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Saturday 23 August 2014

Kingsley Amis 'very keen on Queen'

Published 18/03/2014 | 06:57

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Sir Kingsley Amis with his son Martin

Martin Amis - the son of late author Sir Kingsley Amis - has revealed that his father was infatuated with the Queen.

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The Lucky Jim author, who won the Booker Prize in 1986 for The Old Devils, died in 1995, aged 73.

His son, London Fields author Martin Amis, has told a new BBC4 documentary that his father, who was knighted in 1990, used to dream about the Queen.

In the interview, an extract of which appears in the Radio Times, he said: "My father used to hang out with the Queen a bit, went to lunch there several times and he was knighted by her.

"He was very keen on her..."

In the documentary, to be screened on Sunday, Money author Amis reflects on his experience of Englishness.

He described the Royal Family as a "peculiarly British institution".

He said: "It is nearing the end of the road, the monarchy. It's connected with our love of Upstairs, Downstairs, those country-house dramas, it's nostalgia for that class society, it's all connected, it can't not be connected, but again, relatively harmless."

He said that money has replaced class in society.

"There was a vast gulf between state schools and public schools and it was a class gulf. But now, I think, it's no longer a reflection of class, it's a reflection of money. Money has won. It had always won in America but now it's won in England too," he said.

"So if you put your son's name down for Eton, it's because you can afford to do that, it's not because it's any class-granted right.

"I have no nostalgia for the class society but I have no very great enthusiasm about the money society."

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