The Crown: Season 4: A Reading List

December 10, 2020 | M. Elwood

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Are you watching the latest episodes of The Crown? So much happens in this season! A royal wedding! Babies! Scandalous affairs! War! Tragedy! Even a new Prime Minister. 

These books will tell you more about the events covered in this season and about the real lives of the featured players. 

Lady in waiting

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

Anne Glenconner is a character on the Crown, played by Nancy Carroll. She was a bridesmaid at the Queen’s wedding and one of Princess Margaret’s Ladies in Waiting. It was through her that Margaret met Roddy Llewellyn and began to visit Mustique but Anne Glenconner’s own life is just as full of drama and tragedy.

Daughter of empire

Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten by Lady Pamela Hicks

Lady Pamela Hicks is the daughter of Lord Mountbatten and cousin of Prince Philip and is surprisingly frank (in a reserved kind of way) about her parents and their ambitions and romantic entanglements.

From a clear blue sky

From a Clear Blue Sky: Surviving the Mountbatten Bomb by Timothy Knatchbull

Tim Knatchbull, his twin Nicholas and their parents and other family were present with Lord Mountbatten, their maternal grandfather, on the day his boat was bombed by the IRA. Tim lost 2 grandparents in the bombing – his paternal grandmother was also killed. Neither of those losses compare to the death of Nicholas however. Tim's memoir describes the long and difficult road to recovering emotionally from the death of his identical twin. 

The other side of the coin

The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly 

An authorized memoir by the Queen’s personal designer. Angela Kelly, daughter of a Liverpool dockworker, designs, maintains and curates the Queen's wardrobe. The two women have developed a close bond over the years which is explored in this book. 

Thatcher 3

The Downing Street Years by Margaret Thatcher

People are raving about Gillian Anderson's portrayal of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. If you want Maggie’s own point of view try this one.

Diana her own story

Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton

When this book was published originally in 1992, it upended the world's notions of a fairytale marriage between Diana and Charles. A few years later, the world was shocked again by the revelation that Diana had participated in the writing of the book. For the release in the 2017, 25th anniversary edition, author Andrew Morton added new material from the original tapes. 

Ninety nine glimpses of Princess Margaret

Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Not a traditional biography and pretty scathing. 

Prince charles passions perils

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith

Author Sally Bedell Smith noted that books about Charles were unsympathetic and she wanted this biography to see "Poor Charles" in a more compassionate light. Although heir to the throne from birth, Smith portrays Charles as damaged man who nevertheless tried to live up to the expectations of his family and their subjects. 

The duchess

The Duchess : Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair that Rocked the Crown  by Penny Junor 

Frequent royal biographer Junor turns her attention to Camilla Parker Bowles with the hope of changing the public's negative opinions of her. The Duchess of Cornwall she writes has been a tremendous support for Charles and should be given credit for his happiness and productivity. 

Queen elizabeth the queen mother

Queen Elizabeth: The Queen Mother: The Official Biography  by William Shawcross

This is 1,000 pages long but very readable. Born at the end of Queen Victoria’s reign her life encompassed the whole twentieth century.