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Mrs Queen Takes the Train
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Mrs Queen Takes the Train

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  6,594 ratings  ·  1,478 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. ...more
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,594 ratings  ·  1,478 reviews

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Nov 11, 2012 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
Jan 23, 2015 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 particularly 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
Mar 03, 2014 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 ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Dec 01, 2012 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 should ha
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
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 21, 2014 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
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
Jan 16, 2013 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
Nov 07, 2012 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
Mar 01, 2013 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
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a book that I wanted to love — the Queen escapes the Palace and takes a trip! — but it was such a mess that I had to abandon it a quarter of the way through. I had hoped it would be like "The Uncommon Reader" by Alan Bennett, a book I love and have read multiple times, but "Mrs Queen" jumps all over the place and introduces so many side characters and makes such a muddle of the story that I didn't have the patience to see if it got any better. (Based on some GR friend reviews, it doesn' ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jan 28, 2013 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
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.......
David Broughall
Jun 08, 2014 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
Oct 26, 2012 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
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really really really enjoyed this book! It was ... really clever and smart. Imagine the Queen of England gets a little depressed and decides to wander out of Buckingham palace, get to Kings Cross train station and take the public train to Edinburgh? Followed by 6 of the most unlikely group of people - a lady in waiting, her dresser, a butler, an equerry, a girl from the stables and a guy who sells cheese. Seriously. That's the premise of the story. It sounds ridiculous. And yet ... it's not. I ...more
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crrl, fiction-general
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
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
What a great book to read during the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and the Duchess of Sussex's baby announcement! I learned many little things about the running of the Queen's household (such as retirement benefits) and that her popularity went up when she had her two younger sons.

This was written some time ago, so when the Queen was on her adventure in the book, I kept thinking, "Someone help that 92 year old lady!" When the comment is made that she knew Churchill it makes you realize what
Diane S ☔
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 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 reignin ...more
Ally Wampler
Jan 17, 2014 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.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It made me chuckle and I fell in love with all the characters.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A friend of mine took a trip to British Columbia and visited Victoria. She purchased this book “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train” by William Kuhn, at Munro’s bookstore, to read on the trip home. She enjoyed it so much she passed it on to me to read.

The story is a delightful fairy tale (fiction) about Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is feeling down and frustrated attempting to learn to use the computer. She decides to walk down to the Mews to visit her horses and give them some treats. Even thou the weat
Dec 05, 2012 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
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the book itself there is a quote from Goodreads which says "a wonderful novel that is simply and utterly a joy to read from beginning to end" and I wholeheartedly agree. There is another quote that says it is good for lovers of all thing British, I'm not sure if your average Anglophile would approve of the things that HRH got up to, but a clever read that had a realistic take on how the queen (The Queen) felt about events in the latter part of last century and the beginning of this one. I rea ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Cheery read as you take a ride with Mrs. Queen Elizabeth. Light weight book but holds rather interesting information about her household servants and daily logistics.

How did she stand it for SO MANY YEARS- all that formality and scrutiny and constant scheduling? Like royalty and with a strong backbone, that's how. And probably, most of the time, thinking about her horses?

Incognito jaunts, on occasion, even if very few in number over the years, they must be almost necessary.

I've always wondere
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 07, 2013 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.
Linda Hart
Mar 03, 2013 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.
Elizabeth Nordquist
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book. Passed it on to Anglophiles and visitors to England and Scotland.
Mary Cornelius
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, it's adorable. Completely made up, of course, but adorable.
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I'm a novelist, biographer, historian, scribbler, and dabbler. I've helped to make commercials on chocolate chip cookies. I've also taught history to college students and led dazed kids on London theatre trips. Somehow my first novel MRS QUEEN became a national bestseller. It has been optioned by The Weinstein Company for a movie. A second novel PRINCE HARRY BOY TO MAN has just been published. It ...more

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