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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,864 ratings  ·  121 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,864 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Kirsty Keddie
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Nat K
Jan 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Nat by: Judy Ryan
Thanks Ms. Judy! ...more
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
Moira Collett
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall - 4.25/5
Story - 4/5
Writing - 4/5
Insight - 5/5
Enjoyment - 4/5

The focus of this book is not on Princess Margaret, and thank goodness, because Lady Glenconnor's life is quite incredible. From her time growing up in Holkham, her marriage to the absolutely bonkers Colin Tennant and her tragic tales of addiction, disease and loss. This isn't just an insight into royal life, it's the autobiography of quite an incredible lady. If you can still catch the episode of Graham Norton she was on then
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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
Helen Watts
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
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
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Conrad Timon
Just ok
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book very much. It charts the life and times of lady anne Glenconner. It was good to see her character emerge from the flamboyant shadow of her husband. I found myself wondering how and why she stuck in the marriage. She addresses this by contextualising that this was what you did in those days and also they were best of friends and good at business together. I felt that this wasn’t really enough for Colin tenants appalling behaviour over decades. However, I admired her stoicism as ...more
Christine Beswick
I listened to the audio book because it was read by Lady Anne Glenconner herself. She read with humour and a depth of emotion, and I loved it all! She faced both the good times and the terrible tragedies with a level of single minded perseverance and strength which is sometimes difficult to comprehend. A fascinating insight, too, into the lives of aristocracy and royalty in the UK during the mid to late 20th century
Helen Smith
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a fascinating book, but the rich/posh are different
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely a guilty pleasure. The post war aristocratic world of a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, sister to the Queen. Nearly 9 decades of a life that looks gilded from the outside. It's not particularly well written and feels like a diary that has been mined for stories then curated into book form. And maybe that's it's charm. There is an authenticity about it...not least in her reflections of motherhood "in her day". It could well add to any British republican's determination to ...more
Katherine Shippin
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit addictive and is a candid look at Lady Glenconner’s interesting and often tough life. TA good read for fans of the Crown on Netflix. It is written in a familiar style, feels like the author is a friend.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great read to finish 2019. I thought this would be a bit of a tell all about Margaret (who I loved in the Crown) but this lady's story is fascinating on its own right. What an inspiration!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook as it's narrated by the author herself so adds to the very regal feeling of it all. She's had a very interesting life indeed. Just wondering why, when she was so brutally honest about everything else, she didn't discuss Colin's sexuality more? I kept waiting for her to explore it. Maybe she ignored it, like was to be expected. If you enjoyed The Crown then you'll enjoy this.
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
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Zoe Colvin
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Having read a very funny review, I came to this book with high hopes. Boy, what a disappointment it turned out to be. Lady Glenconner cannot write for toffee. She is a person who has had quite a life but her account of it has all the excitement and narrative drive of a telephone directory. Understatement and stiff upper lippery is so pronounced in her character that her verdict on her marriage to a serially unfaithful man who regularly erupted into unspeakable rage and occasionally bought ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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