By Tom Quinn
From humble beginnings as a shopkeeper's son in Coventry to 'Page of the Backstairs' at Clarence residence, William Tallon, or 'Backstairs Billy' as he got here to be identified, continuously knew he was once destined for a existence within the royal circle. A fierce collector and fan of all issues with regards to the royal kinfolk, while a small boy Billy used to be thinking about this glamorous international of pageantry and extra.
Charming, dependable, promiscuous and in ownership of a very depraved feel of humour, Billy entered royal carrier on the age of fifteen and, over the following fifty years, grew to become essentially the most infamous figures, and so much amazing characters, ever to have graced the royal family. even supposing nominally a servant, over the years Billy grew to become one of many overdue Queen Mother's so much depended on buddies and confidants. whereas others got here and went, Billy used to be the only servant the Queen mom simply couldn't do with no. She loved him, and he her, maybe as a result of his excessive camp type or his witty and provocative comments concerning the well-born equerries, royal press humans and advisers.
Sometimes scandalous, frequently surprising, constantly wonderful, Backstairs Billy is the attention-grabbing existence tale of the fellow who spent greater than part a century operating for one of many world's such a lot elusive associations, giving us a unprecedented glimpse of what lifestyles within the British royal kinfolk is admittedly like...
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Additional info for Backstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant
It is easy to forget the peculiar difficulties under which many members of the royal family labour. The revolution of the past few decades that has seen three out of four of the Queen’s children divorce would have been unthinkable back in the 1940s and 1950s, which is why the King’s abdication in 1936 was such a shock. It was the idea of the King trying to marry someone who would have been perfectly acceptable to the establishment if she had remained his mistress that was unacceptable. 64 So, when George VI died in 1952 Elizabeth knew she would have to reconcile herself to a life without a partner.
He also invited one or two close friends to visit him if they happened to be in London. In turn, Billy was justifiably proud that he was able to offer guided tours of Clarence House. But, when his mother Mabel finally died in the 1970s he cut his ties with Coventry and it seems he never again visited the city. When the Tallons arrived in Coundon, the terraced house in which they settled in Norman Place Road was by no means 31 the worst in the town. In fact, Coundon was considered one of the better districts.
When the Tallons arrived in Coundon, the terraced house in which they settled in Norman Place Road was by no means 31 the worst in the town. In fact, Coundon was considered one of the better districts. It had only recently lost its status as a village – Coventry’s house-building boom swamped the old village in the years leading up to Billy’s birth but it was still recognised by the older residents as having a distinct difference from Coventry. Some residents welcomed the fact that it would now be part of a bigger town; others lamented the loss of its independence.