After Downton Abbey left me in tears at the season finale, then Mr. Selfridge has not, in my opinion, been quite up to Masterpiece Theater’s standards (but, still, it is great fun for the period costumes), I’d fallen into a bit of Anglo despair – then, “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train” caught my eye on the new book display at the library.
Really, I think the librarians wait, lurking around the stacks, just for me to come in and be dazzled by the brightest new covers in the entranceway displays. “Here she comes” they must whisper. ” Here. Put this in front. Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry. I know it is a seven day loan, but, she’ll bring it back a few days late, pay her fine, and then check out another”.
So I did.
There on the shelf was a book I’d been hearing a buzz about for several months. I think I first heard of it from Claire at The Captive Reader, then Belle, of Belle, Book, and Candle wrote a review, compelling me to place it in my TBR list, where it languished until two weeks ago when “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train” hopped off of the shelf and into my hands.
It’s been a good deal of fun to follow a fictionalized Queen Elizabeth as she deals with a bit of despair in her later years, wondering what good she has been, fiddling around with a computer, feeling, well, feeling as many of us do as we enter our later years of life.
One day, Mrs. Queen, as her staff calls her, wanders out to the stables to bring a favorite horse, Elizabeth, a few chunks of cheddar cheese. It is sleeting, and the Queen is unprepared for the weather. One thing leads to another, until Mrs. Queen finds herself suddenly off of the grounds of Windsor Castle, unrecognizable in a hoodie with a cross and skullbones on her back, and, well, off she goes . . .
You will have to read William Kuhn’s book to find out what happens to Mrs. Queen, and learn a bit about the royal staff; what their royal duties are, how they relate to The Queen, to each other, their duties, how things stay the same in royal life – and how they change as well. I promise you, it will be a fun read. As others have said in their reviews of “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train”, settle into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, and enjoy a jolly good romp with the Queen.