Whether you’re following the lives of Harry & Meghan, or catching up on the latest season of The Crown, these are the books every fan of the royals needs to read this year.
Bracing honesty, rare insight, and more revelations: theNew York Timesbestselling author ofLady in Waiting shares everything she's learned from her extraordinary and unexpected life.
Lady in Waiting brought us royal magic, beguiling insight, and jaw-dropping stories from life inside Anne Glenconner’s privileged circle, which though golden didn't always glitter. As she revealed in her memoir, it has been one of stark contrasts—from growing up in the splendor of Holkham Hall to living in a tent in the jungle of Mustique, from traveling the world with Princess Margaret to coping with her wildly unpredictable husband Lord Glenconner. She has also survived the tragic loss of two of her sons and nursed a third son back from a coma.
Now in her ninth decade and at her happiest, she's keen to share everything her unexpected life has taught her—the wise, the hilarious, the poignant, and the illuminating. As a wife, she became a master in the art of keeping the peace, knowing when to pick her battles, when she needed help—and when to take a lover. As a hostess, she acquired great practical skills in throwing marvelous parties and looking after magnificent homes, and, as a lady in waiting, became well versed in diplomacy and etiquette. It was as a mother she learnt the toughest lessons of all, and through them the value of friendship, family, and laughter to get her through the worst moments in life, as well as celebrate the best of them.
Painfully shy, Elizabeth Windsor’s personality was well suited to her youthful ambition of living quietly in the country, raising a family, and caring for her dogs and horses. But when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated, she became heir to the throne—embarking on a journey that would test her as a woman and queen.
Ascending to the throne at only 25, this self-effacing monarch navigated endless setbacks, family conflict, and occasional triumphs throughout her 70 years as the Queen of England. As her mettle was tested, she endeavored to keep the monarchy relevant culturally, socially, and politically, often in the face of resistance from inside the institution itself. And yet the greatest challenges she faced were often inside her own family, forever under intense scrutiny; from rumors about her husband’s infidelity, her sister’s marital breakdown, Princess Diana’s tragic death, to the recent departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Now in The Queen, renowned biographer Andrew Morton takes an in-depth look at Britain’s longest reigning monarch, exploring the influence Queen Elizabeth had on both Britain and the rest of the world for much of the last century. From leading a nation struggling to restore itself after the devastation of the second World War to navigating the divisive political landscape of the present day, Queen Elizabeth was a reluctant but resolute queen. This is the story of a woman of unflagging self-discipline who will long be remembered as mother and grandmother to Great Britain, and one of the greatest sovereigns of the modern era.
From the moments William and Harry are born into the House of Windsor, they become their young mother’s whole world. I’ve got two very healthy, strong boys. I realize how incredibly lucky I am, Diana reminds herself every morning. But even the Princess of Wales questions, Am I a good mother?
Diana’s faced with a seemingly impossible challenge: one son destined to be King of England and another determined to find his own way. She teaches them to honor royal tradition, even while daring to break it. “Sometimes I’d like a time machine…” Diana says as William and Harry grow up, never imagining they’d have less than a lifetime together. Even after she’s gone, her sons follow their mother’s lead—and her heart. As the years pass and William and Harry grow into adulthood and form families of their own, they carry on Diana’s name, her likeness, and her incomparable spirit.
For seventy years, Queen Elizabeth ruled over an institution and a family. During her lifetime she was constant in her desire to provide a steady presence and to be a trustworthy steward of the British people and the Commonwealth. In the face of her uncle’s abdication, in the uncertainty of the Blitz, and in the tentative exposure of her family and private life to the public via the press, Elizabeth became synonymous with the crown. Recent years have brought grief and turmoil to the House of Windsor, and even as England celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, there were calls for a changing of the guard.
The New Royals provides a nuanced look at Elizabeth’s remarkable and unrivaled reign, with new stories from Palace courtiers and aides, documentarians, and family members. She examines King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s decades in waiting and beyond—where “The Firm” is headed as William and Kate present the modern faces of an ancient institution. In the wake of Harry and Meghan leaving the Royal Family and Prince Andrew’s spectacular fall from grace, the royal family must reckon with its history, the light and the dark, in order to chart a course for Britain beyond its Queen and to show that it is an institution capable of leadership in an ever-changing modern world.
It wasn't necessarily in the political arena that Queen Victoria exerted the most power. In Queen Victoria's Matchmaking, Deborah Cadbury takes a deep dive into Queen Victoria's most remarkable area of influence: matchmaking. She explores Victoria's determination to push her many grandchildren into marriages with some of the most powerful royal families all over Europe. A unique take on Victorian history, this book is an intimate look at the royal family and Victoria herself, as well as a nuanced study of the ways that politics, royalty, love, and rebellion collided during a rapidly changing period of history.
Princes at War tells the story of one of the most turbulent times in the history of the British monarchy. In 1936, after the abdication by his elder brother Edward III, George VI ascended the throne with the country on the brink of war. In this engaging history, Deborah Cadbury takes a look not only at George's reign, but at the lives of his brothers, and the complicated internal conflicts that plagued the royal family during Hitler's rise to power and the beginning of the Second World War.
if you enjoy the inside stories and drama of The Crown Netflix, you're going to want to pick up Lady in Waiting, Anne Glenconner's memoir about her life with the royal family. As a child, Anne befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret; she later became one of Margaret's ladies-in-waiting. Here she shares many stories from her life with the royal family, as well as the heartbreaks and triumphs of her own life as the firstborn daughter of an earl. She recounts her long marriage to the unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, the tragic death of two of her adult sons, and her travels all over the world with Margaret and the royal family.
Prince Harry's storybook romance with American actress Meghan Markle has captured hearts all over the world. In Harry, royal expert Katie Nicholl offers readers a close look at his eventful life. She explores his childhood growing up royal, his relationship with his family, his time in the military in Afghanistan, and his romance and engagement to Meghan Markle. Royal enthusiasts will appreciate the inside scoop on Harry's romance, and the in-depth look at the life of one of the world's most popular princes.
Regular life as a king, queen, or princess might sound like an oxymoron, but in this witty and utterly original history, historian Adrian Tinniswood proves that isn't so. Behind the Throne is a history of five centuries of royal life, from the Middle Ages through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. From the trials and tribulations of cooking dinner for thousands of guests to the mundane realities of bills and family feuds, this enchanting look at the English court is as informative as it is entertaining.