The Queen Elizabeth Scandal That Surprised The Royal Family

There is an unspoken rule for the royal family and their close counterparts when it comes to gossip. Much like the saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," the Palace also has its own take regarding "What happens in Buckingham Palace stays in Buckingham Palace." But along the way and throughout the years, some confidants have broken the rule and the family's trust. Marion Crawford, lovingly known as "Crawfie" by the two little princesses, made herself a pariah after she outed secrets about the future Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret (via Honey). In her memoir, which was published in 1950, entitled The Little Princesses, the former nanny spoke warmly about the two little girls and gave a peek behind the curtains to a magical royal world. Sadly, when Crawford died in 1988, she still had not been forgiven by the family. She may have been the first to trade cash for secrets, but she would not be the last.

Did Crawfie betray the royals?

Crawford may have had her reasons for speaking out, since Express has alleged that the Queen Mother was particularly cruel toward her. According to the outlet, the Queen Mother was a stickler for tradition and chose Crawford personally, who ended up serving 17 years with the royal family. But new letters have come to light showing that Queen Elizabeth was not the kindest of employers. The Queen Mother seemed to be fine with her governess opening up anonymously for the good of US-UK relations. Still, she wrote, "I do feel most strongly that you must resist the allure of American money and persistent editors and say No, No, No, to offers of articles for articles about something as private and as precious as our family" (via the Express).

Time reported that Crawford was paid $85,000 for her article, which appeared in Ladies' Home Journal. In her own book, she revealed rather tame tidbits about the two girls. Margaret liked to bite her older sister and was often messy. At the same time, Princess Elizabeth took after her father when it came to lacking emotion. The young nanny commented on how the castle was falling apart and even surmised that the king and queen were upset that they never had a boy. Crawford worked for the family right up until her beloved princess married Prince Philip in 1947, even putting her own marriage on hold for 16 years (per Express).

Cold hearts never thaw

Once the book and the articles were published, Crawford was cut off by the Palace and the royal family, who never spoke about her or to her again (via The Scotsman). The former nanny moved to Aberdeen, where she went on to live a secluded life away from the public eye. The outlet revealed that the original royal outsider tried to commit suicide, but died alone in a nursing home. Whether the Queen Mother's cheap wedding gifts and cruel words caused the downfall of their relationship, or whether it was Crawford's husband, George Buthlay, wanting her to capitalize on her knowledge, will never truly be known. It is understood that "Crawfie" was devastated by the break up of her relationship with the two princesses since she was especially close to Elizabeth. The saddest ending to a dedicated life was even upon her death — the royal family did not send flowers (per Time).