Cover Image: Before the Crown

Before the Crown

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Member Reviews

If you enjoy watching The Crown, this book is a good filler while you wait for the next season. The dual point of view from Elizabeth and Phillip allowed for a rounded out story that captured both sides of their courtship. Flora Harding did a great job at highlighting the differences between the pair and despite this, their personalities complement each other.  I enjoyed reading Elizabeth's point of view and her sense of duty to the crown while trying to maintain balance and being happy.  Although this book feels to be scraping the surface of their story, it is an interesting read.  
If you enjoy the royal family and/or The Crown, I would suggest picking this book up.
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I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I am a sucker for stories about The Royal Family so I took a chance in this book.  If you enjoyed watching The Crown on Netflix you will love this novel. 

For me, I liked it, but I struggled a bit staying interested in it. It was interesting reading about Phillip and Elizabeth’s story before they were married. Elizabeth was so young when she first noticed him! Phillip was portrayed as arrogant and ding like to follow the rules.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for the advanced reader copy to read and review.
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I very much enjoyed this fictitious look into the life of a young future Queen Elizabeth and her relationship with Philip Mountbatten up to their wedding.

Born to one day assume the throne of England, Elizabeth was a girl trained to not only rule, but to build a character of strength, resilience and the overwhelming job of keeping her emotions in check. Philip on the other hand even though he was a Prince of Greece, gave up his title to become a British citizen after he had determined his mind to marry Elizabeth. Philip was not a man that Elizabeth's parents approved of since his German relatives, including three sisters married to upper ups in the Nazi SS command, certainly had the cards stacked against him. England was fresh out of a heinous war with Germany and was left a scorched country. Elizabeth's father, King George did not like Philip at all as he found him course, “loud, had a boisterous laugh and blunt, seagoing manners.” 

However, Elizabeth was in love with Philip and would not back down from the marriage. She knew what she wanted and also knew she was not exactly beautiful nor that Philip was in love with her. Her commitment to him was overshadowed by who she was and what was expected of her.

Philip admired what he saw in Elizabeth but his feelings for her were held back. He enjoyed the life of freedom, freedom to do as he wished and he became aware that this style of life would certainly be curtailed one he married the future queen. He and his family were penniless, they only had a title which was useless but allowed Philip to become after much diplomacy, political dealings and delaying by the Crown, the future husband of the future queen.

This book ends with their marriage in Westminster Abbey, but their story has continued on for the past seventy-three years. 

This was a well done story and one that has a number of interesting facts included in its telling. I definitely recommend the book to those who so enjoy reading of a marriage and lives that have gone on together for a great many years.

Thank you to Flora Harding, Harper Collins Publishing, Australia, and NetGalley for an copy of this story due out on December 10,2020
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I'm not quite sure whether this was meant to be adult of YA fiction. The writing is very easy and the story lacks depth, which does make this a quick read.

The book spans roughly the 4 years before the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip, starting in December 1943 with the two of them acknowledging that whoever they marry, it will always be at least partly a marriage of convenience pushed on them by other people. They decide to wait until after the war to see where they stand, but they part ways assuming they'll eventually get married. She has feelings for him, he mostly feels the family pressure to marry into the British royal family.

Maybe that's how it really went, but I have no clue about the private lives of these people. And that's also where this story kind of missed its mark in my opinion. It's a fictionalised version of very private conversations, but at the same time the author also includes ample real-life elements so you're left straddling this line between fact and fiction. Maybe that works for stories about royals and rulers from long ago, but in this case these people are still around and there are still plenty of people alive who know them.

Aside from the potential ick factor in reading a story about real people who are still alive, this book also dragged along for a long time. It felt like the same conversations happened again and again, just in different locations or with slightly different characters involved. Maybe because everyone knows how the story of Elizabeth and Philip turned out, the tension between emotions and familial duties never develops throughout this book. As a reader, you never really feel like there's anything at stake.

All in all, this felt like a tamer version of The Crown, with less interest in the scandal. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I think I prefer my fictional royals to be actually fictional.
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I adored this, it was a charming story and what a beautiful cover!

[book:Before the Crown|48910589] is historical fiction and a behind the scenes look into the courtship of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. We follow their friendship, courtship and the lead up to their wedding.  It wasn’t a passionate courtship but more of an arrangement between the pair.

In the wake of World War II Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the handsome Naval Officer Prince Philip of Greece who she had first met nine years earlier. She knew she was in love with him at thirteen when they played croquet at Dartmouth.

Philip came from royal blood in Greece but Princess Elizabeth’s parents thought he was not a suitable candidate to marry Princess Elizabeth who was destined to inherit the throne.  Philip's three sisters were all married to senior German Officers so that was a major handicap and did not go down well with the British Royal family.  The Princess could not marry without her father the King's permission until she was twenty five but she didn’t want to wait that long!

Princess Elizabeth affectionally known as ‘Lilibet’ even as a young woman succeeded in her duties and loyalties, she supported her country during World War II and was a poised and determined young woman.

A light and entertaining read.  I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
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I really love historical fiction especially when it is fictionalized account of real lives and events. This is about the early friendship/relationship of Elizabeth and Philip the Queen and Consort of England and I really liked that the story was told in the Pov of Philip and Elizabeth. You get insight into what was motivating Elizabeth and that the stoic unemotional façade she had belied how much she cared about Philip. You get to see what Philip was thinking and how their relationship started out as a duty he owed his Uncle Richard Mountbatten who raised him and gave him a home when his father abandoned the family and his mother decided to stay in Greece to become a Nun. It was interesting to see Philip interacting with his sisters after the war since he hadn’t seen them since before the war started since they were all married to High Ranking SS officers during the War so they were another strike against the suitability of Philip.  Everyone in the Royal house/Parliament were against Philip since he was a Foreign Prince even though he was educated in Britain since he was 9, was in the Navy and gave up his right of succession for the Greek throne to become a British citizen so he could marry Elizabeth. He was her one rebellion that if she had to stand the duty that came with the Crown she wanted Philip beside her and she would not be budged not matter how much anybody wanted her to make another choice. 

It was really interesting seeing how they each grew with the 5 years that pass between them meeting again in 1943 to when they get married in 1947 and how stubborn Philip is with dealing with the protocol of being a royal. While he was technically a prince, he had been in exile since he was a baby and he never grew up with any of the responsibilities or duties that being royalty entailed when you actually had a home and people to rule. So he didn’t get the real expectations and the stifling way you have to live under the public eye when you join the royal family. This was a really great read and I really enjoyed seeing a glimpse into what we can infer about their private early life. 

Thanks to Harper Collins Australia and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book in e-book form. All opinions in this review are my own.
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LOVED! I think this writing did a great job illustrating just how different Elizabeth and Philip are, but also share opinions and work together. The look into Philip's childhood was extremely interesting as I lacked prior knowledge of the subject. I wish the book would have dived deeper into how the Queen responded to WWII.
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Historical fiction about a ruling queen is quite rare but this was truly enjoyable.  It makes the reader truly appreciate the risks Elizabeth took in falling in love with Phillip and then you realize, that risk made off.  Love stories should all be this well written, especially when the protagonists are still alive.
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A refreshing look at young Elizabeth and her romance with Philip, the ups and downs of their love. If you enjoyed The Crown on television, this book is a little reminiscent of it. Recommended.
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Before the Crown by Flora Harding is a novel about Princess Elizabeth and her determination to marry Prince Philip, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.  She has known of him since she was a young girl.  Now, during the war, she is hopelessly in love with him.  

However, her father the King strenuously questions the suitability of the prince.  He is a prince of Greece and in exile.  His parents, the former King of Greece is also in exile and living with his mistress.  His mother has joined a convent and is known for being unstable.  As a result of being almost cast-off from his family, he is very close to his uncle, Lord Mountbatten.  

I am always intrigued by the lives of the royals and this book was very interesting in that I saw Elizabeth in a different light.  Although usually pliant and quiet, her determination to get her way in this matter showed a strength of spirit that would do her well in her life as Queen.

Ms. Harding has given a glimpse of what might have been the life at court during the war.  I was very interested in this book and would recommend it highly.
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Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins Publishers Australia and Flora Harding for my copy of Before the Crown.
Before the Crown is a fictional story about the budding romantic relationship between Princess Elizabeth and the dashing Navy officer Lieutenant Philip Prince of Greece.
Princess Elizabeth first met Philip when she was 13, he made quite an impression on her and he was her first teenage crush. Elizabeth was 17 when she met 23 year old Philip again, he was serving in the Navy during WW II and they kept in contact by writing letters to each other. Her parents King George and her mother Queen Elizabeth didn’t think it was a good match, they thought Philip was an irresponsible play boy who only had eyes on their young impressionable daughter to improve his financial position and social status. They hoped the war, time, distance and Elizabeth maturing might end her infatuation with the handsome Philip but it didn’t, he had to become a British citizen and he changed his last name to Mountbatten for them to be able to marry.
Elizabeth may have been young but she was very determined to marry Philip and after being made to wait until she turned 21 her father reluctantly gave them permission to get engaged and they married on the 20th of November 1947. Can you imagine being in your early 20’s, having such a huge weight on your shoulders already as the future Queen, responsibility to your country, it's subjects, I have always admired Queen Elizabeth II and her fortitude. I enjoyed reading Before the Crown it was an interesting read about the beginning of the romantic relationship between two famous and fascinating people.
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Tailor-made for enthusiasts of The Crown, Flora Harding’s novel explores the intricate courtship between Elizabeth II and her consort, Prince Philip, now 94 and 99 years old. They married in 1947 and who – as avid royal watchers know – recently celebrated the wedding of their granddaughter Beatrice. Both the show and the novel provide the convincing illusion of breaching the wall that separates these world-famous, ultimately unknowable people from the rest of us.

While it can be read as a prequel to the Netflix series, Before the Crown stands independently and shouldn’t be thought of as “fan fiction.” At its heart, it reveals a love story presented as both predestined (since Elizabeth’s heart is set on Philip as a teenager) and unlikely (due to their very different temperaments, and the political roadblocks in the way of their union).

Harding is an experienced historical novelist who previously wrote Elizabethan-era fiction as Pamela Hartshorne. Her research into this considerably more modern timeframe is as thorough as ever, and her multifaceted characters have well-developed interior lives. Elizabeth, the shy and steadily reliable elder daughter of King George VI, carefully hides her feelings for Philip, whom she’s adored for years, behind a polite reserve. Philip, an outgoing Greek prince and Royal Navy lieutenant uprooted from his home country at a young age, finds himself nudged toward Elizabeth by his maternal uncle, “Dickie” Mountbatten, who knows she’d be a great catch.

Philip enjoys his naval career and a social life in which he does as he pleases, but he comes to appreciate Elizabeth’s kindness and generosity of spirit. His initiation into royal life is rocky and complicated by his sisters’ marriage to prominent Germans (former SS officers, even) and his future in-laws’ antipathy toward him as a suitor. George VI is stuffy and tradition-bound, and it doesn’t help that Philip finds hunting a dull pastime. Eventually he must decide whether to continue to pursue Elizabeth, knowing how much his lifestyle will change if they marry. The scenes at Balmoral Castle, a favorite residence of their joint ancestor Queen Victoria, evoke the rustic beauty of the Scottish landscape as the pair get to know each other better.

For readers interested in imagining what it’s like to be part of the British royals’ inner circle, Before the Crown fulfills its promises. It’s satisfying escapism perfect for these stressful times.
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I love learning about royalty (my faves are the Scandinavians at the moment) and was curious about this one. It started off okay of a little too much reaching. The cover looks beautiful and any royalty buff will be interested. It was hard to read on a regular device versus just kindle as well.
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Found myself engrossed in this fictional take on the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's early friendship/romance from the very start. The sections on Philip's life and family were particularly well done -- the book recognized that he had a complicated life and family long before he joined the British royals!
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This is a love story for the ages and I can't believe they will be married for 73 years come November 20th, 2020.

This book had me gripped. Flora Harding brings both the plot and the characters together she captures a time and place with such exquisite detail. Historical fiction fans and royal watchers, behold this book. Ms. Harding has woven a story about pre and post-war time England when times were terribly dismal – think rationing, jobs were grueling and often served only to make ends meet, if that, and life was just hard. But then Princess Elizabeth’s upcoming royal wedding was soon to take place and all of London was a buzz.

What a splendid book. The cover is gorgeous, the story fascinating. I loved learning about the background of this strong relationship, it is a fascinating tale. I waited a long time to get my hands on this book and it was worth every impatient minute I experienced. A magnificent story unfolds of friendship, romance, family, and the ties that bind.
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3.5 Stars for this light historical fiction of what it could have been like when Elizabeth was a princess and Philip renounced his title for her. Quite a few historical facts thrown in for all history buffs. This book gave a lighter side to the formidable Queen we all see today on TV. I would love to think there was a little spark between these two, and not just what was best for the Commonwealth as an arranged marriage. For once, Margaret is in the background and Elizabeth shines front and center. 

Quick read giving a ‘human’ side to the royal family and life in Buckingham Palace and England during a tumultuous time. 

Thanks to Ms. Harding, Harper Collins UK/One More Chapter and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
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For a full disclosure, I want to thank NetGalley for sending me an ARC of "Before the Crown" to read and provide feedback on.

If you have ever thought about what it took to broker one of the longest lasting royal marriages/partnerships of the 20th century, or are just a fan of the Netflix series "The Crown", then you will enjoy this incredibly sweet look into the "romance" of Princess Elizabeth of England and Prince Philip of Greece. 

While it is fairly common knowledge that their marriage was not the favored match her family wanted for her, it is less known how much pressure had been placed on Philip to make the match by his family. The result of which turns their courtship into a long and hard battle both of them have to fight to be able to win the blessing of the King George VI to be able to wed. 

I personally adored examining how being royal impacted each of them so different, and what those differences brought to their personal power dynamics as the pair negotiates the terms for their relationship. It is easy to believe that the balance portrayed by the pair in this historical fictional telling is key to building the partnership seen today between the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
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Beautifully written, very engaging story of the blossoming romance between Princess Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth II) and Prince Philip. So much hardship to overcome but love leads the way.
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This was a lovely insight into royal romance.  I cannot imagine being royal, let alone heir to the throne, and dating!  I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look into Elizabeth and Philip's courtship, if it can be called that.  All of the political implications that have to be considered leave little romance but it seems like they managed to create their own.  Even after all these years later, they seem happy enough.  Really good writing.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher and voluntarily chose to review it.
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I really enjoyed this! I felt like I knew young Elizabeth and Phillip as friends by the end. May sound silly, but it’s nice to be reminded that “Royals” are people just like everyone else, with the same inhibitions, hang-ups, and wishes to be loved fully for themselves. 
A sure hit for anyone who enjoyed watching “The Crown” series. I’m going to re-watch it soon!

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.**
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