By Chloe Cowman
Did you love the first and second series of The Crown? Have you got a little bit of a Royal Wedding hangover (#HarryAndMeghan4Ever)?
This is for you! Until the third series of the hit Netflix show about Liz and Philip starts, get your monarchy-fill with these books:
- The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Penned by the hilarious co-writers of celebrity-fashion-disaster website, Go Fug Yourself, The Royal We is a fictional (more fanfic than anything really) version of a William & Kate courtship, but this time with an American girl studying in the UK who falls in love with Prince Nicholas, the future king of Great Britain. All does not go according to plan, however, when she gets thrown into the spotlight and a daily media scrum. To complicate things even further, she develops feelings for Nick’s very charismatic but troublesome younger, (more ginger) brother Freddie. There’s some very sketchy references in there to the real life royals, making this a fun, trashy poolside read.
Read this if: you’ve ever daydreamed about marrying a real life royal.
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
We’re kicking it old school with this one in terms of both the subject matter and the book’s release date but I really enjoyed this foray into the court of King Henry the 8th and his deeply misogynistic ways. This is actually the 9th in the series of novels about the Tudors but this is the only one I’ve read, possibly because this got so much attention during its release when it was revealed it would later be turned into a movie (save yourself on that front, the film is brutal). The Other Boleyn Girl in this case is Mary, sister to Anne, who unfortunately for her, also catches the king’s eye.
A richly engaging novel about love and ambition, this is one angle of that particular story you won’t have heard about before.
Read this if: you like to play fast and loose with the accuracy of historical events.
- That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba
One of the storylines I found most fascinating about The Crown was that of American divorcee Wallis Simpson, a woman many blame for King Edward’s abdication of the throne just before WW2. Edward’s famous line; “I cannot undertake the heavy burden of state without the love and support of the woman I love”, became one of the most repeated statements of that time and following the speech from which it came. Wallis Simpson became infamous; demonised and beloved in equal measure, depending on your point of view. It seems like she had a really interesting life from that point on too.
Read this if: you like to break the rules.
- Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled by Tim Heald
Princess Margaret is another really interesting character from The Crown. Depicted as a tragic figure whose life was effectively ruined by her not being allowed to marry her one true love, she turned to alcohol, affairs and travel to exotic locations to dull her pain. What’s most intriguing about this book is that the author had full access to royal archives plus interviews with Princess Margaret’s husband and son, so expect lots of insider information!
Read this if: you always root for the underdog.
- The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby
While this is not strictly based on the royal family, it is Queen Elizabeth-adjacent. Another part of The Crown that I loved was the episode where Jackie and John F. Kennedy visited London and the royal family. I’ve always been drawn to that era anyway and the glamour and mystery surrounding the Kennedys. The Pink Suit is set around the period of time when the First Lady joined her husband on his presidential tours but also looks at the behind the scenes, in particular at the young Irish immigrant who helped make Jackie’s most memorable outfits.
Read this if: you love historical fiction, fashion and the most glamorous First Lady of all time.
If you’re still looking for more book recommendations, check out Chloe’s last post, a review of Louise O’Neill’s Almost Love. And if you’re looking for more great reads, check out Cara’s piece on free contraception, Emma’s ode to lipgloss and Colette’s examination of changing tastes in the fashion industry.