King's Counsellor Abdication and War: The Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles
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King's Counsellor Abdication and War: The Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  9 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Tommy Lascelles's diaries begin with Edward VIII's abdication and end with George VI's death and his daughter Elizabeth's Coronation. In between we see George VI at work and play, a portrait more intimate than any other previously published. The early part about Edward VIII is a damning profile; the bulk of the book is World War II as seen from a key courtier—Lascelles is...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Phoenix (first published November 1st 2006)
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Feb 15, 2010 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Elizabeth by: review in the paper
As a scion of the Harwood family and proud of his lineage, Alan Lascelles probably came across as something of an old school stuffed shirt. This book shows that he was anything but.

Beautifully written, King's Counsellor is largely made up of his war time diary and letters written after 1946 until his death. The picture that Lascelles paints of serving the King and trials and tribulations of wartime are vivid. He says little about the King - he was certainly discreet in that department, but some...more

Picked this one up on a whim in the library. Well, I say that, but the size of this tome, it took quite deliberate effort to pick it up. It is huge and the writing is quite small. It's also a 'proper' diary in that it's not written every day, some days have lots of detail and insight and others consist literally of which birds the author spotted that day.

It was very obvious that there wasn't going to be anything salacious in this book: it had the approval of Her Majesty to be published. I also p

Robert Boyle
I have just finished 'King's Counsellor - the diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles', the private secretary to King George VI. Very good, and as with other writers' diaries/letters find many of the last entries very poignant. Also with this fellow, after a life of tact and prudence with his work, he allows himself to become just a bit risqué towards the end. There is this entry:

'The leaf-sweeping season is in full swing, but I can't rake for very long at a time nowadays. Winter draws on, as the curate s...more
Interesting. I considered starring it down based on his misspelt rudeness about Peter Fraser (stemming from an apparent constitutional inability to judge Labour politicians on their merits), but decided that was unfair.
Lisa Hayes
Aug 20, 2009 Lisa Hayes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: British history fans
Too bad he was so "discreet"....Still well worth it.
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In Royal Service: Letters and Journals of Sir Alan Lascelles, 1920-36 End of an Era: Letters and Journals of Sir Alan Lascelles, 1887-1920

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