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

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  14,958 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews
An 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. Th
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Tim Garner I thought it was a great book and was not written in a dull way at all. At times fascinating and at times tragic. Anne Glenconnor is funny and forgivi…moreI thought it was a great book and was not written in a dull way at all. At times fascinating and at times tragic. Anne Glenconnor is funny and forgiving to a husband who sounded like a complete ogre to live with. An excellent read (less)
L I would have had my marriage annulled the minute I arrived home from my (Horrendous) honeymoon!!! How she stayed married to him, I don't know. His bet…moreI would have had my marriage annulled the minute I arrived home from my (Horrendous) honeymoon!!! How she stayed married to him, I don't know. His betrayal in the end was absolutely devastating.
As far as her commitment to Princess Margaret, that's the job she signed up for and she seemed very good at it. (less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  14,958 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews

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Petra-X Off having adventures
I take exception to Anne Glenconner asserting that the local mixer for rum on her husband's island, Mustique was a 'revolting pink liquid' made from hibiscus and called sorrel. It is actually a really delicious drink made from the sepals of roselle. They are boiled up with water, sugar, orange peel, sometimes cloves and cinnamon served hot or cold, with or without rum.(view spoiler) ...more
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!
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 Dian
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could go long. Like Anne Tennant, Baroness of Glenconner's life. Zowza!

If she would have been a tad more forthcoming about her elderly years I would have given it a 5 star review. Despite her forgiving herself fairly easily for some major glitches passed to her next generation. Although I find myself solidly on Anne's page in nearly all- I have to note that particular exact judgment from the get-go. It's a flaw. A huge one, one that this noble class and UK culture seems to hold nearly ende
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting memoir from one of the ladies in waiting of Princess Margaret
Mixes the personal with what happens in court
Takes the reader on a trip through the Island Of Mesquite
Takes the reader to the highlands of Scotland
To Leicester
Around the globe
Into the turmoil of a family that had losses
Into what it feels like to be a mother who lost her sons and her husband
Clunky, ungrammatical prose detailing an incident-filled life. Oh, those wacky aristocrats! Yet there’s no real appreciation for the vast wealth frequently squandered and lives of unearned privilege. The only thing that was mildly amusing about this tedious memoir was the subversive revenge on people who treated the author badly, most significantly her husband and Princess Margaret. Her husband, one senses, wouldn’t have cared and Princess Margaret would have seen it as a betrayal, but they’re d ...more
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 i ...more
3.5 Stars

Anne Glenconner has lead a life of privilege among royalty and the aristocracy, but it hasn't protected her from marriage to a terrible man and the tragedy of losing two of her children. I can't help thinking she would have been better off if she had focused on getting a good education and had continued to work for her mother's pottery business.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How I loved every sentence of this book, with my glimpse into Royal life and the aristocracy (with my last job before retiring ) I had some idea the life the author had led,but soon realised there was so much more to learn
The memoirs start at her birth and end with her aged 87 and still discovering new things to do and see having experienced the most wonderful yet at times harrowing life, the book covers her 25 years as Lady In Waiting for Princess Margaret (up until her death) her personal life
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 in
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I don't know what possessed me to pick up this memoir. I thought it might be fun, but I should have really known better. Anne Glenconner is a British aristocrat who served as a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth II's sister). I didn't even know who the lady was to whom Anne was a lady in waiting, so you can see where I am coming from. I am definitely not one of those all agog with the doings of the British royals.

The book started off quite interesting with Anne's childhood. S
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, memoir
3.5 stars rounded up. Not any higher due to the clunky writing. The story was intriguing with an ability to describe emotion (despite the clunkiness) and context.
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 interac
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in reading about the life of a fascinating woman.
England, 1932. “I had tried so hard to be a boy.” Anne Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown is the dynamic memoir of Lady Glenconner’s life with all its tragedy, drama, adventure, disappointments, travel, and friendship with the British Royal Family. While in NYC selling pottery made at her home, Holkham Hall, one of the grandest estates in England, Lady Anne received a telegram informing her that she was to be one of the Maids of Honor at Queen Elizabet ...more
Elizabeth George
If you loved Downton Abbey, then you will love "Lady in Waiting." This is a memoir written by a woman who lived a life of privilege that makes the girls of Downton Abbey look like they belong in a Charles Dickens a workhouse. Anne Glenconner was born into mind-boggling wealth and privilege as one of the daughters of the Earl of Leicester whose ancestral home Holkam Hall is to this day used as a set for period films and costume dramas. She lived in a world of where people married for t ...more
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. ...more
Mandy Radley
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fascinating read. Highly recommend 😊
Maine Colonial
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british, audiobook, memoir
What a memoir! Her years as lady in waiting to Princess Margaret are just a small part of what makes her life story fascinating. And she’s such a good storyteller that I didn’t want the book to end.

The first laugh I got in the book was when she described how during WW2 she and her sister made plans in case the Germans invaded. They were sure the top Nazis would take over all the great country houses, so they decided they would charm their ways into whichever one Hitler had taken and poison him.
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 G
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this autobiography from Anne Glenconnor. What an extraordinary and eventful life she has led - Maid of Honour at the Queen's coronation, Lady in Waiting for Princess Margaret, a life lived between the UK and Mustique, the deaths of two of her children and, to top it all off, the death of her husband and the reading of the will!!!!! I thought the book was well written and I loved how it came to it's natural conclusion of Anne back near her childhood home, perfectly content wi ...more
Nat K
Jan 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Nat by: Judy Ryan
Thanks Ms. Judy! 👑
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 elepha ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished two books in one day?! What is this magic?

I enjoyed reading this memoir about Princess Margaret’s Lady in Waiting mostly because I LOVE Margaret so I wanted to see a personal account of what she was like. This book was pretty sad looking at how the author was often looked at as worthless by many people in her life including her father and her husband. Margaret, however, was always her friend and I loved seeing that kindness shine through that many people often overlook when they see th
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Glenconner's book is a snapshot into days gone by. The book appears to be transcribed from an oral history. Or it could be a compilation of Hello! articles.

These are the tales of an 87-yr-old great-grandmother, who delights in namedropping and laments the loss of an era where everyone "knew their place." There are lots of British royals, lots of lewd and outright abusive behaviors, perfect and not-so-perfect children, much aristocratic jockeying for position and nattering on and on about what a
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 extraordinary
Sid Nuncius
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lady In Waiting is well written, amusing in places and very sad in others and provides an excellent insight into the aristocratic world.

Lady Anne Glenconner is the eldest daughter of the Earl Of Essex and this is her account of her life, beginning with her childhood in Holkham, Norfolk, where she was friends with Princesses Elizabeth (now Queen) and Margaret. We get an involving and readable account of her life growing up there and away at school, her marriage to a phenomenally rich man who beha
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 i
Helen Carolan
Mar 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Dear me this was another bad one. I didn't finish this as she is such a self-centered hussy always oon the cadge for sympathy, while having very little of it herself. Felt almost sick reading her o woe is me life. Dreadful. ...more
Fiction Addition Angela
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book from my Mum who had read her life story and enjoyed it and then from watching a little about her on a TV show. She describes her life as ordinary when it clearly is far from it. (that incident didnt happen on my honeymoon)
Anne Glennconner was born into the aristocracy, the daughter of an Earl who grew up on a huge estate in Norfolk. Her life is shared with the Royal Family throughout all her decades and although she narrates us through it she also opens up about other asp
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Anne Veronica (Coke) Tennant, LVO, Baroness Glenconner is a daughter of Thomas W.E. Coke, MVO, GOC, 5th Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth Mary (Yorke) Tennant, Countess of Leicester.

Lady Glenconner served as a maid of honour at the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. She was Extra Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth II's sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon from 1971 until the Princess died

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