Dazzling Royal Reads: The Ultimate List of 43 Books about Royalty
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 Royal Reads post may contain affiliate links. We get a small commission if you purchase an item from an affiliate.*
Historical Fiction Royal Reads:
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! Why are there not more royal reads about her?
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 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 pick from Books about Queen Elizabeth II to their TBR list and check out our list of books like the crown!
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 pick from royal reads. Set in Britain when Christianity is poised to become the religion of the country, a future queen who 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 and is a perfect pick for a list of books like A Discovery of Witches or a list of books like Outlander.
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 royal reads pick 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 were back then but Napoleon and Bernadotte were the OGs.
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. We love the unique perspective of this pick from books about WWII.
The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher
I absolutely adored this pick from royal reads 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. There should be more royal reads about Grace Kelly!
The Romanov Empress by C.W. Gortner
If you are into Historical Fiction or books about royalty, 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 by Georgie Blalock
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 royal book in our picks for book clubs. Be sure to check it out for more than 50 picks!
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. Royal reads about Russia are so much different that books about English royalty!
The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul
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 historical fiction royal novel if you are interested in a lesser-known Romanov.
Romance Books about Royalty:
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. Of all the royal reads, this is the one we recommend most often.
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 loves to indulge in many royal romances, I considered myself well-versed in the British Royal Family and royal reads. 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 by Jasmine Guillory
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 pick from royal reads is a perfect holiday/vacation read, especially for those who love anything royal.
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 and is the spiciest pick from this list of books about royalty.
Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
So many royal reads, and 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!
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. This pick from books about royalty is over the top. Was it cute and romantic and the perfect palette cleanser? Hell, yeah!
The Heir and the Spare by Emily
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. is it a coincidence that Harry called his book the Spare?
I would like to read these two royal reads back to back and compare them.
The Royal Treatment by M.J. Summers
I laughed out loud at this one and insisted that Jackie read it for this challenge. It’s the first in a series about a reporter who doesn’t see the point of the monarchy. She’s invited to stay in the palace and learn about all they do from the hunky prince.
I think we know where this royal romance is leading. It’s a hysterical royal novel that is perfect to read on the beach.
Click HERE to see our Ultimate List of Feel Good Reads
The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne
Imagine if your long-term 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.
The Frog Prince by Ella Lothlorian
Did you know there are 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 royal book got me back into reading when I was the mom of a newborn. It’s like chocolate in book form!
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 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 by S. J. Bennett
This cozy murder mystery was an absolute treat. I loved
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. This is a hilarious pick from our list of books about Queen Elizabeth II.
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 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 when I was truly angry at the author, but in the end, I really enjoyed this mystery book about royalty!
Young Adult Royal Reads:
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 about royalty was an entertaining and light summer read that will satisfy your desire to escape into a royal getaway.
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 book is a fabulous pick from LGBTQ romance novels and is one of the enemies-to-lovers books we recommend most often. 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 royal novels and romances as much as we do, check out 16 Sexy Royal Romance Books.
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 royal book was pure fun and honestly would make for a perfect beach read.
Royal Replicas by Michael Pierce
Talk about a guilty pleasure! I devoured this YA Fantasy book about royals in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t stay away and can’t wait to read the next 3 in the series.
Victoria has just learned that she and 6 other girls are clones created to replace the royal heir, Amelia. Now she must compete to win both her title and the hand of a prince.
This is literally the perfect book for people who loved The Selection Series (which is basically everyone.)
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 and perfect for royal novel lovers!
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 about royals and the first in a trilogy series.
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 royal novel 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 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 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? This is one of our favorite YA fantasy books about royals.
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 of royal novels.
Non-Fiction Royal Reads
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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!
If you like these books about the British Royal Family, we recommend our list of books about Queen Elizabeth II
Secondary Character Royal Novels
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 Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson
The coronation is happening at just the right time for Edie Howard to save her beloved hotel. But things start going awry with threats to the hotel and the Queen herself that have Edie and her long-term residents in the middle of the danger.
With interesting facts about the coronation, a romance sub-plot, and the thrilling race to ward off danger, this is the perfect royal read for fans of QEII!
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 royal novel, so the writing and story are both top-notch. This choice from mystery books about WWII is a must-read.
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 a great-aunt to Anderson Cooper. There was a lot of juicy info in this historical fiction. It is one of my favorite books about royals.
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 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 royal novel that had me flipping pages quickly and kept me entertained by the pool.
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 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 pick from books about Queen Elizabeth II 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.
Just finished “The Royal Trade” by Erin Hay – a cute ebook that I enjoyed and it is still free as a kindle at Amazon.