08 May 2020

Royal Recommendations for May!

Many of us are spending a lot more time relaxing at home these days, so I thought it was the perfect time to share a post full of recommendations for brand-new royal content to read and watch this month!

I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Amy Meyerson's new novel, and I absolutely loved it! If you like royalty, history, enormous diamonds, and family intrigue -- and if you're reading this site, I know you do! -- you'll love the book, too. The premise is this: a modern American family mourns the loss of their matriarch, only to discover that she's bequeathed them a magnificent (and possibly stolen) diamond. Meyerson skillfully weaves in the history of the real-life lost Florentine Diamond and the Habsburgs into the book, inventing a mystery that "solves" the fate of the diamond. I couldn't put it down! The book was published on May 5, so you can pick it up right now.

I am completely intrigued and amused by the trailers for the latest Hulu original series, The Great. Starring Elle Fanning as a young and glamorous Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult as Peter III, the ten-episode series appears to be a completely different take on Catherine's life than any other depiction, including the recent Helen Mirren television series. Hulu describes the show as "a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia's history." It was written by Tony McNamara, who also wrote The Favourite, to give you an idea of the tone of the piece. Purists may not be the target audience for the "fictionalized, fun and anachronistic" take on the story, but I'm going to check it out, if only for the gorgeous costuming alone! The series debuts on May 15.

I'm currently reading the newest novel by historical fiction writer Karen Harper, who has previously written novels about Consuelo Vanderbilt and royal nanny Charlotte "Lala" Bill. This time around, Harper has chosen the Queen Mum as her subject, with a focus on Elizabeth's life during World War II. I've really enjoyed this fictional take on her life, which depicts her as a woman who loves the pleasures of life but is also keenly interested in the history unfolding all around her. I'm really enjoying this one so far -- it's finally giving me the fictional Queen Mother I always complained about wanting to see on The Crown! The book will be published on May 19.

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Here's a royal documentary you can begin enjoying right now! At the end of April, Britain's Channel 5 aired this new biography of the Princess Royal. The hour-long doc features interviews from the usual stable of royal commentators, but for me, the best part was the extensive archival footage from throughout Anne's life. The film attempts to tackle one of the central questions about Anne: is she a romantic princess, a gruff and reluctant royal, or the last vestige of the "old guard" of the family? If you're in the UK, you can stream the show via Channel 5's site; if you're elsewhere, you might want try out this streaming link. (Just saying!)

What have you been reading and watching lately? Share your recommendations with us in the comments below!

Note: Some links on this website are Amazon affiliate links. I put all money that I receive from these affiliate links back into materials for review on the site (including the book discussed in this post), so if you want to read more reviews, please consider purchasing items through the affiliate links in this post and throughout the site. Thanks, everybody!