A book about late British royal the QUEEN MOTHER has earned her official biographer WILLIAM SHAWCROSS a whopping advance of $1.6 million (GBP1 million) - after his publishers triumphed in a bidding war.

Although the exact figure is yet to be confirmed, publishers Penguin have pledged the cash following a lucrative offer from a newspaper group, who want to serialise the biography.

It is expected the book will be published in 2006 and will shoot straight up the bestsellers list.

SHAWCROSS, former consort of Prince Charles' partner CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES, will have uncensored access to the Queen Mum's personal letters, diaries and the royal archives.

15/08/2003 17:33