49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
No hats in the evening,
This review is from: The Final Curtsey (Hardcover)
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The most remarkable feature of Margaret Rhodes's life, as she would certainly agree, is her relationship to the Royal Family; niece to Queen Elizabeth and therefore cousin to the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, both friends from nursery days onwards. Her own life, however, which includes a wartime spell in MI6 while living as a guest at the Palace, is certainly not without considerable interest in its own right. This vivid, conversational, unselfconscious account of life within the royal circle offers no scandalous, malicious or shocking revelations, but lots of captivating detail. She describes with affection the sheltered yet curiously down-to-earth life of the Scottish aristocracy, living it seems almost entirely out of doors, heavily dependent on shooting and fishing for entertainment and pathologically averse to printed matter in any form. Her own triumphs with gun and rod are related with innocent pride, and her account of married life in post-colonial (and sometimes dangerous) Africa and slightly less dangerous Devon with frankness and warmth. In her later years, widowed and, for someone in her position, not well-off, she becomes a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother. Stories of everyday life at Clarence House will delight ardent royalists, as will the generous selection of personal and family photographs, many of which provide informal and charming portraits of the author's aunt and cousins. Now in her mid-eighties, it is no surprise to learn that Margaret Rhodes is convinced that the last great adventure is still to come; apart from the undeniable privilege into which she was born she seems to have been blessed with a brave heart and a happy disposition. My only disappointment is that the book, at 152 pages, is too short.