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On His Majesty’s Secret Service: New Coronation Bond adventure will help our mission to support every child’s literacy

04 May 2023

On His Majesty's Secret Service by Charlie Higson, A James Bond Adventure

On Thursday (4 May), best-selling Young Bond author Charlie Higson’s specially commissioned James Bond adventure, On His Majesty’s Secret Service, will be published in celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III.

We are delighted that all royalties from the sale of the book will go towards our vital work to support literacy skills in schools and communities across the country. Here at National Literacy Trust, we know that better literacy skills can lead to increased educational attainment, employability skills, improved health outcomes and improved social capital, so we are very grateful for the support from this initiative to continue our work in communities that need it most.

On His Majesty’s Secret Service is being released ahead of the Coronation on Saturday 6 May, 60 years after the publication of Ian Fleming’s tenth novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1963.

The action of this entirely new 007 adventure brings Bond into the present day. It is the 4 May, two days before the coronation of King Charles III and the world's favourite spy has his work cut out for him. Bond is sent at the last minute to thwart an attempt to disrupt the Coronation by the wealthy, eccentric and self-styled Athelstan of Wessex, who is on a deadly mission of his own to teach the United Kingdom a lesson. Can Bond dismantle his shady plans and defeat his privately hired team of mercenaries?

“James Bond has been creating avid readers for seventy years and we are delighted that the royalties from On His Majesty’s Secret Service will go towards our own not-so-secret mission: to support the literacy skills of children and adults in the nation’s most disadvantaged areas. We hope that this partnership will create a whole new generation of readers, who will continue to discover the thrills of Bond for years to come.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust

Charlie Higson’s Young Bond series has already been phenomenally successful, selling over a million copies in the UK alone and being translated into more than 24 different languages.

“When Ian Fleming Publications came to me with the idea of writing an adult Bond story a little more than a month ago, I was thrilled – until I realised it had to be ready for the Coronation in May. Getting it written and turned around in such a short space of time was going to be as tense and heart-pounding as any Bond mission. Although, of course, nobody would actually be shooting at me. But I’ve been thinking about writing an adult Bond adventure ever since working on the Young Bond books, and he came bursting out of me with both fists flying. It was all I could do to keep up with him and get his story down on paper. Fleming famously wrote fast, and I channelled that energy. And now it’s so exciting for me to finally enter the world of grown-up Bond. Everything you want from a Bond story is in there – sex, violence, cars, a colourful villain with a nasty henchman, and of course, Bond himself. So well-known and yet so unknowable.”

Charlie Higson

On His Majesty’s Secret Service is published by Ian Fleming Publications. It will be available digitally as an eBook, as an audiobook (read by Charlie Higson), and as a hardback, online and in bookshops from 4 May.

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