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Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
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Mrs. Queen Takes the Train

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,159 Ratings  ·  1,044 Reviews
An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in BooksMrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. R ...more
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published 2012)
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May 10, 2014 Mo rated it liked it
2 1/2 stars

I was EXCITED to read this novel. I EXPECTED to like this novel. I WANTED to like this novel. I did not like this novel.

If you’ll pardon the seasonal analogy, this book was like being given a beautifully wrapped Christmas present, only to open it up and find… socks :(

First, you have to understand something about me. I am a rabid Anglophile. If I am reading a romance set in Miami where the heroine is strutting around in a bathing suit, ho-hum. But put that same heroine in a crinoline
Sep 27, 2015 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 (OK, this is not the actual shop she went to, this is the Stratford-upon-Avon branch  photo IMG_0891_zpste3i1bcr.jpg ) to get some of the mare’s favourite cheddar, before he ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Dec 02, 2012 Jennifer Rayment rated it it was amazing
The Good Stuff

Delightfully odd and uniquely refreshing
Richly developed unusual characters who feel very real
Makes you realize that the Queen is a living human being and not just a figure head (yes this is a fictionalized version of the Queen - but still)
Discusses race & class differences but in a non preachy in your face sort of way - almost light and playful - but at the same time makes you see the absurdity of judging someone based on race or class (Hope that makes sense probably shoul
Feb 02, 2016 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To an unrepentant Anglophile like me, "Mrs. Queen Takes the Train" was as refreshing as a strong cup of tea on a cold day. While it's true that the device the author uses to facilitate and prolong the Queen's escape will strain the bounds of credulity for any reader, thankfully the more you read the less it matters. This is thanks to strong character development by the author, so that even if certain parts of the story seem ludicrous, you'll want to keep reading until the end to see what happens ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
What would happen if the Queen of England left the palace one rainy day, unnoticed, to walk a few blocks for a bit of cheese? And then took a train to Edinburgh? And what does this have to do with Henry V? This charming story answers these questions, and more; easy to read but not exactly lightweight, funny and moving, will make a great movie.

** Please support your local independent bookstore when buying this book! Buying from hurts your local economy. If you don't know where to go, c
Mar 25, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing
Well this was a really delightful little find. I can not remember which of my friends recommended this to me, but thank you anyway.

It is a sweetly heartwarming tale of a few fictitious days in the life of the modern monarch. And I will add here that I am no dyed in the wool monarchist, not by a long shot. Oh how I wish that this was a true mini biography. It brings to us an elderly lady who has always done her duty and now finds herself reflecting that she is not really appreciated for that, no
Nov 16, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fellow Anglophiles
Recommended to Greg by: my Anglophilia
It's like that movie Baby's Day Out (1994), or, less flippantly, Roman Holiday (1953), also Chasing Liberty (2004), man they do this kind of thing a surprising lot in the movies.

Why wasn't this released during the Olympics when people were Anglo-jonesing? Or right after, when they had the Anglo-munchies? This far out, I think we're all just Anglo-over-it. Except for me. I'm an Anglo-slut. And no, I do not think I'm clever or creative.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is such a cute book. I mean the Que
If a cup of tea ever manifested itself as a book, it would be this one. It is warm, comforting, and the perfect thing to make a bad day better. I loved it and have nothing negative to say about it at all. (I did find the character Rebecca to be a little inconsistent, but perhaps I just need to read it again to understand her better.) This book is utterly charming and I have thoroughly enjoyed every word of it. Mrs Queen Takes The Train is a book I would heartily recommend to everyone because it ...more
Mar 01, 2013 Erin rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Jan Karon fans
Trite. Shallow. Silly.

I wanted to like this book. I was on a streak of anglophile reading, and I was looking for something light and charming. But this book was devoid of charm and humor which is a cardinal sin when writing this type of book. Making the Queen a bit of an out of touch, dithering old lady just seemed silly to me, not funny. Characters in the book reference both the movie The Queen and the book Uncommon Reader. Both works that are superior to this one.

For the most part the book foc
Time to come clean......Mrs. Queen Takes The Train has been on my to-read shelf since I won it on GR a few years back (my apologies) and after trying to read it a couple of times now, I just could not a get into it. The book arrived marked "uncorrected manuscript-not for sale".....perhaps that put me off not sure. Anyway, I have not entered a giveaway since feeling I should have given it my all.......
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Feb 16, 2013 The Bookwyrm's Hoard rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general, crrl
Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

I can’t remember where I first stumbled across a mention of Mrs Queen Takes the Train, but the premise grabbed me immediately: Queen Elizabeth, who is feeling a bit depressed, decides to visit the decommissioned royal yacht Brittania, scene of many happy memories. The yacht is moored in Scotland, so The Queen* slips out incognito, makes her way with a stranger’s assistance to King’s Cross, and boards the night train to Edinburgh. She is followe
Margaret Sankey
Feb 02, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it it was amazing
Feeling down, Elizabeth II impulsively sets off for Leith to see the Royal Yacht, disguised just enough in a hoodie to see London without the streets being cleared and without a filter between her and her people. As palace staff begin to realize the magnitude of her disappearance, they give chase, leading a six-person political, ethnic and class cross-section of multi-cultural 21st century Britain who believe their only commonality to be loyalty to the Queen to discover deep connections and symp ...more
Ally Wampler
Jan 22, 2014 Ally Wampler rated it liked it
Curl up with a cuppa, watch the snow fall and prepare to be delighted.

It's not a must read, or even a very good read, it was just a nice simple tale for a nice simple day.

god save the queen and her train.
Feb 24, 2016 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this - and when I noticed before I started reading that it was an Allen & Unwin guaranteed good read “Love it or your money back”, then I figured it must be fairly universally appealing, plus I’d seen good reviews of it from other people.

My only grumble was that the “I”, “she”, “he” and “it” were often dropped at the beginning of sentences in dialogue making it feel as though the characters were speaking in dot points. It wasn’t even just the one character that did it - then I coul
Jun 08, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book club selection, so I had no choice but to read it. What a surprise! I expected it to be rather trite, but found it instead to be quite touching.

The Queen, feeling melancholy, essentially wanders off on her own to make her way to Scotland to visit the decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia in the hopes of rekindling some pleasant memories. Six people, all but one connected with the royal household, pair off in pursuit to retrieve her and ensure her safety. This isn't merely about th
Susan Johnson
Nov 15, 2012 Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing
Things have gotten in a rut for Elizabeth, Queen of England, and the prime minister has just told her that her royal train is to be sold. Frustrated by the unfairness of it, after all she has lost her plane and yacht, she decides to go somewhere where she has spent some happy times. She decides to visit the royal yacht, Britannia, moored near Edinburgh. Not used to travelling on her own and disguised by a skull and crossbones hoodie, Elizabeth sets off to do that.
It's very humorous how the Queen
Dec 05, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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 allianc ...more
Henri Moreaux
Mar 25, 2013 Henri Moreaux rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe
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 suf
Jul 30, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was absolutely phenomenal. I honestly never wanted it to end! It's such a clever, well-written story that one minute will be pulling at your heart strings, and the next minute will have you laughing out loud. I grew so attached to the characters, particularly to the members of The Queen's staff/household. The inclusion of my favorite Shakespeare play, Henry V, was also a really nice touch. Really good read for any fellow Anglophiles out there! Now all we need is a sequel, because I'm q ...more
Nessa Flax
Jul 07, 2014 Nessa Flax rated it it was amazing
If you've ever wondered if Her Majesty The Queen gets melancholy and needs a break from her royal duties, this delightful book is for you. Given author Kuhn's background as a biographer and historian, one suspects there as much truth as fiction in this novel that follows the UK's Queen Elizabeth on a clandestine walkabout that sends her closest staff members into a panic. Set 10 years after Princess Diana's death, we meet The Queen at a vulnerable time when she questions her worth to her people ...more
Mar 07, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful novel. While it's fiction, you have to wonder if The Queen ever would like to break out from her daily confines and responsibilities to set upon such an adventure. Normal mundane activities like taking the subway and shopping without being recognized are likely not possible for the real Queen. William Kuhn's portrayal of the rigid formality of the monarch and the government, the pecking order of those who serve vs. the common folk is wonderful.
Jan 25, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it
Queen Elizabeth is feeling a bit low when she walks over to her London stables to visit her horses on a blustery day. Young Rebecca, who tends the horses, lends the sovereign her hoody jacket and soon afterwards the unrecognizable Queen takes off for Scotland to visit her beloved Britannia - the former royal yacht that's now a tourist attraction.

The royal staff makes frantic plans to catch up with the Queen and return her to Buckingham Palace. This includes William the butler, Luke the equerry,
This book is ridiculous. Ridiculously fun.

I bought this book thinking it was a work of nonfiction, because I was in a rush and the $1.99 Kindle deal seemed appealing. The first twenty pages, I must admit, takes quite some work. But once you get through, and are able to catch up with the book's pace and arrangement, it's not very difficult to enjoy.

I found this very fun because I'm a "boring academic" type whose favorite subjects include modern British history and the U.S. Presidents (I don't kno
Alisa Kester
Jun 20, 2014 Alisa Kester rated it it was amazing
So much fun. Kuhn clearly understands the royal family. He includes so many small, wonderful details, and really has a grasp on how The Queen might feel.

The only part I did not like was the "love affair" between Rebecca and Rajiv. The author seems to have no idea at all how to convincingly write chemistry between men and women. Every word Rajiv says to Rebecca is either creepy, icky, or awkward...and it makes zero sense that she would respond at all positively. The sections with the two of them
Elizabeth Nordquist
Aug 03, 2014 Elizabeth Nordquist rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book. Passed it on to Anglophiles and visitors to England and Scotland.
Apr 12, 2014 Gwen rated it really liked it
This delightful story envisions HRH feeling a bit low. Inadvertently disguised in a hoodie, lent her by Rebecca, in the horse barn, she somewhat disappears, making her way to Edinburgh to revisit a ship that made her happy. Her train companions are quite innocent of her identity, although it may help that two of them are blind, and one a young man. In her transit, however, she is stealthily followed by Rebecca and "the young man from the cheese shop," who is both interested in Rebecca and feelin ...more
Linda Hart
Mar 07, 2013 Linda Hart rated it it was amazing
omg this was a delightful story about a bored, unhappy woman in midlife crisis who just happens to be the Queen. Great characters! I predict a movie contract for author William Kuhn.
Jun 12, 2013 Seth rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It made me chuckle and I fell in love with all the characters.
Mary Cornelius
Apr 22, 2015 Mary Cornelius rated it really liked it
Oh, it's adorable. Completely made up, of course, but adorable.
Cheryl A
Jun 23, 2013 Cheryl A rated it really liked it
It takes a lot of chutzpa to write about a living monarch, in this case, Queen Elizabeth II. To treat this icon in a respectable manner while still presenting a complex character takes skill. This book has both.

The Queen is a bit in the dumps lately. Despite a long running, highly regarded job - Monarch of the British Empire - The Queen is having doubts about herself, the job, her family. In an effort to improve her mood, she tries yoga, walks with the dogs, tries to learn the internet - but not
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“Let the light within me salute the light that is within you. Namaste.” 7 likes
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