Anglogeek’s 5 Minute Book Review: The Final Curtsey

4 January 2014 - 09:21pm
Edited by Cindy Stockman - Spotted an Error?


The Queen

Many interviews, articles and books were published during Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee last year. There is one individual who shared personal stories and not the kind that may come into question as true. These stories were from someone who has seen the transformation of a then Princess Elizabeth who become Queen Elizabeth II. The stories are not “tell all” or secrets, just written with love and adoration from Her Majesty’s cousin, The Honourable Margaret Rhodes.

The Final Curtsey begins with Rhodes recalling the day The Queen Mother died. She looks back to the weeks prior when Princess Margaret died and she was on her Chilean cruise, unable to make it back to attend the service.  Her tone shows her regret and sadness that she was away at this time.

Leading up to 30 March 2002, Rhodes intersperses a few anecdotes about the Queen Mother and her own role as Lady of the Bedchamber which she began in 1991. Highlighting her time spent with her aunt, she reveals a personal narrative of the Queen Mother’s final days.


“That evening passed in rather a blur. We had dinner and talked about more or less normal things. We went to bed quite early and next morning we attended communion in the Castle chapel. Later I went to Matins in the Park chapel, and then drove over to Royal Lodge, to make sure all was well with the staff. The Dresser asked me if I would like to see my aunt. She looked lovely and almost younger, death having wiped the lines away. I knelt by her bed and said a prayer for her. Then I stood up and gave her my final curtsey.”

Rhodes covers her life enjoying time spent with then Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, their games and activities whilst at Balmoral during the Second World War, time spend working for MI6 and other interesting stories. The book does share some details of life with Her Majesty but is not a ‘tell all’ or gossipy type work where one may question the validity of the stories. It is more of an anecdotal remembrance of a lovely life and how The Queen and Royal family were a part of it.

A short book full of memories and stories, this book is like sitting down to tea with a relative for an afternoon of lovely stories.

The Final Curtsey was written with permission from The Queen who did indeed read and approve parts of the book.

photo credit: Lancashire Evening Post via photopin cc

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