Missing monarch alert! What fun!
Synopsis of Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn: After decades of service and years of watching her family's troubles splashed across the tabloids, Britain's 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 King's Cross to catch a train to Scotland. But a characterful cast of royal attendants has discovered her missing. In uneasy alliance a lady-in-waiting, a butler, an equerry, a girl from the stables, a dresser, and a clerk from the shop that supplies Her Majesty's cheese set out to find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
My two centsThe Queen takes a day off! In a momentary lapse of bad judgment, nostalgia, and a funny set of incidents, the Queen decides to take the public train to her decommissioned ship, the Brittania.
Unknowingly she sends all her staff abuzz in a bid to get her back, safe and sound, without calling undue attention to the paparazzi.
There's the shy, red-haired Rebecca who takes care of the horses, who realizes that the Queen must've decided to get some of the cheese the horses so love. Then there's the besotted Rajiv, part time paparazzi and cheese seller, who decides to help Rebecca out.
Then there's Shirley, the Queen's personal dresser. She joins forces with the snooty lady lady-in-waiting, Lady Anne Bevil. There's also the long-time butler, William, who decides someone has to help out the Queen's current equerry, Luke, when he discovers the Queen is missing.
Come along for a ride with the Queen! It's actually much more fun than I expected!
This is a cute, fun read. Of course it's highly unbelievable and totally fictional! But that's part of the fun! This is a light-hearted and fictional depiction of an aging Queen Elizabeth in this modern world. After all, the Queen is in with the times too; she takes yoga (love the warrior pose!) and has her own Miss Twitter and sort of understands Paste err Facebook!
This novel breathes charm, old-lady dithering, and lots of elegance into the Queen's woes -- from her viewpoint -- as a monarch dealing with the pressures of duty and public perception. It also gives us a bittersweet look into how she feels about becoming obsolete in this modern world. We also become privy to some of her private thoughts as a wife, as a mother, and how she was quite hurt by her alleged indifference to Diana's death.
The author, a biographer and historian, was able to walk us through the dynamics within the royal household. But the story has a twist in it as the once strict protocols of interactions between the royals and the staff, and how these were breached, showed that people come together during time of need. If you like Downton Abbey, you'll probably get a kick out of this!
Verdict: This is a novel that blends tradition with modern life all within the setting of the British monarchy. If you'd like a fluffy and fun read that pokes fun at, yet has a soft spot, for the Queen, read this! I recommend it to those who enjoy chick lit, and lovers of anything British.