100 books like The Queen

By Ben Pimlott,

Here are 100 books that The Queen fans have personally recommended if you like The Queen. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy

Andrew Scott Cooper Author Of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

From my list on modern monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Scott Cooper, Ph.D., is passionate about researching and writing narrative history books. He holds a doctorate in history, masters degrees in journalism and strategic studies, and his work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, NPR and MSNBC. Earlier in his career, Andrew worked as a researcher on landmines at the UN and at Human Rights Watch on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Andrew's book list on modern monarchy

Andrew Scott Cooper Why did Andrew love this book?

Despite the scandals that led to his abdication, King Juan Carlos will go down in history as the courageous architect of Spain’s tightrope transition to democracy. But how exactly did he pull it off? Historian Paul Preston answers that question in his judicious, meticulously researched biography. The author recounts the life story of Juan Carlos, the boy prince whose parents essentially “sold him into slavery” to Francisco Franco in the hope that he would one day restore the House of Bourbon and sow the seeds of Spanish liberal democracy. Against all odds, Juan Carlos succeeded––and so too did the people of Spain.

By Richard Preston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Juan Carlos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Preston, the author of the definitive biography Franco, explores the political and personal mysteries of the Spanish monarch's life in Juan Carlos, a story of unprecedented sweep and exquisite detail. Handed over to the Franco regime as a young boy, Juan Carlos was raised according to authoritarian traditions designed to make him a cornerstone of the dictatorship. How then did he later emerge as an emphatic defender of the democracy that began to form after Franco's death? In his peerless voice, Preston provides the details necessary to answer this central question, examining the king's troubled relationship with his father…


Book cover of Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace

Andrew Scott Cooper Author Of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

From my list on modern monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Scott Cooper, Ph.D., is passionate about researching and writing narrative history books. He holds a doctorate in history, masters degrees in journalism and strategic studies, and his work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, NPR and MSNBC. Earlier in his career, Andrew worked as a researcher on landmines at the UN and at Human Rights Watch on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Andrew's book list on modern monarchy

Andrew Scott Cooper Why did Andrew love this book?

Perhaps the biggest surprise of King Hussein’s epic life is that he died in his own bed of natural causes and at a relatively advanced age––Hussein of Jordan always assumed he would die from an assassin’s bullet. Incredibly, his long reign had a happy ending: Hussein surmounted enough tragedies and challenges to fill the Book of Job––he witnessed his grandfather’s murder, his father went insane, his beloved cousin was shot, the wife he adored went down in a helicopter crash––yet steered his country and the people of Jordan to safe harbor through five decades of war, revolt and revolution. This book meets the majesty of the man and his life and times.

By Avi Shlaim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lion of Jordan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first major account of the life of an extraordinary soldier and statesman, King Hussein of Jordan.

Throughout his long reign (1953—1999), Hussein remained a dominant figure in Middle Eastern politics and a consistent proponent of peace with Israel. For over forty years he walked a tightrope between Palestinians and Arab radicals on the one hand and Israel on the other. Avi Shlaim reveals that Hussein initiated a secret dialogue with Israel in 1963 and spent hundreds of hours in talks with countless Israeli officials. Shlaim expertly reconstructs this dialogue from previously untapped records and first-hand accounts, significantly rewriting the…


Book cover of The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran's Royal Court, 1969-1977

Andrew Scott Cooper Author Of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

From my list on modern monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Scott Cooper, Ph.D., is passionate about researching and writing narrative history books. He holds a doctorate in history, masters degrees in journalism and strategic studies, and his work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, NPR and MSNBC. Earlier in his career, Andrew worked as a researcher on landmines at the UN and at Human Rights Watch on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Andrew's book list on modern monarchy

Andrew Scott Cooper Why did Andrew love this book?

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to wear a crown, ride in a gold carriage and wave from a balcony? To make decisions that affect the lives of millions of people? The English language translation of The Shah and I has never been out of print and for good reason. More than thirty years ago the revelation that Asadollah Alam, the Shah of Iran’s closest adviser and confidante, kept secret diaries describing life at the Pahlavi Court, not to mention the most intimate details of his master’s life, shocked Iranians. Scandalous, humorous and entertaining, the Alam diaries also happen to comprise one of the most important diplomatic documents of the second half of the twentieth century. In these pages the previously untouchable, always suspicious King of Kings is revealed to be flesh and blood like the rest of us––quick to temper, bored with routine and always happy to…

By Asadollah Alam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shah and I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Asadollah Alam, an urbane aristocrat from the oldest of Iran's great families, was the Sha's most trusted friend and confidant. As Prime Minister in 1962, Alam orchestrated the defeat of Ayatollah Khomeini's first serious challenge to the Pahlavi regime. Subsequently, he was made Minister of Court, a position of unique power and influence, which he retained until ill-health forced him to retire in 1977, the year before his death. Alam's diaries cover a nine-year period with remarkable frankness, recording his almost daily meetings and conversations with the Shah.


Book cover of Monarchy in Modern Greece

Andrew Scott Cooper Author Of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

From my list on modern monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrew Scott Cooper, Ph.D., is passionate about researching and writing narrative history books. He holds a doctorate in history, masters degrees in journalism and strategic studies, and his work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, NPR and MSNBC. Earlier in his career, Andrew worked as a researcher on landmines at the UN and at Human Rights Watch on behalf of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Andrew's book list on modern monarchy

Andrew Scott Cooper Why did Andrew love this book?

How do monarchies begin and why do they fail? Remarkably few serious studies of Greece’s deposed royal family have appeared in print. Monarchy in Modern Greece, now available in this excellent English translation, offers readers a highly informative and thoughtful account of Greece’s experiment with “crowned democracy.” Written in essay form, scholars and general readers alike will find much to illuminate and entertain as Costas Stamatopoulos judiciously reviews the reigns of the seven monarchs whose reigns were buffeted by domestic and international crises. The lengthy footnote section is a veritable gold mine for anyone wanting to explore further and dig deeper.

By Costas M. Stamatopoulos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monarchy in Modern Greece as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Distributed by University of Exeter Press. 107 b&w photographs, English language text. For perhaps the first time, a holistic account of the institution of the monarchy in modern Greece. Looks at the political behaviour of the Greek people and their relationship with authority in every form, to explore why this specific type of constitution was chosen in 1832 at the end of the Greek 'Struggle for Independence'. The development of the monarchy is explored in parallel with the quest for popular legitimization and the constitutional dimension, including the contradictions in the constitutional legislation and the fragility of a democratic constitutional…


Book cover of Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain's Queen

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

In the guise of a biography of the current queen, this is one of the best books on the modern British monarchy as an institution. Sarah Bradford talked to all the palace insiders, an amazing feat given how touchy and protective everyone around the queen is. Bradford has the best sense of the strengths of the current queen and her weaknesses.  Because Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she epitomizes most of the advantages and disadvantages of the institution in her own single lifetime.  You will find out which of the episodes from Netflix’s The Crown are all made up, and which are close to the truth.

By Sarah Bradford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elizabeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A court insider's portrait of Elizabeth II and her eventful and turbulent reign journeys beyond the facade of Buckingham Palace to answer questions about the scandal-ridden royals, relationships among members of her family, her personal beliefs, and future prospects for the House of Windsor. Tour.


Book cover of The Diana Chronicles

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is a third book which appears to be a biographical account of Diana Spencer’s life in the royal family. It really focuses on the interaction between the monarchy and the press. The two are in a relationship that is sometimes acrimonious and sometimes symbiotic. It’s impossible to understand how the media establishment and the monarchy function without reading Brown’s book. She was herself the editor of major magazines on both continents. For a while, she ran Vanity Fair and later The Daily Beast. She was married to a prominent newspaperman who held prominent roles in London and New York. She knows what she’s talking about.

By Tina Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diana Chronicles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_____________________________________________
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Tina Brown's definitive behind-the-scenes insight into the life of Diana Princess of Wales, as depicted in the hit Netflix series The Crown, with a brand new introduction by Andrew Marr.
_____________________________________________
More than twenty years after her death, Princess Diana remains a mystery. Was she "the people's princess," who electrified the world with her beauty and humanitarian missions? Or was she a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy?

In this commemorative edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrew Marr, The Diana Chronicles parts the curtains on Diana's troubled time in…


Book cover of Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is the first history that details how the late nineteenth-century monarchy became an engine of philanthropy. As kings and queens were sidelined, or reduced to insignificance, in political transactions, they increased their role in assisting non-profit institutions that contributed to the public good. They gave their patronage, for example, to hospitals, veterans’ associations, and civic charities. This gave the royal family an outsized influence in the do-good world, and this itself increased the respect in which the monarchy was held by people of all parties. Frank Prochaska is an American historian of Great Britain, so he brings a healthy objectivity to literature about royalty that is sometimes too credulous and deferential.

By Frank Prochaska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Royal Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the constitutional importance of the monarchy has declined, the British royal family has forged a new and popular role for itself as patron, promoter, and fund-raiser for the underprivileged and the deserving. This book-the first to study the evolution of the "welfare monarchy"-tells the story of the royal family's charitable and social work from the eighteenth century to the present.

Drawing on previously unused material from the Royal Archives, Frank Prochaska shows that the monarchy's welfare work has raised its prestige and reaffirmed its importance at the same time that it has brought vitality and success to a vast…


Book cover of The Quest for Queen Mary

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is the hilarious account of an official biographer tracking down European royalty. They were the extended family of Queen Mary, the current queen’s grandmother. Pope-Hennessey had been commissioned to write the official biography of Mary, the wife of King George V.  He talked to a full range of eccentrics who were either relations of Queen Mary, or knew her well.  The behind-the-scenes gossip he was given, as well as the insight into the absurdities of having a royal family in a democratic country, are both priceless.

By James Pope-Hennessey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quest for Queen Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A delightful insight into an eclectic life'
The Daily Telegraph

'Very funny and astute . . . a loathly feast for royal-watchers'
Hilary Mantel, New Statesman Books of the Year 2018

'A complete delight, conjuring up, with a few sharp strokes of the pen, a mad, exotic species from a world gone by'
Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Gloriously indiscreet . . . the best royal book ever'
Harry Mount, Financial Times

* * *

When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary's official biography, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe.…


Book cover of The Last Queen: Elizabeth II's Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor

Robert Lacey Author Of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

From my list on about the Queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Lacey is credited with changing the way that people read and write about the British monarchy. In 1977 his tell-it-how-it-is Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor overturned the clichés of the traditional ‘royal book’, hitherto the preserve of ex-nannies and obsequious court correspondents. As a Cambridge-trained historian of the first Elizabethan age – his biographies Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh won critical acclaim – the young journalist added the investigative techniques of his work on the Sunday Times to portray the monarchy in a fresh and analytical fashion. Robert is today Historical Consultant to the Netflix TV series The Crown.

Robert's book list on about the Queen

Robert Lacey Why did Robert love this book?

From the Windsors’ Nazi leanings in the 1930s to the perceived chilliness of the royal family following the death of Diana in 1997, Clive Irving chronicles every detail in this analysis of the modern monarchy – while never losing respect for its most adroit exponent, Queen Elizabeth II. As founder of the renowned Insight team of the London Sunday Times that exposed Profumo and Philby, Irving directs his sharpest focus on the Crown’s relations with the tabloid media. But his book went to publication prior to the horse-loving Queen’s humorous reaction to Harry and Meghan’s notorious 2021 encounter with Oprah Winfrey – Her Majesty named her fastest new racing foal “Interview”. 

By Clive Irving,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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.

 Clive Irving’s stunning new narrative biography The Last Queen probes 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.…


Book cover of Aethelflaed: The Lady of the Mercians

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

Found in the British Library, where I would be quite happy to move in on a permanent basis if only they would let me.

I’ve read many excellent biographies of medieval women there, including Kimberley LoPrete’s Adela de Blois, Alison Weir’s Queens of the Conquest, Kari Maund’s Princess Nest of Wales, and Lois L. Honeycutt’s Matilda of Scotland. Clarkson’s biography is eminently readable.

In lucid and concise prose garnished with maps, genealogies, a good index, and bibliography, this book paints a fascinating picture of King Alfred’s daughter.

By Tim Clarkson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aethelflaed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story of the Lady of the Mercians.

At the end of the ninth century AD, a large part of what is now England was controlled by the Vikings - heathen warriors from Scandinavia who had been attacking the British Isles for more than a hundred years. Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, was determined to regain the conquered lands but his death in 899 meant that the task passed to his son Edward. In the early 900s, Edward led a great fightback against the Viking armies. He was assisted by the English rulers of Mercia: Lord AEthelred and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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