The unwanted guests, gibberish speeches and sucking up to despots must drive her round the bend, says Roger Lewis

Roger LewisThe Times

Like Spike Milligan’s character Mrs Ethel Shroake, who after the end of the Third Word War was the closest person left in line to the throne, I always thought I’d make a very good Queen. I’d fully appreciate the castles and pageantry, the frocks, jewels and banquets. How divine not to have to queue at airports, do my own packing or do the washing-up. Free first-class travel, the best seats in the theatre, all guaranteed. A luxurious existence of carriage processions and balcony appearances.

Having studied Robert Hardman’s closely observed book, however, I have changed my mind. Even the most ardent royalist will now start thinking about republicanism — because how can we allow a system that amounts to cruelty and abuse to continue? During


Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman review — God save her! Our monarch is trapped inside a gilded cage