Seven years ago, I woke up extra early, brewed several cups of strong tea, and watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. On May 19, I plan on doing the same for the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If you’re also a fan of history, you’re probably wondering about the countless royal marriages that have preceded this one. Check out the following novels and nonfiction books dedicated to exploring some of the most celebrated, passionate, and complex marriages throughout royal world history.
It was the most influential marriage of the nineteenth century–and one of history’ s most enduring love stories. Traditional biographies tell us that Queen Victoria inherited the throne as a naïve teenager, when the British Empire was at the height of its power, and seemed doomed to find failure as a monarch and misery as a woman until she married her German cousin Albert and accepted him as her lord and master. Now renowned chronicler Gillian Gill turns this familiar story on its head, revealing a strong, feisty queen and a brilliant, fragile prince working together to build a family based on support, trust, and fidelity, qualities neither had seen much of as children. The love affair that emerges is far more captivating, complex, and relevant than that depicted in any previous account.
In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble.
Based on the life of Japan’s Empress Michiko, THE COMMONER explores the truth behind the fairy tale of a commoner marrying into the Japanese imperial family. A tale of love, duty, isolation, tragedy, and prejudice, this moving novel examines the awesome highs and incredible lows of modern royalty, especially for the women who marry into it.