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The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel

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In a historical debut evoking the style ofThe Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting. Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite In a historical debut evoking the style of The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting. Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, she lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. Georgie Blalock captures the fascinating, fast-living princess and her “set” as seen through the eyes of one of her ladies-in-waiting. In dreary, post-war Britain, Princess Margaret captivates everyone with her cutting edge fashion sense and biting quips. The royal socialite, cigarette holder in one hand, cocktail in the other, sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms? Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancé was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl. But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…


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In a historical debut evoking the style ofThe Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting. Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite In a historical debut evoking the style of The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting. Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, she lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. Georgie Blalock captures the fascinating, fast-living princess and her “set” as seen through the eyes of one of her ladies-in-waiting. In dreary, post-war Britain, Princess Margaret captivates everyone with her cutting edge fashion sense and biting quips. The royal socialite, cigarette holder in one hand, cocktail in the other, sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms? Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancé was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl. But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…

30 review for The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars Most of my royal knowledge comes from binge watching The Crown and reading a few biographies. I'd been wanting to learn more about Princess Margaret for awhile now but wasn't really in the mood for a nonfiction book. So when I saw this historical fiction book about the princess it immediately piqued my interest. I did enjoy what the author came up with for the story but I wouldn't necessarily say it was a meaty story. It's 1949 and even though the war is over, times are still tough for 3.5 stars Most of my royal knowledge comes from binge watching The Crown and reading a few biographies. I'd been wanting to learn more about Princess Margaret for awhile now but wasn't really in the mood for a nonfiction book. So when I saw this historical fiction book about the princess it immediately piqued my interest. I did enjoy what the author came up with for the story but I wouldn't necessarily say it was a meaty story. It's 1949 and even though the war is over, times are still tough for many people in England. Vera Strathmore comes from a family with a little bit of status but not a lot of money anymore. She supports her parents as a writer of romance novels but does so under a pen name. It's a secret she has kept from everyone as that type of writing is looked down upon and she doesn't want to bring shame to herself or her family. After a chance meeting with Princess Margaret, Vera learns she is a fan of her books and soon the princess is inviting her to hobnob with her wealthy and privileged group of friends. This young entourage of aristocrats is nicknamed the Margaret Set. Vera loves being a part of the glamorous life of the princess and is thrilled when she is asked to be Princess Margaret's second lady in waiting. But this lifestyle can come at a cost. And both women might be forced to make a choice as to which is more important, love or status? I think it is important to note this historical fiction book is a combination of facts we know are true about Princess Margaret as well as some things that are a product of the author's imagination. I'll admit I was slightly bummed to learn in the Author's Notes Vera was a made up character and didn't actually exist in real life. However, I do think it was a smart choice by the author to create that character as it felt like as the reader you were getting an insider look to royal life along with Vera. It was clever to have both Vera and Margaret face tough decisions in regards to their respective love lives. I guess my criticism is this is not the most exciting historical fiction book I have ever read. I liked it but it was not exactly a page turner. I believe some of the problem is much of what was covered in terms of Princess Margaret in this book was featured in seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown. In a way it was just a retread of her love life but in book form. A decent pick if you are interested in the royal family and are in the mood for something light and easy to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Are you a fan of The Crown? I have not watched the show, and I know I should because I’m certain I would love it. Just after World War II, Princess Margaret is in need of a second Lady-in-Waiting, and she becomes our narrator. Princess Margaret is a handful. She lives fast for her day. Princess Margaret meets The Honorable Vera Strathmore, a writer of lurid novels, who becomes her second lady-in-waiting. Margaret falls in love with a handsome Captain, only to be reined in by her title and rank in Are you a fan of The Crown? I have not watched the show, and I know I should because I’m certain I would love it. Just after World War II, Princess Margaret is in need of a second Lady-in-Waiting, and she becomes our narrator. Princess Margaret is a handful. She lives fast for her day. Princess Margaret meets The Honorable Vera Strathmore, a writer of lurid novels, who becomes her second lady-in-waiting. Margaret falls in love with a handsome Captain, only to be reined in by her title and rank in society. Both Margaret and Vera tire of their tethers, and choices will have to be made. Who knew Princes Margaret was such a ball of fire? The Other Windsor Girl is such a captivating and entertaining jaunt of a story. You can’t help but want more for Margaret and admire Vera’s tenacity. Overall, The Other Windsor Girl is a captivating and engaging story. The second half flies much faster than the first. The presentation of class and social order kept me invested, and as I mentioned above, I couldn’t help but root for Margaret. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Georgie Blalock has written a fascinating tale about Princess Margaret the royal rebel. I have to admit prior to reading this book I really had very little knowledge about Princess Margaret’s life. I have not watched The Crown, but I’m definitely planning on watching it now. I really love books that take place in the 40s and 50s Post WWII, add in all the glitz and glam and pomp and circumstance of the Royals, and I’m all in! Throughout this book I found myself constantly googling to get even Georgie Blalock has written a fascinating tale about Princess Margaret the royal rebel. I have to admit prior to reading this book I really had very little knowledge about Princess Margaret’s life. I have not watched The Crown, but I’m definitely planning on watching it now. I really love books that take place in the 40s and 50s Post WWII, add in all the glitz and glam and pomp and circumstance of the Royals, and I’m all in! Throughout this book I found myself constantly googling to get even more information about this time period. That’s the thing about an engaging historical fiction book it always makes you want to learn even more about that piece of history. The story is entirely told through the eyes of the honorable Vera Strathmore. Vera is a romance author who catches the attention of Princess Margaret and soon finds herself to be her second lady in waiting. Vera gets swept up in the princesses glamorous lifestyle as did I. The dynamics between Margaret and all of her “people“ was interesting. Can you imagine always referring to your BFF by their title? I felt as though there was always a little distance between the princess and her supposed friends. It was so interesting how unhappy she was, some of it was self imposed and some of it was trying to follow all the royal protocol. I’d imagine it wasn’t easy being little sister to the queen. Vera also had her own challenges, does she want to serve the queen forever or follow her own dreams. A well-crafted historical fiction book with the perfect amount of romance. This book in emojis 👑 🥂 🚬 💃🏼 *** Big thanks to William Morro for my copy of this book ***

  4. 5 out of 5

    Renee Rosen

    4.5 Stars. A fascinating look at Princess Margaret. Review coming soon!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I’m loathed to admit it, but I wanted to like Georgie Blalock’s The Other Windsor Girl far more than I did. The subject matter was there, but the execution left me wanting. Much like Meet Me in Monaco, The Other Windsor Girl tempts the audience with a celebrity that is not its narrator. It is told from the sole perspective of the fictional Vera Strathmore, a structural choice that creates emotional distance between the Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I’m loathed to admit it, but I wanted to like Georgie Blalock’s The Other Windsor Girl far more than I did. The subject matter was there, but the execution left me wanting. Much like Meet Me in Monaco, The Other Windsor Girl tempts the audience with a celebrity that is not its narrator. It is told from the sole perspective of the fictional Vera Strathmore, a structural choice that creates emotional distance between the reader and Princess Margaret and reads much like a grocery store tabloid. Call me crazy, but I wanted something more intimate and intuitive than Blalock’s story afforded. Vera, an aspiring writer, seemed a walking cliché and I was intensely frustrated with the shallowness of her arc and passive engagement in her own romantic storyline. I did like the class and social issues she and her family faced in the aftermath of WWII, but that material fades as the story progresses and ultimately lost to the sparkle of royal association. I’m sure The Other Windsor Girl has an audience and I’m convinced it will do well on the heels of The Crown, but the lack of gravitas in this novel didn't work for me. Note: Georgie Blalock writes romance as Georgie Lee.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa of Hopewell

    My Interest I’m a royal fan! Princess Margaret was both the Diana and the Harry of her day, so this re-telling of her story piqued my interest. That I happened to listen to the book on the birthday of David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowden and son of Princess Margaret was just extra fun. The Story When her cousin brings her to an event Princess Margaret is attending, the Hon. Vera Strathmore [interesting choice of name–Margaret’s maternal grandfather was the Earl of Strathmore] hits it off with My Interest I’m a royal fan! Princess Margaret was both the Diana and the Harry of her day, so this re-telling of her story piqued my interest. That I happened to listen to the book on the birthday of David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowden and son of Princess Margaret was just extra fun. The Story When her cousin brings her to an event Princess Margaret is attending, the Hon. Vera Strathmore [interesting choice of name–Margaret’s maternal grandfather was the Earl of Strathmore] hits it off with the 19-year-old second daughter of King George VI. When Margaret is advised that Vera is the real name of novelist Rose Lavish the Princess takes her into her so-called “Margaret set” [think Harry’s Glossy Posse] as one of Her Royal Highness’s Ladies in Waiting–a role that combines nanny, friend, confidant, social secretary, and protocol chief all in one. As the years go on and Margaret rejects any thought of marriage to the eligible future Dukes, Marquesses or Earl in her set, Vera, too, has to push aside ideas of marriage. Her future and her status as Lady in Waiting are too intertwined. Her life mirrors that of the Princess who cannot give up everything, as she had thought she could, to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. When photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones hits the scene Vera sees the future all too clearly. My Thoughts The story is well-told. Happily, the author did not try to create personalities for the entire royal family. She kept her narrative tightly focused on the small ensemble of Margaret, Vera, Charmaine Douglas (daughter of the American Ambassador) and a few others. Her characterization of Princess Margaret was very believable. At times, I had to remind myself I was reading about “Margot” and not her errant great-nephew Prince Harry and his wife. The Windsors have had many rebels. All seem to want what they can never be: to be “ordinary” in that they are ignored by the press. None ever wants to do without the deference, money, lavish lifestyle or the rest of it. Just the press “be gone”! My Verdict on the Story Four Stars The Problems If you are going to write about the Aristocracy and Royals GET THE TITLES RIGHT. Yes, it is fiction, so you can have your characters say whatever you want them to say, but…. Ms. Blalock’s inability to master titles, forms of address and even, in one scene, the basic assignments of servants, detracts from a story that was very well told. Of course, many readers won’t know or care–but many others will. Fact-checking seems to have vanished from all forms of publishing today. This is the sort of thing an intern could have fact-checked by grabbing a copy or online free trial to Debrett’s! And do your homework on slang! Buckingham Palace is known as BUCK HOUSE! Not “Buck Place.” Since this was the single most overused phrase in the entire book, I have to point it out. It is fine to refer to it as “the Palace” and leave it at that. Titles and Forms of Address Mistakes The King and Queen are “Their Majesties,” not “Their Royal Highnesses” The Queen and her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are “Her Majesty and His Royal Highness” as a male consort does not become a “King Consort” [though Denmark’s Prince Henrik died trying for it]. Prince Philip was always a royal and a royal Duke in the time of the story’s setting. No ROYAL Duke is ever “His Grace”. [Philip is a descendant of Queen Victoria and of Christian IX of Denmark just like the Queen and Margaret. He became “Philip Mountbatten” for political reasons]. The Earl of Somewhere is “Lord Somewhere,” not “Lord First-Name Last-Name” which is a designation only for the younger sons of Dukes and Marquesses. A Duke would only ever have been “Lord Whoever Posh-Person” if he was born a second or lower son. He would never be referred to in that manner after becoming a Duke. “Lady Imogene Spencer-Churchill” [in the book] cannot be referred to as “Lady Spencer Churchill” only as “Lady Imogene.” Geesh, watch Downton Abbey! Lady Rosilind explains it to Sir Richard way back in Season 1. “Lady Spencer Churchill” would be the wife of an Earl Spencer Churchill or a Viscount Spencer Churchill or a Baron Spencer Churchill or a Sir Chinless Spencer Churchill (but he would be Sir Chinless, never Lord/Sir Spencer Churchill). “Sir Lascelles”???? NO!! Sir Alan! (i.e., Sir Alan “Tommy” Lascelles). Even “Sir Tommy”–that was his nickname, but never, ever, Sir Lascelles unless Lascelles was his first name and he was “Sir Lascelles Anstruther-Chinless-Scott” or someone. His wife would be Lady Lascelles. Patrick Plunkett though WAS correctly called Lord Plunkett because he was Baron Plunkett. “Group Captain” and “Captain” are not interchangeable. Peter Townsend would have been addressed as “Group Captain” (like “Sergent Major”) and never as “Captain”. Other Mistakes The Duke of Marlborough was Winston Churchill’s cousin, not brother, so the title “Uncle Winston” was simply a family custom. He was not the uncle of the Duke’s children. This only caught my notice due to all the other title mangling. Ruby MacDonald would have DIED before she’d have said “the Queen Mum”!! She’d have said “Queen Elizabeth” for Margaret’s mother. Princess Margaret’s sister would be called “Her Majesty” or “The Queen” in conversation. Ruby was with Margaret until she [Ruby] died–was with her from childhood as her “dresser,” i.e. her ladies maid and had a very fraught relationship with Lord Snowdon (as Tony became). Anthony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones was educated at Sandroyd and Eton and then went to Cambridge where he coxed a winning boat race crew. He was the step-son (and later the half-brother ) of an Earl and would never call Margaret “Your Highness” for he would KNOW that was a different, LESSER rank! [It last used in the British Royal family by two granddaughters of Edward VII (daughters of his daughter).] A footman would NEVER be sent to pack a lady’s clothing! Maids looked after female guests–they did not just scrub floors. Reader Mistakes: I listened to the audio version It is “Ma’am as in ham, not ‘marm’ as in farm” Lady Anne Coke’s name is pronounced “Cook” in spite of the spelling. Thank God “Cholmondeley” wasn’t used anywhere.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Davida Chazan

    If you call me an Anglophile, I'll say "guilty as charged"! So if you're like me, you might be interested in this recently released novel about Princess Margaret, the troubled younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II. You can read my full book review here. http://tcl-bookreviews.com/2019/11/08...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    First thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for a free e-ARC of the book in exchange for an honest opinion of the book. I really wanted to like this book because its everything I love to read - royals and historical fiction. However, I just had a very tough time getting into it. I almost stopped reading it which is something I rarely do but decided to keep going out of respect for the author and I am glad that I did. The first half of the book was slow and I just couldn't connect to the main First thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for a free e-ARC of the book in exchange for an honest opinion of the book. I really wanted to like this book because its everything I love to read - royals and historical fiction. However, I just had a very tough time getting into it. I almost stopped reading it which is something I rarely do but decided to keep going out of respect for the author and I am glad that I did. The first half of the book was slow and I just couldn't connect to the main character Vera. I knew enough about Princess Margaret so it didn't matter to me so much. The second half of the book was terrific - it just took off with story, emotions, action and lots of dialogue which I love. I just wish the author could have done that with the first half of the book and it would be a true 5 star book. If you do stick with it you will be able to see yourself in both Vera and Princess Margaret. I would rate it 3.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Excellent narration. A fantastic story about friendship, love, the struggles of forging your own path.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol lowkey.bookish

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love historical fiction; throw in royalty and I am all in. I wanted to read this book so much, I joined the Edelweiss Review site for it! The book is told through the eyes of the (fictional) Honorable Vera Strathmore. Vera is a romance writer when the Princess meets her. She is interesting and different so the Princess befriends her and makes her a second-lady-in-waiting. The position comes with prestige and a much needed paycheck. But, it also comes with having to put up with Margaret’s I love historical fiction; throw in royalty and I am all in. I wanted to read this book so much, I joined the Edelweiss Review site for it! The book is told through the eyes of the (fictional) Honorable Vera Strathmore. Vera is a romance writer when the Princess meets her. She is interesting and different so the Princess befriends her and makes her a second-lady-in-waiting. The position comes with prestige and a much needed paycheck. But, it also comes with having to put up with Margaret’s scathing comments and bad behavior. Vera is witness to Margaret’s partying, questionable behavior, and secret love affair with Captain Peter Townsend. Wow, Princess Margaret was quite the naughty teenager! It is difficult to feel sympathetic to Margaret’s plight, but it must have been difficult for her to lose her father and then lose her sister to the demands of the monarchy. This book reminded me of The Devil Wears Prada in that Vera is trapped in a glamorous life that is difficult to leave. I recommend this to Anglophiles and historical fiction fans. 4/5 This e-ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. THE OTHER WINDSOR GIRL comes out November 5, 2019, from William Morrow

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Latham

    I felt the author was trying to write a historical fictional biography of Princess Margaret but it was really just a fancy harlequin romance. Her constant wrong usage in "Buck Place" was beyond irritating. Her description of the relationship between Margaret & the Queen Mother & the Queen herself was insulting. Princess Margaret may not have been the busiest royal but she did work hard to represent the Queen. She was close to her family. Also i felt she couldn't capture the true Princess I felt the author was trying to write a historical fictional biography of Princess Margaret but it was really just a fancy harlequin romance. Her constant wrong usage in "Buck Place" was beyond irritating. Her description of the relationship between Margaret & the Queen Mother & the Queen herself was insulting. Princess Margaret may not have been the busiest royal but she did work hard to represent the Queen. She was close to her family. Also i felt she couldn't capture the true Princess instead created a caricature of what a spoiled princess is in a bad made for tv movie. Margaret was far from perfect & she supposedly was quite demanding but being a spoiled child I highly doubt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    All the Crown-inspired HF books are giving me life lately

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Vera Strathmore thought she had it all. She was engaged to a great guy and even had a career as a novelist writing romance novels under a pseudonym, Mrs. Rose Lavish. However, her world came crumbling down around her when her fiancé was killed in World War II. She now lives at home with her parents and her sister, who will soon be moving out once she's married. Vera has become a bit of a homebody and spends most of her free time writing her romance novels. Princess Margaret is a fan of these Vera Strathmore thought she had it all. She was engaged to a great guy and even had a career as a novelist writing romance novels under a pseudonym, Mrs. Rose Lavish. However, her world came crumbling down around her when her fiancé was killed in World War II. She now lives at home with her parents and her sister, who will soon be moving out once she's married. Vera has become a bit of a homebody and spends most of her free time writing her romance novels. Princess Margaret is a fan of these novels and Vera's cousin, Rupert, is friends with Princess Margaret and part of her social set, so he decides to introduce the two women. Vera and Princess Margaret surprisingly hit it off and in turn, Vera is now catapulted into the Princess's fast moving and hard drinking world. In fact, Vera finds herself as second lady in waiting to Princess Margaret and now she is exposed to not only the vibrant social life of the Princess, but also the demands of the Royal family. Georgie Blalock's historical debut, The Other Windsor Girl, is a fascinating glimpse into Princess Margaret's life and is perfect for fans of The Crown. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Sylvia

    This is the type of book that I easily could have crushed in 1 or 2 sittings, but life has been so busy that time to read has (regrettably) been limited. Was such a delight to read though! The perfect indulgent escape on my commutes. Ive always been drawn to indulgent historical period pieces so I was so excited when I recieved an ARC of this from HarperCollins. I'll confess that my knowledge of Princess Margaret was limited when I started this - but did some googling while I was reading. I love This is the type of book that I easily could have crushed in 1 or 2 sittings, but life has been so busy that time to read has (regrettably) been limited. Was such a delight to read though! The perfect indulgent escape on my commutes. Ive always been drawn to indulgent historical period pieces so I was so excited when I recieved an ARC of this from HarperCollins. I'll confess that my knowledge of Princess Margaret was limited when I started this - but did some googling while I was reading. I love how Georgie melted the fact and fiction together. I deffs want to dive into the crown now and see more of Princess Margaret! Thanks for the ARC HC ❤

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    This book was super predictable...the story of Princess Margeret is told with more subtlety and nuance in the television show, The Crown. The narrator, the surprisingly prudish romance novelist turned lady in waiting of Margret, was very bland and one note to me. At one moment, she’s talking about her own premarital relations with her deceased fiancé and condoms with Margaret, the next she seems shocked that her royal highness is sleeping around? If you’ve already watched The Crown, you can skip This book was super predictable...the story of Princess Margeret is told with more subtlety and nuance in the television show, The Crown. The narrator, the surprisingly prudish romance novelist turned lady in waiting of Margret, was very bland and one note to me. At one moment, she’s talking about her own premarital relations with her deceased fiancé and condoms with Margaret, the next she seems shocked that her royal highness is sleeping around? If you’ve already watched The Crown, you can skip this one; I didn’t learn anything new or interesting about Margaret.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reading Mama

    Did you watch the season 3 premiere of The Crown? Thank you @tlcbooktours @williammorrowbooks @georgieblalock for sending me a copy of The Other Windsor Girl and allowing me to read and review this book! REVIEW: I've said it before and I'll say it again- I am a HUGE fan of anything and everything royal. This book was no exception. It was fun getting to read about Princess Margaret, who in her day, was the all over the press. Vera, the other main character in the novel, becomes a member of Did you watch the season 3 premiere of The Crown? Thank you @tlcbooktours @williammorrowbooks @georgieblalock for sending me a copy of The Other Windsor Girl and allowing me to read and review this book! REVIEW: I've said it before and I'll say it again- I am a HUGE fan of anything and everything royal. This book was no exception. It was fun getting to read about Princess Margaret, who in her day, was the all over the press. Vera, the other main character in the novel, becomes a member of Margaret's inner circle when a chance meeting leads to her appointment as a lady-of-waiting. Her "rags to riches" story was also entertaining and fun to imagine. Besides all of the glitz and glamour of the royal life, this novel also explores Princess Margaret's confines of her duty to the Crown, as she struggles to be and express herself. Vera also struggles with this in her own way, as she eventually wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams, even if it means giving up the status and wealth of being a lady-in-waiting. If you are a fan of all things royal, I would definitely recommend this book! 4⭐

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane Sallans

    I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book thru a Goodreads Giveaway. It's an interesting take on the story of HRH Princess Margaret, starting in 1949, from the viewpoint of the fictional Honorable Vera Strathmore (*) (daughter of a Baron). I've read and seen stories of Princess Margaret's life so had some idea of what her life was like. Even with all her privileges, she had a lot of unhappiness, some self-inflicted, and some because of the rigid palace hierarchy. Vera get's sucked into the I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book thru a Goodreads Giveaway. It's an interesting take on the story of HRH Princess Margaret, starting in 1949, from the viewpoint of the fictional Honorable Vera Strathmore (*) (daughter of a Baron). I've read and seen stories of Princess Margaret's life so had some idea of what her life was like. Even with all her privileges, she had a lot of unhappiness, some self-inflicted, and some because of the rigid palace hierarchy. Vera get's sucked into the Princess's life, in part because of the discontent with her own life. Overall I found it an interesting read, even knowing what happened to Princess Margaret, but wondering if Vera would get her HEA (I was happy with how that worked out). (*)Note: in reading some online notes about the non-fictional people in this book, I noted that Margaret's maternal grandparents were titled the Earl & Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne - I wondered if giving the fictional Vera Strathmore as a last name was a coincidence or a nod to that title.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality Vera Strathmore may be telling this story, but it’s Princess Margaret who dominates every single page, just as she does Vera for ten of the best/worst/most notorious years of both of their lives. This isn’t a complete biography of Margaret, nor is it intended as nonfiction. Not that the reader doesn’t wonder, every single step of the way, how much fact underlies the fiction. After all, this was a storied life, conducted all too frequently in public, and most Originally published at Reading Reality Vera Strathmore may be telling this story, but it’s Princess Margaret who dominates every single page, just as she does Vera for ten of the best/worst/most notorious years of both of their lives. This isn’t a complete biography of Margaret, nor is it intended as nonfiction. Not that the reader doesn’t wonder, every single step of the way, how much fact underlies the fiction. After all, this was a storied life, conducted all too frequently in public, and most of the facts are known. Whether the author has captured the feelings behind those facts? Well, that’s something that the reader will have to decide for themselves. But what we have feels like a peek behind the scenes of Buckingham Palace – or Buck Place as it is referred to in the book – into the life of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, during Margaret’s glory years. The years when Margaret was to the post-war Press what Princess Diana became in the late-20th century – a source for endless photographs and reams of scandalous speculation and gossip, as well as a tear-jerker of a story of tragic romance. The difference is that Margaret outlived her legend, while Diana never did. But the times were very different. In 1949, when Vera meets the Princess, Britain is still languishing in the doldrums of post-war austerity. Unlike the US, rationing was still in force – and enforced. The old, privileged aristocratic way of life, so lovingly portrayed in Downton Abbey, was breathing its last – and Vera felt like her life was expiring with it. Princess Margaret in 1951 Into the gloom of Vera’s life, as well as the gloom of post-war Britain, Princess Margaret, her outrageous bon mots and the larger-than-life antics of her “Set” blew through like a strong wind – a harbinger of change. In the story, Vera served the Princess from 1949 to 1959. During that decade, Margaret went from the spoiled and self-indulgent but favorite daughter of the King to the disregarded and scandal-prone sister of the Queen. It’s no surprise that the years when Margaret is at her most sparkling are the years before her beloved father’s death. And that she never manages to recapture that sparkle again. Instead, we watch through Vera’s eyes as the Princess’ “set” breaks up and Margaret is increasingly alone. While the author never attempts to portray Margaret’s inner life, we see her actions, and their consequences, through Vera as she makes the Princess’ world her own – to her own detriment. Because the Princess lives in a bubble of her own making. And when Vera, out of love and friendship, pricks that bubble even a little, she finds herself on the outside, alone and adrift, as everyone around her warned she would. It’s only at that point that Vera finally takes her life in her own hands and forges her own path. A feat that Margaret, for all her privilege, never manages to achieve. Escape Rating A-: I stayed up half the night reading this. It was like the best kind of gossip – compelling and absolutely fascinating from beginning to end, a peek into a world that I’ll never see in real life. At the same time, it also has the compulsion of driving by a wreck and being unable not to look. Knowing anything of Princess Margaret’s history we already know it’s a train wreck – but we can’t turn our eyes away as the vehicle – in this case Margaret’s life – crashes and burns. I will also say that it is weird to see events that I remember contemporaneously being treated as historical fiction. Very weird. The whole idea that the 1960s have now become “historical” feels very odd indeed. What everyone remembers of Margaret’s life is the irony factor in her tragic romance with Peter Townsend. In 1936, her uncle King Edward VIII was forced to abdicate the throne to her father, King George VI, because he wasn’t permitted to marry divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson. The head of the Church of England could not marry a divorced person. By 1953, Margaret had dropped from being heir presumptive to the throne on her sister’s ascension to being fourth in line after Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. But she was still high enough in that line, and divorce was still so deeply frowned upon that her desire to marry the divorced Peter Townsend – was forbidden by both her sister the Queen and the Church of England. I always found it ironic that Margaret’s eventual marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones ended in divorce. In 1953 it was anathema for her to marry a divorcé, but by 1978 she had become one herself. In all likelihood, Margaret’s marital failure paved the way for the acceptance of the same by several of her royal nephews and nieces, including the Prince of Wales. Princess Margaret in 1958 But Margaret in the 1950s is a compelling character who stands firmly at the center of this story – to the point where Vera and her own needs, wants and desires fade into the background – even for herself. We also see Margaret change from glittering to brittle as the spotlight moves away from her to her sister, the “perfect” Queen. While Margaret had always been capricious and frequently cutting, the more she is pushed into the background the more she tried to escape that background by being as outrageous as possible – and the more those around her suffered for her whims and moods. Margaret is never a villain, but she is also never someone that Vera could or should rely on. Her whims could be cruel, and Vera and the other members of Margaret’s household were her closest and most frequent targets. In the end, this is the portrayal of two women locked together in a crisis of their own making. The one who seemingly holds all the cards having less freedom than the one who initially feels like the dependent partner of a codependent relationship. Margaret’s life was a train wreck, not all of it of her own making. And we can’t turn our eyes away.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Princess Margaret has always seemed to me to be a rather sad individual. She was uneducated, her mother has very old-fashioned ideas about what was appropriate for a woman of her station, something that would later haunt Queen Elizabeth, had no expectations placed on her other than being the “spare” to the throne for a number of years, and was often ignored or not taken seriously. She may as well have been a doll on a shelf. But imagine if you lived under those conditions, no aspirations, no Princess Margaret has always seemed to me to be a rather sad individual. She was uneducated, her mother has very old-fashioned ideas about what was appropriate for a woman of her station, something that would later haunt Queen Elizabeth, had no expectations placed on her other than being the “spare” to the throne for a number of years, and was often ignored or not taken seriously. She may as well have been a doll on a shelf. But imagine if you lived under those conditions, no aspirations, no expectations, and very little choice in your own life. What would that look like? In “The Other Windsor Girl” Georgie Blalock explores this very idea delving into Margaret’s life through the eyes of Vera, one of her ladies-in-waiting. The book is well researched, well written, and very brave. The characters are not always presented at their best, instead Blalock tries to be more honest presenting them with their flaws and the personalities they developed as a result of the varied influences on their lives. In Margaret’s case this was often painful as she was torn between her duty to her family and the monarchy and her duty to herself and her own well-being. Blalock does not try to cover up the pain, instead she draws the reader in to build a better understanding of one of the most popular royals of the twentieth century. If you enjoy historical fiction of the twentieth century or stories about royalty you will enjoy this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    v

    Thank you William Morrow Books for a free copy to review! If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the palace walls, you'll love diving into the glamourous life of Princess Margaret. Despite her demure appearance during official royal engagements, her private life was often lived in rebellion to the expectations for the sister of a queen. I thought this author captured the essence of Princess Margaret, much as I had always imagined her to be. By having the protagonist serve as a lady in waiting, it Thank you William Morrow Books for a free copy to review! If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the palace walls, you'll love diving into the glamourous life of  Princess Margaret. Despite her demure appearance during official royal engagements, her private life was often lived in rebellion to the expectations for the sister of a queen. I thought this author captured the essence of Princess Margaret, much as I had always imagined her to be. By having the protagonist serve as a lady in waiting, it takes the reader right into the palace and all the turmoil of Margaret's scandalous life. At times you felt sympathy for how difficult it must have been to live in Elizabeth's shadow and to be 2nd in line to the throne behind her young nephew, Prince Charles. At other times, her selfish immaturity grated your nerves! Vera was a sympathetic character, as she tries to rebuild a life turned upside down by the war. Vera seems crippled by uncertainty and self doubt. You can understand the pull to be a part of Margaret's world and yet as the years pass, the sparkle dims for Vera. This novel doesn't cover the entire life of Princess Margaret, but a snapshot in time from 1949 to 1960, and what interesting years they prove to be! I enjoyed this peek into the palace!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Vera lost her fiancée in the war and has been trying to find her place since. She dreams of moving to New York and being a famous writer. Her cousin introduces her to Princess Margaret. She is a few years younger than Vera. She’s 19 when they meet. She’s young and a bit wild. She is also frustrated by her lot in life. She won’t ever be the Queen like her sister but she’s still expected to live by the royal family’s rules. Vera and Margaret bond because they do share some similarities. They have Vera lost her fiancée in the war and has been trying to find her place since. She dreams of moving to New York and being a famous writer. Her cousin introduces her to Princess Margaret. She is a few years younger than Vera. She’s 19 when they meet. She’s young and a bit wild. She is also frustrated by her lot in life. She won’t ever be the Queen like her sister but she’s still expected to live by the royal family’s rules. Vera and Margaret bond because they do share some similarities. They have both watched their sisters and friends fall in love and get married and they have remained single. When Princess Margaret asks Vera to be a lady’s maid, it opens a lot of doors for her. It gives Vera things that she’s wanted but makes others impossible. I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t want to spoil anything. But the actual job of being lady’s maid practically requires giving up your own life to put the Princess’ needs first. This book follows their time together. Some real life events are covered. If you’re familiar with Princess Margaret, or watch The Crown, you’ll be familiar with some of the happenings. I enjoyed the story. I liked seeing it from Vera’s side too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to William Morrow and Goodreads Giveaways for the advance copy for honest review! I love a good royal story, and I haven't ever read anything focused on Princess Margaret before. The Other Windsor Girl highlights her scandalous, one of a kind life. Her destiny was changed forever as a small child when her uncle abdicated the throne and her father became king (with her sister to become the queen still on the throne today). This story shows her constantly at war with her desire to maintain Thanks to William Morrow and Goodreads Giveaways for the advance copy for honest review! I love a good royal story, and I haven't ever read anything focused on Princess Margaret before. The Other Windsor Girl highlights her scandalous, one of a kind life. Her destiny was changed forever as a small child when her uncle abdicated the throne and her father became king (with her sister to become the queen still on the throne today). This story shows her constantly at war with her desire to maintain the status and privilege she has a member of the royal family, yet chafing to have the freedom to truly do as she chooses. While the story is told from the perspective of a fictional woman serving as her lady-in-waiting, I actually loved Vera's own story as well. This was one of those stories that show that as much as royalty might be "just like us" as humans, they truly do have a unique set of expectations and challenges.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alix

    The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock Absolutely anything royalty related is right up my alley. If you love Netflix’s The Crown (the new season is coming Nov. 17!) you will love this book. While The Crown mainly focuses on Queen Elizabeth II, this book is all about royal rebel, Princess Margaret, her close friends and her lady in waiting, The Honorable Vera Strathmore. I found this one predictable (yes, crack all those history jokes) and suuuper addicting! We all know about Princess Margaret’s The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Absolutely anything royalty related is right up my alley. If you love Netflix’s The Crown (the new season is coming Nov. 17!) you will love this book. While The Crown mainly focuses on Queen Elizabeth II, this book is all about royal rebel, Princess Margaret, her close friends and her lady in waiting, The Honorable Vera Strathmore. I found this one predictable (yes, crack all those history jokes) and suuuper addicting! We all know about Princess Margaret’s totally unfair love story, but this fills in those nooks and crannies. The story is honestly nothing new, but I never tire of reading about rocky English romances. This historical fiction/romance was totally addicting and a good read! Short review: juicy, compelling and perfect for fans of The Crown.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allie Lane Sandu

    2.5 stars — I really wanted to like this book. On a surface level, it’s chock full of elements I would normally really enjoy. Unfortunately I had trouble keeping track of the secondary characters and most importantly found the pacing super bizarre. The last third of the book felt really rushed. My other major issue was the main character herself. I just couldn’t get my head around Vera and her motivations. She felt really thinly drawn to me. I didn’t root for her or support the choices she made 2.5 stars — I really wanted to like this book. On a surface level, it’s chock full of elements I would normally really enjoy. Unfortunately I had trouble keeping track of the secondary characters and most importantly found the pacing super bizarre. The last third of the book felt really rushed. My other major issue was the main character herself. I just couldn’t get my head around Vera and her motivations. She felt really thinly drawn to me. I didn’t root for her or support the choices she made and that made it difficult. Her happy ending felt so contrived and convenient. Also. One of my favourite books is The Other Boleyn Girl, and this title felt like such a lazy swipe at that book’s vibe and success and also just felt weird... Mary Boleyn wasn’t a member of the royal family, and as such the title of that book made more sense in that context. To describe Princess Margaret as just the “other Windsor girl” (PARTICULARLY when the book features zero interactions with her sister the Queen, the “main Windsor girl” the title would be referencing) seemed strange to me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Moira

    Princess Margaret walked so Diana/Fergie/Kate/Meghan could run. Margaret was a fascinating, but not the most likeable, woman. Vera makes for an interesting way to explore the life of a figure that was bigger than life. I’m beyond excited for the return of The Crown now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    If you love The Crown you will like this fun read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I wanted to like this a lot- I'm very into royal history, so I've been looking forward to it for a while. But I didn't- Vera seemed less a character than a plot device, and Margaret was just consistently npleasant. I realize that she had a very difficult life, but this novel never gave you hints of why she was also so "sparkling" and loved, by so many people. It wasn't horrible- the author did her research. I just found it very disappointing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Tedious at times, and essentially a retelling of the first and second season of The Crown. I wanted more from it, but wasn’t too disappointed with what I got. A light, easy read, although I wouldn’t exactly call it a page turner.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mikaela (Booklover1974)

    The blurb to this book says that if you like The Crown you'll like this book, and I completely agree! Since I really like The Crown, I like this book. It portrays a not very nice image of Princess Margaret and her ways with the people surrounding her. Sometimes I felt there were too many details and a lot of telling instead of showing. Overall though, it's a little nugget of a book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I received an ARC of this book. I enjoy reading books on the Royal family and this one did not disappoint even though it is fictional (there are real events also). Princess Margaret has every thing, but she is not allowed to marry Peter Townsend. Being the Queens sister has got to be rough. The fictional story of Vera, 2nd lady in waiting to the Princess was very interesting. Easy read.

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