Was the first in a series of  stories about the  Queen. I so wished  I had written The Queen and  I by Sue Townsend. It’s one of my favourite books. But as it’s the  Queen’s birthday on 21st April,  here’s a present for her.  And I’m letting you into a big secret.

The Queen sat under the canopy. She watched the line of police officers march past, wearing white uniforms covered in silver braid, with long blue and orange plumed hats. She was told the feathers came from the indigenous island birds. She hoped Philip wouldn’t say to the President, ‘They look like parrots,’ or worse still mutter, ‘Pieces of eight’ within earshot of any journalists.

The  Queen had lost count of the number of times she’d watched similar parades. Long ago she stopped being interested. She sat there apparently concentrating, in reality she worked on her plots. Only after her death would her secret be revealed. She was a best selling crime writer.

At least the Royal Tours had provided settings and as a ruler she had access to any expert and could ask any question. ‘What poison would one favour if for example, one wanted to get rid of an embarrassing husband,’ had unfortunately led to speculation in the tabloids on the state of the  Royal Marriage? 

She’d reached a knotty problem in her current novel Death in Paradise.

Irritatingly Philip was quietly humming, ‘I shot the sheriff’ next to her. She turned to the President, ‘Do your police use  Magnums?’