Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: Lady in Waiting (December 2019)

By Anne Glenconner

December 18, 2019

A Maid of Honour at the Queen’s coronation as well as Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Anne Glenconner has spent her life as a friend of the royal family.

Now she looks back at her extraordinary life – filled with glamour, drama as well as tragedy.

The eldest child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, she knew as a daughter she would not inherit the vast ancestral Holkham Hall or the family fortune.  Bred and brought up to secure an eligible husband, she was to fall for the charismatic Colin Tennant (later Lord Glenconner), who would go on to buy Mustique in the Caribbean, turning it into the world’s most exclusive private island.  The parties and guest were legendary, but the marriage was to prove a test of every strength Anne possessed.

On Mustique Anne’s friendship with Princess Margaret, which began in childhood, grew ever closer.  Becoming her lady in waiting, she could escape her difficult marriage to travel the world on diplomatic missions – from Australia to America, Canada and Africa.

Tragedy engulfed Anne when she lost two of her grown-up sons, and nursed her third son out of a coma after a motorbike accident.

Lord Glencommer died in 2010, leaving his entire fortune to a former employee.  It was the last sting in his tail, yet Anne has gone on to enjoy the freedom it’s given her, finally out of the shadow of the crown and her husband, and with the resilience and humour that defines her, reminding us that all that glitters is not gold.


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