Historical Fiction

Coming 2021: A new historical novel from Tessa Arlen.

Princess Elizabeth has fallen in love and no one in the Royal House of Windsor is happy for her–except her governess, Marion Crawford, and her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose.

My new historical fiction: IN ROYAL SERVICE TO THE QUEEN is based on the little-known true story of Marion Crawford, who spent sixteen years in service to the British royal family as the beloved governess of young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, and whose troubled relationship with the Queen ultimately forced her to choose between her loyalty to the crown and her own happiness.

Crawfie was ‘recruited’ by the then Duchess of York, later Queen Elizabeth, when she was twenty-two, as a governess to the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. “Nothing too academic or rigorous,” the Duke of York (later to become King George VI after the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII) warned the young governess. “I want them to have fun.” And so Crawfie spent the next decade doing all she could to give the princesses as normal a childhood as possible given the formality of life in Britain in the 1930s: trips on a double-decker bus to buy their Christmas gifts at Woolworth’s; putting on pantomimes at Christmas to raise money for charity; and joining the Girl Guides at Windsor Castle where they spent the years of WWII when their father was king, and their mother busy playing a supportive yet powerful role as queen consort.

But the little princesses grew-up, and when Crawfie believed she could marry and start a family of her own, Princess Elizabeth fell in love with the last man her mother would have chosen for Britain’s heir presumptive to the throne.

This is the story of a strong minded queen, a dutiful princess who has fallen passionately in love, and a governess who put her life on hold . . .