The moment I began watching Netflix's The Crown, I fell hard for it. Set after World War II at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, this drama will have you on the edge of your seat. Plus, the creators of the show took amazing strides to bring the period and the history to life as realistically as possible — from the beautiful costumes to the tiniest details. Being the story-addict that I am, when I finished binging Season 1, I immediately wanted more. So naturally, I turned to books to help me dive deeper into the history of this royal family.
Watching The Crown made me realize that what I knew about the royal family was just the tip of the iceberg. From King Edward VIII abdication to the scandals of Princess Margaret, every moment is jam-packed with intense drama — and it's all true. Every new episode made me more curious about all the details of these real-life events. So on this list, you'll find plenty of nonfiction books and biographies detailing the raucous lives of the British royal family. But the drama, too, is what makes The Crown so good, so I've also included some drama-packed novels to get your heart thumping.
Whatever piece of The Crown struck you the most, you'll fin something on here to fuel the fires of your interest. These books are the perfect way to keep yourself satisfied until Netflix brings us a second season.
1. 'Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch' by Sally Bedell Smith
This is the book to read about Queen Elizabeth II. Drawing on interviews, documents, and other sources, Smith provides a detailed biography of the Queen's life from childhood to the present-day. Soak up all the details you can about the Queen Elizabeth's IRL story, and marvel at how it compares to the show.
2. 'Victoria' by Daisy Goodwin
3. 'The Little Princesses' by Marion Crawford
4. 'Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage' by Gyles Brandreth
5. 'King Edward VIII: The Official Biography' by Philip Ziegler
6. 'Princess Margaret: A Biography' by Theo Aronson
7. 'My Early Life, 1874-1904' by Winston S. Churchill
8. 'Three Sisters, Three Queens' by Philippa Gregory
9. 'Cleopatra: A Life' by Stacy Schiff
If you want to dive into the life of another badass, female ruler, travel over to ancient Egypt and the reign of Cleopatra. Pulitzer-winning biographer Stacy Schiff brings all the drama and intrigue (of which there is quite a lot) of Cleopatra's reign into sharp reality, digging past the rumors and biases that have clouded the monarch's story across the centuries.