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The Royal Nanny

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,797 ratings  ·  347 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
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published June 7th 2016)
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May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ☔
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

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
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
Saturday's Child
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.
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
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
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.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda McGill
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist

I didn’t plan it this way, but I picked the perfect week to read The Royal Nanny since there is a new royal baby! I’m not a huge fan of the Royals, but I really enjoy learning about the history since I know very little! Honestly, the furthest back of the Royals that I knew previously was about King George VI and that’s because of the Netflix show, the Crown!

The Royal Nanny is about a young woman, Charlotte, who in 1897 begins looking after Queen
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
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Connie Fischer
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Ericka Lanier
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book! It was a quick, easy read but then I ended up doing additional reading on the real life nanny, Charlotte Bill. Though some of the story is fictionalized, it is based on real people and true scenarios. An interesting look into the life of the royal family; I will miss reading about them!
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was fascinating reading about the early lives of the royal children. Very interesting that it is faction and characters like Mrs Lala did exist. I never knew about Prince John either.
Lynda Brown
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love reading about English history. This was part of history I didn't know much about. Was interesting hearing about inside the royal family. Good book
Sarah Beth
Charlotte Bill is still a young nanny when she arrives at Sandringham, home to the Duke and Duchess of York. She begins caring for young David, Bertie, and their new little sister and is soon made the head nurse. As the family grows to include three more royal sons, Charlotte, known by her charges as Lala, cares and loves them as their own. Her unique position gives her access to royalty and prominent international figures, as well as the secrets of the royal family. Although Lala loves all the ...more
Clare O'Beara
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
The fictionalised tale of the nanny to the Duke of York's household, beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, covers many significant events. Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, Edward the Seventh's ascension to the throne (this is the era of Mary Poppins), suffragettes and the turbulence in Europe are the backdrop.

In the foreground we follow nanny Charlotte Bill, raising the young princes Bertie and David, their new sister Mary and later siblings. Formality is the order of the day. We und
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Of course I'd been out on the for-hire steam launch on the Thames my father captained, but in the railway carriage, I felt like I was flying.

Premise/plot: Charlotte Bill is a young woman hired to be an under-nurse (nanny) for the royal family. The book opens in 1898, and when she first meets David and Bertie, they rename her Lala. The York family keeps growing, and growing up. Little ones don't stay little forever. And tutors and governesses take charge as they do grow up. But t
Debbie Maskus
Karen Harper writes this bittersweet novel in the words of Charlotte Bill, Mrs. Lala, an actual nanny in the household of George V of England. The story describes the royal household and the many hidden secrets of Queen Victoria's legacy. Harper freshly presents the details of running the nursery and caring for the six children of George V and his wife, Mary of Teck. The reader learns that the second child of George and Mary is the father of Queen Elizabeth, and also learns of the terrible treat ...more
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte Bill becomes the Royal Nanny in this factually based novel about the English royal family. The inner workings of royalty is told through the words of the nanny who was neither with the royal servants nor with the below stairs servants. To me, it sounded like a very lonely position although she loved, and was loved by, the Royal children, including Queen Elizabeth II's father. I think the most telling part is seeing that the royalty had so little interaction with their children. Fortun ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 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