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It's been a year since the passing of Queen Elizabeth, so we're commemorating her record-breaking reign with books and movies about royal families, both real and fictional. Here's our staff picks for royal reads (and watches).

Book River
Book River Items

The Poison King : the Life and Legend of Mithridates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy (2009)

by Adrienne Mayor

Mithridates VI of Pontus was a fascinating figure (there should really be a Hollywood epic about his life). Mayor does a good job of piecing together the available historical evidence and clearly cueing the reader to speculation (and there is a lot of speculation). If you're unfamiliar with Mithridates' life, I'd encourage you to learn about him through this engaging book. — Beth, Access Services


Spare (2023)

by Harry

A true look at his life living with his Pa (the king) and his brother, William. Really enlightening and tragic! — Cheryl, Circulation


The Crown, The Complete First Season (2017)

by Left Bank Pictures

The award-winning TV drama series follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign along with the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. — Carol, Fiction, Movies & Music


The Shadow Queen : a Novel of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor (2012)

by Rebecca Dean

Read a fictionalized account of another scandalous American/British royal affair! King Edward VIII abdicated the thrown in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a two-time divorcee, paving the way for Queen Elizabeth II. — Lauren, Hanover Park Branch


The Princess Diaries (2001)

by Walt Disney Company

This award-winning film featuring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway tells the story of teenager Mia Thermopolis and her journey of trying to stay invisible to finding out she is the next heir of Genovia. Princess Diaries is a family favorite for fun and laughs. Mia's journey is entertaining as she morphs from a normal girl to a princess! — Vana, Fiction, Movies & Music

Princess Diaries is an early 2000s comedy that is perfect for the whole family! Julie Andrews plays Queen Clarisse, the estranged grandmother of the hapless American teenager Mia (Anne Hathaway). Upon the queen’s arrival, Mia learns that she is next in-line to lead Genovia. However, Mia is anything but fit for royalty ... she’s clumsy, a social outcast at school, and has an intense fear of public speaking. But Queen Clarisse is determined, and the two form a bond over the course of several weeks, in which Mia begrudgingly participates in “princess lessons” in the hopes of becoming the new leader for her kingdom.— Monica, Fiction, Movies & Music

This movie was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I've always seen a little of myself in Mia Thermopolis. It's a quintessential 2000s high school movie and has one of the best movie makeover scenes. – Sophia, Marketing


Tokyo Ever After (2021)

by Emiko Jean

Described as The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians, Tokyo Ever After is a story of love, royalty and finding happily ever after. Izumi discovers that her father is THE Crown Prince of Japan and decides to travel to meet him. Izzy quickly finds out that being a princess is more than just fancy gowns and crowns ... it may also be about finding yourself and a little romance. –Abbey, Youth Services


The Belles (2018)

by Dhonielle Clayton

Beauty. Grace. Talent. The people of Orleans are born gray and need the assistance of the Belles to be given beauty. Camellia wants to be selected as the favorite - the Belle who serves the queen and royal family while living in the royal palace. Camellia quickly finds out that those looking for beauty will pay almost any price. She must decide between saving a member of the royal family or saving her sisters the way of the Belles. — Abbey, Youth Services


Red, White & Royal Blue (2019)

by Casey McQuiston

A beautifully romantic and hilarious royal story. Alex, the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry George Edward James Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor of England take readers on a wild, messy and fun journey of friendship, politics and love. The movie adaptation released early this month, as well! — Abbey, Youth Services


Three Dark Crowns (2016)

by Kendare Blake

Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death. This dark fantasy will have readers on the edge of their seat. This is a completed four-book series. – Allison, Youth Services