First, I watched That BBC interview with Prince Andrew.
Then I watched Season 3 of The Crown.
And sandwiched between these 2 “royal” events, I read a just-published memoir, with lots of jolly stories about how super and smashing the royal family is.
And let me own up – this book is an immensely fun read.
This autobiography, written by the sprightly 87 year old Lady Anne Glenconner, is a rattling good read, galloping along at a fairly breathless pace, and entertaining us all the way.
Anne Glenconner has lived a life of great privilege, and also one of great sorrow, losing 2 of her sons when they were still young men – one to AIDS and the other to heroin addiction. She nursed her 3rd son back from a coma, after he was badly injured in a horrific motorbike accident.
But not once in her book is there a hint of self pity, neither about these heartbreaking personal tragedies, nor about her eccentric and erratic husband, Lord Colin Tennant. The author speaks in a brisk, no-nonsense voice, accepting life’s vicissitudes, and comes across as a thoroughly lovely, gutsy lady.
A close friend of the royal family, as a little girl the young Anne played with the current Queen and her sister, and was famously one of the Queen’s 6 ladies in waiting at her coronation:
Lady Glenconner’s life story truly is an amazing one, taking us from her family home, Holkham Hall, an 18th century Palladian style house on the Norfolk coast, to the tropical island of Mustique, which her husband bought on a whim, and turned into a party destination for the very rich and the very famous.
Lady Glenconner became Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, and is a loyal, staunch supporter of a royal who has garnered much negative press. It is interesting to see the “other”, unknown side of the Queen’s younger sister.
And if ever there was a delicious case of life imitating art, it was the visit of the actress Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret in The Crown, researching the part, that prompted Lady Glenconner to write her memoirs.
Neatly trying all the threads of an extraordinary life together.
A fun read, showing us a lifestyle that has gone for ever – just as we are all rediscovering it thanks to Netflix.
Here you go. The link to order this most enjoyable of memoirs: