**UPDATED ON 9/8/2022****
Are you as obsessed with Netflix’s The Crown as I am? Then you will love these books for fans of The Crown!
The Crown is QUALITY TV in my honest opinion. Politics, affairs, royal protocol, gorgeous fashions, and, of course, tiara’s galore…what’s not to love?
I binged watched each season and learned so much about Queen Elizabeth’s life and rule. Now that QEII has passed away, I imagine the show will grow in popularity again.
I had no idea how many scandals Queen Elizabeth II has weathered over the years. From Wallis Simpson to a cheating husband to her own sister’s affair with a married man, there is so much to uncover.
It’s kind of not surprising given the history of the British Royal Family, but it sure is entertaining.
I decided to round up book recommendations for my fellow monarchy-obsessed friends.
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Non-Fiction Books about the British Monarchy:
This was like reading a JUMBO issue of people magazine. All gossip in the best way! Tina Brown goes deep into the scandals of the British Royal Family over the past 40 or so years.
I had royal fever this month while working on our Royal Reads post, so it’s no surprise that when my library hold for this autobiographical audiobook came through, I dove right it.
Angela Kelly is the Queen’s head dresser and long-time companion. She details her process for dressing the queen, talks about some iconic looks, and even reveals a few personal stories about her time with her majesty.
I’m an avid follower of Elizabeth Holmes’ account (you should be too) where she explains the significance of the Royal Family’s wardrobe. The nuance and attention to detail the Royals use when
Elizabeth breaks it down in an accessible and understandable way. I’m thrilled that her book delivers everything I’ve come to expect from her and more. This in-depth look at The Queen, Diana, Catherine, and Meghan is informative and beautiful. This is the perfect coffee table book for any fashion lover!
I absolutely adore this non-fiction look at the Queen’s life. Told in 23 chapters each about a rule the Queen lives by, it’s one of the most unique looks into the Queen’s life I’ve ever read. Instead of a boring biography, we are treated to moments and stories of the Queen’s life relevant to the “rule” being discussed.
When looking at why one’s life needs order, we see the various influences which created
If you like these books about the British Royal Family, we recommend our list of books about Queen Elizabeth II
Historical Fiction about The House of Windsor and Queen Elizabeth II
After all the royal reads I’ve read over the years, I can’t believe this is my first story about The Queen’s romance with Prince Philip. With the Jubilee coming up now in England, this was a perfect read!
I was wondering about how Philip won the heart of then Princess Elizabeth, and this fiction story filled in some fun details. Think of it as a prequel to the first episode of The Crown in the best way!
I don’t think enough is written about Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She was a dynamic lady who was a guiding light for her husband, King George, as well as Queen Elizabeth. This book focuses on her work behind-the-scenes during WWII.
We get an inside look at the issues between her husband and his brother, King Edward, who abdicated to be with Wallis Simpson. Churchill’s relationship with the then Queen consort is also examined.
I knew a little about Princess Margaret from what I gleaned from
She actually reminded me a lot of Wallace Simpson. She was most definitely a royal rebel. She’s still not my favorite royal but this historical fiction helped me understand her life, personality, and pressures.
We included this book in our picks for book clubs. Be sure to check it out for more than 50 picks!
I thought this was going to be a story about Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip based on the cover, but I was wrong. Instead, it was about a couple of seamstresses who worked on the now-Queen’s wedding dress. Part historical fiction, part romance, part mystery – this one reminded me a bit of The Lost Vintage. This story is definitely not a royal romance but instead offers brief glimpses into the wedding dress-making process.
Well, this was a juicy bit of royal historical fiction!!! I had no idea that Crawfie, Queen Elizabeth II’s governess wrote a book about their time together later in her life, essentially banning her from the royal fold.
This work of historical fiction is based on the information gleaned from that book as well as Mary Crawford’s own history. It was so interesting to see the lives of the Queen and her sister through the eyes of their governess. This is perfect for royal lovers!
Kate Quinn does it again with this story about 3 female code breakers working during WWII. Beth, Mab, and Osla’s stories each could have been their own book, instead, we got an epic tale of intertwining friendship with a spy mystery to boot!
Oh, and did I mention that Osla dates Prince Philip before he marries Queen Elizabeth II AND that part of the storyline takes place in the lead-up to the royal wedding?
Contemporary Fiction About Queen Elizabeth
This cozy murder mystery was an absolute treat. I loved
Not a romance fan? This one is for you then. Imagine what would happen if Queen Elizabeth decided to just stroll out of the palace and hop on the train.
Queen Elizabeth is feeling particularly stressed out and wishes to visit her old pleasure yacht for the day. Watching her try to navigate the world on her own was quite amusing.
This novel was right on the mark and I adored it! For our Ultimate List of Feel Good Books, click HERE!
Fiction Books about Wallis Simpson and The Duke of Windsor for Fans of The Crown
Set after World War 1 in London, this books is perfect for those who loved the royal pageantry of the first Downton Abbey movie.
Lady Thelma Furness was the woman before Wallis Simpson. History remembers Wallis as the woman for whom King Edward VIII giving up his throne. In this book, we get to see King Edward’s relationship with Thelma and why it unraveled leading him into Wallis’s arms.
Thelma is herself the aunt of Gloria Vanderbilt and great-aunt to Anderson Cooper. There was a lot of juicy info in this historical fiction. It was also great on audio!
I had only a vague understanding of who Wallis Simpson was going into this novel, and boy was she a pistol. Cold, calculating, and selfish, I loved to hate her. It was so interesting to see her machinations from another point of view. She was ruthless in her pursuit of what she wanted. Gill Paul also wove in a mystery set in London at the time of Princess Diana’s death which I found to be well-done too. This is a great historical fiction book about the more recent parts of the British Monarchy.
This intimate look at Wallis Simpson was wonderfully written. Never have I had compassion for the Duchess of Windsor in the way I did when I read this book.
Holden’s portrayal of this controversial historical figure focused on the time period when Wallis and King Edward fell in love, but also the time period after his death.
I actually felt badly for both the king, who clearly didn’t want the crown, and the woman he both loved and used to get out of his royal duties.
Love royal reads? Check out the dozens we’ve rounded up here!
This historical fiction story takes place in the Bahamas during WWII. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are prominently featured, though the main story revolves around the murder of a man named Harry Oaks, life in Nassau, and the romance between the female lead and her beau. There is also a bit of a flashback type story that plays out in parts too. It’s a lovely little novel that had me flipping pages quickly and kept me entertained by the pool.
Retellings of The British Royal Family
Look no further than this royal romance. If you haven’t read this romance loosely based on Wills and Kate’s love story, read no further. This is the end-all, be-all of Royal Reads.
This novel spans from the time Bex and Prince Nick’s meeting in college until the night before their wedding. It goes through the ups and downs of the relationship and ends on a cliffhanger. But do not worry. The Heir Affair is already out and you can read that one next.
Billed as a modern-day account of Henry VIII and his wives, this could not be more up my royal-loving alley. In this modernization, Harry is a media mogul and owner of Rose Corp.
Obviously I know all about the wives of Henry VIII, but I had no idea that Anne would be a magazine editor or Jane would be recast as a lowly secretary.
I gobbled up the details and I can say that it’s been a pure indulgence. It’s been absolutely delicious to see how the ladies go down. Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.
This story is semi-based on Meghan and Harry’s romance. Prince Jameson is a reclusive royal who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. Dani AKA “Duchess” is an American rapper who wants to give up rap to focus on her beauty line.
When Jameson is tasked with creating a concert for the Queen, he books Duchess before listening to her music. Eager to take a break, Duchess ends up in London early and stays with Jameson in his castle. Romance blooms in a MAJOR way.
I had to suspend belief a lot while reading this one. As someone that reads many royal romances, I considered myself well-versed in the British Royal Family. So there were many scenes I had to remember this was fiction because in no way would some of these scenarios happen.
Still, I was entertained and I loved the ending. I really hope there is a sequel to this one because I’d love to see this story expanded on.
Historical Fiction Books about The British Monarchy for Fans of the Crown
Well before Princess Diana, Meghan Markle, and Wallis Simpson, there was another royal rebel – Lady Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. And what a rebel she was!
In the late 1800s it was Louise, an artist and sculptor, who was seen as quite rebellious. She took courses for the arts at a public school, talked back to the queen, and even had pre- and extra-marital affairs! Quite the scandal for the time.
I loved getting a look at one of the lesser-known (to-me) royal figures. I hope to learn about more of Queen Victoria’s offspring in the future.
This is one of 3, yes 3 Philippa Gregory books on the list, but here’s the deal – She just nails British historical fiction. The White Queen is one of my favorite Philippa Gregory novels, revolving around Elizabeth Woodville and her relationship with the King of England. I love the magical elements of this book as Elizabeth and her mother were said to be witches.
It’s really a wonderful story. I learned so much about the tumultuous history of Britain. Also of note, Elizabeth was the mother of the boys in the tower which this book covers as well.
The modern-day monarchy has NOTHING on Henry VIII’s England. That man was a serial philander who literally changed the course of history over his love of Anne Boleyn. While everyone knows about Anne, this particular story is about Mary, her sister whom he fell in love with first.
We see the entire sequence of events through the eyes of Mary, the only member of Anne’s family to survive. This book is also a movie starring Scarlett Johanssen and Natalie Portman.
Queen Elizabeth II might be the focus of The Crown, but her namesake is really as fierce and cunning as any man in British history. The challenges that faced Queen Elizabeth I as a female ruler were quite unique.
In this book, Philippa Gregory suggests that Elizabeth loved a man, but refused to be with him because she wanted to put her country first. She was very nervous that should she marry, her husband would take over ruling England. I also loved learning about how ruthless she could be when threatened.
Historical Fiction Books about British Aristocracy
This particular novel spans the same time period at Downton Abbey. It too features an American Heiress wed in London society to infuse a ducal estate with much-needed funds.
Unlike Lady Cora, the heroine of this story is a real historical figure. Consuelo Vanderbilt’s wedding to the Duke of Marlborough was considered the wedding of the century at the time, but their marriage left something to be desired.
Consuelo is forced to take up the mantle of duty for her estate and title, and in doing so, she finds her inner strength.
I watched the show and LOVED it so much. I previously read some of the others in the series but I really wanted to read this first book and I have to say that it was my favorite. There is something about Daphne and Simon that I adore. This book is a perfect historical romance.
Are you a fan of Bridgerton? We’ve got a list of books like Bridgerton you will love!
Goodwin’s debut novel about Cora Cash, an American Heiress on the hunt for a titled husband and a big estate. But once she gets everything she wished for, she needs to decide if it’s what she wants after all.
When I first saw Downton Abbey, I had to look to see if this was the same Cora from the show. I thought for a brief moment that this book must have been a sort of prequel to the show.
Like most of the rest of the world, I binged Netflix’s Bridgertons on Christmas Day. The regency romantic drama ended and I needed more! I immediately turned to this book to fill my need for a historical fiction romance. It takes place in the Gilded Age when a Duke needs to marry an American heiress to get her dowry to help restore his estates to their former glory.
Books about The Romanovs
I’ve been enthralled with the Romanovs since I saw my first Faberge egg. While most of my reading has focused on the falling of the dynasty, I was intrigued by this story set after the reign of Peter the Great.
It was FASCINATING to see the cultural backdrop of Russia’s imperial court. I loved learning about the court intrigue and the ruthless way power changed hands.
I love stories about the Romanov Dynasty. Ever since I saw a collection of Faberge eggs when I was a child, the story of the last members of the Russian Imperial family have always fascinated me.
This historical fiction story revolves around the eldest daughter, Olga. Its dual timeline switches between the family’s life after the revolution and Olga’s childhood and the events that lead to the revolution in the first place.
We all know how this tragic story ends, so this book is all about the journey. I love that Turnbull focused on a sister other than Anastasia. It was quite well done and a great one for historical fiction fans!
I’ve had an obsession with Anastasia since I saw the Fox animated classic of the same name. I was a firm believer that she had escaped the evil clutches of her captures when I was younger.
I later learned the truth, but I still choose to believe otherwise. This novel has a dual timeline from the perspective of young Anastasia and her most famous imposter. I loved it!
I was OBSESSED with Gill Paul’s book Another Woman’s Husband when I read it earlier this year so I was eager to try another of her books. The Lost Daughter follows a similar format of skipping between two different timelines, this time exploring the Romanovs. The first tells the story of Grand Duchess Maria in 1918 and the second is set in 1973 when Val Doyle seeks to investigate her father’s dying words.
Maria’s story drew me in immediately, but I floundered a bit when it skipped over to Val’s portions. I just didn’t feel a connection to her and found myself wishing it would get back to Maria’s parts. Still, it was a good story if you are interested in a lesser-known Romanov.
If you are into Historical Fiction, this is a great one for your list. I had no idea that the Tsarina was such a force.
This the British Monarchy is the only one with scandalous stories worth telling? Think again! This book is all about Empress Marina’s life. As the mother of the last Tsar of Russia, it was compelling to read about the events of the Russian Revolution as they unfolded.
I loved how the author laid out the family’s struggle with adjusting to the people’s needs. Empress Alexandra and her dependent relationship with Rasputin is also covered in the novel. I’d love to see a mini-series made about this family.
Historical Fiction about other European Royal Families
I absolutely adored this royal read about Grace Kelly and had trouble putting it down. The storyline is split between Grace’s rise to Hollywood stardom and her future as a settled princess. The writing was so captivating that I found myself sneaking pages on my kindle all over town.
Kerri Maher brought Grace Kelly to life in this book about her life. I had no idea about her home life struggles, her many romances, or the state of her marriage to Rainer.
Thanks to Ballantine Books for my review copy. All opinions are my own. The Queen’s Fortune had everything I love in a historical fiction novel – royalty, drama, a touch of romance, a strong female protagonist, and action. This book starts out all action and it doesn’t let up!
I devoured the story of Napoleon, his former lover, and the dynasty that he helped her create with her eventual husband, who happened to be his #1 frenemy. They didn’t know what frenemies we’re back then but Napoleon and Bernadotte were the OGs.
If you love Outlander, The Mists of Avalon, or The Clan of the Cave Bear, then you will love this story. Set in Britain when Christianity is poised to become the religion of the country, a future queen swore to the old-ways is learning how to balance the needs of her people and her religion with the role she’s expected to play.
Meanwhile, her twin brother is training to be the man history knows as Merlin. The first in a new trilogy about Arthurian legend, I’m looking forward to the next book coming out in September.
I was so excited to get a copy of this story which is set against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s wedding to the Prince of Monaco. It was a second chance romance, a story of female friendship, and it was fantastic.
It’s hard for me to figure out which character I loved the most – possibly Grace herself. Just know that Grace is more of a minor character in the story. I listened to parts of it on audiobook as well, and I can recommend that one too!
Books about American Royalty
I had no idea the Kennedy girls were just as interesting at the Kennedy boys. This Historical Fiction told the story of Kick Kennedy during her stay in London before and during WWII. I found her to be a fascinating character.
I spent so much time googling photos of her during this time of her life. It’s crazy how the standards for marriage have changed in such a short amount of time over in London.
The Bushes are modern-day American royalty. This story, while heavily fictionalized, is based on the life of Laura Bush. It covers her young life, meeting her husband and his illustrious family, and also his presidency.
I didn’t know much about the Bush dynasty prior to reading this and while I realize it is fiction, it gave me some good insight into the political world of America.
We all know I love a good Royal Read but I don’t usually get to read a book about American royalty. We may not have an actual royal family, but dynasties like the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Kennedys, and Roosevelts serve as good replacements. This story is about Alice Roosevelt, daughter of our 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt.
This historical fiction novel covers her life from the moment her father became President to her second breast cancer surgery. And what a doozy of a life she led! I couldn’t help wondering how her antics would have been perceived had she lived in today’s society. I read it in a few days and adored it! 4 stars.
Empty Mansions reads like a novel for sure. Huguette Clark’s life was one of opulence and riches, but she died a recluse with a $300 million dollar estate and a vast number of decrepit homes in her portfolio.
The book outlines her life, her struggles, and the people who took advantage of her good nature. I couldn’t put it down! The splendor of her life reads like a soap opera and the photos of her homes included in the book are jawdropping.
When it comes to books like Downton Abbey, this one is a hit if it’s the house itself you are most interested in.
Queen Elizabeth II Gear