Life·9 min read

13 Essential Books to Read If You Love the Royals

Books about royals
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Celadon Books, Grand Central Publishing
Nov 7, 2022

This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated.

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Spill the tea with these royal reads. Whether you love “The Crown,” are a loyal follower of Meghan Markle’s every move, or just a fan of royal weddings and fascinators, this list has something for you — fiction and nonfiction included. Cheerio.

“The Palace Papers” by Tina Brown

If you are an avid royal watcher, you won’t be able to put this one down. It picks up where longtime journalist Brown’s previous book left off — covering all the British royal drama and scandals that have ensued in the 25 years since Diana’s death. Not only is it super dishy, but Brown’s writing is also delightfully entertaining. Sips (Yorkshire) tea. ($14.99+, Amazon)

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“The Royal We” and “The Heir Affair” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

If you woke up at 4 am to watch the royal wedding, say hi to this series. These books, from the duo known as the Fug Girls, are the fictional version of Will and Kate’s love story. There’s Nick, a future heir to the throne, and Rebecca “Bex” Porter — a commoner — who marries into the royal family. Their courtship doesn’t come without drama (read: a love triangle with Nick’s brother, Prince Freddie) and a host of other royal scandals. ($19.98, Amazon)

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“The Queen” by Andrew Morton

Morton uses archival research and his relationships with palace insiders to paint a complete written portrait of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. He explores Queen Elizabeth II’s worldwide influence, her triumphs across her 70-year reign, and her leadership from World War II until her death. Morton also unpacks some buzzier tidbits including rumors about her husband’s infidelity, her sister’s tumultuous marriage, Princess Diana’s death, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s high profile exit from the royal fam. Keep calm, carry on, and hit pre-order — it comes out next week. ($14.99+, Amazon)

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“HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style” by Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes is the best follow if you want up-to-date and engaging content on the royal fam. And her popular Insta series “So Many Thoughts,” which this book is named after, always takes the cake. The stunning coffee table book explores the fashion choices of the four most influential members of the British royal fam (Kate, Meghan, Diana, and the Queen). Style inspo, here you come. ($16.99, Amazon)

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“Finding Freedom” by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

This 2020 biography comes from Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, two longtime royal experts and correspondents. They reportedly had access to the inner circle of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and successfully provide an honest, and up-close look at the couple from the inside. Add it to your TBR so you can separate royal fact from fiction. ($10.99+, Amazon)

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“Diana” by Andrew Morton

Published five years before Princess Diana’s tragic death, this explosive biography shed light on her unhappy marriage to Prince Charles, her suicide attempts, and her struggle with bulimia. Both Diana and Morton denied her being a source for the book, but after her death in 1997, he finally confirmed her heavy involvement with the project. RIP to the forever “people’s princess.” ($10.99+, Amazon)

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“Royal Holiday” by Jasmine Guillory

This 2019 fictional rom-com follows a 50-something woman who accompanies her daughter on a work trip to England. While her daughter is busy styling the royal family, she falls for a private British secretary. It’s “New Year’s Eve” meets “The Holiday,” and will have you singing “darling, I fancy you.” ($8.99+, Amazon)

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“Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret” by Craig Brown

Brown’s book explores the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, and examines the colorful life of the princess who never got to rule the throne. It’s filled with delicious details about Margaret’s preferences (she hates the phrase scrambled eggs; they’re buttered eggs to her), her messy love life (an affair, divorce, Picasso wanting to marry her, NBD), and so much more. ($10.99+, Amazon)

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"American Royals" by Katharine McGee

Imagine if America were a monarchy. Now, imagine no more. Because this book gives you an alternate universe in which George Washington was given a crown after the Revolutionary War. More than two centuries later, the House of Washington still rules with forbidden love and “Gossip Girl”-esque drama included. Oh and then pick up its follow-ups, “American Royals II: Majesty” and “American Royals III: Rivals” once you’re done. ($6.99+, Amazon)

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“Elizabeth the Queen” by Sally Bedell Smith

There’s more to the Queen than what you see on Netflix. Smith, an esteemed biographer who’s also written about the Kennedys, the Clintons, and Prince Charles, goes deep inside the castle of Buckingham Palace. The book explores Lilibet, from her childhood as a princess, to her life with Philip, and their children. It’s a revealing portrait of the longest-serving monarch in British history. Cheers to her. ($15.99+, Amazon)

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“Spare” by Prince Harry

Tell-all alert. Prince Harry’s long awaited first memoir drops in January 2023 (long wait, we know). It’s expected to be an honest, vulnerable account of his life story in his own words — on his own terms. Hit pre-order now, get ready for tea time later. ($17.99+, Amazon)

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“A Princess in Theory” by Alyssa Cole

Listen up. If “You’ve Got Mail” is your favorite movie, read this email-forward rom-com stat. In this novel, an epidemiology Ph.D. student in NY keeps getting emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. She thinks it’s spam. Turns out…it’s not. No spoilers on how their love story turns out but let’s just say we’re royally obsessed. ($5.98+, Amazon)

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"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

We’ve got major heart eyes over here. In this one, the son of the first female president in the US goes to the UK to attend a royal wedding. The Prince of Wales is there. And spoiler: the "special friendship" between the US and the UK becomes a littttttle more like a special friendship with benefits. Snog on. ($9.97+, Amazon)

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