The Viney Agency


Stephen Bates was born in Berkshire and educated at New College, Oxford, where he took a degree in Modern History. He was a journalist for 36 years until 2012, working for the BBC, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail before joining the Guardian in 1990 where he was subsequently education editor, political correspondent, European Affairs Editor, based in Brussels for five years, and finally the paper’s religious affairs and royal correspondent. He reported from more than 40 countries on everything from wars and elections to royal visits, was named British religion writer of the year in 2005 and 2006 and is the author of three previous books:A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality (Hodder and Stoughton); Asquith (Haus), a biography of the Edwardian prime minister and God’s Own Country: Religion and Politics in the US (Hodder and Stoughton). A regular broadcaster, he has also written for the Spectator, New Statesman, Time magazine, the Tablet, the Church Times and BBC History Magazine and many other British and foreign magazines. He is married, with three children and lives in Kent.

His Two Nations – Britain in 1846 - the history of a pivotal year in our history - was published by Head of Zeus in 2014. Duckworth and Overlook published The Poisoner, his biography of the notorious Victorian serial killer, Dr William Palmer, on both sides of the Atlantic in 2014. His first novel, The Photographer’s Boy was published by Premier Digital in the US in 2013. 1815: Regency Britain in the Year of Waterloo was published by Head of Zeus in 2015.

Royalty Inc. about the function of and challenges to the British Royal Family was published to critical acclaim by Aurum in 2015.

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LATEST BOOK: ROYATY INC., Britain's Best Known Brand.

It is an amazing feat in the 21st century that Queen Elizabeth II, a small woman in her nineties, should be one of the most recognisable people on the planet.

Her voice is redolent of another era, her interests are esoteric to many of her people, her opinions on anything from the weather to politics are almost entirely unknown, and her whole life has been lived without ever mingling on equal terms with anybody, except for one heady evening in 1945 when she slipped out of Buckingham Palace incognito to join the crowds celebrating the end of the war in Europe. The world has utterly, irreversibly, and radically evolved since she ascended the throne in 1952 and yet, in an era of instant celebrity, she remains, more popular than ever and seemingly largely unchanged: a bastion of certainty and comfort to the British and many other people during uncertain times.

On 9th September 2015, she beat Queen Victoria's record and become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. The question is: How secure is the British Royal Family? How much depends on the person of the Queen herself, and how much on the institution?

To answer these questions, Royalty Inc. combines a history of the British Crown's evolution thorugh the modern age with a journalistic peek behind the curtain at the machinery that sustains the Windsors today. Written by the Guardian's former Royal correspondent, its line will be neither royalist nor republican. Instead it will take a clear-eyed look at a host of issues, including the future of the Commonwealth, the Monarchy's role in the British constitution and class system, Prince Charles' notorious 'black spider memos', the true scale of the Royal finances, the legacy of Diana, and the problems and pressures faced by any heir to the throne in the future.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Royalty Inc., Aurum, 2015; 1815: Regency Britain in the Year of Waterloo, Head of Zeus, 2015; The Photographer's Boy, Premier Digital, 2013.Two Nations – Britain in 1846, Head of Zeus, 2014. The Poisoner- The Life and Times of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor, Duckworth, UK; Overlook, USA, 2014; The Photographer’s Boy  - a novel, Premier Digital/Open Road, 2013; Asquith, Haus, 2008; God’s Own Country: Religion and Politics in the US, Hodder and Stoughton, 2007; A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality , Hodder and Stoughton, 2006.