Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner.
I received this book for Christmas, and it was an eye-opener. The author, who was born into the British aristocracy in 1932, was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Think she must have had an easy life? Think again. She endured plenty of stress and upheaval (thanks to her extremely difficult husband) and tragedy (including the early deaths of two of her five children).
A lady-in-waiting is basically a personal assistant. The author accompanied Margaret on official tours, and even took her place when the princess couldn't be present. She paints a likeable picture of Margaret, and shares what it was like to live for a time with Margaret and the Queen Mother. Other royals are mentioned mostly in passing. Prince Charles is remembered as a nice little boy. Reading this book, I got the impression of the royals as real people who, like everyone else, need a network of people they know and trust so they can live (somewhat) normal personal lives.
Much of the book is about how the author's husband put the island of Mustique on the map as a tourist destination for the rich and famous, but even that wasn't always glamorous – outdoor showers, no electricity. Whether or not you're a royal watcher, you'll probably enjoy Anne Glenconner's book. And you'll probably be glad that you're not her.
Read some of my other royalty book reviews (and a few game reviews, too)!