Long Live the King

Written by Fay Weldon
Review by Troy Reed

Fay Weldon, novelist and screenwriter of Upstairs, Downstairs, delivers the second installment of her new trilogy. Long Live the King begins in December 1901, when all of London is preparing for the coronation of Edward VII while still mourning the loss of his mother, the beloved Queen Victoria. The story focuses on the continuing adventures of the Hedleigh family: Robert, the Earl of Dilberne, his wife Countess Isobel, and their two grown children Lord Arthur and Lady Rosina. Robert and Isobel have been invited to the coronation and are given extra tickets to distribute to whomever they would like. The question is: who will be the lucky recipients? Robert wants to give them to his lawyer and his wife, but Isobel ends up secretly sending the tickets to Robert’s estranged brother, Edwin and his family, and then worries nonstop about what she has done. The book is lively with several story threads: Lady Rosina threatens to elope, daughter-in-law Minnie is trying to fit into the new world she has married into, and the Earl’s niece, Adela, is orphaned and then turns up missing.

This is a quick, light read. I was hoping for a little more interaction between the servants and the family, and it left me wanting more detail about the lives of the characters. All in all it was enjoyable and something that fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy.