Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Inspiring Childhood of the Queen

Source: Library of Congress: Buckingham Palace, 1940's. Mrs. Roosevelt visited the Royal Family in England.
(Left to Right: the King, Mrs. Roosevelt, the Queen, Princess Margaret Rose, Princess Elizabeth.)


Several years ago, I came across a charming book about the childhood of Queen Elizabeth II.  It was originally published in 1950.  The story was written in a beautiful, sweet, and lovely way by the family governess, Marion Crawford.  ("The Little Princesses")

This was the first time the public was given a glimpse into the private home life of the royal family. There was some misunderstanding with the author. It seems she thought she had permission from the Queen (the Mother of Queen Elizabeth II) to have the story published. Sadly, that does not seem to be the case and the writer lost a very dear relationship with the family.  However, the story is an incredible piece of history that is much appreciated.  

The book I have is a reprint which was published in 2002.  It includes an introduction by BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond. I appreciate the background she shared and her insight.

The book includes family photographs which add to the charm of the book.   The story begins with Miss Crawford as she is hired by the family to take care of the Princesses, who were then ages 5 and 2. I loved reading about the pleasant days at home, their routines, the description of their nursery, and the peaceful way of life they enjoyed.

Her writing is like a pleasant visit into another world. I will share a few quotes:

"She was what every good nurse ought to be - calm and kind, exuding that comfortable air of infallibility and security so necessary to the welfare of the young."

"English nursery tradition is dying out now, along with other admirable institutions that have provided some of our finest citizens."

"I had often the feeling that the Duke and Duchess, most happy in their own married life, were not over concerned with the higher education of their daughters. They wanted most for them a really happy childhood, with lots of pleasant memories stored up against the days that might come and, later, happy marriages."

"When Christmas came they duly hung out their stockings. And Papa and Mummie crept up, when at last the children slept, to fill them. They always had, besides this, one of those made-up net stockings full of pleasant little rubbishes - comic books, whistles, little balls, small tin frying-pans, and other nonsenses. They loved these dearly and kept all the empty ones year after year carefully put away."  

"Meantime, Queen Mary kept an eye on us as she had promised to do. She is one of the kindest and most considerate of people, and it is not for nothing that most of the staff in her employ have been there all their lives, and grown old with her."

The book continues on through the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and the birth of her first child. It is delightful and instructive reading. It will inspire many mothers with ideas and encouragement in creating happy homes for their own children.


Mrs. White

 From the Archives -

The Blessing of  -  The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Happy and Frugal Kitchen work  - Basic Cookery.

What Many of us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.


 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

  For Encouragement in Christian Homemaking, order Mrs. White's book, "Homemaking For Happiness: Wonderful Days at Home."

In this book, you will find essays, articles, and diary entries about life in a Christian home.

Entries are arranged by season, and include:  "Keeping a Frugal Kitchen;" "Missing the Lilacs;" "An Evening Walk in the Garden;" "At Grandmother's House;" and "Chores for Grandchildren."

You will also find a few photographs showing a little of the local landscape.

Paperback, 307 pages. 





Anonymous said...

That sounds delightful! Thank you for the recommendation! And thank you for your always timely encouragement.


Janine said...

I heard about this book recently, but until you described it, never thought I would want to read it! Sounds lovely!

Linda said...

I found this very interesting to read Mrs White, and would love to read the book as well. I remember when I was a little girl of about seven, that Princess Anne came to visit New Zealand. She actually arrived at the airport close to my town, so of course my parents took us all to see her arrive. I was so excited and their were huge crowds there all cheering.
Thank you for sharing this lovely memory associated with Queen Elizabeth II.
She will be sadly missed here in New Zealand. Blessings to you ~ Linda

Elizabethd said...

I had the same book with delightful photos in it. It was a sad end for Crawfie, as she was cut off by the Royal family, which does seem a bit unfair when one considers the types of books about 'Royalty' published nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Exploiting someone else's children for one's own personal financial gain does not make a person worth emulating or admiring, or someone to advertise for as you do here. I'm surprised at you, Mrs. White. I thought you stood for character and morality!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Our dear late Queen was blessed with such grounded and caring parents, who also taught her the Bible, nurturing within her a deep abiding love for Jesus which carried her through the 70 years of reigning Monarch.
There's a wonderful book about her faith, published by the British Bible Society (if you ever come across it, I recommend it...or perhaps you could borrow from a library?) titled "The Servant Queen and the King She Serves". It was published as a tribute on her 90th birthday.
The back cover shares an excerpt from her 2002 Christmas message -
"I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try and do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that day brings, and to put my trust in God...I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel."
Blessings to you, Mrs White!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, I would just like to give a kind reminder of Mrs. White's many, many years of humble and gentle writing, her simple yet important books, and the sweet way she advocates for a way of life that might bring joy to many a family, as difficult and different as it may seem. I hear your comment, but felt a little taken aback by the harsh tone you have taken with sweet and gracious Mrs. White.