I received a free copy of The Royal Nanny from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 21, 2016)
April, 1897: A young nanny arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. She is excited, exhausted—and about to meet royalty. . . .
So begins the unforgettable story of Charlotte Bill, who would care for a generation of royals as their parents never could. Neither Charlotte—Lala, as her charges dub her—nor anyone else can predict that eldest sons David and Bertie will each one day be king. Lala knows only that these children, and the four who swiftly follow, need her steadfast loyalty and unconditional affection.
But the greatest impact on Charlotte’s life is made by a mere bud on the family tree: a misunderstood soul who will one day be known as the Lost Prince. Young Prince John needs all of Lala’s love, the kind of love his parents won’t—or can’t—show him.
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KAREN HARPER is a former Ohio State University instructor and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor-era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novelShattered Secrets was judged one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine.
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I have to admit I was drawn to this story before I realized it was based on a real person. I suppose I should have known that but it somehow just didn’t occur to me for some reason. Parts of the tale are fictionalized but the woman at the heart of the story cared for the two young boys who would become Edward VIII and George VI not to mention all of their siblings.
Charlotte Bill was recommended to a position in the royal nursery but when she arrived and settled in she found that the head nurse (what we now know as a nanny) was mistreating the young royals. She had the courage to speak up and then surprisingly found herself in charge of the nursery. The children and the royal family ended up calling her Mrs. Lala and so she remained for the rest of her life.
The story follows Charlotte as she manages and yes loves her growing brood of royal children. The reader sees that despite their privilege they are still just children looking for love and acceptance but it was not coming from their parents. They got it from their grandparents and always from Mrs. Lala. While the novel is about Charlotte’s care of all of the children the bulk of it focuses on her time with the last of them, little John who had epilepsy. In those days children with the disorder where hidden away. It was not at all understood. Charlotte fought hard to care for her young charge.
This was a fascinating look into the world of the royal family and it did not always paint a rosy picture of the various members. The only constant through all of the turmoil in the family and the world is Mrs. Lala. The book follows her into her retirement where she remained a friend to the royal family. She was ever loyal to them, sacrificing a personal life to the care of her charges. It was a hard book to put down once I started reading and I enjoyed learning some new bits and pieces of English history.