15 Captivating Books about the Royal Family

Books about the royal family

If you have followed us for a while, you know my obsession with the British royal family runs deep. Do you know anyone who has read more books about the royal family than me?

From Wallis Simpson to Prince Harry, the drama in the Windsor household is neverending. Which means these royal family books have plenty of material. Below you’ll find some of my favorite books about the royal family.

The list is a mix of non-fiction and fiction depending on what you are looking for the most. And we’ve even linked to other lists with books about the royal family if you want to explore this topic further.

*This books about the royal family post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Non-Fiction Books about the Royal Family

the making of a king

The Making of a King by Robert Hardman

There has been LOTS of drama in the royal family so far this year, so it seems like the perfect time to dive into a royal read

My latest favorite is by Royal correspondent, Robert Hardman. It focuses on the transition from QEII’s rule to King Charles III ascension to the throne.

It covers the illness of the Queen, the day she passed, her funeral, the King’s ascension, and the time between her passing and his coronation. There are lots of details about the very brief period – but this royal family book also paints a picture of the King’s ideals and values.

Why I Loved it: It rebuttals quite a few of the claims made by Prince Harry in Spare – making it a must-read in the world of modern monarchy nonfiction. #gifted by Dreamscape Media

Find this book In: Books about the Royal Family, Royal Reads / Beach Reads 2024

Spare and more beach reads 2023

Spare by Prince Harry

I’m still reeling from the revelations and truths woven throughout Prince Harry’s narrative. His candor in taking us from the death of his mother to the death of Queen was refreshingly real and often poetic, no doubt thanks to the incredible skills of his ghostwriter.

I was struck by how much I had believed the press’s story of his life; accurate or not. To think that an entire family’s stories could be so fabricated or twisted into untruth was astonishing.

In revealing his own truths, however, he illuminated the dreadful antics of his family. Wills, Charles, Camilla, and the courtiers do not come out of this book without tarnish – and with good reason. There is so much to talk about, this is our book club book for next month.

At the end of the day, it’s hard not to judge everyone for lack of compassion but it’s a generational cycle that needs to be broken. I felt proud to see Harry putting in the work to make sure his own children don’t go through what he did.

This is a must for fans of books about the royal family and stories about royalty. This book is a best book for book clubs and a perfect pick from beach reads. Even if you don’t usually read memoirs, this is one of the best non-fiction books of 2023.

The Palace Papers and More  of the Best beach reads 2023

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

This was like reading a JUMBO issue of People magazine. All gossip in the best way! It’s perfect for our beach reads 2023 list! Tina Brown goes deep into the scandals of the British Royal Family over the past 40 or so years.

I didn’t learn anything new, but I loved hearing the hot gossip laid out in book form. This is perfect for our list of books like The Crown and our Royal Reads roundup. This is definitely one of our favorite books about the royal family to take on vacation.

unruly

Unruly by David Mitchell

Comedian David Mitchell’s hysterical take on the history of the British royal family goes back to the very beginning of the empire. It’s a charming non-fiction royal family book unlike any other.

I had no idea about the chaos of the early monarchy or the ruthlessness of the early Kings. It covers until about Elizabeth the 1st, with many Ethelreds and Tudors within the pages.

Long Live the Queen

Long Live the Queen by Bryan Kozlowski

I absolutely adore this non-fiction book about Queen Elizabeth II’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 a structure for the Queen throughout her life. Or on the section about defending the honor of the crown, appropriately called Off With Their Heads, we read about tidbits of the Queen’s tough love philosophy. This is a lighter book about the royal family for sure.

elizabeth the queen

Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

After reading Prince Harry’s memoir, I was keen to read a book about Queen Elizabeth II. Sally Bedell Smith examines not just the events of the Queen’s life but the people she was surrounded by as a way to explain how Elizabeth was shaped into a beloved monarch.

While the book was originally published in 2012, I found the background knowledge within the pages to be helpful in framing the events Harry explores in his own book about the royal family.

Fashion Books about the Royal Family

HRH: So Many Thoughts

HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes

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 dressing is fascinating to me. I knew I needed to read this book about royals and fashion! This is such a feel-good nonfiction book.

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 and is a must for books about Queen Elizabeth II!

The Other Side of the Coin

The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly

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 into it and absolutely loved this non-fiction pick from books about QEII.

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.

Add this fashion story to your list of books to read if you like The Crown. This would be such a great book for book clubs to start a discussion of what it would be like working for the queen. This is one of my favorite feel-good nonfiction books.

Historical Books about the Royal Family Featuring Wallis Simpson

The Duchess

The Duchess by Wendy Holden

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 historical fiction biography.

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 bad 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. There is so much to talk about it this book about Wallis Simpson, which is why we love this book for book clubs.

Love royal reads? Check out the dozens we’ve rounded up here!

Another woman's husband by gill paul

Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul

I had only a vague understanding of who Wallis Simpson was going into this royal 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 one of our favorite historical fiction books about the royal family in more recent parts of history.

The Woman Before Wallis and more books for Downton Abbey Fans

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

Set after World War 1 in London, this book 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 about Wallis Simpson and Thema, 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 a great-aunt to Anderson Cooper. There was a lot of juicy info in this historical fiction. It was also great on audio!

Historical Fiction Books about the Royal Family Featuring Queen Elizabeth II

before the crown

Before the Crown by Flora Harding

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 fictionalized biography to read!

I was wondering about how Philip won the heart of then Princess Elizabeth, and this fictional story filled in some fun details. Think of it as a prequel to the first episode of The Crown in the best way!

Every royal-obsessed person needs to add this pick from Books about Queen Elizabeth II to their TBR list and check out our list of books like the crown!

The Royal Governess and more books about Queen Elizabeth II.

The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden

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!

For more books about the royal family like these, check out our list of 12 books about QEII.

More Historical Fiction Books about The Royal Family

The Other Windsor Girl and more books about Queen Elizabeth II.

The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock

I knew a little about Princess Margaret from what I gleaned from The Crown, but it was nice to focus on her as the main character. I can’t imagine what it would have been like had she been the Queen of England.

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 biography helped me understand her life, personality, and pressures. This book about QEII will give you a different perspective on being a royal.

We included this pick as one of our favorite books about the royal family for book clubs! So it obviously needed to be in our list of books for book clubs as well.

the queens secret

The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper

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 biographical novel 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. We love the unique perspective of this pick from books about WWII.

Did you find any books about the Royal Family to read this year?

Check out these posts for more books about the Royal Family.

Royal Reads: The Ultimate List of Books about Royalty

40+ Books to Read if You Love The Crown

Historical fiction books about the British Monarchy and other royals around the world

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.