Review: Before the Crown by Flora Harding

Not only is this cover absolutely breathtaking, but the story sounded excellent as well. But in all honesty, it was the cover that captured my attention and made me want to read this one!

Thanks to shows like The Crown, royals and Queen Elizabeth have been getting a lot of attention and focus. In The Crown though we don’t get too much background on the early years of Princess Elizabeth so that’s why this one excited me so much.

This book promised to shed some light on the romance between Phillip and Elizabeth and I was absolutely here for it!


Before the crown there was a love story…

Windsor Castle, 1943

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…

Step through the palace gates and discover a captivating historical novel of royal secrets and forbidden love exploring the tempestuous courtship between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the wake of WWII. (summary from Goodreads


Royal marriages are often about advantage or power rather than love or suitability. But that started to change with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. By the time the world hit the WWII era, royal marriages started to take on a new meaning for couples like Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Though they have been married for 70+ years it’s hard to imagine them being young and in love right? Well this book does just that.

I loved how this book focused mostly on the events leading up to their wedding. There are so many books both fictional and non that focus on the things that went on one they were married but the unknown period for me really is the courtship and how they met. I loved reading about all that in this one! Even if this was a fictionalized version of their romance, I still felt that it was believable and realistic with an air of authenticity. Phillip was so dashing and I couldn’t help but love him even if there were elements about that relationship which were a bit depressing.

I mean who doesn’t love an underdog though right? In this book her is very much the last choice the other royals want Princess Elizabeth marrying so I loved seeing how they eventually came together and thinking about that and seeing now how long they have been married, it’s truly a heartening story even if sad at times.

Overall I really really loved this book. I read it in only a couple of sittings and found that the closer I got to the end, the less I wanted to be done with it. It was a great book and nice little escape for me and I am looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next. If you love The Crown or just all things royal (like me) this book is one you want on your shelf and with a cover like that, do yourself a favor and buy the hard copy of it!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 267 pages
Published June 12th 2020 by One More Chapter
Free review copy provided by publisher, One More Chapter, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction



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