Before the Crown
By Flora Harding
Published by One More Chapter
What it’s about:
Before the crown there was a love story…
Windsor Castle, 1943
As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.
One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.
But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.
He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…
Step through the palace gates and discover a captivating historical novel of royal secrets and forbidden love exploring the tempestuous courtship between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the wake of WWII.
What I think:
It’s almost easy to forget that the Queen and Prince Phillip are real people they are so iconic.
This is the story of their courtship and romance. And it makes them both seem very real.
Finding a husband for Princess Elizabeth after WW2 was an issue of national importance.
Everyone has an opinion:
King George is loath to yet his daughter become an independent woman and love the family unit of four.
Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) has a list of eligible men from good society families that she thinks are suitable.
Lord Mountbatten is ambitious and encourages his nephew Prince Philip to court the princess.
The British Government are concerned with anti-foreign feeling and Prince Philip’s family links to Nazi Germany.
Then you have Elizabeth and Philip themselves.
Elizabeth has long been in love with Philip but will put duty before her personal feelings and will not go against her family’s wishes.
Philip likes and admires Elizabeth. He enjoys her company but does he love her? He does not fit in with the Royal Family. He does not shoot and hunt, likes drinking with his friends and is penniless. He is concerned about his future role as consort to the future Queen and what that will mean. Is
Despite knowing the outcome of this romance – I don’t need to worry about spoilers here! – the book manages to convey the tension and doubts that the young couple have. The claustrophobic and surprisingly limited experiences of Elizabeth and Margaret and their life at Windsor Castle is vividly recreated.
Despite the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Family, Elizabeth’s life is horse riding, dog walking, nursery dinners and soap rations.
I really enjoyed this book. It takes you back to the 1940s and is completely compelling. Fans of the Crown are going to love this.
Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.
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