The Royal Nanny

The Royal Nanny

Large Print - 2016
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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. From Britain's old wealth to the glittering excesses of Tsarist Russia; from country cottages to royal yachts, and from nursery to ballroom, Charlotte Bill witnesses history.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, 2016
ISBN: 9781410492555
Characteristics: 529 p. (large print) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

List - The Crown
cals_readers Nov 18, 2019

Based on a seldom-told true story, this novel is perfect for everyone who is fascinated by Britain’s royal family—a behind-the-scenes look into the nurseries of little princes and the foibles of big princes.

From the critics

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jrbubbles1 Sep 24, 2020

I found this historical fiction novel very interesting. Charlotte proved to be the best nanny possible. She protected the little prince that had epilepsy and was hidden away, as well as teaching the other children right from wrong.

Mar 03, 2020

I saw the "Masterpiece" version about the forgotten prince on PBS years ago . Very sad, but interesting. I look forward to reading the book someday.

CCPL_Laura Jan 11, 2020

Lala’s presence in Sandringham rescued David and Bertie, and each child thereafter, from terrible nannies. She was a balm for the family as well as they grieved Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, cousin Tsar Nicholas, and the bloody war with cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II across the decades. Lala’s legacy lives on in the royal family today: her dedication and love for Johnny, the youngest prince with epilepsy and autism, who was hidden from view of the public, is the shining example of loving parenting, royal or otherwise. Bewitching, charming, intriguing, and fascinating, this novel is perfect for royal history buffs and fans of “The King’s Speech” and Downton Abbey.

Sep 27, 2017

Very interesting insight in this "faction" (fictionalized fact?), shedding light on the early years of the future royals David (Edward 8, who abdicated) and Bertie (George 6, father of Elizabeth 2), as well as their lesser-known younger brother John, who had epilepsy.

CatherineG_1 May 28, 2017

Lala, was the Royal Nanny for the children of Queen May and King George V. There were six children but she was hired to work with the last three from infancy. She was a true royal servant keeping their secrets and those of many others. Lala was like many of the staff of that period, more involved in rearing the children and keeping the household than the monarchs, themselves. At various points in the book, she is given positions that would only have been allocated to someone of trust. Like many others in service, she gave up her own personal life to serve the family.
Harper wrote a factional book - meaning that it was fiction for the dialogue but fact for most of the story. Good read - never knew some of the facts about one of the children.

Apr 19, 2017

This was an interesting look at Britain's royal family through the eyes of the royal nanny to Queen Elizabeth II's father, uncles and aunts. It's not Downton Abbey, but it does give you a good look at what the life of the royal nanny may have been like in her somewhat awkward social position (not part of the royal family but very close to their children, and a little higher up than the other servants at the same time), and not allowed to marry and still work. It also had some interesting characterizations of a lot of the rest of the royal family, from King Edward to his great-grandchildren. After reading it, I want to learn more about the actual historical characters involved and that time period.

Nov 29, 2016



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