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Queen of Everything: Jackie Collins

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We hope you like our new feature where famous names tell us exactly how they would rule the world given the opportunity. And if you don’t like it, off with your head! For our Book Issue, novelist and all-round legend Jackie Collins, 74, was the natural choice as Stylist’s very first Queen.

I’d give power to the real people…

I’d start by knighting ordinary people doing extraordinary jobs such as police, nurses, firemen etc. Enough with knighting rock stars. Then, I would abolish all taxes except on luxury goods. If you can afford to buy a Mercedes, then you can certainly afford to pay tax. I would also have the weekend start on Friday so everyone gets three days off work! And I’d open the palace for special events so that everyone could see what it’s like to live in one.

I would address women’s rights across the globe.

The way women are treated as second -class citizens in so many countries across the world really makes my blood boil. I’ve heard horrific stories of people drowning baby girls immediately after birth in certain parts of China. In war zones across the world rape is deemed an acceptable hazard of war and in Iran they still stone women to death for adultery. The world’s attitude toward women has got to change.

We would all be forced to read.

Reading is a joy. So many books, so little time! When I was at school I loved reading Enid Blyton, especially The Faraway Tree and The Naughtiest Girl In The School; she fired my imagination, preparing me for the incredible characters in books by Charles Dickens, my favourite being Oliver Twist. When reading, imagery is everything – a good author makes you see, smell and breathe the characters. Once a year I reread F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. Take a trip with those authors and you will not regret it.

I’d bring my mother [Elsa] back.

She was such a beautiful woman. She died when I was quite young and never saw me as a published author. Twenty-eight novels later, I know she would revel in my success and be proud. But nobody can truly predict the future. However, I do believe that somewhere up there she is watching over me.

I would speak Italian.

It truly is the language of love. Having spent a lot of time in Italy – in Rome, Venice and Florence – I found that everyone there spoke perfect English, so it wasn’t necessary to learn. But oh, I wish I had! I did manage to say “Ti Amo” to my Italian boyfriends and that was about all I could remember. Too bad.

Bullying would be a crime.

I cannot stand bullies. Men or women who pick on other people because they see them as weak or different. In the age of the internet, bullying has gone viral, and that’s not a good thing. People in government who don’t get it rile me up; so do politicians only concerned with their own public image. And puffed-up dictators in foreign countries who strut around giving orders to kill their own people. Always remember that karma is the bitch who will get you in the end.

I would make TV free for all.

I have to admit I’m addicted to it. Or rather the recording devices that make it possible to save shows I love. What a luxury after a hard day’s writing to sit back and revel in the exploits of Desperate Housewives or marvel at how Dexter gets away with it; so relaxing. My Sky Plus box brings me everything I want, when I want it. I cannot live without it.

I would still work because I have a passion for what I do.

Making up stories and interesting characters is what I love to do more than anything. If this was 100 years ago we would be sitting around a log fire, and I would be saying, “Let me tell you a story…” I am a storyteller, not a literary writer. And that’s what makes me fulfilled and happy. On my tombstone they can write, “She gave a great many people a great deal of pleasure.”

Simon & Schuster will release Jackie Collins’ entire back catalogue in digital format for the first time on 1 March

Picture credit: Getty images

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