If you love a TV shows based on royal families, then the following series are a must watch!
Just in case you didn’t hear there is some exciting news surrounding the current English Royal family. In November Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary – what a remarkable milestone. Not only that, last year the Queen hit her sapphire jubilee – 65 years on the British throne. In Spring this year – Autumn for us Aussies – not only is there a new prince or princess to be born, there is also a wedding. Such exciting and wonderful times!
As I love watching TV programs based on ‘real’ life people and also a bit of history, I thought to share with you some interesting TV shows about royalty you might not have considered before. They are totally binge-worthy, especially if you want to feel like a royal.
1. The Crown (2016 – Current)
Starring: Clair Foy, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Vanessa Kirby, Victoria Hamilton.
The Crown chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II, from a young woman to how the Queen we know today. If you do not know the background of her Majesty, this series gives you a better understanding of the famous Royal.
The series starts off with Elizabeth the Queen-to-be, who is newly married to the love of her life, Philip. Following the sudden passing of her father, King George VI, she inherits, at the age of 25, one of the most challenging roles someone can ever be given in their life: the ruler of the British Throne.
Throughout the first season, you will see that it isn’t all glamour and glitz. Elizabeth faced plenty of struggles as a young female ruler. There are political debates with Sir Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, family scandals, and even frustrations you can see with her own marriage.
The Crown really is enjoyable to watch and has an outstanding cast that brings to life a glimpse into the Royal family.
2. The Tudors (2007 – 2010)
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Natalie Dormer.
This is one of my favourite TV series ever, and one I have watched many times. I just cannot recommend it enough. The cast is incredible, bringing the story of Henry the VIII to life. The costumes and the set are spectacular, and really portray what it would have been like at court in the 16th Century.
The Tudors is a four-season long series that focuses on the life of none other than the famous King Henry the VIII. If you do not know much about him I guarantee after watching this show, you will be a Henry professional. Each season goes into detail of his life at court and of course the controversy he had with six wives.
Not only did Henry have controversy in his love-life, he also challenged the Church. There were plenty of politics for that time, betrayals and people out to plot against the King. There was also plenty of romance, triumphs and changes.
3. Reign (2013 – 2017)
Starring: Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Combs, Toby Regbo.
Reign is about Queen Mary of Scotland, or, as her people referred to her, Queen Mary of Scots. This series looks at the not so pleasant life Queen Mary had. Mary was crowned Queen at a very tender age and because of this she ended up in hiding for many years. At 15 she was promised to Prince Francis from France.
Reign goes into detail about what it would be like at the French court, for a foreigner. Queen Mary with her ladies in waiting, moves to France to be with her Prince. While living in the French court she faces challenges not just within politics, but also with Francis’ family. Mary does not have a good relationship with his mother Queen Catherine de’Medici, who believes she is the one that is going to ruin Francis.
Mary has to rule her country from France and has to make choices that can not only affect Scotland but also France.
The series has an awesome cast including two ex-Neighbours stars. The costumes and sets are stunning and it is a must-watch.
4. Victoria (2016 – Current)
Starring: Jenna Coleman, Nell Hudson, Tom Hughes, Daniela Holtz.
Victoria looks into the life of Queen Elizabeth II’s relative, and her 63 years of reign.
Queen Victoria became Queen at the age of 18 in 1837. Young Victoria is not prepared to take on the role. Through her understanding of her given right, she proves otherwise, especially to her family; she is ready to be Queen.
This series follows her marriage to Prince Albert and the struggles she has with being a female ruler. While she is in power she develops a strong friendship with Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister. He is not only her private adviser, but he helps her face her challenges especially with her own mother and her adviser Conroy.
The cast are captivating, bringing this story to the small screen with fantastic life. The set and the costumes are both wonderful for the time period.
5. The White Queen (2013)
Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Max Irons, Amanda Hale, Aneurin Barnard.
The White Queen is based on the historic best-selling book by Philippa Gregory of the same name. This 10 part mini-series is about Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward IV. If you have heard of the War of the Roses, this is the series that explains that period of history.
The War of Roses was between 1455- 1487. This was a time of warfare and political conflict with the two rival houses of Lancaster and York. They fought constantly over who was the rightful King to the throne of England.
The White Queen focuses on King Edward IV, who is on the throne, and his marriage to a commoner Elizabeth Woodville. They have a loving marriage with children, but also one of danger. The couple are constantly surrounded by manipulation, war, betrayal and murder.
I enjoyed this mini-series as it gave an insight into the struggles the English throne faced. It also showed how the Tudor Dynasty started and made way for the famous rulers that followed.
6. The Virgin Queen (2005)
Starring: Anne-Marie Duff, Ian Hart, Tom Hardy, Sienna Guillory.
This royal TV show is about one of the most famous rulers in British history, Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry the VIII. The series is about the life of Elizabeth before she was crowned Queen, to when she succeeded the throne. It looks into her personal life, her politics, and even her scandalous love affair with Robert Dudley.
We know that Elizabeth was a tough ruler, which might have been due to what happened in her life. Her mother was beheaded and once her father and brother died, her older half-sister Mary took to the throne but was horrible to Elizabeth. Mary even locked Elizabeth away back at the Tower, the place her mother Anne Boleyn would last see.
The Virgin Queen allows you to understand the important role Elizabeth I had in history.
7. The White Princess (2017)
Starring: Jodie Comer, Rebecca Benson, Jacob Collins-Levy, Richard Dillane.
The White Princess is a sequel to The White Queen. This series is also a mini TV series, also based on one of Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novels of the same name.
The White Princess looks into the life and marriage of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. There are political differences and values. This was not a love story like Elizabeth’s parents. Elizabeth and Henry are arranged to be married after a special agreement was made, once King Richard III was defeated.
In the series, there is a lot of tension between the married couple. But if Elizabeth and Henry weren’t united, we wouldn’t have known who King Henry the VIII was. Yep, this is the story of his parents.
So there you have it, seven amazing TV shows about royalty that you need to add to your watch list.
If you have any other recommendations, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.
If you love royal history like me and want more information, check out this site. And if you enjoyed this list of the best TV shows about royalty, have a read of the 31 best 90s TV shows. If you don’t we’ll be royally pissed (couldn’t resist).