Alexander Waugh

We Mean It, Ma’am

Queen and Country


BBC 240pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

It is only to be expected that the Queen, in her Golden Jubilee year, should enjoy the publication of a biography or two to commemorate her feat, especially since the music industry has decided more or less to ignore the whole event. There will be a couple of anti-Jubilee songs – one by Billy Bragg which goes ‘Britain isn’t cool you know it’s really not that great’, and an EMI reissue of a dated piece of establishment anarchy called ‘God Save the Queen, her fascist regime’ by the Sex Pistols – plus a gloriously invigorating version of ‘Here’s a health unto Her Majesty’, artfully put together by myself and an ex Pistol rebel, Edward Tudor Pole. If these tributes from the recording industry seem a little meagre to the monarchist, at least the book trade is making up for it in spades. In the last two months, twelve full-length biographies of the Queen have been published, one book (by Gillian Clements) all about the Coronation , seven new books about the Queen especially written for children, two audio books, an interactive CD-ROM, and something describing itself as an ‘Oral Biography’, whatever that may be.

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