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Publisher's Summary

"Engrossing. Fans of The Crown will devour this." (Publishers Weekly)

The revealing story of Queen Elizabeth II's beloved governess, Marion Crawford, who spent more than 16 years of her life in loyal service to the royal family and was later shunned by those she has loved and served.

Marion Crawford can remember each of the wonderful years when she was governess to the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose: included in their lives, confided in, needed, trusted, and loved. These memories will never dim, ever. In Marion's mind, she will always be their Crawfie.

But things become increasingly complicated as the young royals navigate adulthood. It is May 1945 and Princess Elizabeth - the heiress presumptive to the British throne - has fallen in love, and the only member of her family who is happy for her is her governess. No one in the young princess's life thinks that Prince Philip of Greece would be a suitable husband for the future queen of England. No one that is, except for Marion Crawford.

Crawfie wholeheartedly supports Elizabeth in her determination to marry Philip. She too has fallen in love - and has convinced her fiancé, George, that they must wait for Elizabeth and Philip to receive the king's blessing before she can leave her service to the Crown.

Over the next two years Crawfie is caught between loyalty to Princess Elizabeth; running the risk of alienating her royal employer, Queen Elizabeth; and losing the man she loves. But as Crawfie prevails to marry George and stands with him in Westminster Abbey on Elizabeth and Philip's wedding day, she is unaware that her troubled relationship with Queen Elizabeth is far from over. And just around the corner is a betrayal that will sever her bond with the royal family forever.

©2021 Tessa Arlen (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Tessa’s story of Princess Elizabeth’s governess gives us a fascinating, meticulously researched, insight into the workings of the royal family. It is a story that resonates particularly today.” (New York Times best-selling author Rhys Bowen)

"Fans of The Crown will enjoy this poignant look behind the royal curtain, and will celebrate and mourn with Marian Crawford, tutor to the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, as she is forced to choose between sharing the lives of the girls she loves or creating a life and family of her own. It’s an emotional story of the struggle between duty to a sovereign and duty to one’s heart." (Georgie Blalock, author of The Last Debutantes

"A tantalizing and poignant tale of the young royal princesses. Wise, loyal and fierce, Crawfie is a heroine for the ages. Arlen's storytelling should thrill anyone who loved The Crown." (Stephanie Barron, author of That Churchill Woman

What listeners say about In Royal Service to the Queen

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  • Jenna Lenn
  • 2021-09-12

Crawford Deserves to be Honored

This book gives voice and life to a face Royal Fans have been trained to despise or otherwise ignore. Tessa does a fantastic job bringing Crawford to life!
She is single handedly the woman who raised HM The Queen and HRH The Princess Margaret. She formed the young woman who would become the young Queen and perhaps her abrupt departure when Margaret was 18 led to the loneliness and abandonment she would fight the rest of her life…
Crawfie deserves to be celebrated in history, not shunned.
Congratulations to the author and reader for a fabulous listen! Highly recommended!

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  • natalie Smith
  • 2021-07-21

In addition to The Crown

I loved the series The Crown so I knew I would like this book. It gives another view of the royals and especially Elizabeth as she was growing up.

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  • sharon
  • 2021-07-05

Interesting Take on the Royal Family

Yet another tale of the Royal Family. While a fictional story it was certainly based on sources from other books.
Once again it illustrates the selfish royals using their servants and their loyalty to their own advantage as if They are
entitled to drain everyone dry until they are almost useless and have no personal lives .
The only one who comes off as human is the current Queen. Q Elizabeth I( if accurately portrayed) is a complete control
freak and very selfish. Margaret is a spoiled wild child with no morals.
(Crawfie) who devoted almost 20 years to the Little Princesses ended up shunned by Elizabeth 1 for the rest of her life.
Tragic! This should be a cautionary tale to all those in service to Royalty.
Narration was excellent.