In Royal Service to the Queen 

a Novel of the Queen’s Governess


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“Engrossing. Fans of The Crown will devour this.” Publishers Weekly. 

Read full review here


Marion Crawford can remember each of the wonderful sixteen years when she was governess to the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Marion had been a vital part of their lives; someone they confided in, needed, trusted, and loved. These memories will never dim, ever. In her mind, she will always be their Crawfie.

But things become increasingly complicated as the young princesses navigate adulthood. It is May 1945, and Princess Elizabeth—the heiress presumptive to the British throne—has fallen in love, and the only member of her family who is happy for her is her governess. No one in the young princess’s life thinks that Prince Philip of Greece would be a suitable husband for the future Queen of England. No one, that is, except for Marion Crawford.

Crawfie wholeheartedly supports Elizabeth in her determination to marry Philip. She too has fallen in love—and has convinced her fiancé, George, that they must wait for Elizabeth and Philip to receive the King’s blessing before she can leave her service to the Crown.

Over the next two years, Crawfie is caught between loyalty to Princess Elizabeth; running the risk of alienating her royal employer, Queen Elizabeth; and losing the man she loves. But as Crawfie prevails to marry George and stands with him in Westminster Abbey on Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding day, she is unaware that her troubled relationship with Queen Elizabeth is far from over. And just around the corner is a betrayal that will sever her bond with the royal family forever.

Advance praise:

“Tessa’s story of Princess Elizabeth’s governess gives us a fascinating, meticulously researched, insight into the workings of the royal family. It is a story that resonates particularly today.”-New York Times Bestselling author Rhys Bowen

A tantalizing and poignant tale of the young royal princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, and the remarkable woman who guided them to adult life. Wise, loyal and fierce, Crawfie is a heroine for the ages. Arlen’s storytelling should thrill anyone who loved THE CROWN. — Stephanie Barron, author of THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN. 

Fans of The Crown will enjoy this poignant look behind the royal curtain, and will celebrate and mourn with Marion Crawford, tutor to the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, as she is forced to choose between sharing the lives of the girls she loves or creating a life and family of her own. It’s an emotional story of the struggle between duty to a sovereign and duty to one’s heart ∼ Georgie Blalock ∼ Author of The Last Debutantes