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20 Books Every "Royal Diaries" Fan Needs To Read

A ~grown up~ book recommendation for all your favorite historical princesses.

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    Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544
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    Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544
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    Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, 57 B.C.
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    Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, 57 B.C.
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    Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466
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    Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466
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    Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria - France, 1769
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    Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria - France, 1769
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    Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914
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    Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914
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    Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595
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    Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595
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    Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889
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    Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889
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    Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531
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    Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531
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    Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
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    Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
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    Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France, 1553
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    Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France, 1553
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    Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595
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    Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595
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    Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627
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    Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627
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    Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136
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    Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136
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    Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
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    Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
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    Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853
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    Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853
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    Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 1653
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    Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 1653
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    Lady of Palenque: Flower of Bacal, Mesoamerica, A.D. 749
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    Lady of Palenque: Flower of Bacal, Mesoamerica, A.D. 749
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    Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858
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    Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858
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    Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743
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    Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743
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    Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490
    Scholastic / Via dearamerica.wikia.com
    Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490
    Scholastic / Via dearamerica.wikia.com

20 Books Every "Royal Diaries" Fan Needs To Read

You got: "The Life of Elizabeth I" by Allison Weir

This one of the best biographies of Elizabeth I out there, dispelling myths and revealing secrets left and right. Like the murder of the Earl of Leicester, whom Elizabeth professed to loving on more than one occasion. And just how chaste was the 'Virgin Queen'? This read proves that history can be every bit as juicy and scandalous as the diary of a preteen gossip girl.

"The Life of Elizabeth I" by Allison Weir
amazon.com
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You got: "Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff

Schiff is a pulizer-prize winning biographer who brings the lavish, sexy, and powerful Cleopatra to life. Though known for marrying brothers and bedding Romans, Cleopatra was more than a seductress; she was an ambitious empress with plans to basically take over the world. Schiff is out to right the wrongs that have made ol' Cleo infamous in this compelling read.

"Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff
amazon.com
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You got: "The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile" by C.W. Gortner

Isabel would go on to do a heck of a lot: She's known as "the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World." Not too shabby. This historical novel explores how Isabel might have felt about her dangerous, tumultuous rule, and perfectly captures her ambitious spirit.

"The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile" by C.W. Gortner
amazon.com
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You got: "Marie Antoinette: The Journey" by by Antonia Fraser

This hefty tome recounts the often misremembered tale of a privileged, "unremarkable" child who was thrust into commanding a crucial role amidst one of history's rockiest revolutions. It's easy to feel a little bad for the spoiled Marie (who never told anyone to eat anything), and you begin to understand how difficult it would have been for anyone to handle the unraveling of an era.

"Marie Antoinette: The Journey" by by Antonia Fraser
amazon.com
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You got: "The Romanov Sisters" by Helen Rappaport

These sisters were loved by their people in a way not unlike Britain (and the world) loved of Princess Diana. All gorgeous bone structure and benevolent spirit, Anastasia was just one of a small band of a cheerful yet doomed duchesses. This glimpse into their privileged world draws upon letters, diaries, and archives to bring these sisters back to life.

"The Romanov Sisters" by Helen Rappaport
goodreads.com
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You got: "The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War" by Antonia Fraser

Fraser takes us through the struggles, conquests, and sacrifices of some of history's most fearless women. Among them is your favorite Nzinga, as well as Isabella of Spain, Cleopatra, and the Iron Lady herself Margaret Thatcher. These histories demonstrate that women in wartime are as fierce as any man, and show how Nzinga grew to tackle many monumental challenges.

"The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War" by Antonia Fraser
amazon.com
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You got: "Princess Ka'iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People" by Sharon Linnea

Princess Ka'iulani went on to lead a tremendous and ill-fated fight for Hawaiian independence, all the while maintaining the grace and compassion that her people loved her for. This biography explores how her mission lead her to New York City, and heartbreaking devotion she had to her homeland.

"Princess Ka'iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People" by Sharon Linnea
amazon.com
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You got: "China between Empires: The Northern and Southern Dynasties" by Mark Edward Lewis

The story of Lady Ch'iao of Kua was just a glimpse into the Southern Liang dynasty of sixth century China. These centuries between the Han and the Tang had a profound and permanent impact on the Chinese world, turning them into a dynamic nation of exchanged goods and ideas across Buddhist states. This exploration of that shift in power and energy is an awesome follow-up to the princess's story.

"China between Empires: The Northern and Southern Dynasties" by Mark Edward Lewis
amazon.com
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You got: "We Two, Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals" by Gillian Gill

After reading about sweet, idealistic Victoria as a child, you'll love learning about her endearing and complex marriage to the love of her life, Prince Albert. Though they get off to a rocky start, this feisty queen and her brilliant partner worked to build a stable marriage (and country) based on loyalty, respect, and support.

"We Two, Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals" by Gillian Gill
amazon.com
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You got: "Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles: A Novel" by Margaret George

After reading about the child who suddenly became a queen, it's a little heartbreaking to think of her tragic end. But this book explores the many escapades that contributed to her divisive reputation, and the fragile humanity that made Mary at once so relatable and yet so un-queen-like.

"Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles: A Novel" by Margaret George
amazon.com
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You got: "Korea: The Impossible Country" by Daniel Tudor

Sondok's story offered us a glimpse of Korea's struggles with a fractured history, with people divided along lines of religion, politics, and even language. This book offers a more modern history of South Korea, and how it rose from being a "failed state" to a cultural and economic powerhouse. Touching upon the ancient traditional influences and history, this is an awesome exploration of what went into making South Korea the amazing place it is today.

"Korea: The Impossible Country" by Daniel Tudor
amazon.com
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You got: "The Mughal Throne: The Saga Of India's Great Emperors" by Abraham Eraly

Princess Jahanara was a part of the Mughal empire, which began in 1525, where this story picks up. Descended from Mongol conquerors, the Mughal rule of India lasted over three centuries, shaping India dramatically for all time. This recounting of the empire's struggles and triumphs is totally enthralling, and sheds light on the India we know today.

"The Mughal Throne: The Saga Of India's Great Emperors" by Abraham Eraly
amazon.com
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You got: "The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine" by Elizabeth Chadwick

The first of an AMAZING trilogy about Queen Eleanor, this novel joins Eleanor after the death of her beloved father, when she is forced out of childhood and into marriage and the lavish court of King Louis VII. Forbidden love, tumultuous friendships, and court scandal give Eleanor a new challenge at every turn.

"The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine" by Elizabeth Chadwick
amazon.com
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You got: "Christina, Queen of Sweden" by Veronica Buckley

As you could probably guess from her childhood diary, Queen Christina became on of the most flamboyant and controversial figures of the 17th century. She basically went buckwild across her country and Europe, leading a life of extravagance and adventure, all with her eyes on an even more powerful throne. Buckley gives Christina a delightfully lighthearted voice that is still aware of the epic changes her continent is undergoing in terms of science, modernity, and even war.

"Christina, Queen of Sweden" by Veronica Buckley
amazon.com
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You got: "The Accidental Empress: A Novel" by Allison Pataki

So we know that Elisabeth, or “Sisi,” was the Duchess of Bavaria who ended up with Franz Joseph of Austria, but did you know he was originally betrothed to her older sister? Yup! She and the emperor quickly fell in love, which left her sister in the lurch and threw Sisi into Europe’s most treacherous imperial court. This awesome story about a headstrong but lovable Empress follows her upsets of political and familial loyalties in her quest to keep the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

"The Accidental Empress: A Novel" by Allison Pataki
amazon.com
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You got: "Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England" by Williams Cronon

We know Weetamoo was learning about the Pilgrims, but we also know how that turned out :/. This book illustrates just how the arrival of English settlers impacted the land, the people, and the future of New England. It's crazy to read how some things we take for granted were pure accidents, and this book actually manages to make the impact of farming techniques totally enthralling. Seriously.

"Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England" by Williams Cronon
amazon.com
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You got: "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann

As Palenque showed us, and contrary to what you were taught, the pre-Columbian Indians existed in huge numbers who actively took from and influenced the land around them. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan even had running water and super clean streets, and was actually larger than any current European city! And get this; Mexican cultures created corn in an innovative breeding process that was basically the first example of genetic engineering. This and so many more revelations show how the Indians weren't living lightly and in scarcity, and were so advanced that they'd probably fit in just fine today.

"1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann
amazon.com
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You got: "Shõgun" by James Clavell

While Kazunomiya showed us the political and romantic intrigue of Edo period Japan, Clavell writes of feudal Japan in the 1600s, offering a little background to Kazunomiya's world. His story of a woman caught between the attentions of a daring British adventurer and a powerful Japanese warlord is equal parts educational, risqué, and totally enthralling.

"Shõgun" by James Clavell
amazon.com
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You got: "Taino: A Novel" by José Barreiro

This tale is "written" by an old member of the Taino tribe in Haiti who, as a boy, was adopted by Christopher Columbus and got to see history happen firsthand. The actual author is a specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, so you know it's as well researched as it is written. This novel lifts the historical veil that still covers Columbus's "discovery".

"Taino: A Novel" by José Barreiro
amazon.com
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You got: "Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman" by Robert K. Massie

We loved kid Catherine, she was hilarious! And her grown self is just as outrageous. This biography follows her rise from obscure German princess to empress of Russia and one of the most powerful, captivating women in history. And it wasn't easy: She dealt with rebellion, foreign wars, and the whole revolutionary ripple effect stirred up by the French. She had close family, friends, advisors, lovers, and definitely enemies, and they're all here in this juicy retelling.

"Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman" by Robert K. Massie
amazon.com
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