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Old 07-16-2011, 11:16 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Matawan, United States
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There are plenty of royal books out there but you will have to judge for yourself what ones are worth reading. It will take time to distinguish good from bad quality but if you care enough you will make good choices.

I should say now I can only speak for books in English and generally English authors.

Be warned, go for established royal authors like Sarah Bradford, Philip Ziegler, the late Elizabeth Longford, the late Theo Aaronson, Christopher Warwick, Gyles Brandreth, Greg King and Penny Wilson (they cover the Romanovs mostly) and John Van Der Kiste.

Biographers include Kenneth Rose, James Pope- Hennessay, and again Bradford, Ziegler, and Longford.

Some one off books by notable historians include "The Last Days of the Romanovs" by Helen Rappaport and "George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm" by Miranda Carter (my personal favorite).

Be particularly scrupulous about Diana books (if you are into her life and saga). I would read Christopher Anderson's books on her, Sarah Bradford's biography on her, and Ingrid Seward, the editor in chief of Majesty Magazine, wrote a good one called "The Queen and Di".

I say be scrupulous because some people have twisted facts and have written an over sentimental and sensationalized account of her life based on little research and bad sources. Stay away from Andrew Morton's "Diana, Her True Story" it does not give facts as they happened and was done with Diana's help. Above all, find a good objective author who trys to tell her life as it happened, not for the sake of any big revelations.

Check source material, if they mention royal archives (personal letters and diaries) that is a good sign. Contemporaries and known diarists of the era are usually good sources. Other earlier books and personal memoirs by the royals are ok as well.

Again do some homework on the quality of sources and the point of view of the author. Are they objective enough? Does it talk too much of politics and not enough background on who they were? Is it biographical or historical? What family do you like most?

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Old 11-07-2011, 05:10 PM
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At this moment I am overcome with excitement over Robert K. Massie's legendary Nicholas and Alexandra, and I regret not having read this ealier. Everyone who have somewhat harsh feelings about Alexandra Feodorovna should read this book and find out that she was a totally different person than what most people think. I'm so glad that my library owned this book and it's definitely going directly to both my Christmas wish-list and my list over favourite royal books :)

"Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night."
Our Princess

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Posts: 4
The Definitive Royal Bookshelf

Hi all,

I recognise this is terribly presumptuous being as how I'm very new here, but I'd like to collate a list of the best books on the different European (and others if there's call for it) Royal families.

I'd like to be pretty ruthless and just have 1 book on each topic, be it a history of a royal house, or a biography of a Royal person. For biographies they have to have had a recognised reign at some point (although I might slip in some 'honourable mentions at the end').

So if anyone has any suggestions, please post them below, and if anyone has a counter suggestion for a book which should be featured rather than somebody else's suggestion, be prepared to fight you corner!

My first suggestion would have to be Robert Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra which is a fascinating read about the end of the Romanov dynasty. Despite its intimidating size, it's superbly paced and really difficult to put down.


Catherine de Medici ~ Leonie Frieda


Nicholas and Alexandra ~ Robert K. Massie


The Queen's Diamonds ~ Hugh Roberts
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:40 AM
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I think this is a pretty good idea.
I'd like to recommend to books that should definitely be on the bookshelf of anyone even remotely interested in British Royal Jewellery.

Britain - Jewellery

1. "The Queen's Diamonds" by Hugh Roberts
It's a bit pricey, but worth every penny. Haven't been able to put my copy down ever since it arrived. The pictures are absolutely breathtaking.

2. "Queen's Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II" by Leslie Field
A wonderful book on the Queen's jewellery collection. What I loved most is how the jewels are shown as worn by different royal ladies who had adjusted them to their taste.

3. "The Crown Jewels" by Anna Keay
Most of the jewels in the book are obviously very well-known, but it's still great for reference, and of course, because of the great pictures.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
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Cheating! You have to choose just one on the subject!
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:55 AM
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Ah, I hadn't noticed the rule. In that case, I'll have to go with:

Britain - Jewellery
1. "The Queen's Diamonds" by Hugh Roberts
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:55 AM
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Catherine de Medici by Leonie Frieda is an excellent biography of that infamous French Queen and Regent,it also gives a great insight into the French Valois Dynasty during its last days.
9th of June,1572-Death of Jeanne d'Albret,Queen of Navarre & Duchess d'Albret ,Countess de Foix ,Limoges,Armagnac,Bigorre and Périgord ,Viscountess de Bearn.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:37 AM
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As we already have a thread for what is virtually the same topic, the two threads have been merged.
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Hamilton, Canada
Posts: 617
Are there any books about Princess Anne? My library only has one, and I put a request for it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:12 AM
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 16
I thought I might add to this list. Some of my favourites:

The Kasier's Daughter by Princess Viktoria Luise (in collaboration with someone else)
Grandmama of Europe by Theo Aronson
Northern Crowns by John Van der Kiste
Queen Victoria's Children by John Van der Kiste
Kings of the Hellenes by John Van der Kiste
An Uncommon Woman: Empress Friedrich by Hannah Pakula
The Camera and the Tsars by Charlotte Zeepvat
Queen Victoria's Family by Charlotte Zeepvat
Queen Victoria's Gene by DM Potts & WTW Potts
The Romanovs by John Van der Kiste
Prinny's Daughter: Princess Charlotte of Wales by Thea Holme
Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers
Princess Victoria Melita by John Van der Kiste

I have others, but these are ones in my personal library that I love to reread.

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