Stored in Whitehall's archives are everything from blood-chilling warnings of imminent nuclear attack to comical details of daily life in the corridors of power. Concerned notes from ministers on the subject of the Heir to the Throne's potential brainwashing by Welsh terrorists are shelved alongside worries about housemaids 'on the wobble' at Chequers. Detailed and surprising plans for royal funerals sit beside reports on suspected spies in the showbiz world and bawdy poetry about the monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar. And Mary Whitehouse's complaints about the sex education syllabus nestle next to thank-you notes from prisoner 13260/62, also known as Nelson Mandela. Adam Macqueen, author of the highly acclaimed bestseller Private Eye: The First 50 Years, has searched high and low to present us with some of the most unlikely revelations since the Official secrets act was inaugurated one hundred years ago. Not only about Mrs Thatcher's ironing board, but Ted Heath's car, Harold Macmillan's bedroom carpet, Imelda Marcos and her son Bong Bong's trip to Buckingham Palace and President Eisenhower's particular problem with Winston Churchill's trousers.
Mrs Thatcher’s indignation at public funds being spent on a new ironing board for No 10 is just one of the titbits in Mac-queen’s entertaining miscellany of National Archive declassified documents. From worries about Prince Charles’ susceptibility to Welsh terrorists to poignant notes from an imprisoned Mandela, the book charts the ‘mixture of sweet reasonableness and low cunning’ that kept Britain functioning.
'A hugely enjoyable bran tub of revelations about our rulers fancies and foibles over the past century'
Publication date: 25/09/2014
Publisher: Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 03/10/2013
Publisher: Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||25th September 2014|
|Publisher:||Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
Adam Macqueen has worked at Private Eye on and off for fourteen years. He was assistant, deputy and finally acting editor of The Big Issue between 1999 and 2002 and is currently on the editorial team of Popbitch.com. He was also associate producer on Adam Curtis's BBC series All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. Adam Macqueen lives on the South Coast with his partner.More About Adam Macqueen