The search is on for a cassette tape that long since went missing

By Simon Perry
April 07, 2015 11:10 AM
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty

She has never given a media interview, and most people hear her speak only during her annual address to the nation at Christmas. But now, Britain is learning of a secret cassette tape that would reveal a whole new side of Queen Elizabeth – featuring her singing!

Trouble is, the tape has gone missing.

The Queen, 88, and her late sister, Princess Margaret, made a recording of themselves singing children’s songs for their mom, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in 1990, The Times reports.

They sang about a dozen songs, according to Laurie Holloway, a pianist who was summoned to Buckingham Palace to help them create the surprise 90th birthday present for the Queen Mother. But only one cassette tape was made, Holloway says, adding that the only song he can recall them recording was “I Know Where the Flies Go in Winter Time.”

“I don’t think the title was written on the cassette, so it might be stored somewhere and no one will realize its significance,” says Holloway, 77, a composer and a former musical director for British TV shows.

The Queen was 64 and Margaret 59 at the time, and they had “good family voices,” Holloway says. “They would sing to me without accompaniment, and I would then play in their key.”

Apparently, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002 at age 101, listened to the tape in her car, because she didn’t have a tape player at her home, Royal Lodge.

Princess Margaret also died in 2002, about seven weeks before her mother, at age 71.

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