Do Let’s Have Another Drink!: The Dry Wit and Fizzy Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

(10 customer reviews)


SKU: 1668006936 Category:

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atria Books (November 1, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1668006936
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1668006931
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.38 inches

10 reviews for Do Let’s Have Another Drink!: The Dry Wit and Fizzy Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

  1. Fastidious Kingdoms

    bottoms up, dearies!
    While I appreciate the book’s vignettic format, I felt it was a bit overpaced at points. For example, the book skips over her 1923 wedding entirely; at the very least, Russell should have noted that the tradition of royal brides leaving their bouquets on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier began with the Queen Mum. In addition, Bertie’s decadeslong struggle with stuttering, and her ceaseless supprt of him, warranted half a page.

    Russell wasted a great opportunity to compare Diana and the QM’s similarities. They both had a high EQ and could put people at ease. Perhaps a vignette could have features their mutual dislike despite their mutual similarities.

    I certainly know more about the QM after reading this, and plan to seek out other bios.

    There are a few typos in this book, including this quote by Churchill: “ Battle of Britain during the worst days of the Blitz, when the RAF’s victory prompted Churchill’s famous remark, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed to so many by so few.”

    I will leave you with my favorite new fact about the QM: “The Queen Mother held a strong set of beliefs pertaining to chocolate. Specifically, that the posher a box of chocolates was, the greater the risk to their taste, as there was a tendency to concoct a series of dubious flavours, all of which sounded elegant and none of which had any business being wedged into a chocolate shell. Then, everyone pretended to like them lest they be mocked for an unsophisticated palate. The Queen Mother wrote effusive thank-you notes to her friend, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, when he sent her reassuringly cheap, or reasonably priced, boxes of chocolates, into which she could safely plunge her hand without nervously consulting the menu—as she resentfully had to do with a collection sent to her from a very prestigious department store, which she had come to loathe after biting into a chocolate filled with a cream called rose petal and lavender—which, as she pointed out on several occasions, were the same ingredients as bath salts.”

  2. John

    Perfect gift for mom
    I bought this for my mother for Christmas. She loves it. Apparently the old queen was a very funny lady.

  3. Erin Lapsley

    Queen Mother
    I loved this book of stories on the Queen Mother! What a strong and humorous woman she was! Garth Russell does a great job highlighting all the ways the QM was a character and the perfect Queen consort for George VI. Also, she like a drink or 2! My kind of girl!

  4. angela marks

    Such a fun book
    What a fun and lighthearted bio of the queen mother. Just loved it!

  5. Ryan P

    Fun and interesting
    Gareth Russell has given us a treat with this spicy look into the Queen mother.

  6. EJJ

    This book on Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is disappointingly superficial. With nothing of the entertaining malice of, for instance, Craig Brown’s NINETY-NINE GLIMPSES OF PRINCESS MARGARET, it contains very little worth reading until 2/3 of the way through the book, and even then, it relies on repetitions of all the old stories. Altogether, you might as well read a magazine article for all you learn about the personality of the late Queen Mother.


    Excellent biography of The Queen Mother
    I’ve read many books about the Windsors over the decades, but never a biography solely covering Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, known in her unmarried beginnings as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. When I drank in the cover of this book and its title, I surmised I was getting truly a new spin on the topic in the form of humorous anecdotes about The Queen Mother. But when I first delved into the book my expectations were upended, for this was an actual biography…and a very good one! So at first I was a little disappointed because I was waiting for the punchlines that weren’t coming. However, once I switched gears and realized what a wonderful biography I was reading about this historic royal icon, I ploughed through it with delight! The whimsical stories started coming once The Queen Mother was a widow, freed from the responsibilities and limitations her former role of Queen Consort demanded.

    Well, she did love to drink! Apparently, she was partial to gin and Dubonnet, but open to other alcoholic concoctions…and she insisted her guests keep getting refills as well! There was one story where a priest came to dine who had to perform a Baptism in a short while, and politely tried to decline a drink refill-but was overruled. He later claimed that he couldn’t quite remember doing the Baptism and whether he cited the baby’s name correctly during the ceremony. The Queen Mother was very witty, a master at the art of conversation, and loved to eat. One close friend dubbed her “Cake” as a nickname.

    Aside from the funny incidents referred to later in the book, the overall biography was top notch and I learned new kernels of information. For instance, in 1966 she had cancer resulting in a temporary colostomy. I never heard this anywhere before! So, the cover of this book is somewhat misleading because this is actually a quality biography with fresh, interesting and yes- often comical anecdotes. So if you’re thinking this is some quirky take on The Queen Mother, know that you’re in for an exceptionally good biography of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

    Thank you to the publisher Atria Books for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  8. LAS Reviewer

    Good Reading
    A woman made of steel wearing a crown and holding her own.

    I didn’t know much about the Queen Mother when I picked up this book. I saw the title and thought it’d be a rollicking good time kind of book. It’s so much more, just like the Queen Mother. Sure, she had her faults, but she went through a lot in a long lifetime.

    The writing flows along well and kept me entertained. Honestly, the fascination of the woman was plenty. She lived through two wars, bombings, the death of her husband, his rise to the throne and seeing her daughter do the same. She had a lot to handle and seemed to do it with grace. She might have spent a lot of cash along the way and loved her racehorses, but honestly, she was very much of her time. This book showed me that in so many ways.

    If you’re looking for a book about the Queen Mother that’s not a run-of-the-mill biography, give this one a try. It’s worth the read.

    originally posted at long and short reviews

  9. Lisa Ahlstedt

    I’ve got my pearls to keep me warm
    With the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, the royal family has been in the news once again. While fascination with the royal family rarely wanes, the younger generations tend to grab all the headlines. The Queen Mother, who died in 2002 at the age of 101, led a fascinating life where she encountered many of the well-known people of the day. She, like her daughter, had a great belief in “doing one’s duty” and continued to participate in royal duties until just a few months before her death. This book takes a look at her life, decade by decade, to show the woman who tried (not always successfully) to avoid publicity.

    I thought from the somewhat comical cover, that the book might be less substantial and focus more on the quips and (perhaps) public gaffs that the Queen Mother was known for. Instead, the book was a very in-depth look at the life of the woman who was born while Queen Victoria was still on the throne and died a century later. Not only are well-known sources quoted, but also people who knew or met the Queen Mother and also private letters and diaries were consulted to form a more rounded picture of the QEII’s mum — warts and all.

    Anyone who is interested in the royal family will enjoy reading about the long and mostly happy life of the woman referred to as Buffy (by her siblings) and Cake (by her enemies in society). It was interesting to learn so many details that I hadn’t known, such as the fact that the future King George VI had to propose 3 times to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon before she accepted. She was something of an “it girl” and had no interest in giving up her partying lifestyle for a life of duty and being in the public eye. But eventually, true love prevailed, and she and “Bertie” began their lives together. Everything changed when his brother, King Edward VIII, famously renounced the crown to marry Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth never forgave either of them as it meant her shy, anxious husband with the speech impediment was suddenly thrust into a role he had not really been prepared for. Elizabeth’s long-standing grudge with the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor (as they became) throughout their lifelong exile in Paris is one of the more interesting events in the book. Neither brother (Kings Edward VIII or George VI) comes across in a very positive light, both being described as not overly bright, quick to throwing temper tantrums, and spoiled. But at least Bertie had the same dedication to the job as his wife did and he was surprisingly successful in his time as king. His somewhat unexpected death would leave his wife to live as a widow for the next 50 years.

    There are plenty of funny stories about encounters with the Queen mum, most revolving around her love of a “little drinky-poo” (or twelve) before, during, and after lunch. Many people who had meetings with the Queen mum missed later appointments as she convinced them, quite cheerfully, to just have one more. Her kindness to servants who were employed long after they ceased to be able to perform their duties was also mentioned, as was her willingness to take the blame when things went wrong (so people wouldn’t lose their jobs). The criticism of her weight gain was mentioned all throughout the book, but it never seemed to dampen her love of good food and drink, nor dim her cheerful good humor. The book is a fascinating look at the entire twentieth century and events that Elizabeth witnessed first-hand. A particularly poignant scene describes how she was interviewed by a historian about her recollections of Tsar Nicholas II’s mother Marie, since Elizabeth was “the only person left alive who remembered her.” All in all, a very entertaining book about a formidable woman.

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.

  10. Connie Fischer

    Totally Delightful!
    This book is a totally delightful, humorous, and compelling collection of 101 vignettes about the Queen Mother during her lifetime. One each for the number of years she lived.

    I have read lots of books about this fascinating woman and have found them all to show a woman, as it’s been said, as soft as a marshmallow but as strong as iron. She saw her husband as he had to take on the mantle of King of England when his brother abdicated to marry Wallace Simpson.

    Elizabeth supported her husband through his stammer that made it difficult for him to give public speeches. His ill health also made it necessary for her to be close by his side. She was unfailing during World War I refusing to leave London to be safe in the countryside. She and their children stayed put to brave the war just as the other people of England did. She believed in solidarity with the people.

    Her humor was well-known. She loved meeting people and always showed a genuine interest in them. Singing and dining with friends was such a pleasure for her.

    Even after losing her husband when she was just 50-years-old, she maintained her steel strength for the rest of her life. She certainly enjoyed imbibing in cocktails many of which were strong enough to knock over the average person.

    I have long admired this wonderful woman and wish I could have met her before she passed away. Along with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, the world has lost two beautiful icons. May God rest their souls.

    I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

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