The best books about Queen Elizabeth II

2 authors have picked their favorite books about Queen Elizabeth II and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Kings, Queens & Courtiers

By Kenneth Rose,

Book cover of Kings, Queens & Courtiers: Intimate Portraits of the Royal House of Windsor from its foundation to the present day

This gazetteer for monarch-aholics is the work of the witty and waspish Kenneth Rose (1924-2014), the royal biographer whose insights have set the standard for the rest of us. Embedded in the heart of the Establishment, Rose had the ability to skewer its every weakness. Duchesses, Diana, Dimbleby (Richard) and Charlotte, George V’s pet parrot – all are here, bearing out the words of Queen Elizabeth II’s non-royal grandmother, Cecilia Bowes-Lyon: "As far as I can see, some people have to be fed royalty like sea-lions fish."


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

By Robert Lacey,

Book cover of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

What is my book about?

By every measure of reason and logic, monarchy has long outgrown its usefulness. So why does the modest, horse-and-corgi-loving Queen Elizabeth II continue to exert such affection in hearts around the world? That’s the question I started trying to answer in Majesty – and I have been trying to answer it ever since. 

My Queen and I

By Willie Hamilton M.P.,

Book cover of My Queen and I

Here is the finest and fiercest-ever fusillade of anti-royal protest – complete with weeping Queen on the cover. Just as Elizabeth II was settling to celebrate her first 25 years on the throne, the impertinent Scottish Member of Parliament for Fife, Willie Hamilton (1917-2000), rattled out this broadside of hard-hitting complaint against royal conceit and idleness. Hamilton combined compelling statistics on palace extravagance with his own radical sense of right and wrong. He grudgingly admired Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, as "a remarkable old lady." But he dismissed Princess Margaret as "a floozy" – and Prince Charles as "a twerp." The MP claimed that his busy postbag from the British public ran 7-3 daily against the Crown.   


Who am I?

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.


I wrote...

Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

By Robert Lacey,

Book cover of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

What is my book about?

By every measure of reason and logic, monarchy has long outgrown its usefulness. So why does the modest, horse-and-corgi-loving Queen Elizabeth II continue to exert such affection in hearts around the world? That’s the question I started trying to answer in Majesty – and I have been trying to answer it ever since. 

Harnessing Peacocks

By Mary Wesley,

Book cover of Harnessing Peacocks

Ms. Wesley didn’t publish until she was seventy, which I find inspiring. She produced ten slim interconnected novels. Like the heroine of Delicious although a century later, this one cooks. She cooks for elderly ladies, visiting for a week or two to stock their freezers with fabulous meals. Her less innocent sideline is “visiting” with men. These occupations earn her enough to keep her fatherless son in an excellent private school. Then, the unthinkable happens: two men who were previously unknown to each other discover they may be sharing the same mistress. The problem is they thought their arrangements were exclusive. A comedy of manners ensues. Wesley’s prose cuts like a finely honed knife. And she does her cutting with very few words. I so admire that skill!  


Who am I?

I’m a creative director in Vermont with a few favorite things: laughter, standard poodles, and happy endings—in life and in fiction. Romance fiction abounds with young heroines and happy endings. But I prefer reading about mature women like myself, women who have experienced their share of disappointments yet face life’s challenges with courage and humor. I like the elements of both genres in one juicy book. After much-frustrated searching, I gave up and wrote the story I wanted to read. My wise, middle-aged heroine still has lots to learn about grief and joy, and learns many of those lessons with men—in bed.


I wrote...

Willing: A Contemporary Romance

By Leslie Morris Noyes,

Book cover of Willing: A Contemporary Romance

What is my book about?

Liz Silver has lost her creative spark. Her career success is tied to the enthusiasm she brings to her wedding photography, but losing that spark threatens her livelihood. What gives? Her life is perfect, isn’t it? She has a delightful daughter, supportive friends, and glorious Vermont to call home. Armed with the wisdom and humor her Jewish ancestors stitched into her DNA, Liz begins looking for solutions. The men she casually takes to bed along the way force her to consider whether her vow to leave love behind is the problem. Traveling a road potholed with old grief, Liz discovers a new way of seeing herself, a career reboot, and, just maybe, the partner of her dreams—if the potholes don’t get her first. 

The Windsor Knot

By Sj Bennett,

Book cover of The Windsor Knot

This is a detective story featuring Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II investigating a very nasty murder with the help of her assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, formerly a captain in the army. The victim is a Russian musician, a guest at Windsor Castle. Naturally, the men in charge at Windsor think the Queen ought to be shielded from the nasty details. That’s a mistake. The 90-year-old Queen knows all about the wicked world and brings her shrewd knowledge of human nature and cunning to find out whodunnit. A marvellous portrait of the Queen – very funny at times and you learn a lot about how the court works. The Queen knows all that’s going on and what she doesn’t know, Rozie Oshodi finds out for her.


Who am I?

I love the novels of Charles Dickens and when I found out that he did go out with the London Police to research the criminal underworld for his magazine, I thought what a good detective he would make. He has all the talents a detective needs: remarkable powers of observation, a shrewd understanding of human nature and of motive, and the ability to mix with all ranks of Victorian society from the street urchin to the lord and lady. I love Victorian London, too, and creating the foggy, gas-lit alleys we all know from Dickens the novelist.


I wrote...

Summons to Murder

By J.C. Briggs,

Book cover of Summons to Murder

What is my book about?

This is the ninth novel in the Charles Dickens Investigation series. A journalist friend of Dickens, Pierce Mallory, is found shot dead in his lodgings. The inquest verdict is suicide, but closer examination of the gun causes Dickens and Superintendent Jones to have doubts. Mallory left behind debts, a discarded wife, more than one discarded mistress, and two illegitimate children. There are plenty of suspects. The investigation takes Dickens and Jones into a dangerous world in which powerful people have dangerous secrets they want to keep so badly that even Dickens’s life is in danger.

His Amiable Bride

By Kasey Stockton,

Book cover of His Amiable Bride: A Featherbottom Chronicles Novella

This was a sweet regency novella. I enjoyed the characters and plot, even though it was a bit rushed at times and the ending a bit abrupt, but it was a delightful read and kept me hooked enough that I wanted to know what would happen next. I will definitely be reading more from this author.

Who am I?

Ever since I can remember I had a special love for western romance books. My mom has written several books set in 1800s America and that probably stirred me in that direction as well since I love her books (they're in German, which is why I couldn’t recommend them). Regency has become my second historical fiction genre, which is probably why I write and read both time periods. I'm a German-born US-Indie author and total romance fanatic. I write Christian Romance set mostly in the above time periods. I'm a massive Harry Potter fan, have been married to my husband for nearly 18 years and we have two teenage sons. 


I wrote...

Healing the Orphaned Heart

By Rebecca Lange,

Book cover of Healing the Orphaned Heart

What is my book about?

A move across the country... A dowry that turns into a curse... A marshal that captures her heart...

After her father’s death, Rose is sent to live with her uncle and his family, whom she hasn’t seen in over twelve years. Terrified of the reception she’ll receive, Rose makes the journey alone and quickly realizes that her late father’s wealth has made her a target for not just journalists but dowry hunters everywhere. Will her relatives in Colorado take her in with open arms, or was this arrangement forced on them, and would it turn into another disappointment? And, is Rose’s future already sealed by a parade of lies, or is there hope for a happy ending and the healing of her orphaned heart?

Sold on a Monday

By Kristina McMorris,

Book cover of Sold on a Monday

This is a surprising backdrop for a romance, and I didn’t even buy the book for a romance read. The start is sad and intriguing – based on a true event – where a reported snapped a photo of a sign saying “children for sale” with the children in the background. The reporter is trying to build his career, and the photo was just a personal shot he took because he was shocked. But it ends up in the paper and causes a horrible cascade of events, which also brings him together with a woman who works at the same paper. This is such a different story and the romance is very sweet. 


Who am I?

I really enjoy coming up with fresh, unique storylines. I have to applaud books that have a new approach and surprise us—it’s not easy for authors to do! The perfect story, to me, is romantic drama and family life all entwined. Family is everything, whether it’s the family we’re born into, one created by marriage, or one by random circumstances. I enjoy reading and writing romance in the context of family drama because it’s the core of who we are. The best stories have romance and also tell about a family coming together. 


I wrote...

More Than Memories

By Kristen James,

Book cover of More Than Memories

What is my book about?

Molly Anderson returns “home” to a town she doesn’t remember, hoping it will spark a memory. She meets Trent Williams, a Ridge City police detective, and something else sparks. Trent takes on her case and promises to do everything he can to solve it.

Trent has his own secrets, but they have a mystery to solve. Molly quickly realizes her relationship with Trent went deeper than memories. How could she have forgotten her lifelong friend and love? Has he really been waiting for her for the last four years? Can she love him again if she doesn’t remember him? There’s also the possibility that she did something awful, and maybe that’s why she’s afraid to remember her old life.

My Memories of Six Reigns

By Princess Marie Louise,

Book cover of My Memories of Six Reigns

This is a charming book, filled with amusing and touching anecdotes by Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise, whose lovely character shines through every page.  The simple style and lack of chronological order create the impression that the reader is sitting with the author as she simply recounts her remarkable memories of the people and places of another era. Just beautiful! 


Who am I?

All my life, I have had a passion for history and, the moment I came upon Queen Victoria while browsing the history section in the local library, I was hooked! Far from being the dour Widow of Windsor, it was clear that she was a highly-intelligent, forward-thinking, often amusing, and often amused woman, with fascinating relatives and connections across the whole world. Her family life mirrored that of any ordinary family, with its ups and downs, its petty squabbles, and a myriad of contrasting characters, each with a unique and interesting story to tell. With so many avenues yet to explore, this is a passion that could last a lifetime!


I wrote...

Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918

By Christina Croft,

Book cover of Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918

What is my book about?

From a Russian saint, martyred in a mine shaft in Siberia, to the Queens of Norway, Greece, Romania, and Spain, Queen Victoria’s twenty-two granddaughters lived not only through the halcyon days of the European monarchies but also through tragedy and the horrors of war and revolution. Some, like the unassuming Princess Louise of Wales, lived and died in virtual obscurity while others, like the dazzling Queen Marie of Romania and the ill-fated Empress Alexandra of Russia, played a major and memorable role in world events; but, through all the upheavals and conflicts, and, even when wars had divided their nations, one person had bound them together and, to the end of their lives, all would remember ‘dearest grandmama’ – Queen Victoria – with love.

My Life in Middlemarch

By Rebecca Mead,

Book cover of My Life in Middlemarch: A Memoir

What do the writers you are drawn to reveal about you? Why at certain points in our lives do we become “attached” to certain authors? The process of attachment is mysterious. As we age (and change) some things remain constant. Our attachment to a particular author may have begun in our youth, but evolved as we have. To reconnect with a favorite author can put us in touch with our younger self in unexpected ways. Mead shows how much Middlemarch has “spoken” to her throughout her life. This book is perhaps more in harmony with my own than any on the list. I have come to love books that underscore how what we read can be inseparable from the person we become.


Who am I?

I taught at Yale for 33 years and I hold advanced degrees from the Sorbonne. I am interested in literature as lessons for life, but I am mostly a passionate letter writer, especially to the great authors who have marked me. They are never really dead. I carry them around with me. I selected the category of Offbeat Memoirs because I have written one. I also have an Italian alter-ego, Donatella de Poitiers, who authors a blog in which she muses about how a lifelong Francophile could have forsaken la Belle France for la dolce vita in the Umbrian countryside, where the food and fresh air are way better than the roads.


I wrote...

Letters to Men of Letters

By Diane Charney,

Book cover of Letters to Men of Letters

What is my book about?

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to an author who has been important to you? I write to the authors I admire, both living and dead, who continue to keep me company. Among these are Kafka, Proust, Nabokov, Camus, Flaubert, Balzac, Leonard Cohen, André Aciman, Christo, and my father. In my 18 letters, I reflect on what these writers have taught me about myself, but also what they can offer the reader. Each letter is part memoir, part intellectual coming-of-age, part reaction to having read, loved, studied, and taught the work of these timeless writers.

As if writing to mostly dead guys weren’t “offbeat” enough, rest assured that there’s plenty of additional evidence for my laying claim to that adjective: “Dear Jean-Paul Sartre, There have been many Jean-Pauls in my life, but you’re the only one in whose bedroom I have slept.”

The Queen Must Die

By William Longgood,

Book cover of The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men

There are scores of beekeeping memoirs in print, many of them very engaging. But if I had to choose only one, there is something to be said for this little classic. The biological information is good, but the book rises above the average in the way Longwood conveys it - with charm, wit, and an obvious fondness for his chosen subjects. Paired with a modern how-to manual, this volume could convince just about anyone to try their hand with hive, suit, and smoker.


Who am I?

Author and biologist Thor Hanson’s research activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures, but bees rank among his favorite subjects of all. He wrote Buzz to explore their fascinating natural and cultural history. No other group of insects has grown so close to us, none is more essential, and none is more revered.


I wrote...

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

By Thor Hanson,

Book cover of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

What is my book about?

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing. As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.

1914 Days Of Hope

By Lyn MacDonald,

Book cover of 1914 Days Of Hope

Lyn Macdonald is my go-to historian for WW1, and I only pick out this volume – she has written one for each year of the war – because if you want a thorough, detailed account of the war you will want to start at the beginning. She is a fine writer, and very readable, and her books are full of extracts from letters and diaries of the men at the front, and their families back home, which give you the genuine, authentic flavour of how people thought and spoke at the time, and allows you to feel you were really there.


Who am I?

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the internationally acclaimed Morland Dynasty books. Five volumes of this comprehensive historical series focus on WW1, covering the military campaigns and the politics behind them. With the approach of the WW1 centennials, she was asked to write about the period again, this time from the point of view of the people who stayed at home. The result was the six-volume series, War At Home, which views the war from a more personal perspective, through the eyes of the fictional Hunter family, their servants, and friends.


I wrote...

Goodbye, Piccadilly: War at Home, 1914

By Cynthia Harrod-Eagles,

Book cover of Goodbye, Piccadilly: War at Home, 1914

What is my book about?

In 1914, Britain faces a new kind of war. For Edward and Beatrice Hunter, their children, servants, and neighbours, life will never be the same again. For David, the eldest, war means a chance to do something noble; but enlisting will break his mother's heart. His sister Diana, nineteen and beautiful, longs for marriage. She has her heart set on Charles Wroughton, son of Earl Wroughton, but Charles will never be allowed to marry a banker's daughter. Below the stairs, Cook and Ada, the head housemaid, grow more terrified of the German invasion with every newspaper atrocity story. Ethel, under housemaid, can't help herself when it comes to men and now soldiers add to the temptation; yet there's more to this flighty girl than meets the eye.

Or, view all 36 books about Queen Elizabeth II

New book lists related to Queen Elizabeth II

All book lists related to Queen Elizabeth II

Bookshelves related to Queen Elizabeth II