THE BOOK The Queen of England is feeling her age. She can't get her computer to work. The press has decided she's past it. She walks out of the palace one rainy afternoon and boards a public train. Her destination is the Britannia, now moored as a tourist attraction near Edinburgh. She hopes the visit will revive her. A rag tag group of palace staffers band together to go after her. They're afraid that if the press finds out what she's done there will be a scandal. An equerry, a gay butler, a lady in waiting, a dresser, a stablehand, and a clerk from the shop that sells the palace cheese are all determined to bring her back. They discover love, renewed vocation, and friendship, but not before puzzled strangers on a train have a hunch that they're sitting with Helen Mirren.

THE AUTHOR On a career journey with some rough patches, but also lovely views, I've written history, biography and fiction. I've advertised pre-sweetened cereals and helped to make commercials on chocolate chip cookies. I've also taught history to college students and led dazed kids on London theatre trips. This is my first novel. Somehow 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 will be published in a few months. I've also written non-fiction on Jackie Kennedy Onassis as a lifelong lover of books in READING JACKIE. My biography of a funny couple who lived with Queen Victoria, HENRY & MARY PONSONBY, was a BBC Radio 4 book of the week. I've played with the question of Benjamin Disraeli's sexuality in THE POLITICS OF PLEASURE. My doctoral dissertation was published as DEMOCRATIC ROYALISM. I wear antique military jackets around the house when no one’s watching. I live in Boston, Massachusetts, and whenever I can in London too.