7 Novels About The Royals That Prove Monarchs Do Drama Like No Other

by Alice Broster

They may live their lives out in the public eye but there’s still a lot we don’t know about the royals. Like any family I am positive they have their ups and downs, scandals and celebrations. The British public get snippets, but few see what’s going on behind closed doors. Their lives are so removed from normality that they’re almost like a fictional story, and over the years a whole genre of fiction has developed telling the imagined stories of royals, past and present. Here are seven novels about the royals that will leave you desperate to know more.

Whether they’re throwing extravagant balls for overseas leaders, getting married, or escaping to their holiday home for the summer, the fixation on the British royal family is real. You learn about them in history classes through school and they’re all over the press, but did you know that this has also inspired some pretty dramatic, steamy, and scandalous novels over the years? I mean, who can blame these authors. With so much known about the royal family through the centuries and the serious drama it’s encountered, it makes perfect material for a great page turner. So, if you’re in need of a new poolside read and the royal family are your thing then check out these seven stories


‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel

This Man Booker Prize was turned into a gripping drama series on BBC Two in 2015 and it’s little surprise why. Wolf Hall is the first in Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Mantel is an amazing writer and her critically acclaimed novel tells the story of Cromwell's monumental rise to power as Henry VIII sits on the throne. Lifting the lid on the politics, violence, and scheming that went on behind the palace door you won’t be able to put Wolf Hall down.

You can buy it here.


‘The Widow of Windsor’ by Jean Plaidy

Plaidy doesn’t just tell Queen Victoria’s story, she puts you in the centre of it. The Widow of Windsor begins just after King Alberts death. As Queen Victoria resigns herself to mourning for the rest of her life, a series of events led her to taking a stand and creating the legacy you learn about in history classes today. An astonishing story with all of the glamour of the Victorian era, you won’t be able to put The Widow of Windsor down.

You can buy it here.


‘A Want of Kindness: A Novel of Queen Anne’ by Joanne Limburg

Queen Anne poses a bit of a mystery when you look into royal history. A key figure in the Stuart dynasty, Queen Anne is forced to play a massive figure in the politics of the time. And she is anything but boring. A Want of Kindness tells the story of betrayal, loss, and power. It’s truly compelling.

You can buy it here.


'The Last Tudor’ by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is one of the most well recognised royal writers of our time. She manages to transport the reader back in time to aristocratic England. The Last Tudor tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen for only nine days before meeting her very bloody end at the hands of her half sister Mary. A story of family feuds, drama, and violence The Last Tudor tells one of the darker stories in royal history.

You can buy it here.


‘The King’s Speech’ by Mark Logue & Peter Conrad

You may recognise The King’s Speech as the Oscar award winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffery Rush. However, before it was brought to the big screen, Mark Logue and Peter Condrad adapted the diaries of speech therapist Lionel Logue. Logue’s story is monumental. In the wake of being crowned king King George VI sought help for his stammer. What developed was an incredible friendship.

You can buy it here.


'The Royal We’ by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

If it’s the modern royals that you can’t get enough of, then Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have written a romance novel inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and it’ll leave you weak at the knees. The details aren’t completely accurate to William and Kate's relationship, but The Royal We tells the story of American born Bex who finds herself falling in love with Nick, the boy who lives opposite her at university. Nick also happens to be the heir to the throne. This is a seriously romantic novel that’ll keep you thoroughly entertained.

You can buy it here.


'First of the Tudors' by Joanna Hickson

You may have learned about the Tudors at school, but I can guarantee it wasn’t like this. Jasper Tudor, son of Queen Catherine and her second husband, takes centre stage in this tale. He lives a very normal life until his half brother, King Henry VI asks for him and his brother to come to the throne. What unfolds is a tale of war, love, and misunderstanding. You will be gripped from start to finish.

You can buy it here.


If you're fascinated by the royals through history then these seven books will keep you more than busy during long afternoons by the pool or sunny evenings in the garden.