Royal Reads: The Ultimate List of 42 Books about Royalty

Royal Reads: The Ultimate List of Books about Royalty
Royal Reads: The Ultimate List of 42 Books about Royalty 48

I’ve been a royal fanatic since the day I saw my first princess movie. I sob during royal weddings, gobble up royal birth announcements, and follow Elizabeth Holmes’s royal fashion analysis on the daily. So you better believe, that royal reads are my jam.

Whenever I peruse our latest new releases post, the first books my eyes are drawn to are those featuring princesses, queens, dukes, duchesses, countesses, and more. Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary Fiction…doesn’t matter. If it’s a book about royalty, I’m in!

So below you will find our collection of the ultimate list of books about royalty. I tried to divide each book into one section, even though many of them could fit into a few.

This list is extensive, so if you are only looking for fiction books about real royals, check out our post about books like Netflix’s The Crown or books about Queen Elizabeth II.

*This post may contain affiliate links. We get a small commission if you purchase an item from an affiliate.*

Table of Contents

Historical Fiction Royal Reads:

indiscreet princess

An Indiscreet Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter by Georgie Blalock

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.

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 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 one to their TBR list and check out our list of books like the crown!

the lost queen

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

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.

The Queen's Fortune and other Royal Reads

The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki

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.⁣

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 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. 

the girl in white gloves

The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher

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. 

romanov Empress

The Romanov Empress by C.W. Gortner

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. I loved listing to the inner workings of the royal marriage market and how the Russian aristocracy behaved. I’m more of an anglophile in general, but I really liked expanding my horizons to other monarchies around the world.

The Other Windsor Girl

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 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!

The Tsarinas daughter

The Tsarina’s Daughter by Ellen Alpsten

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.

The lost daughter

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul

I was OBSESSED with Gill Paul’s book Another Woman’s Husband ir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3ced3ede7e538e6243e3c50134e534ed& cb=1569623666419when 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. 

Romance Books about Royalty:

The Royal We

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

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 meet 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.

American Royalty

American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

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.

Royal Holiday

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guilloryir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=bcefc84a9301bc8b83103c4e56beaebb& cb=1577585495622

Looking for a last-minute Christmas Read or the perfect getaway read? Royal Holiday was the perfect first read for winter break.

When Maddie gets Kirsten’s dream gig (styling a Royal or let’s face it, hanging out with a Royal), she brings her mom, Vivian, with her to England. ⁣Vivian meets a very handsome gentleman who happens to be the Queen’s private secretary.

Sparks fly but will this be more than just a holiday romance? This adorable read is a perfect holiday/vacation read especially for those who love anything Royal. 

A Princess for Christmas

A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday

I loved this book from Jenny Holiday. It was one of the few holiday royal romance novels I’ve read. The charming setting of Eldovia in the snow with its various festivities made for a wonderful Christmas read.

The male lead from NYC and his charming younger sister made for a good balance to the sheltered princess. I wasn’t expecting such a steamy book based on the description. This one is definitely not for children.

Suddenly Royal and other Royal Reads

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

So many royal series, so little time! This one starts off with a woman who finds out she’s inherited an estate and is actually a duchess from a small kingdom. A trouble-making prince from the same kingdom is assigned to help her fit in. I loved this one too, probably the third in the series was the best for me though!

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Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

Sometimes after reading books about heavy topics like wars, racism, or murder, a reader just needs a break. Enter the Royal Marriage Market, a totally unrealistic novel about how modern-day royal love matches are really made.

I read it in one sitting! Was it believable? No. Was it cute and romantic and the perfect palette cleanser? Hells, yeah!

the Heir and the spare

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

I started this story the night before Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding. It’s about the spare prince of Britain and his new American love interest. I mean – literally THE perfect book at the perfect time. I devoured it in 24 hours (totally picturing Meghan and Harry the whole time!) It’s a great one to pack in your beach bag.

the royal treatment by melanie summersmj summers

The Royal Treatment by M.J. Summers – Jackie’s Pick

I laughed out loud at this one and insisted that Jackie read it for this challenge. I have yet to read books 2 and 3 but they are most certainly on my list for the summer!

Click HERE to see our Ultimate List of Feel Good Reads

runaway princess

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

Imagine if your longterm boyfriend was actually a secret prince. Um GOALS! This cute, quick romance looks at the more complicated side of being a royal lover.

It’s not all fun in games as Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have learned the hard way, but this book is light and fun.

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The Frog Prince by Ella Lothlorian

Did you know there is a whole lot of displaced royals out there? These descendants of former royalty have high standards to live up to but no throne to sit on.

When Leigh meets and begins dating one of these ex-royals, her world shifts when her boyfriend’s throne is reinstated! This story got my back into reading when I was the mom of a newborn. Its like chocolate in book form!

royally screwed

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

The first in a series, this one is QUITE steamy – so pass if you are under 18! When the arrogant prince meets a sassy waitress, sparks and pies fly.

Soon their steamy love affair had him questioning if he should give up his throne for love. This whole series looks at the love stories of the siblings in this royal family and it’s fun!

Once upon a royal summer

Once Upon A Royal Summer by Teri Wilson

Lacey is a princess by trade at a theme park that seems awfully similar to Disneyland. She adores her job and meeting all the guests, especially Henry who happens to be an actual prince of a small country.

Very G-rated hijinks ensue and it was simply adorable. I hope Hallmark ends up making it into a movie.

Contemporary Fiction Royalty Books:

The Windsor Knot

The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett

This cozy murder mystery was an absolute treat. I loved the Queen Elizabeth is the investigator in this book (the first in a series) along with her assistant, Rosie. Together they figure out who was behind the murder at Windsor Castle during one of the Queen’s Dine-and-Stays. This is perfect for fans of Maggie Hope, Maise Dobbs, and the Royal Family.

Mrs. queen Take the Train and more books about Queen Elizabeth II.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

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!

the royal secret

The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley

I love guilty pleasure royal romances, but this is so much more! Part romance, part mystery, this book has something for everyone and is an amazing beach read.

A young journalist is given a mystery to uncover after an old actor passes away, but her investigation quickly turns deadly. I felt all the feelings on this one. There were a couple of times where I was truly angry at the author, but in the end, I really enjoyed it!

Young Adult Royal Reads:

Tokyo evr after

Tokyo Every After by Emiko Jean

What a fun quick book by Emiko Jean. I feel like this book was one part Princess Diaries and one part Crazy Rich Asians.

Izumi Tanaka does not feel like she fits in as a Japanese American in her mostly white California town. When she finds out that her unknown father is actually the crown prince of Japan, she is determined to meet him.

This book was an entertaining and light summer read that will satisfy your desire to escape into a royal getaway.

Red White and Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

We don’t think about royals and the LGBTQ community because we don’t usually see openly gay royals, which is so sad in today’s society.

This charming romance is one of the enemies-to-lovers books we recommend most often- it was absolutely adorable. I crushed hard for their romance and found myself smiling the entire time. (Also love the nod to a female president…where do I sign up for one of those?) 

If you love everything royals and romances as much as we do, check out 16 Sexy Royal Romance Books.

American Royals and other books in February 2021 Novel Ideas

American Royals by Katharine McGee

I finally got around to reading this YA royal romance! I’m a huge royal romance fan and this one is a great twist on the sub-genre.

What if George Washington had become America’s monarch instead of its president? How would his descendants be ruling the country today? I mean. What a fun plotline! This book was pure fun and honestly would make for a perfect beach read.

Royal Replicas

Royal Replicas by Michael Pierce

In this fictional land, Victoria learns that she is actually the daughter of the queen, but she’s not the only one. She shows up to the palace with over a dozen other look-a-likes, only one of which can be the next Queen and win the hand of the Prince.

Red Queen

The Red Queen by Victoria Averyard

The Reds are rebelling against their Silver blooded oppressors in this dystopian series. The Silvers have god-like powers, but the reds don’t – until Mare Barrow comes along. Mare is swept into the royal household of Reds and a love triangle is formed between her and the two princes, but all is not what it seems. It’s addicting in a great way!

Ash Princess

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I read this story in just two days and then passed it on to my son who loved it too.  Think Cinderella with a twist.  When princess Theodosia’s mother (the Queen) is killed, she is taken to live with the conquering family.  She becomes the princess of ashes, donning a crown made of Ashes as a reminder of who she is.  This is a great YA book and the first in a trilogy series.

Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of Air #1) by Holly Black

I am not sure why it took me so long to finally read this book that has been on my TBR list since it came out.  I loved it and couldn’t put it down.  It’s a YA fantasy with all the angst, treachery, and drama that makes it completely addicting. 

As a matter of fact, I ordered the sequel the minute that I was done with this book, which is the first in a trilogy. Teenage angst makes enemies-to-lovers books that much more fun to read.

The Princess and the Dressmaker and other Royal Reads.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This is a graphic novel that I read in a few hours.  My son read it twice because “I loved the message that it’s okay to be yourself”.  I have since lent it out.  I don’t normally read graphic novels, but, I loved it!!! What a wonderfully inclusive story.

the selection 1

The Selection by Kiera Cass

We have talked about this series so many times that it has its own blog page of books that are similar.  It is so much fun- think hunger games meets the bachelor. It’s a reality-tv royal match-making contest in a dystopian world.

But, in this case, the bachelor also happens to be the future king.  Can you imagine if William held a contest to see who would be the future princess?

The Belles and other Royal Reads

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

In the world of Orleans, people are devoid of natural beauty and need The Belles to use their magical treatments to be beautiful. The most powerful Belle is chosen by competition to work with the royal family. But what happens when a sick queen and a greedy princess have differing views on ruling the people of Orléans and The Belles of the world? This YA fantasy novel is the first in a duology.

Non-Fiction Royal Reads

The palace papers

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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!

If you like these books about the British Royal Family, we recommend our list of books about Queen Elizabeth II

Secondary Character Royal Reads

These books all feature real-life royal characters in a secondary position. They might be the love interest or a charming friend, but they aren’t the main character.

The Rose Code

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

While the main portion of this story features 3 code breakers at Bletchley during WWII, one of the main characters is dating Prince Philip. You know, the same Prince Philip who eventually marries the queen?

It’s a dual-timeline story and one of those storylines is set against the backdrop of Philip’s wedding to QE2. Plus it’s a Kate Quinn novel, so the writing and story are both top-notch.

THe Woman before wallis

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

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!

meet me in monaco

Meet Me in Monaco by Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor

Thanks to Harper Collins for sending me the ARC of this fantastic historical fiction novel. 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! 

the Golden Hour

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

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. 

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 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.

The Gown and more books about Queen Elizabeth II.

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

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.

What royal reads are on your list?

4 Comments

  1. Just finished “The Royal Trade” by Erin Hay – a cute ebook that I enjoyed and it is still free as a kindle at Amazon.

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