All eyes are on the British monarchy lately. So much is happening with the Royals, it's hard not to catch royal fever.
Kate Middleton recently welcomed her third child, Prince Louis, with Prince William and now, all eyes are on the younger brother, Prince Harry, as he gets ready to marry the love of his life and former Suits
actress, Meghan Markle.
The marriage of TV Royalty with British royalty inspired us to put together a list of our favorite TV shows about the monarchy.
Binge these before May 19th and you’ll be ready for the festive celebrations!
And since a few of them are semi-historically accurate, you might even learn a thing or two so you can show off your knowledge during the Royal wedding party.
Think you know everything about Queen Elizabeth II? Think again. The Netflix historical drama gives you a peek into the Queen’s private life. While some moments in the chic period piece are a bit too soapy and exaggerated, for the most part, they give an accurate depiction of her reign, romantic dalliances, political rivalries and the hardships she faced as a woman in power. Claire Foye embraces the role of the Queen while Matt Smith takes on her husband, Prince Phillip. Both seasons are currently available on Netflix.
If you've ever been to the Palace of Versailles, you probably know the story behind it. Currently, in its third season, the BBC series follows King Louis XIV life of France who bankrupted his nation and decided to move his royal court into the palace, formally his father’s hunting lodge. As with all pretty things, the nobles are drawn to it and seek admittance, but little do they know, it's actually a trap. Come for the elaborate sets, stay for the historically-fictional drama, romance and betrayal.
Sometimes, a juicy and over-the-top drama about Britain's finest is just what you need. Filled with murder, sex, and conspiracy, E!'s Royal family is all about scandal. Loosely based on the novel "Falling for Hamlet" by Michelle Ray, it's a satirical take on a monarchy that has more money than common sense. But a look behind those closed palace doors is royally satisfying. Long live Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena.
Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman shines as she establishes herself as Queen Victoria in the PBS period drama that follows her ascension to the throne in the 1800s shortly after the death of her uncle, King William IV. Amidst the scandal, corruption and stunning Victorian-era dresses, Tom Hughes stars as the dashing Prince Albert who woes the young queen.
You can binge-watch the all six seasons since the series, about the lavish and fictional Crawley family, ended back in 2015. At the start of the series, Downtown Abbey’s future is in jeopardy as all the preemptive heirs perished during the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912. If you need any more convincing, the series took home multiple Emmys and stars the beloved Maggie Smith!
Wolf Hall is a historical drama based on the Tudor era but told for a modern audience. The six-part series is an adaptation of novels of Hilary Mantel's novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. The astute anti-hero, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself thrust into the dangerous role of King Henry VII’s chief minister and his rise to power is gripping watch. The BBC series also garnered several BAFTA awards.
The CW delivered a highly fictionalized account of 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scotts, a fiery and headstrong monarch who arrives in France with her four besties (ladies in waiting) to secure Scotland’s alliance through an arranged engagement to Prince Francis. There's no shortage of conflicts, sexual intrigue and foes during her reign of France and Scotland.
All the scandal and sex of the 16th century is delivered through the fictional Showtime drama. Young and lustful King Henry VIII played Jonathan Rhys Meyers grows desperate for an heir so he beds and weds known ladies like Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Naturally, there's a lot of sex and also, some stunning costumes! Superman’s Henry Cavil and Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer are some of the bigger names attached to the series. But be warned, it was criticized for its historical inaccuracies.
If you loved Kit Harrington in Game of Thrones, this is your chance to see much more of him since he stars in and produces the three-part BBC miniseries. The series is based on a bloody time in history where Catholics were being persecuted. The real-life 17th-century "Gunpowder" plot was a failed attempt by English Catholics to kill the King by blowing up the House of Lords. Harrington plays Robert Catesby, a committed Catholic and the man credited as the driving force behind the plot.
BBC’s five-part period drama, Parade’s End, is based on the novel by Ford Madox Ford. If you’re a sucker for love triangles crafted in a heart-wrenching and suspenseful way, you’ll be fascinated by the conflicted relationship between English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch), his wife Sylvia (Rebecca Hall) and a young suffragette during World War II.
The White Queen
The ten-part BBC drama, based on Phillippa Gregory’s novel series The Cousins’ War, is a story of love and lust set in the most turbulent of times in English history; the House of York and the House of Lancaster fought to determine the country’s true king. It’s interestingly told through the perspective of three women, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.
As you've garnered from this post, most royal dramas are grim and dark in nature. That's not the case with The Windsor's, a comedic parody that offers up a hilarious look at England’s royal family like you’ve never seen them before. Camila wants to be Queen, Pippa Middleton is jealous of Kate, and it seems like everything that happens could be splashed across the pages of STAR magazine. The real Prince William's even said he finds the portrayal of his wife as a gypsy traveler "hilarious."
Lifetime's Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance
This isn’t a TV series but it is a Lifetime movie and that's close enough. "A Royal Romance" will chronicle the courtship and love story between a beloved prince and his new fiancée. While Lifetime documentaries and films are almost always cringe-worthy, if you don’t know much about Meghan Markle, it could be eye-opening as it will showcase her road to becoming a princess -- her childhood, acting and modeling gigs and her humanitarian work. At the very least, you’ll come out with a few good laughs and be well equipped for the real thing on May 19! The TV film premieres May 13, just a few days prior!