Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner
Fans of Netflix series The Crown and those who remember the ‘scandalous’ news stories about the late Princess Margaret will be fascinated by this memoir. Lady Anne Glenconner was born into a life of privilege. A daughter of the English aristrocracy, she counted Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret among her childhood friends and went on to marry the eccentric, ‘nouveau riche’ multi-millionaire Colin Tennant, who created the Caribbean island of Mustique as a resort for the rich and famous.
Anne’s connection with the royal princesses saw her become one of the maids of honour at the Queen’s coronation and, later, long-time lady in waiting and close friend of Princess Margaret – a role that ran in tandem with that of being wife of the highly temperamental but exceedingly generous Colin and mother to their five children. It has been a life of extreme contrasts – from the pomp and ceremony of the royal court to the hedonistic parties her husband threw on Mustique, where guests ranged from royalty to rock stars. But while there has been huge privilege, there has also been the challenge of having a husband who was prone to extreme outbursts of temper, often in very public places, and who was unashamedly unfaithful – plus immeasurable tragedy. Two of their sons died prematurely, while the third suffered a devastating brain injury in a horrific motorbike accident and likely only survived because of Anne’s refusal to give up on him.
Now aged 87, Lady Anne tells her memoir with dignity, her strength of character shining through as she gives us an inside look at a headline-making lifestyle far removed from anything most of us will ever experience. Entertaining, informative and revealing, it’s a riveting read.
Reviewer: Rowena Mara
Published by Hachette