Do Let’s Have Another Drink: The Singular Wit and Double Measures of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
A Times Best Book on the Royal Family of the Year 2022
This is a biography of the Queen Mother with all the dull bits stripped out.
When told that Lady Mountbatten was being buried at sea, the Queen Mother replied cheerfully. ‘Dear old Edwina, she always did like to make a splash!’
During her lifetime, the Queen Mother was as famous for her clever quips, pointed observations and dry-as-a-Martini delivery style as she was for being a member of the Royal Family. She was also famed for her fondness for ‘drinky-poos’ – usually a gin and Dubonnet or three. Now, Do Let’s Have Another Drink recounts 101 biographical vignettes – one for each year of her long, remarkable life, including her coming-of-age during World War I, the abdication of her brother-in-law, the truth about her tragic nieces and her relationship with her two daughters over half a century of widowhood.
The book is a skimming-stone biography – the story of a life without the boring bits – and a travel guide to a world that no longer exists. Stepping into the Queen Mother’s rarefied universe is a little like falling through the looking glass. The book rightly celebrates her sense of humour but also explores her enmities and feuds, including the truth about her behaviour towards Wallis Simpson, Nerissa Bowes-Lyon and Diana, Princess of Wales.
For fans of The Crown and featuring new revelations, never before published, and colourful anecdotes about the woman the high society photographer Cecil Beaton once described as ‘a marshmallow made on a welding machine’, Do Let’s Have Another Drink is a delightful celebration of one of the most consistently popular members of the Royal Family.
”'My favourite book of the season…a brief and highly selective biography of the QM…concentrating on good stories at the expense of all the guff …along the way we learn some fascinating facts…You know you want this book, and I know you want it, and if you’re very good Father Christmas might bring it for you” - The Spectator
”'Entertaining …compelling…it explains a lot about this most misunderstood of matriarchs…she put the backbone into a royal family that was floundering when she joined it. And she could be shocking and funny” - The Times
‘A warm, funny, and above all, sympathetic picture of a remarkable woman… Russell’s ‘skimming-stone’ biography has managed to capture both the laughter and the wisdom - I raise a glass to him’ Daily Telegraph, Four star review -
”'Utterly compelling… This drink-infused, deliciously gossipy account of a privileged life is guaranteed to raise the spirits of anyone lucky enough to read it” - Anne Sebba, author of That Woman: The life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
”'Wonderful prose, telling stories that are hilarious and moving by turns. Immensely enjoyable” - Suzannah Lipscomb
”'Utterly glorious” - Emerald Fennell
”'Do Let’s Have Another Drink is a joyful corrective. A triumph” - Owen Emmerson, co-author of The Boleyns of Hever Castle
”'I absolutely adored this book! It’s wonderful” - Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author
”'Gareth Russell brings the Queen Mother’s humanity, courage and spirit to life… a compulsive read” - Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Showrunner Truth Be Told (Apple TV+)