11 Books To Read While You Wait For Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding
It was the moment all royal family enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating: the announcement of Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle. The fascination around who Harry would finally choose to settle down with had only grown into a fever pitch in recent years, what with Prince William's romantic destiny all squared away with Kate Middleton. Now that his elder brother is a married dad of two with another on the way, the pressure for the next fairytale wedding has fallen square on Harry's broad shoulders. And the spare heir has more than delivered on the drama.
Much has been made in the media of U.S. born Markle's past as a divorcee, a successful actress, and a lifestyle blogger—all deemed totally unacceptable for a future royal family member by everyone but, it seems, the royal family themselves. Add to that the unfortunate racist backlash the couple has received because Markle is a woman of color, and you've got a marriage fit for the tabloid darling Prince. But all that matters now, of course, is the happiness both Prince Harry and Markle obviously feel at their upcoming union...and the public's frenzy over all things Royal Wedding.
If you fall in that camp you're probably grasping at any sort of royal media you can get your hands on between now and the May 2018 union. And I suggest books. Below are 11 picks that all have something to do with the royal family, fairytale romances, and wedding history you won't be able to get enough of.
'The Royal We' by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
OK, so The Royal We is actually loosely based on Prince William and Duchess Kate's courtship, but really, it has everything you could possibly want in your fiction right now. American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. But still she seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Bex soon wonders whether everything she's sacrificed for love—her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself—will have been for nothing.
'The Royals' by Kitty Kelley
If all the fuss has made you want to learn more about the history of England's royal family, Kitty Kelley's extensively researched book is one to get. The Royals is the ultimate history of the House of Windsor, with over 1000 interview subjects. First published in 1997 (and updated in 2010) the book pulls back the curtain on one of the world's most secretive families. From the abdication of King Edward VIII, the reign of King George VI to Queen Elizabeth's ascension to the throne in 1952, all these scandals make for one fascinating read.
'To Marry a Prince' by Sophie Page
In another case of normal girl meets royalty, To Marry a Prince follows Bella Greenwood, who isn't a fairytale type of girl. Until, in a midnight garden, Bella is helped out of an embarrassing situation by a handsome man with laughing eyes. Suddenly her life changes for ever, because the man is the world's most eligible bachelor — Prince Richard, heir to the throne. Richard sweeps her off her feet, and before she knows it, they're engaged — which is when Bella's problems really begin. Suddenly she is public property, and as if it isn't enough to have her every move watched, she soon finds herself embroiled in a wedding dress controversy that causes a national scandal.
'Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son' by Penny Junor
If you want to know more about Prince Harry (and really, who doesn't?) Penny Junor's Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son is a must-read. Sure, since it was published back in 2014, it won't contain any juicy details about his relationship with Markle or his recent push for more mental health awareness. But it does still promise compelling behind-the-scenes stories from Harry's life as a royal son and brother, as well as his many years as a soldier. It's a great primer to the current most popular prince...let's just hope there's an updated version on the way.
'The Runaway Princess' by Hester Browne
Billed as a mix between Runaway Bride and The Princess Diaries (yes, please) The Runaway Princess follows Amy Wilde, whose boyfriend Leo is secretly Prince Leopold William Victor Wolfsburg of Nirona, the ninth most eligible royal bachelor in the world. Amy soon discovers that dating an heir to a throne has many charms. But there are also drawbacks: the anxiety of meeting your boyfriend’s parents multiplied by “riding in a private jet,” “staying in a castle,” and “discussing the line of succession over lunch.” Not to mention the sudden press interest in your very un-royal family. Amy would do anything for Leo, but is finding her Prince Charming worth the price of losing herself?
'Royal Wedding' by Meg Cabot
Speaking of The Princess Diaries, if you have not caught up on Cabot's adult sequel to everyone's favorite YA series of yore, set 10 years after the finale, now is most definitely the time. Because Royal Wedding follows Mia and Michael as recent college graduates on the eve of their own throne-worthy nuptials. But in typical Mia fashion, drama most definitely ensues. From her grandmother leaking "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom to a scheming politico who is trying to force Mia's father from the throne. Can Mia prove to everyone that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?
'The Wedding Dress' by Oleg Cassini
For those among us who are most interested in what Markle will be wearing to walk down the aisle, this gorgeous coffee table book needs to make its way into your life ASAP. From Jacqueline Kennedy to Grace Kelly, Oleg Cassini’s designs are synonymous with the world’s most glamorous women. Now he has put together the quintessential book on the wedding dress. From royal weddings to celebrity brides, this informative tome discusses every aspect of crafting to wearing this wedding-day focal point.
'A Kiss at Midnight' by Eloisa James
The first in James's series of novels that reimagine fairytales as historical romances, A Kiss at Midnight follows Miss Kate Daltry, who doesn't believe in happily ever after. Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince... but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions. Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have at a happily ever after. Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
'Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage' by Stephanie Coontz
With wedding news being everywhere right now, history buffs might want to know a bit more about this institution. And Coontz's book promises to be a fascinating take on myth-shattering all we know about marriage. Marriage, A History takes readers from the marital intrigues of ancient Babylon to the torments of Victorian lovers to demonstrate how recent the idea of marrying for love is. It was when marriage moved into the 19th century, she argues, that it suffered as an institution just as it began to thrive as a personal relationship. This enlightening book brings intelligence, perspective, and wit to today’s marital debate...and our obsession with it.
'Suddenly Royal' by Nichole Chase
Samantha Rousseau has no time for celebrity gossip. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha doesn't know what to think. Alex D’Lynsal, crown prince of Lilaria, has had his share of scandals, but the latest pictures have forced him to swear off romance. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. But she’s an heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news. While Sam tries to navigate her new world, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Because giving in to them means accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.
'A Princess In Theory' by Alyssa Cole (February 27, 2018)
You have to wait a couple of months for A Princess in Theory to hit shelves in February 2018, but you'll still have ample time to fall in love with this story before Markle makes her way down the aisle in May. Naledi Smith assumes the emails she’s receiving from an African prince claiming to be her long-lost betrothed are spam. So when Prince Thabiso, sole heir to the throne, tracks Naledi down she mistakes him for a pauper. Now Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience a normal life. The chemistry between them is instant, but when the truth is revealed, can their love overcome?