The never-before-published diaries of Alathea Fitzalan Howard—who spent her teenaged years living out World War II in Windsor Great Park with her close friends Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth, the future queen of the United Kingdom—provide an extraordinary and intimate look at the British Royal Family.
Like so many others in Great Britain, young Alathea Fitzalan Howard’s life was turned upside down by the start of the Second World War. Sent to stay with her grandfather at the historic Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, Alathea found the affection she so craved through her close friendship with the two princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, and their parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, her neighbors at nearby Windsor Castle.
Together, the girls enjoyed parties, cinema evenings, picnics, and more, all recorded in honest and captivating detail in Alathea’s diary, which she kept as a constant source of comfort. Day by day, from ages sixteen to twenty-two, she recorded the intimate details of her life with the Royal Family and the anxieties of wartime Britain. Now, published for the first time, these unique diaries unveil a candid and vivid portrait of the British Royal Family and of Princess Elizabeth in particular, the warm, quiet young girl who was already on her journey to her ultimate destiny: the Crown.