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Children's Fiction General

Waiting for the Queen

by (author) Veronika Martenova Charles & Valerie MacMenemey

illustrated by Stephen Taylor

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
May 2014
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 10
  • Grade: 2 to 5


In the spring of 1939 a young girl named Frances is chosen from among her classmates to present a bouquet of roses to the Queen Elizabeth. Excitement builds throughout the day as people gather at the station to witness the Royal visit of King George, Queen Elizabeth and the young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, but the long-awaited train does not stop. It continues on through the station leaving behind a puzzled crowd and a disappointed Frances.
Seventy years later, Frances watches William and Kate's royal wedding with her granddaughter Kara and tells her about how a long time ago, she almost met the Queen. Kara shares her grandmother's story, which leads to an amazing opportunity: Frances will present a bouquet to Kate and William when they visit!
Based on real events and accompanied by a combination of elegant illustrations and original photographs, Frances' story is unique and inspiring. Seventy years is a very long time to wait holding onto a dream, and as she finally gives away her bouquet, Frances is once again that child from 1939, learning that dreams really can come true.

About the authors

Veronika Martenova Charles was born behind the Iron Curtain in Prague, Czechosloavakia. As a teenager Veronika formed a pop act with a friend and learned to sing Western rock and roll. On a return trip from a tour in Cuba she stepped from her plane as it refueled in Gander, Newfoundland, and decided to stay in Canada. She studied at Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art. Since 1991 Veronika has been writing and illustrating children's books full-time.

Veronika Martenova Charles' profile page

During his twenty-five years of practice as an herbalist, Stephen Taylor has explored the traditional foundations of Western medicine, drawing inspiration from the ancient herbalists Hippocrates and Galen, and the medieval herbalist Nicholas Culpeper. While exploring the surviving folk traditions of Europe, he has also trained in Eastern and African traditions of ancient medicine. Having made extensive visits to learn from the traditional healers of Africa, he eventually became initiated as a traditional healer and diviner himself. He continues to practice herbal medicine, teach, and research, and he grows and produces many of his own medicines.

Stephen Taylor's profile page

Valerie MacMenemey's profile page

Excerpt: Waiting for the Queen (by (author) Veronika Martenova Charles & Valerie MacMenemey; illustrated by Stephen Taylor)

How can I go to sleep? Tomorrow I meet the Queen. My hair is in a thousand rag-tied curls so that my head bumps on the pillow. I can't believe my school chose ME. Tomorrow I really meet the Queen! "Mama, is there a bathroom on the Royal Train? Will the Queen have tea on the train? Mama, will she wear her jewels and her crown?" Mama says, "Shush, shush, Frances. No, not her crown but she'll probably wear a hat. Perhaps a big, blue hat. Blue is the Queen's favourite colour. Now, no more. Sleep and the time will fly by."

Other titles by Veronika Martenova Charles

Other titles by Valerie MacMenemey