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The Royal Nanny

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,894 ratings  ·  616 reviews
Based on a seldom-told true story, this novel is perfect for everyone who is fascinated by Britain’s royal family—a behind the scenes look into the nurseries of little princes and the foibles of big princes.

April, 1897: A young nanny arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. She is excited, exhausted—and about to meet royalty. . . .

So begins
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a treat! I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the lives of the British Royal family through the eyes of such a wonderful character... Lala. I loved her and am thankful that these children were blessed with such a wonderful caretaker. Everyone, especially Royal watchers, should put this novel at the top of to-read lists... 5 stars.
Diane S ☔
3.5 A young nanny arrives to be under nurse to the young princes, Bertie, and David. Her name is Charlotte and will soon answer to the name, LaLa a nickname given to her by the young Bertie. Witnessing an act of cruelty she is soon made head nursemaid and will give up her life to care for this young royal family. A family that will add, Mary, George, Harry and John.

This really happened, although of course the conversations, the dialogue is not known. A good hard look at these young lives, the ro
Based upon real people and events of the time, the novel centers around the Royal children of the Duke and Duchess of York. Charlotte Bill, affectionately known by the children as "Lala", is hired to be an assistant nursemaid. When it is discovered that the boy's are being abused by the current nursemaid, she is quickly elevated to the head position. Her first charges were David and Bertie, who grow up to be King Edward VIII and King George the VI, who became king after King Edward VIII abdicate ...more
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I requested a review copy of Karen Harper’s The Royal Nanny with half-hearted curiosity. I had a vague historic interest in George V and his family, but I can’t say I was chomping at the bit to experience a fictional account of Prince John and his beloved nurse, Charlotte Bill. In retrospect, this lack of enthusiasm is rather embarrassing as it represents a severe understatement of both author and subject matter, but it is s
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish the author hadn't felt compelled to invent the love interest. The book dragged a bit but I did find the nanny/child relationship as well as the nanny/family (parents and grandparents) to be really interesting. I think I'd have preferred to have read a book that looked at that more closely. If there wasn't sufficient material on Charlotte Bill, then comparing the royal household against other upper class/aristocratic households might have been a way to go. As it was, the material really wa ...more
For those of you who have seen the King's Speech, you know the historical figures of Bertie (George VI), his older brother David, and their parents, King George V and Queen Mary. For those paying close attention, you may remember Lionel Logue asking about Bertie's youngest brother, Johnnie, who died at a young age. This novel ostensibly gives a closer look at Johnnie's life through the eyes of his nanny, Charlotte Bill, or "Mrs. Lala."

It was....ok. Certainly most of the people in this book, incl
Saturday's Child
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I almost gave this 4 stars however I found that the romance side of the plot annoyed me, other than that I found it entertaining and worth a read.
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this historical fiction account of Queen.Elizabeth"s father's and his siblings growing up with their nanny Lala (Charlotte Bill). Most historical facts are true but Lala's life with the royal children was brought to life in this book. I plan to read more by this author! Great read. ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I read The Royal Nanny after I started to watch Netflix tv-series The Crown. I also, years ago, watch The Lost Prince about Prince John and now I want to rewatch it after reading this book. This book was really fantastic and I'm glad that I took the time to read it.

One thing that really struck me about this book was what a fantastic life Charlotte Bill had. Sure, not an easy life, with sacrifices and lot of sadness. But, she lived through a time of changes, world wars, kings, and queens, and sh
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Historical fiction can be amazing, plodding, or middle of the road. This one falls into the middle of the road section. It told the story of the Royal Nanny to the children of George V, one of whom would go on to abdicate the throne, and another of whom would become the reluctant George VI.

While the story starts out with these two eldest children, the main focus was on the younger children, especially the youngest son who had some serious health problems from birth. The story is told as if the N
LaLa is not her real name but when she comes to be nanny to the royal children in 1897, that is what they call her. Princess May doesn't like being pregnant and is not a good mother. The royal custom of seeing her children for half an hour each day is usually about fifteen minutes as the Prince Of Wales has a short fuse. It is Lala who discover that the heir (David) is being abused by the head nanny, a woman who when sent away soon descends into madness. David and his brothers are all sent away ...more
Sherry Sharpnack
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Nanny” is Charlotte Bill, a young woman who goes to work for Prince George and Princess Mary, caring for their growing family in the twilight years of Queen Victoria’s reign. The current head nanny was a brutal woman, emotionally and physically abusing the two young princes; David — the eldest and destined to someday be king— is especially traumatized. The boys grow to love “Lala” - their name for Charlotte, and Lala is devoted to them. Lala is intrigued by the young estate worker who picke ...more
Maryann Mc
Fabulous book. I love learning about history this way. Learned much about the royal family.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charlotte "Lala" Bill arrives at Sandringham eager to begin as an assistant to the royals' head nurse. But when she witnesses the young boys' abuse at the hands of this nurse, she takes matters into her own hands, and forever shapes the landscape of royal nurses and nannies. As she raises each of the children, wondering what she'll do when the youngest will age out of the nursery and enter the schoolroom, one last royal is born: Prince Johnny, a misunderstood soul and young boy with epilepsy. He ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
Rounded from 3 1/2
A "palate cleanser" book - not too heavy on the history, doesn't force you to think about social issues. A pleasant enough story about Charlotte "Lala" Bill, nanny to the Duke of Windsor and his younger siblings, particularly youngest son Johnny.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like 3.5. Loved the historical aspects of the book related to the British monarchy but got a little annoyed with the main character and her love interest.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are one of the many people who love seeing photos of the young Prince George and Princess Charlotte on your Facebook page or when you see William and Kate and their beautiful children on the cover of People magazine must buy it, then Karen Harper's new novel, The Royal Nanny, is for you.

Harper based her historical novel on the true story of Charlotte Bill, the royal nanny to the children of the Duke and Duchess of York, who eventually became King George V and Queen Mary, grandparents to t
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
London - 1897

Miss Charlotte Bill, age 22, has just been hired to be under nurse to the royal family at York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate. She is to care for David and Bertie, the two sons of the Duke and Duchess of York. The head nurse is Mrs. Mary Peters. The boys are taken by their nurse to visit with their parents each day at 4:00 PM, when their parents are in residence. David cries a lot when he sees his parents which ends up with them sending him away with his nurse. Bertie is very thi
I really enjoyed this book, I know I had heard of Lala before, I believe it was in The Kings Speech so it was neat to see this family from her perspective.
Of course we all know who David and Bertie are but there were a few royals I knew nothing about not only Prince John or Johnnie as he was known but I also knew very little about Queen Alexandra and King Edward so this was a very interesting glimpse into their lives and the lives of their family.

Charlotte Bill or Lala as the boys dubbed her cam
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superior historical fiction. I am a dyed in the wool Anglophile and this story was new to me. It covers the royal nanny in charge of six children in the royal family. It begins in 1897 when Charlotte Bill arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. Her charges dub her LaLa . Eldest sons David and Bertie would each one day be king. One child touches her soul, Prince John, known as the Lost Prince. The book is a fascinating portrait of the life of royal children and t ...more
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insights into the lives of the children of the "royals" and the strong bond with their nanny's and other hired help. Service to the royals meant giving up one's own life and aspirations especially to "Lala". Touching, moving, surprising and most interesting read. ...more
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It’s time once again to focus on the British royal family, this time, going back to the turn of the last century, when Queen Victoria still reigned, and her grandchildren were being born. The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper ($2.99 on Kindle right now) focuses on the Nanny in charge of the future Edward VIII and George VI and their sister and younger brothers.

As always when I read historical fiction, I wondered how much of
Historical fiction featuring British royals and a peek into child-rearing practices: This book had so many things recommending it to me. (Also, it was available free on Kindle Prime.) And I did enjoy it. It provided some interesting historical insights into the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. (Did I ever know that King George V of England, Tsar Nickolas II of Russia, and Kaiser Willhelm of Germany were all cousins?) Thinking through the growth and maturing of these particular royal children w ...more
This novel filled in a time period in British history about which I previously knew very little. After Victoria and before King David's abdication to marry "that woman" as the Royal Family thereafter referred to Wallis Simpson, is an era with which I've had limited dealings. The title refers to the nanny to both "David," who became King Edward who abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, as well as his successor, the future King George, Elizabeth II's father. I was surprised to learn they had both a s ...more
This book, although marked as historical fiction, is based on a true story.

The book begins in the late 1890's, when a young woman, Charlotte Bill, is traveling to the home of royalty where she will be an aide to the current nanny. On the way, the driver the royals sent to greet her at the train station tells her of the good life at the estate. However, when she tells him she is to be working under the present nanny, his face clouds over for a moment - a harbinger of things to come.

Although the y
2.5 stars

Well researched. Good historical.
Good look into life behind the scenes of royal life and how a "civilian staff employee" became a beloved member of the family. (w/in protocols)
To be honest, I can't always remember who's who in the royal's but i know that i knew nothing about Johnnie. That was interesting to learn about him.

Lala was the real nanny who served for many years and when i looked her up, alot of the narrative followed the facts which is always good in a historical.

But it
Ericka Lanier
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book I've read of Karen Harper. I tend to enjoy historical fiction, especially when great liberties are NOT taken. I am a childcare provider, of eleven years, so I have a different view than some of the inner workings of raising children. The respect I have for women in this type of role is incredible; to raise children as your own, only to know they are never yours. This book spoke to my heart for so many reasons. It was EXACTLY what I needed right now; many selfless acts by one extraordi ...more
It was a little slow at times, but sweet and a little sad. The main story was of Charlotte Bill and her royal charges, most beloved was the youngest, Johnny, who suffered from epilepsy and developmental delays.

There is a very mild love interest which tries hard to be star-crossed lovers, but feels more like something her editor told her she needed to add in because the nanny story wasn’t enough to make a book. The whole book is so formal, yet the nanny is making out with a married man and stati
Holly Sands-coleman
If you’re a royal family fanatic, like I am, this very fiction novel is rather cute. It follows Mrs. Lala through her years as Prince George V children’s headnurse. For those that need a refresher, his children are Queen Elizabeth’s father, uncles and aunt.

I say very fiction as there is no supporting info about the dialogues although there is history to support the timeline and of course the people involved. I loved that it gave a insight to that side of the royal family that wasn’t just about
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 6 Feb 24, 2016 11:40AM  

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A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scott ...more

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