Cover Image: Before the Crown

Before the Crown

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Member Reviews

This novel look at the courtship of Elizabeth and Phillip. Even though they are both royalty their worlds are very different. Elizabeth is bound by tradition, formality, and expectations while Phillip is wild and adventurous and ready to break with tradition. How did they ever come to marry?
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From the breathtaking cover to the subject matter I absolutely loved this book.   I have always been fascinated by the royals and this did not disappoint
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I loved this book! I've always been fascinated by the royal family, and this book gave great insight into the courting of Queen Elizabeth and Philip before she was queen. It was very well researched and really entertaining. If you like watching The Crown, you will love this book. I look forward to more from this author. I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback.
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A really lovely take on a story we all know well. Harding makes the Queen more accessible and more human and leaves the reader feeling like they've read a story about a friend rather than the world's oldest reigning monarch. Lovers of the Netflix series The Crown need to add this to their to-be-read list.
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What a great story about how Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip falling in love.

I really enjoyed this book, the story of them meeting at what a young age Elizabeth actually fell in love with Phillip (I know this is a fictional telling of the story)but if she only knew what he was like when he was not with her, I'm wondering if she would have decided that he was the man she wanted to rule beside her.

What did not like about this book was that there was no climax, no WOW moment where you were waiting for the other shoe to drop and NO SCANDAL, with a book about royals I was really expecting one of these to happen.
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I really enjoyed this story of the courtship and wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. I'm not a particular follower of Royals, and everything I know about Queen Elizabeth I learned from The Crown, but this was really engaging and kept me hooked. The romance was pretty depressing in my opinion, but also very believable. I would recommend it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. The opinions above are all my own.
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"Before the Crown," by Flora Harding, is a beautifully written, highly detailed offering of the life of Elizabeth (Lilibet) before she became queen of Britain. This book goes a long way toward personalizing the relationship that the reader has with Elizabeth and expounds on what the average reader might already know of her life before she assumed the throne. The love she had for Philip is sure to shine through, and it stands in stark contrast to the many marriages of previous royals.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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"Before the Crown" is one of my favorite books this year.  For lovers of the Netflix series, "The Crown" or fans of books that imagine what goes on in the minds of royalty like "The Royal We" by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, "Before the Crown" will not disappoint.

Following the courtship of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the book does a beautiful job of describing the complications and challenges of finding love when you are destined to be the next Queen of England.  The story is told from the point of view of both the future Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  It spends time on topics I was previously unaware of, from Prince Philip's multiple Nazi brothers-in-law to the nasty way Prince Philip was received by the court when he was courting Elizabeth.

What I loved most about the story was that it managed to describe a plausible tale of how Elizabeth and Philip might have met and fallen in love.  It doesn't gloss over some of the more famous issues in their marriage such as Philip's wild ways or Elizabeth's stoicism.  Rather, it shows how the two might have found each other despite these challenges.

For anyone who is interested in the royal family or enjoys historical fiction, this book is going to be a delight.  Even for the occasional fiction reader, this will be a fun read.  I only wish that there was already a sequel - I didn't want this one to end!
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Flora Harding creates a sweet love story between the Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, starting with the letters they write to each other in the beginning and her family's attempts to keep them apart in hopes she would forget him. You feel for Elizabeth during her awkward, business-like proposal to Philip while trying to conceal the fact that she has real feelings for the prince. I also like that the book switches POV between Elizabeth and Philip, so you can see his disdain at first for this innocent girl with no worldly experience and how it grows into a love for her steadfastness and reliability.

I was a little sad that the book ended with their wedding. It makes narrative sense, as that is what the relationship between the royals is leading up to, but the title Before the Crown made me think the story would go further, following newly-married Elizabeth and Philip through to her father's death and her ascension to the throne.

The chapters of the book are short, which makes the pages fly by. The story keeps a good pace from beginning to end, making it an enjoyable read. It is a sweet love story, making it a great pick for romance readers and people who enjoy proper romance. There is no sex here! Readers who enjoy historical fiction, the English royal family, and WWII fiction will also enjoy this title.
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Look at how gorgeous Elizabeth looks on the cover! I also must admit that I have a slight obsession with the British royal family and love The Crown, so this was right up my alley. The writing is sometimes a bit simplistic, but I learnt some new facts (with help of Google) and all in all it was a solid read.

Thank you to NetGalley for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest review.
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Thanks for providing me a copy of this book, I finished it yesterday and here you can read my review:

"In 1943 war is raging through Europe and Prince Philip of Greece is an officer in the English navy. His Greek royal family is in exile and his sisters are wed to German officers. At Windsor Castle, seventeen-year-old princess Elizabeth, heir to the English throne, is eagerly awaiting Philip’s visit to court. She fell in love with the prince some years before and hopes to win his affection. But in times of war not everyone is fond of Elizabeth marrying a foreign prince.

I must admit that I haven’t read many books about the Windsors before, I haven’t even started watching ‘The crown’ yet. But this ensured I could start this book without expectations.

The novel is written from both Elizabeth’s and Philip’s point of view and opens with the two of them meeting at Windsor during the War. Elizabeth has been smitten with Philip for some years, and the two of them write letters to each other on a regular basis. Philip hasn’t formed an attachment to the princess yet but his Mountbatten relatives have made clear that a match with the English throne could be advantageous for him and his family.

It seems strange to read a historical novel about people still alive. If felt wrong to get an insight into their private lives. Harding writes some very real and convincing dialogues. You immediately discover there’s a difference between Elizabeth’s confined life at court and Philip’s worldly views. Philip never had a home, as the Greek royal family lives in exile and his parents chose to live apart. I didn’t know much about Philip’s family and I found it very interesting to get to know his uncles, parents and sisters.

I also loved the representation of the Queen and King, both not destined for the throne but determined to make the best of it. Elizabeth is a more passive character. She’s clearly in love but has learned to restrain herself. She places herself in the shadow of the more lively and extraverted Margaret. Sometimes that made me shout at her to stand up for herself.

The couple will face some serious challenges before their marriage, but the reader knows they will overcome them in the end. There is some romance involved of course, but the focus of the novel is more on England during and after WOII. It will never be my favorite period, but Harding has certainly surprised me with this sweet and interesting story.

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers Australia to provide me a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion."

I'll publish this review on my book blog on Thursday 10 December (unless there is a reason you want it online sooner?) with the mention that it's now available and a link to Amazon. I'll also add the review on Goodreads that day. 

Kind regards
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An insecure bride-to-be and her reluctant groom seems a rather ordinary storyline. That is, until one realizes the bride is destined to be the Queen of England and her groom the man who will vow to protect her the rest of his life. Elizabeth is shy, reserved and responsible; Philip is lonely, arrogant and self-reliant. What appears at first to be a royal alliance, a relationship of mutual support rather than affection, gradually becomes a love match when both realize how much they want and need one another. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are recognized worldwide, yet few people know what they are like. Flora Harding provides insight into this famous couple’s possible thoughts and emotions during their early years of knowing one another before the coronation. She gives us an endearing portrayal of a young couple who walked into history, making a successful match, one that has lasted over seventy years.
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I wanted to love this book and I tried so hard but the ePub font was so small, I could not read it. Even if I enlarged it, I kept have to shrink to turn the page. Therefore I did not finish this book. It was very interesting though
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I included my review in an article I posted on Royalty-related Crime Fiction:

Flora Harding's Before The Crown comes out in ebook next month and paperback in December. I received a review copy via Netgalley. It's not a crime novel but is an enjoyable, easy read fictionalising the courtship of Elizabeth and Philip. It's full of short chapters, initially alternating between the two leads and then stays with each character for a few chapters at a time when they are separated. It's the sort of book where you don't know how much is true so sends you scurrying off to google.

I have also suggested to the library where I work that they purchase a copy of the paperback.
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After always being interested in the royal family, mainly because it is so different and fancy from what a rural farm girl from Iowa would ever see, I like to read about the royal family.   Not much is known of Queen Elizabeth and her early years, how she met Philip, what their courtship was like, or even really their wedding, but this book brought that to life.   

This book picks up in 1945 when Elizabeth and Philip really set eyes on each other and really begin the courtship that created the English royal family as we know them today.  With the abdication of the thrown by her uncle, it put her father in as King of England and Elizabeth heir apparent to the British throne,  along her the “most eligible woman in the world”.  But what no one really knows is she found her Prince Charming when she just 13 years old.  Philip, the son of Prince Andrea and Princess Alice former Greek royals, with German ties.  A father who had multiple mistresses and loved in Monte Carlo, a mother all thought was mentally disturbed, and four sisters all married to high ranking SS officers.  So how possibly could this work?  I would say after almost 73 years of marriage and 68 years on the thrown, better than those who doubted and tried to sway Elizabeth and Philip from not marrying.

It was an interesting read, lots of information brought to life, even though factionalized it brought that time to life and I enjoyed it very much.

Thank you Netgally and Harper Collins Publishers of Australia for an advanced copy.  All opinions are my own.
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Note: I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley and am leaving this review voluntarily.
When I first saw Before the Crown by Flora Harding on Net Galley, I hurried to request an Advance Review Copy (ARC). As followers of my blog are aware, I am a huge English History buff and have slowly been making my way from the Protestant Reformation to present day. Additionally, I believe that Queen Elizabeth II is the granddaughter of Henry VIII via his liaison with Mary Boleyn, who bore Catherine Carey, confirmed grandmother of the current English monarch. While I haven’t watched more than the first episode of Netflix’s The Crown, I was quickly certain that Harding’s book was a must-read for me.
I began reading Before the Crown voraciously, excited to read my first-ever historical fiction book about a modern figure. However, within a few chapters, my interest waned. As interesting as the courtship between then-future Queen Elizabeth II and Phillip Mountbatten was, I found myself longing for a bit more historical context (more about the Second World War that defined their youth beyond rationing, for example) and a little less dialogue. For that matter, as I continued reading the book, I felt that I was forcing myself to finish it—the back-and-forth conversation and alternating perspectives (occasionally with overlap in action as the point of view alternated) didn’t hold my interest.
The one thing, though, I did appreciate about this book is the context it gave me for various figures in the Windsor Court, which is certainly helpful as I begin watching The Crown and try to recall who each character is and why they behave a certain way (i.e., regarding their role within the Court).
As far as my enjoyment of the book is concerned in association with the elements of history included in the period, I’m giving Before the Crown by Flora Harding three stars. Perhaps if I was a bit better versed in Windsor history, I would’ve liked the book more. My personal preferences (less dialogue, more context) also prevents me from awarding any additional stars, but I’ll concede that it’s well-written for what it is.
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I really enjoyed this book. I always wondered how Queen Elizabeth's and Philip's story panned out and the author did not disappoint. I am sure there is some exaggeration but it was a fantastic portrayal and really made them both seem like normal, ordinary people as much as possible given their ranks.
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I could not put this book down!

Some of the historical inaccuracies bothered me, but it was fast moving and an insightful look at what both Elizabeth AND Philip May have felt during their courtship. It included a sympathetic take on what it could have been like for Philip to all of a sudden be apart of the royal family. This was my favorite plot line of the book.

I was really sad when Before The Crown ended.

This book is PG enough for the middle and high school classroom library!!
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Thanks to HarperCollins Australia and One More Chapter for an advanced copy of Before the Crown in exchange for my honest review. 

I love all things Royal so I was excited to read Before the Crown, which is a historical fiction around the courtship of Princess Elizabeth by Prince Phillip. While most of the story is based on actual events around their early relationship, the conversations and thoughts are fictional. 

It was fun to be swept up in their story and read a little bit more about them. This was a quick read and if you're  a fan of the Royals or The Crown you'll love this! I only wish there was info at the end on the authors's creative license and what research she did.
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I might be one of the only reviewers to have read this book without having seen "The Crown" first. I found it to be a delightful, educational, and fun book that gives a nice background about the beginning of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's relationship. I did not go in knowing much about their history, beyond the more modern stuff, so from my perspective it was an informative read. That is, of course, not to diminish that this is a love story about a young couple's courtship which was a very well told story. 

I enjoyed the author's writing style and how they were able to make what was truly very historically accurate information into a compelling story. I found myself checking things online and finding that what I was reading were real life happenings and was very impressed with that.

If anything, the only thing I was upset about was the fact that the book ended! I would love to see a continuation of the story after their marriage and Elizabeth officially taking the throne. 

Thank you to Flora Harding and Harper Collins Publishers Australia for the opportunity to read this lovely book in advance of it's release date!
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