FIVE BEST BOOKS On THE WINDSORS
THE crown: THE official companion Author: Robert Lacey Publisher: Blink Publishing
The official tie-in book for the first season of the show, Robert Lacey – who worked as the historical consultant on the show as well as Peter Morgan’s film The Queen
– offers context for the events that underpinned that breathtaking first run. A captivating introduction that elevates the medium, Lacey adds depth to the drama we feel we already know without sacrificing any of his engaging authorial style.
George Vi: THE Dutiful King Author: Sarah Bradford Publisher: Penguin
A revealing portrait of a king whose inner life has only really emerged from The Crown and The King’s Speech, Sarah Bradford explores a humble, hardworking man who found greatness thrust upon him and rose to the challenge as best he could. Impeccably researched, although much of the period – the Abdication Crisis, for a start – remains opaque, Bradford more than most is able to tease out the theories with authority.
Behind THE Throne: a Domestic History of THE royal Household Author: Adrian Tinniswood Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Not entirely focused on the Windsors, Behind the Throne examines the running of the royal household from Elizabeth I onward but is packed with fascinating asides about the duties, inanities and inadequacies of the domestic staff. Fascinating and amusingly baroque, Adrian Tinniswood surfaces stories of a wet nurse salaried to tend to an adult prince to the toilet paper being replaced by newspaper in a bid to cap spiralling expenses.
young elizabeth: THE making of our Queen Author: Kate Williams Publisher: W&N
In this book the definitive historian of the modern royal family, Kate Williams, explores the unassuming early years of Elizabeth, who just like her father, was never groomed for greatness.
With her impeccable authority and graceful prose, Williams brings this fascinatingly low-key period to life, from her relatively quiet beginnings and her emergence as a ambassador for the crown during World War II, to her engagement to the dashing Prince Philip and her tragic path to the throne.
ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of princess margaret Author: Craig Brown Publisher: Fourth Estate
The ‘breakout star’ of The Crown, for want of a better description, Craig Brown’s biography is just as unconventional as its subject. Brown is sympathetic to Princess Margaret but isn’t shy of puncturing her tantrums, obnoxiousness and flights of self-indulgence.