Though we’ve been living with them for centuries, the royal family continue to fascinate us. Whether it’s their spending habits or the history of the palaces they keep renovating, we always want to know more about what they’re doing – especially as their lives are so different from ours.
If you’re looking for your next royal read, here’s a selection of books you should definitely check out.
Seasoned journalist Clive Irving pays tribute to the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She weathered PR disasters, personal tragedies and the fall of the British Empire, but Queen Elizabeth still managed to maintain an aura of mystery.
But although the monarchy today looks stronger than it’s ever been, its fragility should not be underestimated. From the Queen’s early years to her annus horribilis, Irving takes a look at the storms the royal family has faced and asks: was Elizabeth our last queen?
Gilded Youth looks at centuries of royal children misbehaving, often hilariously – from Edward VII smashing up his schoolroom to the Queen mischievously pranking unsuspecting visitors with dog biscuits to Prince William pinching a teacher’s bottom.
The younger generation of royals have to insist they want a normal upbringing for their children because that goes down well with the public, but this is just window dressing. Gilded Youth looks at how, when it comes to children, the British royal family is still living in the Dark Ages.
Royalty Revealed: A Majestic Miscellany, by Brian Hoey
Wonder no longer! Brian Hoey’s lovely little A–Z covers all the weird and wonderful elements of being a member of the royal family. Featuring concise biographies of key royals, bizarre anecdotes and advice on everything from tipping palace servants to becoming a servant yourself, it’s a light and easy read that’s perfect for a weekend cuppa.
In this book, he turns his gaze on the foibles of the royals. Where does their money come from? Why are they exempt from inheritance tax – and just how did Prince Andrew sell his house? It’s an unflinching look at a system that has evolved over the years and now needs reform.
The only thing the British love more than a good murder is a really good scandal, and best of all are the sexual and political scandals that take place behind the gilded doors of Britain’s royal palaces.
Tom Quinn has dug up new information on well-known and not-so-well-known scandals, including those that have only recently been revealed through the release of previously secret official papers.
Exploring surviving palaces such as Kensington as well as long-vanished residences including Whitehall, Scandals of the Royal Palaces is the first in-depth look at the bad behaviour of not just the royals themselves but also palace officials, courtiers, household servants and hangers-on.