Lady Anne Glenconner, who has campaigned for domestic abuse organizations for years, is a fan of Queen Camilla.
In order to bring attention to her own traumatic experience, Lady Anne Glenconner was encouraged by Queen Camilla’s ongoing crusade to end domestic abuse.
In her second memoir, Whatever Next?, 90-year-old Glenconner, a longstanding acquaintance of the royal family and the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation maid, provides a vivid description of the physical violence she endured at the hands of her late husband. Released on February 21 is Lessons from an Unexpected Life.
She recalls that Lord Colin Glenconner once beat her so severely with a walking stick that she lost her hearing in one ear because of his cruel and sadistic conduct.
“I only recently began writing, and I was pretty selective about what I wrote in [my last novel] Lady in Waiting. I just made passing references to domestic violence, says Lady Anne to PEOPLE. I had a chat with my children and asked them if they would mind if I wrote about domestic abuse, in part because of the Queen Consort, who works so hard to bring it to the public’s attention.
“We had a wonderful talk. While they adored him, their father was really challenging, she continues.
Relating the anecdotes, according to Glenconner, “was really soothing, honestly,” and it has had other advantages.
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“After I wrote it, I received a tonne of letters. And depressing letters from all around the world,” she adds. “I respond to every letter I receive from all around the world. Domestic violence, after all, affects everyone.
The choice was supported by Lady Anne’s three children (her two oldest sons passed away in the 1990s). We discussed a lot of issues, which in some ways strengthened our bond. Our communication is now a lot more open,” she claims. “With children, one wants to protect them because they hear things or things happen to them; you have to do that. Yet I believe that having the ability to speak is wonderful as individuals mature.
She didn’t discuss her own experience with Queen Camilla, but she did discuss it with the Queen Consort.
Lady Anne remarks, “She’s done so much for domestic abuse, and it’s been big, you know, incredible.”
In the book’s back matter, Glenconner provides a list of a few addresses for those “who possibly are going through a tough period to get in contact with this charity.” One is SafeLives, a cause that Queen Camilla backs.
Lady Glenconner has had an active, colorful life that has frequently been filled with adventure and travel with Princess Margaret and other royals. She has also attended parties on Mustique, which her husband Colin built as a getaway for the well-to-do and renowned. Her life was nevertheless frequently sad; for example, her second son Henry passed away in 1990 after catching AIDS four years earlier, and her oldest son Charlie passed away from hepatitis C brought on by his heroin use.
Christopher, the third son, was seriously hurt in a motorbike accident and was cared for by Lady Anne while he was in a coma. Along with his second wife, he resides near her in Norfolk.
Twin daughters Amy and May, her other two children, “have participated in all our family traumas and successes,” she says.
Lady Glenconner has been praised for her extreme contentment in her life as a debut novelist (she has already written two historical books).
In all honesty, I’ve never had so much fun. We all adore Colin, I feel and hope you can tell from reading my works. Nonetheless, Lady Anne claims that he was terrible to live with. “I did persevere for 54 years, but it was like walking on thin ice, you know?
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“So now, it’s great, you know. I’m at ease and joyful,” she claims. It has been wonderful writing these books and being an author.