On His Majesty's Secret Service
31st March 2023
Author Charlie Higson is back on Bond duty with a new adult adventure
By MI6 Staff
Charlie Higson, author of the bestselling Young Bond series, has been commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications to write a new James Bond adventure to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, it is announced today, Friday 31 March.
On His Majesty’s Secret Service will be published on Thursday 4 May ahead of the Coronation on Saturday 6 May – and 60 years after the publication of Ian Fleming’s tenth novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in 1963. All royalties from the sale of the book will go to support the work of the UK charity, the National Literacy Trust.
The action of this entirely new 007 adventure brings Bond into the present day. It is the 4th of 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?
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, comments: “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 1st April 1963. What better way, sixty 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. Together we hope this book will give valuable support to the National Literacy Trust.”
Charlie Higson’s phenomenally successful Young Bond series has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and has been translated into more than 24 different languages. He adds: “When IFP 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.”
Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literary Trust, says: “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.”
This brand new James Bond adventure arrives during a momentous year for Ian Fleming Publications. 13 April 2023 marks 70 years since the initial publication of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. The company are celebrating 70 years of 007 throughout 2023, with many events planned, including the release of the Bond books under their own imprint on 13 April.
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.