Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

The Queen is a little unhappy, some might say depressed.  Trouble with her computer is what has set her off this time and she just needs a few happy memories to make it better. After going to visit Elizabeth, a horse born on her birthday and kept in the Royal Mews, the Queen decides to just go. Alone. No security, no plan.  So starts Mrs. Queen Takes the Train.

The Queen has been queen for a very long time. She's feeling her age and just would like some happy times, like when she was younger.  Like riding the train to Scotland. And being on her old yacht, the Britannia. What with her children's marriages foundering, her daughter in law's death and the fire in the castle, she's just tired. She can't even ride anymore!  A visit to the mews to see one of the horse's is just what she needs.  But when she gets there she realizes she doesn't have a treat for the horse, who happens to love cheese.

As she leaves the mews she is told by some workman that she can't enter the palace grounds. They of course don't recognize her as she is alone and wearing a hoodie with a skull and crossbones on it (which she got from Rebecca who works in the mews). She heads off to the cheese shop where she meets Rajiv. She convinces Rajiv to help her get to Edinburgh to see her old ship, the Britannia. In the mean time, Luke the Equerry, who was responsible for the day to day movement of the Queen realizes she's gone. He enlists the aid of William, a senior member of the queen's household staff, who encounter Lady Anne (the current Lady-in-waiting) and Shirley (the queen's dresser) who are also looking for her. Soon everyone is off trying to catch up with queen.

 The Queen and her unlikely allies of Rebecca and Rajiv wind up on a train to Scotland.  The Queen just  enjoying her new found freedom, Rebecca and Rajiv surreptitiously following her, Lady Anne and Shirley also in pursuit and Luke and William following. While ostensibly on the hunt for the Queen, each of the characters finds out something about themselves.

This book is simply charming.  A nice pleasant read for a cold winter's day.

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