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The Queen and I (The Queen and I #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  4,162 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
A runaway #1 British bestseller, Sue Townsend's very, very (extremely) funny satire offers welcome relief from the very real-life peccadillos of the House of Windsor as England's royals are given sack and are forced to go on the dole. A delightfully impudent, brilliant and possibly prophetic work.
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Press (first published January 1st 1992)
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Petra Eggs
This is a solid four-star comic book of that particular kind of dry British humour but more bouncy, because Sue Townsend of the The Adrian Mole Diaries series fame is bouncy. She has also been a noted and outspoken socialist (for Americans: this is a perfectly acceptable and mainstream thing to be in the UK, Europe in general, unlike in the US) and here she carries all that to the extreme.

Essentially the book is about what would happen if a Marxist government took over and tossed the Queen and h
Aug 26, 2016 Bettie☯ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners

Moving Day: 1992: Evicted by a new government, can the Royal family cope with life outside their palaces? Sue Townsend's novel is read in eight parts by Miriam Margolyes - a performance which won her the award for Best Radio Actress of 1992.

Hell Close: Now just Mrs Windsor, can the former monarch navigate a world with social workers and rowdy neighbours?

Affray: Now plain Mrs Windsor, can the former Queen deal with a council estate crisis? And money is sho
Eddie Owens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caro M.
If you ever cared to take time to read British royal family gossip - and I think that it didn't matter you liked it or not, you still did, because it was everywhere - this book will be absolutely relevant to you. Plus fun. Imma sucker for royal gossip and all my life, since I was teen, I've been checking magazines for some British "dirt". I know more about Windsors than about some of my actual neighbours. So it's pretty weird that I've read this book just now.

The premise is surreal and you can s
May 18, 2017 Elina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένα πανέξυπνο, αστείο και απολαυστικό μυθιστόρημα, που εξιστορεί την κατάργηση της βασιλείας στην Αγγλία μετά την ανάδειξη λαϊκού κόμματος στην εξουσία στις εκλογές. Την επόμενη μέρα ο νεο εκλεγής πρωθυπουργός, ανακοινώνει στην Βασίλισσα Ελισάβετ ότι δυστυχώς θα πρέπει να μαζέψουν κάποια πράγματά τους και να πάνε να ζήσουν σε μια περιοχή με εργατικές κατοικίες σε μια φτωχογειτονιά του Λονδίνου. Εννοείται ότι μαζί μετακομίζουν ο Κάρολος με την Νταϊάνα και τα παιδιά τους άλλα και όλοι οι λοιποί δι ...more
Imagine if the UK became a Republic and the Royal Family were sent to live on a housing estate and told to live like ordinary Britons. How would they cope? How would they adapt? This very scenario is explored in this rather funny little story by Sue Townsend. This was the first book that I have read by this author and it came highly recommended by a friend. On the whole I found it a really enjoyable read.

This was a very quick and easy book to read. The story unfolds at a good pace and the humor,
Jun 07, 2012 Elys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is not aimed at children, I used extracts from it (with adult language edited out!) for Year 5/6 Literacy lessons during ‘Jubilee Week’. It’s a very entertaining fantasy about a republican government taking office and ordering the Queen to abdicate. The Royal Family are then ‘relocated’ to Hellebore Close (but the missing letters from the street sign leave “Hell Close”), a council estate somewhere up the M1. Elizabeth gets a social worker, Phillip gets clinical depression, Cha ...more
Eine grandiose Ausgangssituation: Die Republikaner haben die Wahlen gewonnen, die königliche Familie wird von einem auf den anderen Tag abgesetzt, ihrer Titel und Ämter beraubt, deren Vermögen verstaatlicht, und muss nun in vom Staat zur Verfügung gestellten Sozialwohnungen hausen. Dabei werden sie in das übelste Viertel von London - namens Hellbore (from hell and boring) verfrachtet, wo sie in die indigene Sozialschmarotzerbevölkerung integriert werden sollten - so ala Familie Flodder trifft Wi ...more
Orbi Alter
Jul 13, 2016 Orbi Alter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Velika sam obozavateljica genijalne Sue, u Adriana sam beznadezno zaljubljena pa si gustam kopati po njenim draguljima. Ova knjiga ima sve! Na momente sam se bas odvalila glasno smijati, a to moze samo ona i Pratchettic. Znaci, republikanci dolaze na vlast, kraljevska obitelj mora abdicirati i smjestiti se u opcinske stanove s minimalnom kvadraturom i pokvarenim sustavom grijanja, a i socijalna sluzba im je stalno za vratom. I ne snalaze se niti s peglom, niti s otvaranjem konzervi, neki cak pad ...more
Apr 15, 2013 BrokenTune rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Not sure where to start with this one. The blurb on the back-cover looked quite an interesting premise: A socialist government wins the election and the Royal family are evicted to council housing, and told to get on without any staff or commodities.

Apart from Harris, the corgie, all the family members are portrayed the same way as you would expect in the papers or a pretty lame impressions show, which makes the plot quite tepid and disappointing when comparing it to other caricatures such as G
Oct 27, 2007 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know this book was published years ago, but somehow I just never got around to reading it until now.

It is 1992, a Republican Government has got into power in Britain and The Queen and her family are ordered out of Buckingham Palace and forced to move onto one of the worst council estates in the Midlands.

This is such a funny read and although dated, it is still pretty relevant today - and shows the holes in our society. There is no major plot line and to be honest not a lot does happen in the
May 03, 2014 Sian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd always intended to read more of Sue Townsend's works that weren't Adrian Mole (ah, Adrian) and I'm saddened that it was her death that reminded me of this and prompted me to pick this one up.

This is a great satire; bonkers in places and it's best to just go with the flow (the way in which the republican government is elected, fr'instance, is daft) because it is very very funny. I loved that it was Prince Phillip who just refused to get out of bed while all the others made a go of it, I loved
Clare O'Beara
Aug 10, 2015 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-fiction
Tremendous fun! This book posits that the Queen's nightmare comes true - a Republican party swoops to power in Britain, on the back of subliminal TV messages which incite the nation to do away with the monarchy. While the Royal family are not harmed, they are confined to a rundown housing estate with ordinary out of work neighbours and given a barely adequate dole.

The Queen is our central character and she is called the Queen all through, though her family are swiftly just Margaret, Anne, Charl
Shu cortesi
Mar 17, 2012 Shu cortesi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whenever i want a laugh, i pick up this trusty book. For me the best of Sue Townsend.
Giggle Snort
May 21, 2013 Giggle Snort rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

The Queen and I

By: Sue Townsend

Where do I begin with this one? Delightfully funny and light, this is definitely one to read on cold, winter nights with a glass of wine or hot chocolate or on a hot beach with a cocktail. Basically, location doesn’t matter as everything dissolves into the background once the first chapter is completed.

When it was originally published in 1992 I borrowed a copy from my Mother and devoured it cover to cover. I was only 10 or 11 years old at ti
Jun 25, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A charming what-if, fish-out-of-water story. Anti-monarchists win the election and their first action is to transfer the royal family into low-income housing in a rough neighborhood. The author does a good job of applying characteristics of the real-life individuals to their corresponding characters, so it's entertaining to see how each copes with the drastic change in circumstances. At turns bittersweet and amusing, it's a thought-provoking and insightful yarn. Some have complained about the en ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Tamera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fic-non-genre
I read this a few years ago. It amused me greatly. It's pretty dated at this point, however. It takes place before Diana and Charles divorce and the boys are slightly older than toddlers.

The premise alone is an absurd hoot: a new prime minister had dissolved the monarchy and put the royal family on the dole. They are forced to move into government housing. As the various family members try to cope with this extreme change in status, the individual quirks and eccentricities move to the forefront
Jul 01, 2016 Shennety rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Великобритания заметно отличается среди остальных пост-империалистических держав. Отличие это в том, что она способна привить любовь к своей истории и культуре не только своим гражданам, но и доброй половине людей земного шара, которые, к их преогромному сожалению, не имеют ничего общего с Англией. Что ж, не стану скрывать, и если это не стало явным еще значительно ранее по моим многочисленным восторженным элегиям в адрес английской литературы, то сейчас я готова признаться всему белому свету, ч
Angélique Moreau
A republican Prime Minister has been elected and the English monarchy is abolished ! The Royal family is relocated to a social housing complex.

The change is nothing but extreme, yet the entire family is able to adapt to the way of life of the social class in which they end up. Between Charles who ends up in jail, the Queen who goes to collect benefits and an underground action group who is on a mission to reinstate monarchy, humourous situations are plenty.

But be aware that, as usual in a book b
Sep 01, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
1992: Evicted by a new government, can the Royal family cope with life outside their palaces?

Sue Townsend's novel is read in eight parts by Miriam Margolyes - a performance which won her the award for Best Radio Actress of 1992.

2/8: Now just Mrs Windsor, can the former monarch navigate a world with social workers and rowdy neighbours?

3/8: Now plain Mrs Windsor, can the former Queen deal with a council estate crisis? And money is short.

4/8: She used to be the Queen, but can
I’ve never read any of Ms Townsend’s books before, but I’ve heard only good things. I heard they’re hilariously delightful. I was recommended this book by one of our book club members, and since I’ve always wanted to read a book written by Sue Townsend, I jumped at the opportunity to read The Queen and I. From the back cover it sounded like an incredible read.

In short, The Queen and I was a good read. Not as good as I hoped it would be – I expected to laugh a lot more – but I still had fun readi
Jantine Kampes
Aug 16, 2016 Jantine Kampes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit that this book wasn't as awesomest great as I remember it from more than 10 years ago, but it is awesome in a whole new, creepy way. It shows what votes can do to a country like GB, it shows the kind of people who might vote against their own interest. In this case it was the queen who had to live in a social housing-estate, and in the end the whole country sold to Japan, which is so far that I hope it'll not happen as such after the Brexit. On the other hand people wouldn't actually be ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Scilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new republican government is voted in England, and the new Prime Minister, Jack Barker has decreed that there is no more monarchy. The royal family are told they have 2 hours to pack a few necessities before they are moved to Hell Close to pensioner bungalows, and Buckingham Palace becomes a fancy hotel, and They can hear their next door neighbors very clearly, and make friends. The dog goes with the pack, the Queen learns to cook, shop, etc, and their pensions are late coming so they make do ...more
Republicans win the election, and the Royal family is forced to step down and live amongst the commoners!

I did enjoy this book. Sue Townsend has a way of bringing characters to life that engages the reader and makes you want to know what happens to them.

That said, I started to have a horrible foreboding about halfway though regarding the ending. And yes, I was right. I felt that it was a total let-down, a horrible cliche, and almost made reading the book a waste of time. I am glad I read it beca
Lorraine Sears
Jul 10, 2015 Lorraine Sears rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A laugh out loud book about what could have happened if the monarchy was disbanded. Slightly dated now, but no less funny for those who remember the royal family of the 80s. Imagine what you would do if Liz and Phil moved onto your street.

As HRH gets about as common as a commoner can, can you guess which members of her family would flourish and which would flounder.

This book is a reminder of the brilliance of Sue Townsend's comedy writing; the queen of British fictional comedy writes about the
Dec 26, 2014 Cait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback, humour
Was expecting this to feel really dated but it's not aged too badly.

Also expected to feel weird reading about real people but it wasn't, they were obviously just story characters.

Really funny, had to read bits out to my husband and wrote out loads of quotes in my book journal. Might look out for the sequel, Queen Camilla.

I really loved the Queen in this, she was a brilliant character.
Apr 14, 2014 Victoria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This book was fairly entertaining throughout. However, the ending sucked! I teach primary kids and it's the kind of ending they would write (and many of them do). It is a pet peeve of mine and it irritates me no end. Others may enjoy it though.
Karen Watson
Jan 02, 2017 Karen Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great novelty value, humorous and set in my home town. Struggled with the perceived lack of entrepreneurial spirit from the royals, making it seem almost too ridiculous that they wouldn't be able to network and PR their way out if trouble, nevertheless very entertaining
Davida Chazan
In this unfortunately dated book, writer Sue Townsend investigates how the royal family might have coped if Parliament had decided that to dethrone them. You can read my full review here.
Jun 07, 2012 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
A bit silly but fun in places. Would have been 3 stars but cop-out ending dropped it greatly in my expectation. A quick, easy read though.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She suffered from diabetes for many years, as a
More about Sue Townsend...

Other Books in the Series

The Queen and I (2 books)
  • Queen Camilla

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