Cover Image: Before the Crown

Before the Crown

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Before the Crown by Flora Harding

I loved this story of the courtship of Princess Elizabeth of England and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. The complexity of courting and getting engaged as a princess is a complicated affair. 

The author makes all the characters so very human, from the king to the stable hands. Young and shy, Elizabeth blossoms throughout this peek at her life in Buckingham Palace. 

War shortages and rationing are taking place in wartime London, and the royals are keenly aware of the sacrifices they all must make. How will Princess Elizabeth ever find a husband in the midst of it all? This five star tale will explain how, leading to the royal marriage that has lasted over 70 years. 

Many thanks to #HarperCollinsPublishersAustralia and #NetGalley for an ARC for my review.
Was this review helpful?
Royal family fans will definitely want to get their hands on this!  Based on the courtship of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, fictional telling of their relationship.  How much is real vs embellishment?  Not sure, but fun read if you like everything royal!
Was this review helpful?
A great read - especially for lovers of the royal family or romance novels generally.

This would go down well with fans of The Crown TV series.
Was this review helpful?
Who wouldn't love this story between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece at the time, of course we all now know as the Duke of Edinburgh.
We are transported to 1943, when seventeen year old Princess Elizabeth is desperate to see Prince Philip.
They had briefly been introduced a few years back and she had been keen on him.

I learned so much from the research the author did for this book and all of my questions were answered that I had often wondered about in watching the Queen now in real life.

I enjoyed how Philip did Marry for love even though the Mountbattens pushed their union and they have survived through allsorts together. I could imagine the events taking place at Windsor Castle and felt it was a wonderful insight to our Queen.

Lots of humour was protrayed in Philips character which I imagine is still there today. Trying to fit in place from being a sailor albeit a little cheeky, to fit into the mould that the King required.

The wedding sounded spectacular and I had to stop and look for photos on the internet. Ultimately even though they hold such great importance it's still the marriage of a man and woman in love. A simple love story.

Once I started to read this book I had a hard time putting it down, it's a beautiful romance and it captivated me from start to finish. 
This is a wonderful historical fiction book, I loved every page and would more than recommend it. Thank you.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed reading this book . The book revolves around queen elizabeth and Philip 7 years long relationship. This book is a good look into royal life and it's sacrifices and love between both.
Was this review helpful?
When I saw this book on NetGalley I was super excited because I love reading books about the British Royal Family both fiction or nonfiction.  Before the Crown is a fictional interpretation of the courtship of Philip and Elizabeth.  Although I have watched the Netflix series The Crown which starts at the marriage of Philip and Elizabeth this book starts way back when they were first introduced.   I didn’t realize Philip was much older than Elizabeth.  Anyways the story is told from alternating perspectives and I found it interesting to hear their individual takes on similar events.  In the story Elizabeth is so young and unsure of herself and men. However she knows she will be queen someday and she will have a huge responsibility.   

I really enjoyed reading how the author explored what the characters (Philip and Elizabeth) might have felt during their courtship.  

If you enjoy reading about the royal family or just like a sweet romance story this is a great read for you.   Of course it leaves you smiling at the end of the book with a happy ever after ending. (I don’t think I spoiled anything there.)

Thank you to @NetGalley and @onemorechapterhc for providing me with the ebook Before the Crown by Flora Harding.
Was this review helpful?
Must read for fans of the Crown and anyone interested in the 70_ year romance between Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip. While a fictional story, there is enough of reality to keep you enthralled. To imagine Queen Elizabeth II as a teenager anxiously wanting Philip to notice her is refreshing and charming.
Was this review helpful?
The premiss of this book is simple. It's a fictionalized love story of Elizabeth and Philip before The Crown. This book acts as a good entry point to what might have been. Part of me feels like I had too much knowledge of this timeline to be entirely immersed in the narrative, but I would certainly recommend it to someone who is not ass royally obsessed as I am. It doesn't shy away from the faults in Philip, but like many other works of fiction involving The Queen, it has difficulty humanizing her. I'd describe it's tone as a calming walk with a few stumbling blocks rather than a sweeping romance, but we already know the ending, so that is to be expected.
Was this review helpful?
Before the Crown focuses solely on the relationship between Elizabeth and Philip before their wedding. It takes us through a courtship of years in which they meet each other every once in a while, in which they write each other and in which it becomes very clear that a lot of people had a hand in this relationship. 

I think the author describes both Elizabeth and Philip very well and gives an accurate representation of who they are as people, as individuals and eventually as a couple. What I loved most about this book ( as a huge fan of the Crown ) is that we learn so much more about their personalities, about the hardships that come along with being a royal. Just like the tv-show, the book gives you an insight into who these two royals are, what their dreams and wishes are, what they feel. I finished this book within a matter of hours and I think a lot of fans of the Crown will enjoy this. In the tv-show we meet an adult Elizabeth but in this book we meet her as a young girl whose mind knows what her duties are but whose heart is just like any of us. 

If I had to pinpoint one thing I disliked then it would be the fact that I wish we would've gotten an even more in-depth look into Elizabeth. Her role in the book at times felt a bit superficial and it was as if she was playing second violin instead of first. Still, I immensely enjoyed this book and I think a lot of people who love the monarchy will enjoy this book.
Was this review helpful?
First thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review of the book.  I am rating it 3.5 stars.  The book tells the story from both Prince Phillip and Princess Elizabeth's pov of their courtship.  As others have stated it did seem a bit simplified and YA.  At times, it almost seems like it would start getting into some serious feelings/storytelling and then back right off.  I felt let down many times.  

I understand that this is historical fiction and both parties are still alive but if you are going to take on the subject then go for it.  All in all it is a quick read and will keep your attention.
Was this review helpful?
This book was enjoyable enough to read and enjoy reading it but unfortunately I found it to be under written...almost like its a YA noel.

It doesn't start where Phillip and Elizabeth meet, and it ends right before the wedding ceremony...so we don't even get to read about the whole wedding day. 
We read about their 7 year long 'relationship' where Elizabeth has decided she wants Phillip and that is that, she will have him...she pines over him, and finds ways to be with him.
Phillip doesnt seek out Elizabeth much at all but eventually decides he wants Elizabeth. He comes across as a selfish person who just wants to marry Elizabeth to better his finances. He comes across as someone I wouldn't like.

Anyone who has a bit of interest in Queen Elizabeth II would probably enjoy this book it would be an easy enjoyable read if your looking for a book you don't need to think or feel much about as you read.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this book. I felt like I was spying on Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s love story. This book was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
if you love our good Queen, if you love the "Crown" on Netflix... you'll definitely need to read this.
Flora told the story as we imagine it and I am in love with this. Brilliant!
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this story, we know the characters and have seen many pictures.  It was fun to see HRH Queen Elizabeth as a giggling youngster.  She is always so polished and professional and it was refreshing to see her humanized.  Theirs is a beautiful love story and this book was a lot of fun to read.
Was this review helpful?
The plot: 
As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.

One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.

He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…

The review: If you’ve ever watched “The Crown,” you’ve gotten some insight as to the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. You’ve probably wondered how they met-and how they fell in love. This novel explores how the beginning of their relationship. If you’ve read biographies of either of their lives, this story won’t offer anything new, but to us casual viewers of “The Crown,” the story is quite interesting. Slight spoiler-Liz really fights for her man.) 

If you like Philippa Gregory and how she’s managed to make Tudor history come alive, you’ll love this book. The author did a great job describing wartime London and other scenes although she focuses more on the character of Elizabeth and Philip. 

Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
I love this glimps behind the romance of Elizabeth and Philip.  The book opens with a performance of Aladdin starring Princess Elizabeth.  The story shows what it was like for a shy girl to interact with the man she wanted to marry.  

I liked how the story humanized the strong woman who is the Queen.  As a fan of "The Crown" I liked seeing what happened before.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by the publisher and NetGalley.  Thank you very much!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars
This is the (historical fiction) story of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth from the time leading up to their wedding in November 1947.
I liked the story itself - it was interesting to read an historical fiction story about two people who are both still alive and well. I did think it was kind of weird that their correspondence began when she was 13, but I guess things were different back then?
I found Elizabeth to be portrayed as an incredibly dull rom-com heroine. I was screaming at her in my head to just TELL PHILIP HOW YOU FEEL ALREADY. It got old.
I didn't find Philip to be a reliable narrator and would be interested to learn more about his own thought process throughout their courtship. He seemed to wake up one day and be like, yup, I love Elizabeth. I still don't know how he got from Point A to Point B, but I guess that's up to my imagination or something.
I wish the author had included a note of her source materials, as I would be interested in exploring some of those.
What I did find fascinating was Princess Alice, so off I go to learn more about her.
Was this review helpful?
this is one of those books i have no clue how to talk about it, let alone review it in a helpful way.

it was interesting to see snippets into the lives of this couple and how they meet and got married. 

but because we only got snippets of specific moments, never got the introduction, never got the moment after the wedding or even the actual wedding which would have been interesting since it was the entire build up of the book.

on top of that the writing in this book was so over simplified that j have no idea which age group this book is targeted to. 
ya? adult? on between? even younger? no clue!
if it’s adult it felt a bit too simple and i wish we could have been given more of the real struggles that elizabeth and phillip must have been going through with their decisions and how everyone around them reacted to their decision to marry.  
if it’s ya i think it might have been helpful to give a bit more background infos? 

i have no idea, which is why this book is confusing to rate.
it has so many middle ground moments that are hard to rate or talk about without the other person having read the book as well to understand what the “problems” are.

so to simplify:

- i liked how human and realistic the people are in this book. 
elizabeth has a character, has feelings and emotions  and sometimes struggles with her role that she didn’t pick but will take in because it’s what’s expected of her.
it was nice to see that a person who always seem so assured and strong be portrayed as someone struggling with self confidence sometimes.

- i didn’t like how this feels very much like an essay collection since we kept being dropped in moments that are already in full swing and while it gets explained over time would it have been easier to make it all connect better and not having to go back and explain after already starting? 

- i didn’t enjoy how it’s so unclear what’s fiction and what isn’t.
is the way the queen and her husband meet real? 
is the story about philips family real? 
if so how come nobody ever mentioned that his sisters where married to SS officers?!? 
and how the heck could he have really expected them to come to his wedding??
was that real if so dear god what kind of person is that man?!

so as someone that doesn’t know a huge amount of those two royals i wish we could have gotten a better overview of what’s actual fact and what’s fiction. 


all in all? 
it’s okay.
it’s not bad.

but it’s a strange type of book where i would guess that everyone that knows a lot about the royals wouldn’t find it overly interesting but if you don’t know a lot about them (the group i fall in) the book is skipping a lot that would be helpful and doesn’t give real facts to know what the author added herself.

it wasn’t a great one for me personally but i guess if you try jt and enjoy how it’s written it might be for you.
Was this review helpful?
This book follows the courtship of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth, up until their wedding day. There has been a number of novels about the early years of Elizabeth's reign published in the wake of Netflix's "The Crown', but this is one of the better ones (personally, I did not enjoy 'The Gown' by Jennifer Robson). I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of Prince Philip and the description of the sharp contrast between the Continental royalty to which he belonged, and the English aristocracy. The novel is not meant to be a critical look at royalty, but it also doesn't shy away from attributing flaws to the characters. My only criticism is that it feels a little bit like the author relies on how the historical figures have been portrayed in the Netflix series, rather than her own perspective on them.

That said, this was a thoroughly enjoyable light read and a very sweet romance - I absolutely recommend for royal watchers!
Was this review helpful?
As the title indicates, this is the story of the courtship of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.  Beginning in war torn England, the story flows and is well written, with a light hand. A good book, that’s a fast read and nice story that we know still exists today.
Was this review helpful?