Royal play about late Queen's mother given unusual trigger warning

Royal play about late Queen's mother given unusual trigger warning

WATCH NOW: New films, including James Bond, are often given trigger warnings

GB News
Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 25/01/2024

- 21:21

The play is about the late Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and her loyal servant, William Tallon

A royal play about the late Queen Mother has been given an unusual trigger warning.

The show is titled Backstairs Billy and is based on the life of William Tallon, a late member of the Queen Mother's staff at Clarence House.

Tallon earned his nickname when he became Steward and Page of the Backstairs in 1978.

He became renowned for entering the Queen Mother's private rooms without knocking and even bought the Christmas presents that she gifted to others.

Queen Mother

The Queen Mother lived from 1900 to 2002


​Backstairs Billy is set in 1979 and will run its final show on Saturday, January 27 after a three-month stint in the Duke of York's Theatre.

However, physical signs have been placed inside the theatre bar showing trigger warnings about the play, claiming it "reflects some of the attitudes, language, and conventions" of 1979.

It is unusual to see physical trigger warning signs, as most are often seen online.

The play stars Penelope Wilton as the Queen Mother and Luke Evans as Tallon.

William Tallon

William Tallon [pictured] at the Queen Mother's funeral


During his lifetime, Tallon’s personal life became the focus of tabloid attention.

However, he was beloved by the Queen Mother and enjoyed a long career in her service until she died in 2002.

His partner of over 30 years was Reginald Wilcock, who had become a footman at Buckingham Palace in 1954.

On August 4, 2000, Wilcock served the Queen Mother her 100th birthday morning tea in her room.

William Tallon and Queen Mother

William Tallon and Queen Mother dancing together


William Tallon and Queen Mother

William Tallon was a loyal servant to the Queen Mother


A week later, on August 11, Wilcock died at the age of 66. Tallon subsequently arranged his funeral at the Queen's Chapel in Marlborough House.

After Wilcock's death, Tallon reportedly suffered from depression.

Following the Queen Mother's death in 2002, Tallon left Clarence House and settled in a flat in Kennington, southeast London.

Tallon was found dead there on November 23, 2007, aged 72, as a result of liver failure.

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