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Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,725 ratings  ·  107 reviews
n extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Anne Glenconner--a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. As seen on Netflix's The Crown.
Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by Hachette Books (first published October 17th 2019)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,725 ratings  ·  107 reviews


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Kirsty Keddie
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lady Glenconner goes straight onto my fantasy dinner guest list - this biography is the most entertaining I’ve ever read and confirms that most of the British aristocracy are mad as a box of frogs. Fascinating insight into the parallel universe of high society as seen through the eyes of a lovely lady who is able to simply narrate without boastfulness or judgement. Every page holds a nugget of entertainment - my favourite is the good sense to never travel without a bottle of vodka!
Gareth Russell
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lady Glenconner's memoir has a conversational feel, in which the reader feels the author is speaking with them - reminiscing on her distinctly personal take on the extraordinary decades through which she lived. The selling point of "Lady in Waiting" is Lady Glenconner's lifelong friendship with the late Princess Margaret, whose household she joined as lady-in-waiting. The heart, however, is Lady Glenconner and it's hard to imagine a more charming narrator. Charm often trumps honesty, yet there ...more
SundayAtDusk
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
One definitely has to be amazed at Anne Glenconner’s stiff upper lip when it comes to dealing with adversity. Even though she was born into an aristocratic family, she certainly wasn’t pampered or coddled as a child. Besides, she was suppose to be a boy, since a male heir was needed. She speaks of that matter in a less dramatic way than Princess Diana did, however. There’s no gloominess to Lady Glenconner in this book. No self-pity.

When she finally fell in love and got engaged; to Princess
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Jacki (Julia Flyte)
What a crazy, fascinating, eventful life story. From her close friendship with Princess Margaret to sleeping in a brothel in Swaziland, from her front row seat at hundreds of glitzy parties to stumbling into a Parisian orgy, from travelling to Russia with a friend who wanted to hire a hitman to visiting karaoke bars with Imelda Marcos - she has had one hell of a life.

Anne was born into the aristocracy, the daughter of an Earl who grew up in a grand house on a vast estate in Norfolk. Her
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Helen Watts
A fascinating and honest account of a truly extraordinary life. The writing feels a little clunky here and there but you can't help but keep reading, intrigued by the unpredictable twists and turns in Lady Glenconner's life. I didn't always like the person being revealed to me, but it's impossible to deny her strength of character. Quite something.
Marian
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I had tried to be a boy, even weighing in at 11 pounds at birth, but I was a girl and there was nothing to be done about it." With that said, although Anne Glenconner was born into British aristocracy, she wouldn't inherit the title of Earl of Leicester or Holkham, the 5th largest estate in England. Growing up with ties to Britain's royal family, she later served as a Maid of Honor at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as well as a Lady in Waiting for Princess Margaret -- a role she served ...more
Janet

When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Lady Anne
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Conrad Timon
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Just ok
Moira Collett
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unexpected gift, this was not a book I would have chosen, but I couldn’t put it down! Born Lady Anne Coke at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, she became Lady Glenconner on her marriage. It was a life of unimaginable wealth and privilege. The most significant thread of the story concerns Princess Margaret, to whom she was Lady-in-Waiting as well as a friend.

Her husband Colin was the person who bought Mustique when it was completely undeveloped and then gradually turned it into the hedonistic paradise
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Stephen
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this after seeing Lady Glenconner on the Graham Norton show. Ordered it from the library for my wife who is much more interested in the Royal Family than I am but ended up reading it myself first.

Some intriguing insights about the Queen, her sister, mother and husband but most of all very revealing about how the aristocracy live. It was Princess Margaret that Anne Glenconner knew best so in essence it is a book about her. The section about the Queen’s coronation is a must read for anyone
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Helen Smith
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a fascinating book, but the rich/posh are different
Karen
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fresh and unique perspective on the coronation of our present Queen, as well as the life of Princess Margaret. The author also shares a very honest look at her own storied life.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Laura Daly
So I listened to this book on on Audible. I have been going through a little bit of a British Aristocratic phase. Anne Glenconner was born into one of the finest Aristocratic families the Cookes who owned Hockham Hall in Nolfolk. She tells the story of her early childhood as a playmate to Princess Margaret and her Adulthood as well still a playmate to Princess Margaret. She married into the very very rich Tennant family and tells of life with Colin. You will, well I came away from the book ...more
Umaymah
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book ...more
Philippa
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're even slightly interested in just how the British aristocracy lead their lives living in their huge homes, this is a fascinating read. Anne writes in a very straightforward and honest manner about her life and family. She is so relatable because even though her style of parenting is different from the majority of us in that her children had Nannies, maids, boarding schools from an early age, she is a mother who will move heaven and earth to protect and heal her brood when the chips are ...more
Mshelton50
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most fascinating memoirs I've ever read, Lady Glenconner's Lady in Waiting is simply fantastic. The eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, Anne Coke grew up at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, one of the great English country houses. As a child she knew Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret (the Royal Family's Sandringham estate was only 10 miles from Holkham), and her cousin Angus Ogilvy - with whom she spent much of World War II - would grow up to marry Princess Alexandra. After the war, ...more
Scott Whitmont
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Extraordinary” is undoubtedly the apt word to describe the unique life led by Lady Glenconner, a Lady in Waiting and close confidante of Princess Margaret for over 30 years. Tired of the scurrilous gossip that has been spread since the Princess’ death, she has written this memoir to ‘set the record straight’ and give insight into Margaret’s true character – her loyalties, her compassion, her demons and her excesses.
The daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, Anne enjoyed a privileged childhood
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Rachel
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner is an excellent memoir that gives the reader a glimpse into an extraordinary life.

I love anything and everything associated with England’s Royalty, and this did not disappoint. This isn’t just a book about being a Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, although a good bit of it is, it is also a book about a fascinating, strong, classy, intelligent, multi-talented, realistic, and imperfect woman. Anne admits her few faults, not being as hands-on of a mother to
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Kathleen
I am not generally drawn to books about royalty or aristocracy because I am completely unfamiliar and always end up doing online searches just to understand the names and titles. When I saw Lady Glenconner on Graham Norton's show, I decided this book may be worth the extra effort in learning more about the British royal family. It absolutely was.

In her television interview, I was captivated by the author's casual tone and description of her life as if she never thought it was that
...more
Ashley
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.com.

First line: One morning at the beginning of 2019, when I was in my London flat, the telephone rang.

Summary: Lady Anne Glenconner, lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, led a spectacular life. She lived through the Second World War, carried the train of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation and married to an eccentric aristocrat. In her memoir she takes us behind the scenes of important events in the British monarchy and her life. She has many ups and
...more
Marian
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I had tried to be a boy, even weighing in at 11 pounds at birth, but I was a girl and there was nothing to be done about it." With that said, although Anne Glenconner was born into British aristocracy, she wouldn't inherit the title of Earl of Leicester or Holkham, the 5th largest estate in England. Growing up with ties to Britain's royal family, she later served as a Maid of Honor at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as well as a Lady in Waiting for Princess Margaret -- a role she served ...more
Susan Wright
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding book and one that you must read! I had heard about the book and thought it would be an autobiography about a hugely privileged woman, but whilst she is an aristocrat and former lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, as well as a maid of honour at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, she has had to deal with personal tragedies and an aristocratic husband who would act appallingly in public and when he died left his entire estate to his servant, leaving his family, heirs and widow with ...more
Susie
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographical
I actually listened to this book on Audible and it provided hours and hours of entertainment whilst I was driving, wrapping Christmas gifts, cooking and other mindless tasks that would not have been nearly as much fun without it! In Lady Glenconner’s own lovely voice, it somehow made the story seem more personal, what a fascinating life she has led, this should be a movie! Having personally been born in the late 1950’s I remember so many of the events from the newspapers that Lady Anne talks ...more
Amyanne
Could also be sub-titled :

Ah, privilege - thou art a heartless b*t*h.

Although she was born the daughter of a Duke, brought up in the stately Holkham Hall, called up to be a part of the Queen’s coronation & served as a Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting for decades, Anne Glenconner’s life within the luxurious, hedonistic world of the aristocracy is painfully juxtaposed with a difficult childhood, marriage to an abusive, cheating, depraved, childish lunatic - who admittedly had his generous/
...more
Eugenia
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s hard for me to decide how exactly to rate this book. On one hand it was very entertaining story of a life. Anne Glenconner got to rub shoulders with some of the most interesting and illustrious people or her generation. Her stories are well rounded and fun, and her writing is simple and approachable without a ton of pretense that can be found in aristocrats. Her 86 years were definitely far from boring, on the other hand, the stories of her were not exactly relatable in an equal manner. How ...more
Marianne Villanueva
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I remember picking it up at the London Review Bookshop and telling the salesperson, "This is not my usual read, my taste in books seems to be declining." I was curious because of an interview with the author I happened to catch while I was in Dublin, in which she talked of being taken to a "naughty hotel" by her husband during their wedding night!

In the beginning, there was a description of Queen Elizabeth's coronation that seemed to go on for ages and had me bored to tears.
...more
The Library Lady
Anyone who has become riveted to "The Crown," will be fascinated by this autobiography of Anne Glenconner. Her incredibly unstable husband was the man who turned the island of Mustique into a playground for the rich, including Princess Margaret. Anne herself served for many years as one of Margaret's ladies in waiting, and you will get a very, VERY different view of Margaret through Anne's eyes--a much kinder one in general. There are lots of interesting tidbits such as a behind the scenes look ...more
Krista
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fascinating look at one relatively unknown woman's life and how it intersected with Princess Margaret's. The sections with Princess Margaret seemed like they might be a bit white washed, and I was much more interested in the inner-workings of the author's own family. Despite fabulous wealth and a title, her life was marked by terrible tragedy in a short space of time. I admired her ability to continue on in the face of terrible emotional obstacles, even as I raised my eyebrows at some ...more
Jenny
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming account of a young aristocratic woman who was a friend, and subsequently a lady-in-waiting, to the British royal family during the mid twentieth century. Whilst it is obvious the author isn’t a professional writer and is simply written, it is a heartfelt account of living in the shadow of royalty whilst trying to keep harmony within her own fraught family, suffering countless heartache and grief. There are some interesting antedoctes and I was really interested in the family’s setting ...more
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