was enthralled at getting to know Queen Elizabeth as a person instead of the public persona that she works so hard to keep in place.
CLM
Jan 12, 2011 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CLM by: Ward School Library
I saw The King's Speech last night so naturally was thinking about this book about Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, which I read and enjoyed from my elementary school library.
Angie
Really wonderful insight into the Queen... wish I could have read it before the Diamond Jubilee!!! Highly recommend and a super easy read for the summer!
Angie
Really wonderful insight into the Queen... wish I could have read it before the Diamond Jubilee!!! Highly recommend and a super easy read for the summer!
Cristan
This book is a treasure! So sad that Crawfie lost all connections to the palace because this book is positive and charming.
Kelly
A really endearing insight into the childhood of the Queen and Princess Margaret. I really enjoyed it.
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Teacher, governess, and author. After Crawford graduated from Edinburgh University she became an English teacher and governess to children of the British aristocracy. From 1933 to 1950 she worked for the British royal family as governess of Princess Elizabeth, future Queen of England, and her sister Princess Margaret. Crawford's best-selling book about the experience, The Little Princesses, was di ...more
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