Royal watchers, rejoice! The Crown has finally returned to Netflix for its fifth season, chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the various historical, political, and cultural events surrounding the British monarchy. For those of us who will probably watch the entire season in a matter of days (guilty!), not to worry, there are plenty of royally good reads to tide us over until next year.
Honestly, any book by prolific royal biographer Andrew Morton is a must-read for fans of The Crown, but we suggest starting with his latest offering - The Queen. This is the complete biography of Queen Elizabeth II, chronicling her historic reign from leading a nation in the aftermath of the second world war to the divisive political landscape of today. It offers a full, complete portrait of a reluctant but resolute queen, who would become one of the most monumental monarchs of our modern era.
For further reading, check out some of Andrew Morton's other fascinating royal biographies below!
The Crown is full of dishy royal scandal - from Princess Margaret's star-crossed affair with Captain Peter Townsend to the more recently explored love triangle among Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Camilla Parker-Bowles. If these elements of the show are your favorite, The Royal We is for you. Written by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (creators of the celebrity fashion blog Go Fug Yourself) this engrossing royal romance follows American Bex Porter, who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne, and becomes swept up in all of the royal family drama that entails. And as a bonus, the follow-up novel The Heir Affair is just as page-turningly-perfect.
From the creator of Downton Abbey, Belgravia is a New York Times bestselling novel about scandalous secrets and star-crossed lovers. Julian Fellowes is an expert at crafting compelling drama set amongst the British upper-crust as they contend with a new world and evolving norms, much like the monarchy does throughout The Crown.
If you like stories about formidable female monarchs throughout history, Antoinette's Sister won't disappoint. It follows Marie Antoinette's beloved sister Charlotte, who finds herself queen and de facto ruler of the kingdom of Naples when she is married off to a weak and feckless ruler. In a time of political uprisings and royal executions, Charlotte must fight to take control of her country, much like Queen Elizabeth II struggles to keep the monarchy relevant through vast cultural change. This "feast of royal fiction" offers a tale of family, court intrigue, and power that will appeal to any die-hard royal watcher (Alyssa Palombo).