Further reading to fuel your royal obsession.
Series four of The Crown was everything I wanted it to be and just as good as its first three instalments – once again, I polished off every episode in one sitting. If your approach is similar, and you're now looking further fuel your royal obsession, here are 11 books about the royals by UK authors.
While they may officially be public servants, the royals are pretty private when it comes to matters of family and home. Which is whyThe Crown has been so full of intrigue for viewers, opening up the doors of Buckingham Palace in perfectly dramatic fashion. Yes, the Queen's day-to-day is probably a little more mundane than Olivia Colman would have us believe, but the high-octane Netflix series makes it hard not to become fascinated by the royals, for those of us who weren't already.
Series four of The Crown documents the royal timeline from the late 1970s to the early 1990s – including the highs and lows of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship, their wedding (and that dress), and the Queen’s relationship with Margaret Thatcher. If you’ve finished watching the series, but want to know more, here are 11 books to read for that royal fix.
‘The Diamond Queen’ by Andrew Marr
We may not see the Queen’s influence directly in how the country is shaped but if The Crown showed anything, it's that she’s never far from the frontline of the state. The Diamond Queen by broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr explores how the Queen has worked alongside Prime Ministers and governments, her relationship with the Commonwealth, and he makes the argument that she’s the Queen that modernised the monarchy.
‘Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words’ by Andrew Morton
Series four has seen Emma Corrin enter The Crown as Princess Diana, and while much of The Crown is fictionalised, it really highlights the trials and tribulations she went through. Diana was published in 1992, and written by one of the leading royal biographers, Andrew Morton. It shows how Diana came to be known as "the people’s princess".
‘Forgotten Royal Women’ by Erin Lawless
We may be most accustomed to living under a Queen, but for centuries royal women have taken a background role, serving and supporting Kings. In Erin Lawless’s Forgotten Royal Women she tells the story of the princess who was kidnapped by pirates, the duchess found guilty of procuring love potions, and the queen who was imprisoned in a castle for decades to name a few. The 30 stories will have you questioning how the women they document took a backseat to the men of history for so long.
'Philip and Elizabeth' by Gyles Brandreth
The Crown has so far primarily been about the Queen's reign. But it also dramatises her relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh, giving people a little insight into what a marriage in the biggest spotlight of all must be like. If you want to know more, Philip and Elizabeth goes back to both of the royal's childhoods, explores how they met, and how they’ve sustained a marriage under immense pressure for so long.
‘Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts’ by Christopher Warwick
Christopher Warwick describes Princess Margaret as “one of the most controversial royal figures of the twentieth century" in Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts and, if The Crown is anything to go by, that’s no understatement. If you’re as obsessed with the charismatic princess then Warwick's account highlights how complex her life and obligation to service was, her famous connections and fabulous parties, and all the incredible work she did before her untimely death.
‘Guarding Diana: Protecting the Princess Around the World’ by Ken Wharfe
Inspector Ken Wharfe was Princess Diana’s protection officer for many years. Whether she was traveling abroad or making public appearances at home, he was her shadow. In Guarding Diana he reveals what went on behind the scenes, from posing as a married couple when abroad, to the measures that were in place to protect her from paparazzi.
‘On Duty With the Queen’ by Dickie Arbiter
If you liked The Crown for all the behind the scenes stories and insights it gave you into royal life, then you need to get your hands on On Duty With The Queen by Dickie Arbiter. As the former press secretary for the royal family Arbiter knows just about everything there is to know about Buckingham Palace and the day to day goings on of its inhabitants. Arbiter has been at the forefront of the decision-making at the Palace, monitoring the public perception and knowledge of the Crown. He explains what it was like working for one of the most famous families on the planet.
‘The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves’ by Andrew Lownie
The Windsors are potentially the most famous family in British history. However, The Crown highlighted the influences of other families on the monarchy and one in particular stands out. Dickie Mountbatten was fundamental in the union of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen and was heralded as a great leader. The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves tells the story of Prince Philip's family in greater detail. While The Crown may make the Queen look like she’s the only one with family drama the Mountbattens are in no shortage of their own.
‘Charles & Camilla’ by Gyles Brandreth
Gyles Brandreth wrote a biography of the Queen’s relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh, and he’s also released an account of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s love affair. Charles & Camilla claims to lift the lid on what their relationship is really like, and how long-lasting their love has been. It also includes details of everyone who has been involved in their relationship, from Prince William and Harry to Princess Diana.
‘Call Me Diana’ by Nigel Cawthorne
In Call Me Diana, Nigel Cawthorne has collated interviews Diana gave from when it was first announced that she would be marrying Prince Charles, up until her death, to give a full portrait as to who she was. It highlights the causes she cared about, and some of the things she fought for. It also looks at her relationship with the rest of the royal family.
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