Sunday, September 20, 2020

Before the Crown by Flora Harding

Before the Crown
Book Summary

Before the Crown by Flora Harding has Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle in 1943 with her family.  Two years prior, Princess Elizabeth had seen Prince Philip when he attended an event hosted by her parents.  She was captivated by him and Princess Elizabeth has been writing to him ever since.  They meet again at Christmas when Princess Elizabeth is seventeen and she is hoping that Prince Philip will see her in a new light.  Prince Philip is being urged by his Uncle Dickie to pursue Princess Elizabeth.  It would be a good match for him since he is a prince without a country or an inheritance.  Princess Elizabeth’s parents, though, are not keen on Prince Philip.  Princess Elizabeth will need to stand her ground if she wishes to marry the man she desires. 
The four royal pantos were staged during the war after the future Queen and her younger sister were evacuated from Buckingham Palace at the conflict (pictured Elizabeth and Margaret during Aladdin in 1943). The pair stayed at the Royal Lodge, in Windsor, until 1945. Their parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stayed in London during the week and returned to them at weekends. The idea to stage a panto came after the two young princesses appeared in a concert with children from the Royal Scho
Queen Elizabeth & Princess Margaret dressed for Aladdin
My Thoughts

Before the Crown by Flora Harding allows readers to get a behind the scenes look at the courtship between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  I found the book easy to read, but I did feel it had slow pacing and it lacked depth.  Before the Crown seemed to be aimed at a younger audience.  The point-of-view alternates between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  We get to see what each one thought and how they felt as the relationship progressed.  We get to see different moments of their relationship.  It is small snippets of time.  I was disappointed that their original meeting was not included.  The story builds up to the wedding, but the actual event is not included.  I found the ending to be dissatisfying.  I like how it made Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and the other members of the royal family seem like real people.  Queen Elizabeth is so confident and poised, but she was not always this way.  I liked seeing how she felt about being queen and dealing with her shyness.  There is some mild foul language in the book.  It is wise to remember that this is a fictionalized account of events.  It would have been helpful if the author had added an afterward on what was fact and what was fiction.  Before the Crown is a book that will appeal to those who are fascinated by the royal family and enjoy watching “The Crown”. 
People will say we're in love.
Before the Crown is available from Amazon* (plus Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Chapter's, Waterstone's).  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring First Class Killer by Tonya Kappes.  It is the 5th A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  I hope that you have a spirited day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

1957. Queen Elizabeth II reads to Princess Anne- Lord Snowdon, 1957
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