Marion Crawford, or Crawfie as she called, was the governess of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. She spent many years with the Princesses, and she did not retire until Princess Elizabeth married in 1947. She was granted a grace and favour residence on the grounds of Kensington Palace, but she left there in 1950 after the publication of The Little Princesses, which she wrote about the Princesses. After she wrote the book, she was ostracized by the royal family, and they never spoke to her again. She retired to Aberdeen, where she bought a house close to Balmoral, and the royal family often drive by on their way to Balmoral, though they never visited her. She became depressed in her final years and died in 1988.
The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden is a fictional account of Marion’s life and shows us how Marion came to work for the then Duke and Duchess of York, despite wanting to work in the slums. I have not read The Little Princesses, so I don’t know how close to the facts (or at least what Marion believed to be the facts) this book is. I found The Royal Governess interesting at first, but it soon became a bit long-winded. Marion’s apparent disdain for her new employers did not sit well with me, as did the constant hammering of her wanting to work in the slums and/or teaching Princess Elizabeth about real life. Marion herself comes across as quite naive, especially when dealing with romance and men.
Overall, The Royal Governess is enjoyable, but I would say that it didn’t quite hit the mark for me.