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Billie 02-03-2005 06:14 PM

Marion Crawford, Governess of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret
 
I have just finished rereading The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford, and cant find anything in the book that could have upset the Queen Mother so I am wondering if the story that she dropped Ms. Crawford is true ?

norwegianne 02-03-2005 06:22 PM

I don't think it was as much the actual content of the book as it was the fact that someone they trusted went out and told stories from their private lives. At least that is how I thought it was.

Elspeth 02-03-2005 06:24 PM

Yes, apparently it's true.

I think the reason the Queen Mother reacted the way she did was simply that one of the trusted staff had written a book about the royal family that hadn't been authorised or otherwise controlled by the royal family and household. It wasn't so much the content (athough I did read that the Queen Mother was upset that Miss Crawford had mentioned about Princess Margaret not being particularly physically strong) as the principle of the thing.

I think they figured that if other people saw that there had been severe consequences from the royal family for Miss Crawford as a result of writing her book, they'd be less likely to be tempted to do likewise.

That sort of thing doesn't work nowadays, though! People don't care as much what the royal family think, papers are offering a lot of money for revelations, and the public seems to be avid to read any tidbits about the private lives of celebrities and other famous people.

Billie 02-03-2005 06:24 PM

now that I can understand, they do have to protect their privacy.I just felt there was a lot of love for the family from Ms. Crawford.

Elspeth 02-03-2005 06:26 PM

Well, they probably felt rather betrayed and closed ranks against her.

It's not unknown for members of the British upper classes to freeze out people who are considered unwelcome in their circle. They can be very good at it.

sara1981 02-04-2005 01:47 AM

I never heard that before! how she did trick to Royal Family they wont given to change as circle as Royal Family that not right! need to respect by HM Queen Mother and HM Queen 2 she is member of Royal Family? or she have title?

Sara Boyce

Elspeth 02-04-2005 03:45 AM

Sara, Marion Crawford was the governess hired by Elizabeth Duchess of York to look after and teach Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in the early 1930s, and she stayed until Princess Elizabeth was married, so she was with the family during the abdication, the second world war, and Princess Elizabeth's courtship with Prince Philip. She was an employee, not a family friend. She finally left royal service after her own marriage, which she'd put off several times because Queen Elizabeth never thought it was convenient to let her leave earlier; she was somewhere around 40 when she finally got married.

It seems to have been her husband who persuaded her to write this book because she was being offered quite a lot of money to do so; some people had already written about the royal family, but their articles and books were always either invited by the royal family or at least pretty heavily controlled so that the message going out was the one the royal family wanted to project. In contrast, Marion Crawford's book was her own work with no input from the royal family. She'd previously asked permission from Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum, not the present sovereign) to contribute some articles to a magazine and been refused, so Queen Elizabeth was very annoyed that she went ahead with this book.

And, just as with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, when Queen Elizabeth took against someone, she never, ever let it drop. Marion Crawford was made to leave her grace and favour residence, and the royal family behaved as though she didn't exist, except that acts of personal betrayal toward the family were known from then on as "doing a Crawfie."

Interestingly, it seems as though Queen Elizabeth was prepared to let Miss Crawford contribute to articles about the royal family in American magazines as long as she didn't put her name to them, according to this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/s...336142,00.html

sara1981 02-04-2005 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elspeth
Sara, Marion Crawford was the governess hired by Elizabeth Duchess of York to look after and teach Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in the early 1930s...,

thanks for answer! i never knew about her
Sara Boyce

tiaraprin 08-08-2005 12:56 AM

When Marion Crawford died, not one Royal sent condolences, flowers, or attended the funeral. I think their anger at her was unwarranted because she never said anything that was of substance or damaging. She was promoting them (and herself albeit) in a positive manner, not negative.

Jim 04-16-2006 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tiaraprin
When Marion Crawford died, not one Royal sent condolences, flowers, or attended the funeral. I think their anger at her was unwarranted because she never said anything that was of substance or damaging. She was promoting them (and herself albeit) in a positive manner, not negative.

I find it interesting how unforgiving the royals can be. :confused:

Esmeralda 04-16-2006 07:48 PM

The British upper classes make an art form out of being unforgiving to transgressors, but even in that context the Queen Mother was an absolute master. Marion Crawford might not have been treated quite as badly by some other royals.

Warren 04-17-2006 01:31 AM

Marion Crawford was seen to have betrayed the trust placed in her by the King and Queen. No matter how innocuous the breach, the principles of confidentiality and absolute discretion remain paramount.

Skydragon 04-17-2006 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Esmeralda
The British upper classes make an art form out of being unforgiving to transgressors, but even in that context the Queen Mother was an absolute master. Marion Crawford might not have been treated quite as badly by some other royals.

I have to admit to being puzzled, if someone has betrayed you by word or deed, why on earth should they be forgiven? :confused: If you were kind enough to forgive them, you certainly wouldn't let them back into your circle of friends.
The content of the book was immaterial, it was the fact that she did it! :eek:

ysbel 04-17-2006 07:29 AM

I read that the Queen Mum was most horrified at the fact that Crawford divulged details of the layout of the Princesses private quarters and the routines of the staff.

It may have seemed innocent enough but details of that nature in the wrong hands could have caused a security breach in the Palace.

I don't think Crawford realized this when she published her stories and it looks like the Queen communicated that she could divulge some things but there was a genuine cause for concern in these specific details getting out.

The Queen Mother though didn't distinguish from innocent yet misguided breaches of faith and a more willingness to harm someone. The first, IMHO, can be forgiven but the second never.

Elspeth 04-17-2006 01:04 PM

Well, there's not forgiving something, and then there's carrying on a vendetta. The Queen Mother was happy to let people publish stuff about the family as long as she had control of what was said; nobody (as far as I know) shut Mabell Airlie out in the cold for writing her book in the 1950s, which had some wonderful accounts of Queen Mary's life and thoughts.

Marion Crawford had devoted years to the princesses and had put off her own marriage until her 40s because it was never quite convenient for the royals that she should leave. I think I read somewhere that she was asked to write something for an American magazine and the Queen Mother was initially quite interested but then backed away.

That the Queen and Princess Margaret didn't even send flowers to her funeral was really sad.

selrahc4 04-17-2006 04:14 PM

In Hugo Vickers' biography "Elizabeth The Queen Mother" (copyright 2005), chapter 22 entitled "Crawfie" is quite an eye-opening read. It discusses the ins-and-outs and intrigues involved in getting The Little Princesses written and published. Crawfie is depicted as a somewhat unwilling pawn and possible dupe of Bruce and Beatrice Gould, publishers of the Ladies' Home Journal.

Given that the book is such a seminal and much-quoted source for the Queen's early life, it was disturbing for me to read the following (excepted from Vickers' book; bolding my own):

"The Goulds took a week off to alter Crawfie's prose 'word by word, line by line until we had it, finally to our liking'. ... Incidents were inserted which never happened and words put into the mouths of those who never said them. Crawfie feared 'serious innuendoes & implications, most especially as far as I am concerned'. The Goulds did not care. They would be neither the first nor the last editors to rewrite copy."

It is interesting, as well, to note that the copyright to The Little Princesses was never held by Marion Crawford, but by The Curtis Publishing Company...i.e. the Goulds.

Feberin 07-05-2006 09:25 PM

I love The Little Princesses it was the book that sparked an interest for me in the royal family and I even own my own copy of it! I hope most of it is in fact accurate. I heard the Queen Mother was furious when she read the part that described Princess Margaret as looking like a sausage when she was wearing her bathing suit. I wish I could have seen that program on Crawfie.

lilibet80 05-13-2010 01:22 AM

What angered the RF more than anything was that Crawfie had undertaken in writing never to publish a book about her time with the family. She then sold out for money. She certainly lived to regret what she did.

cmkrcwi 05-13-2010 07:29 PM

She wrote a few other Royal biographies about Queen Mary, Princess Margaret and The Queen and Prince Philip. The only thing I recall that might be considered "scandalous" is that Princess Margaret may have needed psychiatric help after the death of her father King George VI. Marion had a degree in psychology and according to her, The Queen Mother asked her to talk to Margaret on a regular basis in order to help her get over her grief.

Another story I read about her is that she was contracted to write an article about The Trooping of the Colour one year and turned in a beautifully descriptive story. The only problem was that it was canceled that year.

lilibet80 05-14-2010 01:18 AM

The cancellation of the trooping of the color is what ended Crawfie's career. Her books on the other royals were just sentimental and often made up. I will say this, she adored them all and tried to put them in the best light. I personally became interested in the RF because I read her book, The Little Princesses." I understand why the RF was so angry, but she did a real favor to us all as far as royal history is concerned.


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