Books To Read After Watching 'The Crown'
Are you a fan of Netflix's historical drama The Crown? Dive deeper into the story of the British monarchy with these juicy nonfiction titles.
Buckingham Babylon : the rise and fall of the House of Windsor
Fearon, Peter, 1951-
The crown : the official companion, volume 1 : Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the making of a young queen (1947-1955)
Lacey, Robert, author
The official companion to the Emmy-winning Netflix drama chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and starring Claire Foy and John Lithgow, The Crown by Peter Morgan, featuring additional historical background and beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills
Elizabeth Mountbatten never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her with a throne to fill and a global institution to govern. Crowned at twenty-five, she was already a wife and mother as she began her journey towards becoming a queen.
As Britain lifted itself out of the shadow of war, the new monarch faced her own challenges. Her mother doubted her marria≥ her uncle-in-exile derided her abilities; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; and her rebellious sister embarked on a love affair that threatened the centuries-old links between the Church and the Crown. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of resolve to ensure that the Crown always came out on top.
Written by the show's historical consultant, royal biographer Robert Lacey, and filled with beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills, The Crown: The Official Companion: Volume 1 adds expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Here is Elizabeth II as we've never seen her before.
The crown : the official companion, volume 2 : political scandal, personal struggle, and the years that defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977)
Lacey, Robert, author
The fascinating royal and social history that inspired seasons 2 and 3 of The Crown, written by the show's historical consultant.
In this eye-opening companion to seasons 2 and 3 of Netflix's acclaimed series The Crown, renowned biographer--and the show's historical consultant--Robert Lacey takes us through the real history that inspired the drama.
Covering two tumultuous decades in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Lacey looks at the key social, political, and personal moments and their effects--not only on the royal family but also on the world around them. From the Suez Crisis and the U.S.-Soviet space race to the legacy of the Duke of Windsor's collaboration with Hitler, along with the rumored issues with the royal marriage, the book provides a thought-provoking insight into the historic decades that the show explores, revealing the truth behind the on-screen drama.
Extensively researched and complete with beautifully reproduced photographs, this is a unique look behind the history that inspired the show and the years that would prove to be the making of the Queen.
The Crown is now available to watch on Netflix.
The Crown is produced by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television for Netflix.
The crown in crisis : countdown to the abdication
Larman, Alexander, 1981-, author
A definitive account of the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936 draws on archival material and interviews with the king's closest friends to detail the role played by the king's opponents and supporters and the resulting scandal at a time when war was imminent.
Draws on interviews with individuals closest to the late princess to discuss her life behind the scandals, tracing her courtship with Prince Charles, transformation into a high-profile public figure, and the role of Camilla Parker Bowles in the collapse of her marriage.
Elizabeth the Queen : the life of a modern monarch
Smith, Sally Bedell, 1948-
In this magisterial new biography, New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith brings to life one of the world's most fascinating and enigmatic women: Queen Elizabeth II.
From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world's most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.
In Elizabeth the Queen, we meet the young girl who suddenly becomes "heiress presumptive" when her uncle abdicates the throne. We meet the thirteen-year-old Lilibet as she falls in love with a young navy cadet named Philip and becomes determined to marry him, even though her parents prefer wealthier English aristocrats. We see the teenage Lilibet repairing army trucks during World War II and standing with Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. We see the young Queen struggling to balance the demands of her job with her role as the mother of two young children. Sally Bedell Smith brings us inside the palace doors and into the Queen's daily routines--the "red boxes" of documents she reviews each day, the weekly meetings she has had with twelve prime ministers, her physically demanding tours abroad, and the constant scrutiny of the press--as well as her personal relationships: with Prince Philip, her husband of sixty-four years and the love of her life; her children and their often-disastrous marriages; her grandchildren and friends.
Compulsively readable and scrupulously researched, Elizabeth the Queen is a close-up view of a woman we've known only from a distance, illuminating the lively personality, sense of humor, and canny intelligence with which she meets the most demanding work and family obligations. It is also a fascinating window into life at the center of the last great monarchy.
The Firm : the troubled life of the House of Windsor
It would be hard to invent a group of personalities more extraordinary than the British Royal Family -- known as 'The Firm' by Prince Philip. This book will look in depth at how the family really operates and will reveal how they behave behind closed doors. With showbiz stars and sporting celebrities now attracting the adulation once afforded to royalty, The Firm questions what monarchy is for. Is it a hangover from the past, an expensive anachronism, a relic of a bygone age of deference and hierarchy, or is it an important and relevant part of Britain in the 21st century - something that gives stability and continuity to the country, and richness and glamour to our national life in ways that a republic never could ? If so, do the media mock, hound and criticize the Royal Family at their peril? Could Prince William decide that the long lenses and the scrutiny of his private life is too high a price to pay? They live in the lap of luxury with valets and butlers, cooks and courtiers, but for all the palaces and privilege it is not an enviable life. cradle to coffin, they have no privacy, no freedom, no voice and so long as Britain continues to want a monarchy, no choice. The Firm investigates the Family's relationship with government, the press and the people. It looks at whether the institution can reach out to those, particularly the young, who see the House of Windsor as no more interesting or significant than the players in a soap opera. It asks, in short, whether the British monarchy has a future.
Game of crowns : Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the throne
Andersen, Christopher P., author
The last queen : Elizabeth II's seventy year battle to save the House of Windsor
Irving, Clive, author.
A timely and revelatory new biography of Queen Elizabeth (and her family) exploring how the Windsors have evolved and thrived, as the modern world has changed around them, and probing the question of the British monarchy's longevity. In 2021, the Queen Elizabeth II finally appears to be at ease in the modern world, helped by the new generation of Windsors. But through Irving's unique insight there emerges a more fragile institution, whose extraordinarily dutiful matriarch has managed to persevere with dignity, yet in doing so made a Faustian pact with the media. This is not a conventional biography--and the book is therefore not limited by the traditions of that genre. Instead, it follows Elizabeth and her family's struggle to survive in the face of unprecedented changes in our attitudes towards the royal family, with the critical eye of an investigative reporter who is present and involved on a highly personal level.
Monarch : the life and reign of Elizabeth II
Lacey, Robert, 1944-
In February 6, 1952, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor became Elizabeth II, Queen of England. "Monarch" is bestselling author Robert Lacey's unique biography of Elizabeth Windsor as well as his acute analysis of history's most durable symbol of political authority: the British monarchy.
"Monarch" is a revelatory examination of Elizabeth II as a human being and of an institution shaped over the years by the wishes and dreams -- and sometimes the anger and unhappiness -- of the British people. As such, it is both a celebration and an analysis of the world's best-known monarchy. Here are Elizabeth's ancestors and models: her great-grandmother Victoria (adored as a young queen, derided for her middle-aged seclusion from her subjects, and revered as the longest-reigning monarch in British history); the playboy Prince of Wales, later Edward VII; Elizabeth's grandfather George V; her adored uncle David, who abdicated as Edward VIII; her father, George VI; and her extraordinarily well loved mother, the Queen Mum. "Monarch" brings Elizabeth to life as never before: "Lillibet" as a baby, being instructed in the proper way to wave to a crowd
My husband and I : the inside story of the royal marriage
Seward, Ingrid, author.
With interest in the royal couple at a new peak thanks to the hit TV series The Crown , Ingrid Seward reveals the real story of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
When a young Princess Elizabeth met and fell in love with the dashing Naval Lieutenant Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, it wasn't without its problems. The romance between the sailor prince and the young princess brought a splash of colour to a nation still in the grip of post-war austerity. When they married in Westminster Abbey in November 1947, there were 3000 guests, including six kings and seven queens. Within five years, as Queen Elizabeth II, she would ascend to the throne and later be crowned in front of millions watching through the new medium of television.
Throughout her record-breaking reign , she relied on the formidable partnership she had made with her consort. Now, after 70 years of their marriage , acclaimed royal biographer Ingrid Seward sheds new light on their relationship and its impact on their family and on the nation.
In My Husband and I , we discover the challenges faced by Prince Philip as he has had to learn to play second fiddle to the Queen in all their public engagements, but we also get a revealing insight into how their relationship operates behind closed doors . As the years have gone by, there have been rumours of marital troubles, fierce debates over how to bring up their children, and they have had to deal with family traumas - from scandalous divorces to shocking deaths - in the full glare of the public eye. But somehow, their relationship has endured and provided a model of constancy to inspire all around them.
This book is not only a vivid portrait of a hugely important marriage, it is a celebration of the power of love.
Prince Charles : the passions and paradoxes of an improbable life
Smith, Sally Bedell, 1948-, author
Princes at war : the bitter battle inside Britain's royal family in the darkest days of WWII
Cadbury, Deborah, author
In 1936, the British monarchy faced the greatest threats to its survival in the modern era --the crisis of abdication and the menace of Nazism. The fate of the country rested in the hands of George V's sorely unequipped sons:
*a stammering King George VI, terrified that the world might discover he was unfit to rule
*a dull-witted Prince Henry, who wanted only a quiet life in the army
*the too-glamorous Prince George, the Duke of Kent--a reformed hedonist who found new purpose in the RAF and would become the first royal to die in a mysterious plane crash
*the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, deemed a Nazi-sympathizer and traitor to his own country--a man who had given it all up for love
Princes at War is a riveting portrait of these four very different men miscast by fate, one of whom had to save the monarchy at a moment when kings and princes from across Europe were washing up on England's shores as the old order was overturned. Scandal and conspiracy swirled around the palace and its courtiers, among them dangerous cousins from across Europe's royal families, gold-digging American socialite Wallis Simpson, and the King's Lord Steward, upon whose estate Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess parachuted (seemingly by coincidence) as London burned under the Luftwaffe's tireless raids.
Deborah Cadbury draws on new research, personal accounts from the royal archives, and other never-before-revealed sources to create a dazzling sequel to The King's Speech and tell the true and thrilling drama of Great Britain at war and of a staggering transformation for its monarchy.
Princess Margaret : a life of contrasts
Warwick, Christopher, 1949-, author
One of the most controversial royal figures of the twentieth century, Princess Margaret was admired as well as vilified for most of her adult life. Described by the designer and hotelier, Anouska Hempel, as "Witty, wicked and wonderful," this charismatic princess not only brought colour and sex appeal into the Royal Family, but did much to help bring the monarchy and its attitudes into the modern world.
Adored younger daughter of King George VI and only sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret was a pre-war princess whose world was hugely circumscribed by the strictures and protocol of another age, leading to conflict and misunderstanding in both her private and public life.
In his biography, Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts , Christopher Warwick redresses the balance. Whilst giving the full, insider story of the Princess's many love affairs, he also looks at her tireless work for charity, breaking many taboos along the way - Princess Margaret, not Diana, was the first Royal to champion HIV and AIDS awareness.
The Queen and Di
The complex relationship between the Queen and her daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, is examined in detail.
The queen mother : the untold story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, who became Queen Elizabeth the queen mother
Campbell, Colin, Lady, 1949-
Packed with stunning revelations, this is the inside story of The Queen Mother from the New York Times bestselling author who first revealed the truth about Princess Diana
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother has been called the "most successful queen since Cleopatra." Her personality was so captivating that even her arch-enemy Wallis Simpson wrote about "her legendary charm." Portrayed as a selfless partner to the King in the Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech, The Queen Mother is most often remembered from her later years as the smiling granny with the pastel hats. When she died in 2002, just short of her 102nd birthday, she was praised for a long life well lived.
But there was another side to her story. For the first time, Lady Colin Campbell shows us that the untold life of the Queen Mother is far more fascinating and moving than the official version that has been peddled ever since she became royal in 1923. With unparalleled sources--including members of the Royal Family, aristocrats, and friends and relatives of Elizabeth herself--this mesmerizing account takes us inside the real and sometimes astonishing world of the royal family.
The Queen's houses : royal Britain at home
Titchmarsh, Alan, author.
The Queen's life is dedicated to her public - every move is scrutinised, every word noted. But her homes are havens where peace can be found, away from watchful eyes; sanctuaries of private calm in a whirlwind life of public duty.
In The Queen's Houses , Alan Titchmarsh takes us on a tour of the royal residences, examining the personal family stories behind these magnificent buildings. Through personal reflections, interviews with royal staff and meticulous historical research, Alan looks beyond the formal grandeur of Buckingham Palace, the imposing structure of Windsor Castle and the private escape offered by Balmoral and others.
Illustrated with intimate family photographs and evocative memorabilia, The Queen's Houses offers a glimpse of life behind the state banquets and sovereign duties - a respectful study of the royal family at home.
Biography of the British royal family; includes new chapter.
That woman : the life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
The first full scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the Twentieth Century, a character who played prominently in the blockbuster film The King's Speech.
This is the story of the American divorcee notorious for allegedly seducing a British king off his throne. "That woman," so called by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in 1896 in Baltimore. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she endured an impoverished childhood, which fostered in her a burning desire to rise above her circumstances.
Acclaimed biographer Anne Sebba offers an eye-opening account of one of the most talked about women of her generation. It explores the obsessive nature of Simpson's relationship with Prince Edward, the suggestion that she may have had a Disorder of Sexual Development, and new evidence showing she may never have wanted to marry Edward at all.
Since her death, Simpson has become a symbol of female empowerment as well as a style icon. But her psychology remains an enigma. Drawing from interviews and newly discovered letters, That Woman shines a light on this captivating and complex woman, an object of fascination that has only grown with the years.
Young Elizabeth : the making of the Queen
Williams, Kate, 1974- author.
A lively and poignant biography of the young princess who, at the impressionable age of eleven, found that she was now heiress to the throne, by the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Queen Victoria .
We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne. It seems to be the job she was born for. And yet for much of her early life the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold. She was our accidental Queen.
Elizabeth's determination to share in the struggles of her people marked her out from a young age. Her father initially refused to let her volunteer as a nurse during the Blitz, but relented when she was 18 and allowed her to work as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. It was her forward-thinking approach that ensured that her coronation was televised, against the advice of politicians at the time.
Kate Williams reveals how the 25-year-old young queen carved out a lasting role for herself amid the changes of the 20th century. Her monarchy would be a very different one to that of her parents and grandparents, and its continuing popularity in the 21st century owes much to the intelligence and elusive personality of this remarkable woman.
Young Prince Philip : his turbulent early life
A gripping biography of the early life of Prince Philip, published to coincide with his 90th birthday
Married for more than sixty years to the most famous woman in the world, Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Yet while he is still one of the most recognisable figures in public life, his origins remain curiously shrouded in obscurity.
In 'Young Prince Philip', the first book to focus exclusively on his life before the coronation, biographer Philip Eade recounts the Prince's extraordinary upbringing in Greece, France, Nazi Germany and Britain, where he inhabited a notably colourful milieu yet was beset by continual turbulence and a succession of family tragedies.
This revealing book examines the formative psychological effects of having a mother who was born deaf and was committed to a psychiatric clinic when Philip was nine, and a father who was so traumatised by his treatment at the hands of Greek revolutionaries that he later left his young son to be brought up by his wife's family, the Milford Havens and Mountbattens, just when Philip needed him most.
Remarkably, there emerged from this unsettled background a character of singular vitality and dash - self-confident, capable, famously opinionated and devastatingly handsome. Girls fell at his feet, and the princess who would become his wife was smitten from the age of thirteen. Yet alongside the considerable charm and intelligence, the young prince was also prone to volcanic outbursts and to putting his foot in it. Detractors perceived in his behaviour emotional shortcomings, a legacy of his traumatic childhood, which would have profound consequences for his family and the future of the monarchy.
Published to coincide with the Prince's ninetieth birthday and containing new material from interviews, archives and film footage, 'Young Prince Philip' is the most complete and compelling account yet of his storm-tossed early life.