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Lady in Waiting

Anne Glenconner

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
30 June 2020
Biography; Autobiography: general; Autobiography: royalty; Memoirs; Social & cultural history
DAILY MAIL'S 'BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS TO HELP YOU THROUGH LOCKDOWN'

The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.

Anne Glenconner has been close to the Royal Family since childhood. Eldest child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, she was, as a daughter, described as 'the greatest disappointment' by her family as she was unable to inherit. Her childhood home Holkham Hall is one of the grandest estates in England. Bordering Sandringham the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were frequent playmates.

From Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation to Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner is a unique witness to royal history, as well as an extraordinary survivor of a generation of aristocratic women trapped without inheritance and burdened with social expectations.

She married the charismatic but highly volatile Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who became the owner of Mustique. Together they turned the island into a paradise for the rich and famous, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie, and it became a favourite retreat for Princess Margaret.

But beneath the glitz and glamour there has also lurked tragedy. On Lord Glenconner's death in 2010 he left his fortune to a former employee. And of their five children, two grown-up sons died, while a third son had to be nursed back from a coma by Anne, after having suffered a near fatal accident.

Anne Glenconner writes with extraordinary wit, generosity and courage and she exposes what life was like in her gilded cage, revealing the role of her great friendship with Princess Margaret, and the freedom she can now finally enjoy in later life. She will appear as a character in the new series of THE CROWN this spring.


'Beautifully written . . . very entertaining, very funny' RICHARD & JUDY
'It's an astonishing story and narrated with a deceptive simplicity. There isn't a boring sentence in the entire book' DAILY MAIL 'Remarkable . . . If your jaw doesn't drop at least three times every chapter, you've not been paying proper attention' THE SUNDAY TIMES
'Gentle, wise, unpretentious, but above all inspiring' THE TIMES
'A candid, witty and stylish memoir' MIRANDA SEYMOUR, FINANCIAL TIMES
'Stalwart and disarmingly honest . . . emotion resonates through this delightful memoir' THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
'Discretion and honour emerge as the hallmarks of Glenconner's career as a royal servant, culminating in this book which manages to be both candid and kind' GUARDIAN
'A startling, rare, beguiling insight into a lost world of royalty and celebrity with as many tears as there are titles' DAILY EXPRESS
'I couldn't put it down. Funny and touching - like looking through a keyhole at a lost world.' RUPERT EVERETT
By:   Anne Glenconner
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   259g
ISBN:   9781529359107
ISBN 10:   1529359104
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   30 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lady Glenconner is now 87. She was born Lady Anne Coke in 1932, the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, and growing up in their ancestral estate at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. A Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation, she married Lord Glenconner in 1956. They had 5 children together of whom 3 survive. In 1958 she and her husband began to transform the island of Mustique into a paradise for the rich and famous. They granted a plot of land to Princess Margaret who built her favourite home there. She was appointed Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret in 1971 and kept this role - accompanying her on many state occasions and foreign tours - until her death in 2002. Lord Glenconner died in 2010, leaving everything in his will to his former employee. She now lives in a farmhouse near Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

Reviews for Lady in Waiting

'The stoical Lady G writes with infectious joy and optimism' * Daily Express * 'A captivating account of a life lived with resilience and grace' * Daily Mail * 'The publishing sensation of 2019, this candid, wise, witty and gossip-filled memoir by Princess Margaret's 87-year-old former lady-in-waiting (and best friend) tells the true story behind the scenes in The Crown - and reminds us that, sometimes, it's the minor characters who give us the sharpest view of history' * Daily Telegraph * 'Finely drawn . . . Glenconner has an eye for detail' * London Review of Books * 'Anne Glenconner writes with wit, generosity and courage about her life in a gilded cage ... Fascinating!' * Platinum * 'Funny, revelatory, poignant, occasionally jaw-dropping' * Sunday Times * 'Lady Glenconner displays resilience of a different kind in her memoir about the astonishing ups and downs of her artistocratic life' * Mail on Sunday * 'Stalwart and disarmingly honest . . . emotion resonates through this delightful memoir' * The Wall Street Journal * '[Lady in Waiting] has two things going for it: the first is that it is not what it seems; it is definitely not a lavender sort of scented memoir . . . Its other great strength is Glenconner herself' -- Hadley Freeman * Guardian * 'Sparkling, endearing and alarming' * Times Literary Supplement * 'A riotous social document and a beautifully written account of a vivid life superbly lived' * The Critic * 'Such a moving book' -- Bella Mackie 'One of the most enjoyable books of 2019 . . . Anne Glenconner, now 87, captures a lost world in which she waited (with remarkable good grace) on Princess Margaret. Sometimes the best view of history is given by the minor characters' -- Allison Pearson * Sunday Telegraph * 'Discretion and honour emerge as the hallmarks of Glenconner's career as a royal servant, culminating in this book which manages to be both candid and kind.' -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian * 'Riveting life' -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * 'Lady in Waiting has made me laugh and cry several times. I raced through it in 4 days. Book heaven' -- Fearne Cotton 'Beyond admirable' -- Sophie Money-Coutts * Sunday Telegraph * 'Captivating' -- Catherine Bennett * Observer * 'Fascinating and beautifully written . . . I can't recommend [Glenconner's] book high enough' * Spectator * 'This riveting read will leave you open-mouthed and hungry for more.' * Sunday Post * 'This year's Ma'am Darling - the perfect book to curl up on the sofa with.' * The i * 'The author reads her own words in indomitable fashion, and anyone who enjoyed Craig Brown's life of Glenconner's former employer, Ma'am Darling, will find this fascinating.' * Financial Times * 'This outlandish memoir drips with royal tidbits . . . but it's also insightful on the more damaging aspects of being a member of the British aristocracy. Sobering - and terrific fun' * Metro * 'Rollicking . . . [Lady in Waiting] paints such a rich picture of the aristocracy it's impossible not to marvel at the institution, both in admiration and horror' * Sydney Morning Herald * 'It's impossible not to admire her fortitude . . . funny and sometimes dazzling' -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * 'A remarkable life, remarkably told' * The Sunday Times * 'The insider memoir of the year' -- Julian Glover * Evening Standard * 'Wonderful' -- Janice Turner * The Times * 'This memoir made me laugh, wince, cry and gasp. For anyone who craves a bracing dose of the older generation's stiff upper lip, Anne Glenconner provides it.' -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * Daily Mail * 'An absolute hoot' * The Times * 'A candid, witty and stylish memoir' -- Miranda Seymour * Financial Times * '[An] astounding memoir' -- India Knight * The Sunday Times Magazine * 'A romp of an autobiography' * The Times T2 * 'Marvellous book . . . one's eyes were on stalks' -- Jan Moir * Daily Mail * 'It's a total hoot - I couldn't put it down' -- Janet Street-Porter 'A startling, rare, beguiling insight into a lost world of royalty and celebrity with as many tears as there are titles' * Daily Express * 'A funny, sometimes tragic and disarmingly frank memoir . . . Lady in Waiting is gentle, wise, unpretentious, but above all inspiring' * The Times * 'Remarkable . . . If your jaw doesn't drop at least three times every chapter, you've not been paying proper attention' * The Sunday Times * 'Anne Glenconner has written a remarkable memoir - containing, at last, a genuine portrait of Princess Margaret from one who knew her well. But this book is poignant too, and through the pages shine her courage and good-humoured acceptance of her demons and tragedies' -- Hugo Vickers 'I couldn't put it down. Funny and touching - like looking through a keyhole at a lost world' -- Rupert Everett 'Lady Glenconner's life story is a combination of royal magic, personal tragedy and resilient survival. With humour, courage and preternatural poise, she at last tells the story of her uniquely fascinating life' -- Tina Brown


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