Lady in waiting by Anne Glenconner starts off down a seemingly innocent trajectory recalling her childhood growing up in Holkham Hall where she would play with Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth as children. Her life becomes full of unpredictable twists and turns which makes for great reading in this truely fascinating memoir.
Anne having served as a Maid of Honour at the Queens coronation goes on to become one of Princess Margarets Ladies In Waiting developing a very special life long friendship with the Princess. Anne marries one of Princess Margarets aristocratic friends and goes into great detail retelling all the complicated fascists of her marriage to Collin Tennat, who went on to become Lord Glenconner. Collin is a very eccentric and difficult husband turning Anne’s former life on its head and shifting into something quite extraordinary.
Her marriage and friendship with Princess Margaret are only part of what makes Anne’s life so worth retelling as she goes on to recall everything from extra marital affairs, to life on the Caribbean island of Mustique owned by her husband, being raised by a nanny, misunderstandings of mental health, the AIDs crisis in Britain, the vicious UK paparazzi and saddest of all loosing 2 of her adult sons and another ending up in a coma for 4 months after a terrible accident. This probably sounds like I’ve spoiled the whole story but this is just what’s on the back cover and there’s so much more detail to be enjoyed.
Although this book was generally easy reading I found the referencing to people by their royal titles slightly confusing as I couldn’t always put titles to names. The book does also jump around in time but this only highlights the layers of complexity in her life. I really enjoyed the way she just tells it like it was, much a reflection of her “get on with it” attitude that has seen her through life. It really is just fascinating how much life throws at her and how gracefully she manages to carry on through it all.