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“William Tallon was a creature of extremes: though intensely loyal, he was also a dangerous risk-taker; though charming, he could also be vicious; though considerate and amusing, he could be ruthless and predatory. For much of his life he was driven by two demons: a powerful sex drive and an intense, almost pathological love for the Queen Mother…”
From humble beginnings as a shopkeeper’s son in Coventry to ‘Page of the Backstairs’ at Clarence House, William Tallon, or ‘Backstairs Billy’ as he came to be known, entered royal service at the age of fifteen. Over the next fifty years, he became one of the most notorious and flamboyant characters ever to have graced the royal household – the one servant the Queen Mother just could not do without. While others came and went, he remained by her side, becoming one of her most trusted friends and confidants.
The fascinating life story of the man who spent more than half a century working for one of the world’s most elusive institutions, Backstairs Billy provides a rare glimpse of what the royals really get up to behind closed doors…