Mrs Queen Takes The Train

Mrs Queen Takes The Train

3.57 (6,929 ratings by Goodreads)
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Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is growing increasingly disenchanted after her decades of public service and years of family scandal. One day, the Queen takes things into her own hands and, in a spur-of-the-moment decision, leaves the palace alone and incognito.

An unlikely group of six, including two of the Queen's most trusted household staff members, William and Shirley; one of her loyal ladies in waiting, Lady Anne; an equerry fresh from the battlefields of Afghanistan, Luke; a young equestrienne who minds the horses in the Royal Mews, Rebecca; and Rajiv, an Etonian spending his early 20s behind the counter in an artisanal cheese shop in Mayfair, and moonlighting as a tabloid photographer, are the only ones who know of her disappearance. They vow to find her and bring her back to the palace before MI6 turn her Scottish sojourn into a national crisis.

Capturing the faded but enduring glamour and glory of a seemingly old-fashioned institution, and a woman who wonders if she, too, has become outmoded, this is a charming, witty and poignant novel of responsibilities and freedom.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 157 x 234 x 27mm | 508g
  • St Leonards, Australia
  • English
  • Main
  • 1743312873
  • 9781743312872
  • 135,143

Review quote

A clever and sharp examination of the social, political and generational rivalries in Britain * Courier Mail *
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About William Kuhn

William Kuhn is a biographer, historian, and the author, most recently, of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books, an account of the editorial life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. He lives in Boston, but spent a year with his family in London when he was eleven, and became an Anglophile as a result. He has spent and continues to spend a great deal of time in the UK and also write for a number of British newspapers and magazines. Mrs Queen Takes the Train is his first novel.
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Rating details

6,929 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 16% (1,094)
4 39% (2,692)
3 34% (2,355)
2 9% (631)
1 2% (157)

Our customer reviews

Mrs Queen Takes The Train is the first novel by American biographer, historian, author and self-confessed Anglophile, William Kuhn. Not feeling quite her usual self, The Queen pops down to the Mews to check on Elizabeth, the mare born on her own birthday. Then, in a hoodie borrowed from Rebecca, the young stable lass, she sets off to Paxton and Whitfield to get some of the mare's favourite cheddar, before heading to King's Cross station. The Royal Yacht Britannia is moored up in Leith, and she feels maybe a visit to one of her "happy" places might improve her mood. And seeing as that irritating Prime Minister is telling her the Royal Train is too costly to maintain, she'll take the Great North Eastern Railway to Edinburgh Waverley. When the Palace staff realise she's missing, their first concern is for her safety. They do, however, want to minimise any sensationalist tabloid headlines, so a loyal young equerry joins forces with a senior butler, a lady in waiting, The Queen's Dresser, Rebecca from the Mews and budding poet and cheese seller, Etonian Rajiv Laroia, to track her down whilst keeping an aggressive MI5 at bay. Kuhn's narrative jumps from the present to past events as The Queen reminisces, and as the other major characters are fleshed out. Kuhn touches on some topical subjects: racial prejudice, the relevance of the monarchy, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, ageing, the cost of rail travel, homosexuality in the forces, fox hunting and the cost of maintaining tradition. Yoga, cheddar cheese, a blind couple, an Alsatian named Hohenzollern, a much-pierced youth, Julie Andrews, a social worker, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Shakespeare's Henry V, a late-night tea van and a Hermes scarf all play a part. This novel has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, much dry wit and also the odd lump-in-the-throat moment. Kuhn's characters are easy to like and more than one-dimensional; Kuhn's version of The Queen is wholly credible. This novel is an absolute pleasure to read, and fans will be hoping for more from Kuhn more
by Marianne Vincent
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