Ian Fleming Publications has commissioned Young Bond series author Charlie Higson to write a new James Bond adventure to celebrate the coronation of King Charles.
The new 007 story, “On His Majesty’s Secret Service,” brings Bond into the present day. It is May 4, two days before the coronation of King Charles III. 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. Bond must dismantle his shady plans and defeat his privately hired team of mercenaries.
“On His Majesty’s Secret Service” will be published on May 4, ahead of the coronation on May 6 and 60 years after the publication of Fleming’s 10th novel, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” in 1963. All royalties from sales of the book will support the work of the National Literacy Trust, an independent U.K. charity working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life.
Higson wrote five novels in the Young Bond series, which are young adult spy novels featuring Bond as a teenage boy attending school at Eton College in the 1930s.
Higson said: “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,” Higson added.
Managing director of Ian Fleming Publications Corinne Turner said: “The coronation of King Charles III is a momentous occasion for the country. We asked ourselves how we at Ian Fleming Publications could celebrate it, and the answer seemed obvious. Ian Fleming’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was first published on April 1. 1963. What better way, 60 years on, to mark this new chapter in history than with a brand new story: ‘On His Majesty’s Secret Service’? We shared our thoughts with Charlie, and he was delighted to take on the challenge of writing a Bond adventure in time for publication in May.”
Ian Fleming Publications was in the news recently when it was revealed that the James Bond novels were reedited to remove racist content.