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The hand who rocks the royal cradle…The Royal Nanny

Today Karen Harper discussed her upcoming Wm Morrow trade paperback, The Royal Nanny, on sale June 21st. 

I used to enjoy the TV show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  Maybe that’s one reason the British royal families have always fascinated me.  I’ve written several novels about real royal women, their lives and loves.  I must admit another title for my new historical novel THE ROYAL NANNY could be “Lifestyles of the Rich and Royal—their romances and their secrets.”

The Rich and Royal were also supported by those who weren’t wealthy at all. I was intrigued to learn about a lower class woman who was nanny to the six children of King George V and Queen Mary, the current queen’s grandparents.  What a dysfunctional family!  What scandals!  This Cockney nanny Charlotte Bill (“Lala” as the children named her) was in the thick of it all, caught between upstairs and downstairs in the eras of Downton Abbey. 

And what children.  Two of them became kings; “David,” the eldest, grew up to be King Edward VIII.  He gave up his throne for “the woman he loved,” a huge scandal which demoted him to the title Duke of Windsor.  Bertie of the movie The King’s Speech, was another royal child whom Lala protected and loved.

The youngest of the six children, Prince John,  was her biggest challenge as he was epileptic and autistic.  Autism was unheard of then, and many considered epilepsy to indicate idiocy.  Afraid that John would embarrass the family, they hid him in a cottage on the estate where Lala remained his companion and champion.  More about all this is available on YouTube, where you can watch Prince John, The Windsors’ Tragic Secret.

 In THE ROYAL NANNY, Charlotte has a love of her own in rugged outdoorsman and estate manager Chad Reaver.  But in those days, nannies did not marry, despite the fact they were always addressed as “Mrs.” with their maiden last name.  (The royal Windsors compromised by calling Charlotte “Mrs. Lala.”)  But Chad and Charlotte’s love lasted despite difficulties and dangers.

As close as she was to three generations of royals, Charlotte observed not only the intimate lives of the royals but their public personas and events.  The extended family included notorious cousins “Willie,” the German Kaiser of WW I, and cousin “Nicky,” the tragic czar of the Russian Revolution.  So Lala witnessed history close up and personal too.   

Ah, the lives and loves of the royals, as fascinating as any modern romance.  Affection for them and fascination with them seems not to waver.  This month celebrates the current queen’s 90th birthday with a massive street festival on the Mall in London on June 12.  Prince William and Duchess Catherine are no doubt spending some summer days at their Georgian mansion near where my story takes place on the Sandringham Estate.

And the next generation, little George and Charlotte, have not only doting parents but, of course, a royal nanny.

The rich and royal may be different, but they are also people, like us, with tragedies and triumphs, losses and loves.  Come and take a close up look through the eyes of a fascinating royal nanny.

Royal Nanny jpg

The post The hand who rocks the royal cradle…The Royal Nanny appeared first on Avon Romance.

SOURCE: Avon Romance – Read entire story here.


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