King's Counsellor: Abdication and War: the Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles
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Author: Alan Lascelles
Condition: Used, Very Good
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
First edition. Very slight scuffing of dust jacket but otherwise like new.
Tommy Lascelles's diaries begin with Edward VIII's abdication and end with George VI's death and his daughter Elizabeth's Coronation. In between we see George VI at work and play, a portrait more intimate than any other previously published. The early part about Edward VIII is a damning profile; the bulk of the book is WWII as seen from a key courtier - Lascelles is first assistant and soon private secretary to the King and Queen. The last part, which Duff Hart-Davis, the editor, has headed 'Royal Crises', is post-war. Here is Queen Mary's concern over the marriage of her grandson George Harewood (Lascelles' 2nd cousin) and Princess Margaret's relationship with the equerry, Peter Townsend. There is one additional element: Winston Churchill. Just as the Alanbrooke Diaries, published with such success in 2000, showed the PM as seen from the top soldier's viewpoint, so here Lascelles shows the PM and the King and how they worked together. Nor did Churchill always get his own way. Lascelles was a fine writer - like most of the best diaries his are a delight to read as well as being invaluable history.