Read The Final Curtsey by Margaret Rhodes Online


This is the intimate and revealing autobiography of Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and the niece of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Margaret Rhodes was born into the Scottish aristocracy, into a now almost vanished world of privilege. Royalty often came to stay and her house was run in the style of Downton Abbey. Her aunt was Queen Elizabeth theThis is the intimate and revealing autobiography of Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and the niece of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Margaret Rhodes was born into the Scottish aristocracy, into a now almost vanished world of privilege. Royalty often came to stay and her house was run in the style of Downton Abbey. Her aunt was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth is her first cousin. In the Second World War years, she 'lodged' at Buckingham Palace while she worked for MI5. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip. Three years later the King and Queen attended her own wedding; Princess Margaret was a bridesmaid. In 1990, she was appointed as a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother, acting also as her companion, which she describes in touching detail. In the early months of 2002, she spent as much time as possible with her frail and ailing aunt, and was at her bedside when she died at Easter that year. This is a fascinating account of a special life, with the author's family relationships to nobility and royalty, her long and special marriage, her children and grandchildren and a life lived to the full. Major serial under negotiation, this title is to be featured in Majesty Magazine....

Title : The Final Curtsey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780954127565
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 120 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Final Curtsey Reviews

  • ^
    2019-02-05 03:00

    In a world dominated by news stories of unhappiness, conflict, strife and brutality; this autobiography shines through. No saccharin sentimentality, no angst, no ‘what-if’; this memoir is an absolute gem; a book that recalls, with a deeply genuine thankfulness, an unusual life lived through interesting times.There are, too, some fascinating personal insights into the humanity of Royal life’ such as Queen Elizabeth (Queen consort of King George VI) practicing her handling skills shooting rats with a revolver, during the Second World War, when Buckingham Palace had received a direct hit from a German bomb! There is no media ‘kiss & tell’ sensationalism here. There is no exploitation for personal gain. Instead there is level-headed-ness, and genuinely humble thankfulness for a really very interesting life blessed with affection coupled with a stoic, realistic acceptance that not everything in Life necessarily turns out the way we might incautiously wish for. Some might think that boring. I found that refreshing, inspiring, and considerably less expensive than booking into a health farm or spa.

  • Janine
    2019-02-18 06:41

    A charming reminiscence of a young Queen Elizabeth by her cousin who grew up with her. The stories of the venerated Queen Mother show her as a fun-loving pixie in her private life and gently spreading 'stardust' in her public life. Margaret Rhodes had an eventful life herself as she relates. Quick read, very enjoyable.

  • Vicki
    2019-01-22 03:00

    A short book which is a joy to read as the author's character shines through, as does the happiness of her life. One lovely thing about the book is the lack of bitchiness, and the respect that she has for others. I tire of books that read like a gossip column, and this book is quite frankly charming. It may not be great literature but it is a reflection on a life well lived.

  • Lynda
    2019-01-23 01:50

    Margaret Rhodes was born in to a somewhat austere country life of the Scottish aristocracy; she was the daughter of a baron & granddaughter of an earl. She was born in 1925 when the large country houses were run like Downton Abbey. She grew up to appreciate and handle outdoor life on large estates, to fish and hunt game, with governesses who taught her history and to speak fluent French. While she was to rue her lack of formal education in later life, she was certainly astute enough to land a job in MI6 during WWII.However her mother's youngest sister Elizabeth caught the eye of a Duke and this was to change the fortunes of the family in remarkable ways years later when the Duke became King of England and her Aunt, Queen Elizabeth. Her cousin, 10 months different in age and a childhood playmate, was destined to become Queen after him. When she leaves home as a young woman to work in London, naturally enough she stays with her Aunt and Uncle and shares a few glimpses of life with the family during the war. She also tells of the treatment of her brother as a prisoner of war with a group of others related to prominent allied figures. They had to fight for their rights as they were whisked away from the advancing allies.After the war, Margaret marries the man of her dreams and embarks on a year long honeymoon which starts with visiting her husbands relations in New Zealand. Her Father provides a family home and they enjoy a happy family life until sadly her husband dies young. They had been an adventurous couple visiting lands well off the beaten track in Africa and the Middle East where the name Elizabeth II meant nothing, when faced with danger.In later life Margaret becomes a lady-in-waiting and companion to her Aunt, renting a home just round the corner from Royal Lodge in Windsor Park. She describes this life as not all formality due to the personality of the Queen Mother who inspires loyalty from her aging staff and rewards them with many an evening singing round the piano which was the way they all enjoyed themselves when young. The final curtsey of the title is made to her aunt on her death.Thus she shares her family life, how this spills into the life of royalty and the private side of the Windsor's too. Despite her feeling that she lacks a formal education, she writes like a woman of good intellect. Her style is spare, understated and witty. She becomes a woman one warms to and admires for her down to earth, no nonsense ways. She also shows us the mettle needed to reach a fine age. An interesting read all round.

  • Chase Insteadman Mountbatten
    2019-02-18 07:45

    "[...] I loved the fact that the mountain had been given by Queen Victoria to Prince Friedrich of Prussia when he married her daughter, Vicky, the Princess Royal, in 1858. As a result the mountain became part of German Tanganyika and the mapmakers had to draw a little bubble in the straight line of the frontier between British Kenia and Tanganyika. The imperial couple reigned briefly as German Emperor and Empress; Fritz, as he was known, being seriously ill and dying just three months after his accession. They had strong liberal and anglophile leanings, completely at variance with their eldest son, 'Kaiser Bill', who took Germany into the First World War. It is a simplistic view, but I like to think that there would have been no First World War, and subsequently no Hitler, and no Second World War, if Fritz had lived."

  • Kealani
    2019-01-27 00:49

    WITHOUT PARALLEL !!!Margaret Rhodes amazes with warm, personal, revealing anecdotes of her Aunt, Queen Elizabeth, and her cousin Queen Elizabeth II. With depth that only comes from family, Margaret shares experiences from her days as playmate to the Princesses of York, the awe of participating in the Queen's wedding, and her days as Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mum. Who else could share correspondence of the Queen at some of the most major milestones in her life? But wait, there's more! Romance, danger, and daring in cloistered Himalayan Kingdoms and tumultuous African nations.

  • Lena
    2019-01-29 02:51

    Dishy but not bitchy, this is a fascinating look into a disappearing lifestyle. I enjoyed the author's matter-of-fact approach to writing about (and experiencing) some very dramatic and noteworthy occasions. It's like listening to your rather daring and very well-connected great aunt's reminisces. And if you're at all fascinated by the Royal Family, it's a must read.

  • Izzy
    2019-02-16 00:38

    An unpretentious and often charming insight into the world of the 20th century aristocrat. Filled with wonderful anecdotes, it is a fascinating account of Margaret Rhodes' life, and her close relationship with the Royal Family. If you love the Queen as much as I do, this really is a must-read!

  • Ronald
    2019-02-02 07:56

    Seems pretty candid... definitely not a tell-all but she doesn't gloss over everything either. An interesting autobiography of an interesting woman who grew up in an amazing time and in an unusual family

  • Carole
    2019-01-24 07:56

    Quaint but not tweePerhaps a disappearing world, but one of charm and grace; of tough personalities and an insight into the behind the scenes lives of those both belonging to 'The Firm' and those who serve them. Oh and those corgis!I enjoyed this book written in a gentle manner, with humour and not letting too many cats out of the bag. What did really surprise me was the, apparently, untrained pack of corgis who are the bane of many lives. Somehow I never imagined the Queen would have dogs that have not been trained.Mr and Mrs Rhodes adventures in the Indian Subcontinent and surrounding countries was educational in that the surrounding countries are not ones we might know too much about, particularly in the 40's, 50's and 60's. Their time in Kenya made me smile in places and laugh out loud in others; however having lived in Kenya I suspect this puts me at an advantage.I hope you enjoy the book, I know I did.

  • E.S. Ivy
    2019-01-22 23:42

    This reads like your grandmother sitting down with you and telling you her memories. There aren't a lot of details about the Queen, but that is most likely out of respect to the fact that she is a close family member. If you read between the lines you see more. The little details on the day to day life and expectations of nobility are interesting.Her life wasn't completely safe -- she writes about realizing that even though she was staying with her cousins during WWII she would be left behind in case of real danger. She travels to Africa where they ate dinner with revolvers next to each of their plates and run into bandits on safari. And even closer call was when they almost didn't make it out of Bhutan during a coup.She also describes some of her duties attending Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

  • Anne M.
    2019-01-29 04:45

    Interesting enough book from the late Margaret Rhodes who was a first cousin of the Queen.Margaret spent a lot of time with the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret and had a lot of insight into their young lives. She was very close to her aunt The Queen Mother. I got a bit bored when she went on to her time shooting animals, which I know was the done thing in her young days, but it doesn't make for nice reading.However Margaret later became Lady-in -Waiting and had tales to tell of both the Queen Mother and the present Queen.So a fairly interesting insight into life with the royals.

  • Simon
    2019-02-13 08:01

    If you weren't up to the searing realism and muckraking of the recent authorized biography of the Queen Mother by Shawcross, then this is the read for you. Margaret Rhodes never met anyone who didn't get along, including (much to their mutual surprise, I'm sure) the Duchess of Windsor and her aunt. There are a couple of funny lines in which the authoress reveals (1) her class prejudices and (2) Wodehouse's Aunt Dahlia may have been a documentary. Plus there is a set-piece in which she is trapped with Shirley MacClaine by the Bhutanese police. Betcha didn't see that coming.

  • Dorian
    2019-02-03 01:35

    Although the blurb calls this book an autobiography, the term "memoir" is in fact far more accurate. The author looks back over her long life and tells little stories about things that happened. Unfortunately, they're mostly not vastly interesting little stories, and while her refusal to speak ill of anyone is no doubt admirable, it also means her reminiscences are somewhat bland.It's a pleasant enough book, and whiled away an afternoon well enough, but it's nothing special.

  • Amy Hoodock
    2019-02-09 07:54

    I enjoy reading about the royals and this book was fun for me. The writing is fine, but a little all over the place logically. If you treat it as a series of vignettes with no depth and definitely no scandal, then you will enjoy a quick read. Do not expect major new insights.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-08 02:42

    A short, easy to read autobiography by the recently deceased Margaret Rhodes, cousin of the Queen. Some wonderful anecdotes, funny stories, a few "Downton Abbey" like moments and some 'shooting down' of a media fuelled myth or two.

  • Herb
    2019-01-27 02:56

    This is actually the book format that I'm reading. I couldn't find a dust jacket cover for the book form.I liked this book, written by a cousin of the queen. Part personal autobiography and part story of her relationship with the Royal Family.

  • Rebekka
    2019-02-05 04:38

    This was a quick read, an interesting insight into the Royal Family. She was amazingly devoted to the Queen Mother (Elizabeth I) but her writing lacks something. I would recommend it as a travel book; something you can read in a couple of hours and not really think too much of again.

  • ₵oincidental Ðandy
    2019-02-18 01:43

    This is one of those transitional, 'in-between' quick-read books - the sort that One delves into, in the interim, before deciding on which book to read next. Anecdotally entertaining in parts, but on the saccharine side. Definitely destined for the 'giveaway' pile.

  • Elizabeth (Merely Reading)
    2019-01-20 06:37

    It was ok. There were some interesting bits, and some not so interesting bits too! I'm pretty sure I would never opt to ignore a dying man in favour of my dinner party guests, but she did and also apparently found the situation funny. I guess the rich really are different.

  • Leslie Goddard
    2019-02-02 23:49

    Pleasant, easy to read. Most of the good anecdotes have been mined by biographers of the Queen and are already well-known

  • Pablo
    2019-02-11 06:57

    The book left me a bit underwhelmed.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-15 01:38

    A lovely read giving vignettes of life as a cousin to the Queen. I enjoyed reading the author's descriptions of her life, travels, and family.

  • Lisa of Hopewell
    2019-02-04 04:32

    Overall--disappointing. Here's a link to my full review. http://hopewellmomschoolreborn.blogsp...

  • Alicia
    2019-02-02 00:49

    I really loved this, full of beautiful little stories about the royals and about Margaret's life, worth a read.

  • Rebecca Davies
    2019-02-08 06:56

    Light and breezyThis memoir presents an insight into a lost world of royalty and privilege.The writing is clunky but it's an easy read.

  • Jane
    2019-02-06 07:35

    nice memoir, nothing nasty, unlike other Household books.

  • Katie
    2019-01-20 07:36

    Such a nice book, it gave a lovely insight into the life of Margaret Rhodes, the Royal Family and the British Empire.

  • Mary
    2019-02-18 07:41

    An reasonably enjoyable read. Nothing too remarkable revealed though.

  • Paula Meldrum
    2019-02-12 03:32

    Very interesting book. Excellent source of historical social information. Entertaining in parts, but then so is life. Recommended.