Who is Lady Glenconner? The Queen’s maid invited to King’s coronation

·4-min read
Lady Glenconner (Isabel Infantes/PA) (PA Archive)
Lady Glenconner (Isabel Infantes/PA) (PA Archive)

A childhood friend of the late Queen Elizabeth has been confirmed as one of the attendees of the upcoming King’s Coronation.

Lady Glenconner, 90, will join the royals at Westminster Abbey on Saturday (May 6).

She is one of the latest confirmed guests to be in attendance with a host of other A-list names, heads of state and celebrities expected to turn out for King Charles III’s big day including David Beckham and Bear Grylls.

She was once quoted in Tatler as saying: “‘My mother was [lady-in-waiting] to the Queen, my father was equerry to the King, my great-great-uncle was lord-in-waiting to Queen Mary, my uncle was in the Queen Mother’s household and my aunt was lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother. That’s what we are.”

Here is everything we know:

Who is Lady Glenconner?

Born Anne Tennant, Lady Glenconner was a maid of honour at the Queen’s coronation and grew up as friends with both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

She was the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester and Lady Elizabeth Yorke, and was raised at the family home in Holkham Hall in Norfolk, near the Sandringham Estate.

Lady Glenconner has spent her life in close proximity to the royals and is considered a confidante to them all.

Her family home in Norfolk was next door to the Sandringham Estate where Elizabeth and Margaret grew up. The trio would enjoy play dates, and this friendship continued on into the later years.

In 1953, Lady Anne was selected to be one of the maids of honour at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1956, she married the Hon. Colin Tennant, the heir to Baron Glenconner, a family with royal links. The couple had five children.

In 1971, Lady Glenconner became an Extra Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Margaret, and she remained close friends with the princess until her death in 2002.

Lord Glenconner died in 2010, but his death hit headlines when he left everything in his will to his former employee.

Lady Glenconner published her memoir ‘Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown’, which has become a bestseller and was popularised because of the rare insight it gave into the world of the royals from someone close to it.

She now lives in a farmhouse near Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

What is she most well known for?

Alongside her book on the royals, Lady Glenconner has also written a range of fiction works.

Her book on the royals lifted the lid, especially on Princess Margaret and she revealed the princess often would “just decide she didn’t want to do something.”

In her book she revealed: “We knew Princess Margaret had a knack with men of all ages so we held a cocktail party on the train, inviting a whole lot of press to come. By the end of the twelve-hour train journey from Canberra to Melbourne, Princess Margaret had charmed them all and the result was a succession of much nicer headlines.”

She is most known for her royal links but hit the headlines herself when - after 54 years of marriage - her late husband Lord Glenconner chose to leave his mansion and 240-acre estate on the Caribbean Island of Mustique, the resort for the uber-rich, to his servant after changing his will just months before his death.

The now-90-year-old previously said: “Unfortunately, he changed his will seven months before he died, and not one member of his family was named in this new will — not me, his wife for more than half a century, or any of his children or grandchildren”, and in her book Whatever Next? Lessons from an Unexpected Life, she revealed how her husband had been emotionally abusive throughout their time together.

Is she close to other members of the Royal Family?

Yes, and her invitation to the coronation shows she is still thought of fondly by the inner Royal circle. And it seems it is a mutual appreciation. She also told Tatler she thought Charles’s wife and Queen-to-be Camilla was “wonderful with a lovely sense of humour”.

She has also been full of praise for Prince William and his family in the past, saying: “I think Prince William and Kate are absolutely splendid. They’re the golden couple.”