After decades of service and years of watching her family's troubles splashed across the tabloids, The Queen is beginning to feel her age.
She needs some proper cheering up. An unexpected opportunity offers her relief: an impromptu visit to a place that holds happy memories -- the former royal yacht, Britannia, now moored near Edinburgh. Hidden beneath a skull-emblazoned hoodie, the limber Elizabeth (thank goodness for yoga) walks out of Buckingham Palace into the freedom of a rainy London day and heads for Kings Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a colourful cast of royal attendants has discovered she's missing. An uneasy alliance is formed: 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.Reminiscent of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of the Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town -- and leading us behind the walls of Buckingham Palace and into the upstairs/downstairs reality behind the monarchy.
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. Mrs Queen Takes the Train is his first novel.
A clever and sharp examination of the social, political and generational rivalries in Britain