With all of the hubub of the royal wedding, I thought it might be interesting to tumble down the rabbit hole that is my favourite books about royalty. In no particular order…
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir – A really sympathetic look at Lady Jane Grey who had the shortest rule in history. Forced to pursue the throne by her greedy relatives, Lady Jane Grey resisted, but the world was spinning out of control. No spoilers here (unless you know your history, which I can’t help). An unwilling queen makes for an beautifully emotive novel.
America’s Queen by Sarah Bradford – The biography of America’s former First Lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and probably the closest the USA has ever had to a royal family. The Kennedys were the representation of Camelot during JFK’s reign in the White House. I delved straight into this when it was released shortly after her death. It follows Jackie throughout her upbringing; her marriage to John F Kennedy, details her ordeal after his assassination and onward to her second marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Beautiful look at inside ‘Camelot’ which reveals, tendril by delicate tendril, Jackie’s own personality.
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – A small town midwestern girl, overcomes tragedy and through a weaving of contacts and acquaintences, marries a man who later becomes the President of the United States. Loosely based on the real life story of Laura Bush, I found it a gripping read and a totally relatable protagonist. Good summer reading.
Diana: Her true Story — In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton Surrounded by controversy as almost anything to do with Princess Diana is, I admittedly have had this untouched on my ‘to-read’ list for years. Alas, I can’t vouch for it directly, but after the wedding over the weekend and my own personal musings about watching Diana’s own wedding when I was a little girl, I’ve been tempted to pick this one up. My currently reading list will have to reduce a bit before I can crack into this one in good conscience, but the day is drawing near.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – When this came out, I snatched it up so quickly, the dust jacket nearly flew off. I devoured every page of this book. Philippa Gregory is without a doubt an expert in history (she has a PhD in 18th Century Book History), but she also weaves a enchanting story which feels like a novel and reads like a novel, and doesn’t feel one bit like a lecture in History 101. There is no wonder why it was picked up to be a feature film, which, if I’m honest, does it zero justice whatsoever. Forget about the movie; read the book.*
These are just a few that I would definitely recommend if you’ve got Royal Fever. There are more out there, though. I’d be interested to hear what other books people would recommend.