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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.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is a clever novel, offering a fresh look at a woman who wonders if she, like Britannia herself, has, too, become a relic of the past. William Kuhn paints a charming yet biting portrait of British social, political, and generational rivalries—between upstairs and downstairs, the monarchy and the government, the old and the young. Comic and poignant, fast paced and clever, this delightful debut tweaks the pomp of the monarchy, going beneath its rigid formality to reveal the human heart of the woman at its center.

Topics: England, Debut, Poignant, Queen, Trains, Journeys, Servants, Satirical, Depression, Edinburgh, and Based on a True Story

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 16, 2012
ISBN: 9780062208309
List price: $10.99
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Highly entertaining.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Though the structure makes it a bit difficult to follow, Kuhn delivers a comic and touching fabricated day in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. But this is no normal day. The Queen is feeling a bit sad and decides, quite suddenly, to travel to a place that once brought her happiness. The Queen's unusual (and alarming) absence brings together six unlikely people from all walks of life whose personal histories are revealed in stories from the past as well as the present. Paired off in uneasy alliances, they are nonetheless united by their commitment to getting "Mrs. Queen" safely back to Buckingham Palace. The Queen's physical journey (made easier by her practice of yoga) is nothing compared to her emotional one, as she copes with previous losses and new discoveries, demonstrating a warm heart beneath what is often perceived as a chilly exterior. An enjoyable read if you can stick with what appear to be divergent backstories until they eventually coalesce into a satisfying whole.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Queen Elizabeth...she lets me call her Little Bit when we have tea...goes on holiday and causes quite a to-do. Delightful novel that will certainly appeal to Anglophiles everywhere. Yes, it's quite funny but there are serious moments, too. And I really enjoyed the supporting cast of the Queen's staff who accompany her on her journey. Kuhn paints the Queen as a very caring, concerned and kind monarch. And it made me want to read Shakespeare's Henry V (or see a production) when I finished.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Highly entertaining.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Though the structure makes it a bit difficult to follow, Kuhn delivers a comic and touching fabricated day in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. But this is no normal day. The Queen is feeling a bit sad and decides, quite suddenly, to travel to a place that once brought her happiness. The Queen's unusual (and alarming) absence brings together six unlikely people from all walks of life whose personal histories are revealed in stories from the past as well as the present. Paired off in uneasy alliances, they are nonetheless united by their commitment to getting "Mrs. Queen" safely back to Buckingham Palace. The Queen's physical journey (made easier by her practice of yoga) is nothing compared to her emotional one, as she copes with previous losses and new discoveries, demonstrating a warm heart beneath what is often perceived as a chilly exterior. An enjoyable read if you can stick with what appear to be divergent backstories until they eventually coalesce into a satisfying whole.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Queen Elizabeth...she lets me call her Little Bit when we have tea...goes on holiday and causes quite a to-do. Delightful novel that will certainly appeal to Anglophiles everywhere. Yes, it's quite funny but there are serious moments, too. And I really enjoyed the supporting cast of the Queen's staff who accompany her on her journey. Kuhn paints the Queen as a very caring, concerned and kind monarch. And it made me want to read Shakespeare's Henry V (or see a production) when I finished.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What a witty and clever idea for a novel, I felt like I was a fly on the wall observing royal etiquette, duties and jealousies. Loved the beginning when the queen expresses her opinion on modern technology, Gin and Camilla. A fun romp through modern day England meshed with old England traditions and a Queen who has been Queen for a very long time and longs for a little freedom. Enjoyed many of the characters we meet on her journey as well as those who job it is to attend to this long reigning monarch. Quite enjoyable.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book tells the story of a day when Her Majesty Queen Elizabath II decides she would like to take a break from the many responsibilities she has. On a whim, she leaves the palace grounds, headed to Edinburgh, to visit her retired yacht now attached to a shopping mall there. The yacht was the site of some of her most peaceful days, and she has decided she could use a little peace. The story follows the Queen, and a group of people who are trying to bring her home without the media realizing she has been gone. This book would especially appeal to royalty-lovers, but I am not sure if the general reader would find it entertaining.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I picked this up after reading a positive review from one of my friends here on Goodreads (Yes, Melinda, you) and am pleased to say I enjoyed it quite a lot.

It's a unique story that's for sure - Queen Elizabeth II impulsively sets off on a train journey across the United Kingdom whilst feeling sombre and during the journey reflects upon her life and comes to a few realisations.

It's good to see more books touching on mental illness (specially depression in this case) which don't typecast the sufferer as "crazy".

Overall, I found Mrs Queen Takes the Train to be a nice easy going read, light and enjoyable with a mix of history throughout which kept it both interesting and entertaining.

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