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Lady in Waiting

My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown
Written by: Anne Glenconner
Narrated by: Anne Glenconner
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

USA Today best seller

The Sunday Times best seller

The Globe and Mail best seller

ABA Indie best seller

The Times (UK) Memoir of the Year 

One of Newsweek's Most Anticipated Books of 2020

An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Anne Glenconner - a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. As seen on Netflix's The Crown.

Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the fifth Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed "the greatest disappointment" and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive the vipers of court life with her sense of humor intact.

A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne's life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret's closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her "mad blood"; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities.

With unprecedented insight into the royal family, Lady in Waiting is a witty, candid, dramatic, at times heart-breaking personal story capturing life in a golden cage for a woman with no inheritance.

©2020 Anne Glenconner (P)2020 Hachette Books

What the critics say

"Royal obsessives and casual observers alike will devour this memoir by the confidante-a noble herself-of Princess Margaret. Glenconner candidly writes about the unimaginable tragedies she endured in her personal life, and of the gilded affairs she witnessed on the periphery of royal life." (Newsweek)

"It's a total hoot - I can't put it down." (Janet Street-Porter, Daily Mail)

"Meticulously detailed....[W]hat makes this account fresh and poignant is Glenconner's use of affluent characters to demonstrate the extent to which class trumps power....By unflinchingly examining everything from her troubled marriage and her fraught relationship with her children to the solace she found in service, the author emerges as a flawed yet steely woman worthy of respect. In laying her life bare, she demonstrates the limitations of being a woman in the British class system, showing that privilege is no insulation from suffering or pain. A must-have for loyal royal fans." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Lady in Waiting

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story but the sound editing...

Anybody interested in British history, and the behind-the-scenes workings of nobility and royalty should find this memoir very worth reading or listening to. It's also very interesting to hear the author's account of 'just getting on with it', especially during some extremely challenging times. However, I really wish that the sound engineer had done a better job of removing the very frequent swallows, gulps, and lip-smackings which became very distracting at times. Usually this kind of thing would be dealt with, especially as this is an elderly person who is not a professional audiobook narrator and a best-selling work so they should have been the budget to do this.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating tales from behind the scenes

How the other half lives may surprise you. Lady Glenconner's anecdotes are told with humour, insight, and generosity. Her humanity is always inspiring. Enjoy!

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What a story!

Lady Glenconner does a fantastic job of reading her own story. What an incredible life. You certainly couldn’t make it up.

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  • TD
  • 2020-07-13

Lovley memoire

Lady Glennconner's story is both interesting, funny and sad all at the same time. I quite enjoyed her narration, glad that she decided to read her book herself.

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I loved every minute ❤

listening to Anne I felt as though I was sitting in a room with her as she unveiled her lifestory. Beautifully written and so heart warming. I highly recommend this book.

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Enjoyable.

I was surprised at the end when the book was finished, that there was a disclaimer noted that the book was fiction? Surprising. I feel this is an error?

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Surprises in every chapter

Not surprises of the royal behind the scenes gossip type, although there is some of that, but the story of an extraordinary woman. Anne has lived through 8 decades of changing times and faced circumstances that would have devastated most. You will be captivated by her story.

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Takes you inside the Royal lives.

Loved it, interesting about the health and choice issues with her sons. Anna is a great story teller. Nice that it is in her own words.

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Enjoyed this so much

Fascinating. I want to know more, see pictures, visit the places mentioned and that's the sign of a great story right?

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Fascinating story of an exceptional woman

The stories told in the book are vidid and real. Very memorable giving a brilliant sense of life at the time and place. I found Anne to be such a interesting lady with a positive and unique perspective. Listening to this book read by her brought on many emotions but most of all inspiration to enjoy day to day what you can because life is always changing.

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  • Teddy hall
  • 2020-03-27

Horrible Reading

Prime example of why an author should not read their own material. I don’t know whats worse, the gross sounds of her licking her lips every 10 seconds or her mumbling. I’m extremely disappointed, I have been waiting for this book since 10/2019 and I even preordered it. Save your audible credit and borrow the book from a library!

79 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Linda Gustaffsen
  • 2020-03-31

Might have been a good story....

But I could not get past the first half. The author reads much to fast resulting in non-stop gulping, hard swallowing and lip smacking as she races along. Disappointing as I had looked forward to this book. Not sure the first half left me interested enough to buy the kindle edition and read the rest for myself.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Renee Wilson
  • 2020-04-15

I should not have pre-ordered this book

I am one of those people who cannot stand to hear people chew and swallow their food loudly . The reader aka author swallows and gulps her way thru this novel so much that I had to stop listening before the end of the first chapter. Never again will I order an audiobook read by the author.

41 people found this helpful

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  • The Big Man
  • 2020-03-27

What a great story!

I absolutely loved this book. Lady Glenconner has lived a fabulous life and met some very famous people along the way. I especially loved hearing the behind scenes stories about the Coronation and her wedding night made me laugh out loud. Unfortunately, I thought the performance could have been better. Lady Glenconner's hard swallow at the end of a sentence was quite annoying but by the end of the book, I felt as though I was having a personal conversation her and she was telling me her life story. This book is a peak into the Royal Family but don't expect gossip and dirt. This is a story of an extraordinary woman who just happen to know a few famous people.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Rita T
  • 2020-03-24

Prime example of why authors should not read...

...their own books. I am hate to return this one because I had pre-ordered it and was so excited but it might be best to get the actual book or the kindle version.

36 people found this helpful

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  • D. Ollero
  • 2020-04-05

Very interesting

I enjoyed this book very much, especially because the author read it. One thing that puzzled me is that the disclaimer at the end said it was a work of fiction and I was under the impression that it was her biography.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Nurture Learners and Able Observers
  • 2020-04-09

Most Fascinating and Well Read and Written Memior!

I think I have more than 500 memoirs in my library. I do not rate them all or write reviews for all. This memoir, read by the author, has been a most fabulous read! Fascinating stories! Not sure why there were some negative reviews on the narration, I can guess some readers were raised on Disney's voice-over actors in animation flicks? Maybe they have never traveled over the town line? The book is read in the most perfect English dialect. Readers should not be dumbed down listening to books or intimidated by proper English. I loved this book and I loved listening to the author share her own very unique and fascinating stories with such honesty and humility. Listening to this book I felt like I was on a long ocean voyage in a new exotic place! Meeting with the most interesting people! She is such a master storyteller! A consummate muse! It is easy to understand why the princess of England demanded her company and companionship for so many decades. I will read this book more than once. Do not deny yourself this pleasure! Truly fabulous company! I only wish this were volume one and I had several more volumes to look forward to! But somewhat confused at the very end of the listen, to hear that the book is purely a work of fiction. And none of the characters actually exist. Production error? Not a small one!

28 people found this helpful

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  • Icelandia
  • 2020-07-22

Truly Extraordinary Life

I found the seeming honesty and behind the closed door account of life as a Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret as well as a wife and mother touching and fascinating. I admire Anne Glenconner's grit, tenacity, forgiving nature, and self-analysis. She is a very good writer and a terrific reader. She endured so many challenges and tragedies in her life and finally has the opportunity for reflection. I am grateful to her for sharing her history with the world.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-04-12

Life holds struggles for every class.

I chose this book as the royals are always interesting. Ann Glenconner had a very interesting and event filled life. My heart ached for her as she told her stories of the struggles she faced, but through it all she believed there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Ruth Scott
  • 2020-04-13

What a life!

I really appreciated listening to her story. The optimism and tenacity throughout her life was inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it!

15 people found this helpful