Backstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant

By Tom Quinn

One of the nation's most sensible stored secrets and techniques, lifestyles at the back of the gates of Buckingham Palace is topic to around the globe hypothesis. during this ebook Tom Quinn strains the attention-grabbing courting among the Queen mom and her such a lot dedicated servant.

William Tallon, who died in 2007, was once a shopkeeper's son from the Midlands who rose in the course of the ranks to paintings for the Queen mom for greater than fifty years. referred to as "Backstairs Billy," he used to be captivating, fun, sometimes bitchy—and super promiscuous.

Billy cherished her and he or she loved Billy; possibly as a result of his high-camp type and outrageous comments concerning the well-born equerries, royal press humans and advisers, yet in most cases simply because he made her gin and tonics simply the way in which she cherished them—nine-tenths gin and one-tenth tonic.

Outrageously humorous, scandalous, occasionally stunning, yet continuously interesting, this can be the royal kin in the course of the eyes of 1 of its so much extroverted servants.

Tom Quinn is the writer of many titles together with London's Strangest Tales, Cocoa at nighttime: the true lifestyles tale of My Time as a Housekeeper, and The Cook's story: existence lower than Stairs because it particularly Was. He additionally writes occasional obituaries for the instances and edits Country company magazine.

Show description

Quick preview of Backstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant PDF

Show sample text content

There's no doubt that if William Tallon took to somebody he used to be splendidly strong corporation – he was once humorous, talkative and intensely witty. And he enjoyed gossip. He can make a narrative come to lifestyles as not anyone else may perhaps. He may be very style. yet sometimes he might take opposed to somebody after which he may be very unkind certainly. He used to be a creature of extremes: he used to be immensely dependable to his buddies, yet very spiteful to his enemies. for a lot of his lifestyles he was once pushed via demons: a robust intercourse force and an excessive, virtually pathological love for the Queen mom.

Billy grew to become somewhat exasperated and the Queen mom acknowledged, ‘William, we don’t wish this to show right into a litter, will we? ’ William acknowledged, ‘Yes, ma’am, or perhaps a bugger’s clutter. ’ slightly capable of suppress her giggles, the Queen mom in simple terms answered, ‘Well, relatively. ’ This used to be ordinary of Billy and he used to be additionally in a position to infantile enthusiasms and unexpected bursts of hilarity which the fairly critical Aird and Anstruther easily couldn't understand. They maybe felt, as Queen Victoria’s advisers had felt greater than a century previous, that past slightly Scottish state dancing, the Queen Mother’s enjoyable may still include well mannered and intensely constrained dialog.

After operating for a few years in a truly lowly place, he had utilized for a role in different places as a footman right. passable references have been impending and as there has been no stigma hooked up to the need to alter jobs he used to be packed with self belief whilst he offered himself for interview. however the interview was once a truly atypical event. it all started with the senior butler observing him for ten mins with out announcing a note after which asking the younger guy to stroll in regards to the room whereas he endured to stare. He then requested a chain of very basic questions about former tasks earlier than unexpectedly status up and leaving the room and not using a note of rationalization.

Also, as time glided by Reg and Billy’s lives turned more and more concentrated on Billy’s little palace within the Mall and to a lesser quantity on Reg’s flat in Kennington the place, sometimes at weekends, the couple did break out from Clarence condominium to have a tendency their roses and sit down out within the sunlight. The flat used to be truly Reg’s however it was once to supply a safe haven – if occasionally an unsatisfied one – for Billy while his international ultimately collapsed. WITH RED-COATED squaddies constantly guarding the gates subsequent to Billy’s Gate hotel, it used to be certainly one of his nice pleasures to slide out while there have been lots of travelers approximately.

Sometimes Reg or Billy – and it was once often Billy – may go back from a nocturnal foray having a look bruised and battered after a coarse come upon with a person who didn't take pleasure in his advances, yet he will be patched up and stick with it operating tomorrow as though not anything had occurred. the only time Billy wanted a extra major period of time off was once after he used to be stabbed within the leg by way of a livid younger guy who he had propositioned whilst under the influence of alcohol. The wound took greater than every week to heal and Billy needed to make his excuses and remain in mattress.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.79 of 5 – based on 25 votes