Royal Memoirs for Avid Anglophiles
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Royal Memoirs for Avid Anglophiles

Stories from the royals' inner circle

Let’s be honest: we all go a bit mad for anything royals-related. From watching their lives played out on screen in blockbuster films and TV shows to reading all about them in books and newspapers, we are truly anglophiles at heart when it comes to our favourite monarchs. So, without further ado, these are the royal memoirs every fan of the British monarchy should read.

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Despite our obsession with the lives of the Royal Family, only a select few have taken to the pen (or spoken to someone who would) and let their story be known in their own words. Royal memoirs, unlike their biographical cousins, are few and far between – and even some of the published are hard to come by in bookshops.

With a new generation of royals now looking to document their lives (we’re impatiently waiting for Prince Harry’s memoir to drop), we look back on the memoirs that gave us insight on the lives of the British monarchy.

Royal Memoirs for Avid Anglophiles


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Royal Memoirs and Biographies

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

Perhaps the most famous memoir to come from the royals is Diana’s. Created with British journalist Andrew Morton, Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words is based on alleged interviews with the Princess as well as her friends and family. Released during 1992, a year that was considered rather nightmarish by the Royal Family, the biography sparked controversy for detailing Diana’s struggles with bulimia and depression as well as Prince Charles’ relationship Camilla Parker Bowles.

Memorable Quote: ‘What they say behind my back is none of my business. But I come back here and I know when I turn my light off at night I did my best.’

Michael O’Mara, £4.56,

Royal Memoirs - The Prince of Wales a biography

The Prince of Wales: A Biography by Jonathan Dimbleby

A few years after Diana’s monumental memoir, it was announced that Prince Charles would be giving insight into his own life. The Prince of Wales spent hours in candid conversation with British presenter and historian Jonathan Dimbleby, detailing his experiences as heir to the throne as well as the complicated narrative of his marriage. One of the more controversial takeaways from the memoir was the claim that Charles was forced into his marriage to Diana by Prince Philip.

Memorable Quote: ‘So much depends, I think, on how each one of us is introduced to and made aware of that reflection within us.’

William Morrow & Co, £5.62,

Royal Memoirs - Finding Sarah a Duchess's Journey to Find Herself

Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey to Find Herself by Sarah Ferguson

Described as ‘an extraordinarily personal memoir’, Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey to Find Herself is the second autobiography to come from the Duchess of York. Featuring diary excerpts and personal emails to friends and family, as well as conversations with the likes of Dr. Phil McGraw and Suze Orman, the memoir is a candid reflection on her early life, relationship with the press, and the money issues she faced after her divorce from Prince Andrew.

Memorable Quote: ‘I left my marriage knowing I’d have to work. I have.’

Atria Books, £14.68,

The Final Curtsey

The Final Curtsey: A Royal Memoir by the Queen’s Cousin by Margaret Rhodes

Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and the niece of the Queen Mother, gives an intimate view of her life as a Royal. From bridesmaid for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to Lady-in-Waiting and solid companion to the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret led a life that was anything but quiet.

Memorable Quote: ‘It seems strange that I once lived in what would turn out to be the last days of a long lost world of seemingly unassailable privilege.’

Birlinn Ltd, £8.29,

A King's Story Memoirs of the Duke of Windsor

A King’s Story: The Memoirs of H.R.H. the Duke of Windsor K.G. by the Duke of Windsor

Former king and uncle to Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Windsor was once the star of controversy within the Royal Family when he abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson. The duke allegedly struggled financially after his abdication, and so he recounted his life in 1951 – penning what would become one of the key sources of funding for his lifestyle in France.

Memorable Quote: ‘Meanwhile, something had happened that, although I did not realize it at the time, was destined to change the whole course of my life… I met Wallis Warfield Simpson.’

Prion Books, £229.57,

The Heart has its Reasons

The Heart has its Reasons: The Story of the Abdication by Wallis Simpson

Following on from the success of her husband’s memoir, the Duchess of Windsor decided to write her own a few years later. The Duchess discusses her early life before becoming a royal in great detail, as well as the experiences both her and husband underwent after his abdication.

Memorable Quote: ‘This endless rehashing of a lost past became almost an obsession with us…”

Award Publishing, £19.99,

The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester

The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester by Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester

Married to Prince Henry, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Gloucester recounts her life as a Royal – from the struggles of wartime Britain and tragedies within the family to moments of joy and triumph. Packed with heaps of wit and character, this royal memoir is one of the most enjoyable out there.

Memorable Quote: ‘I have tried to persuade myself that it was better to have known him and lost him than never to have had him at all.’

HarperCollins Distribution Services, £7.99,

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Photo by Jonathan Francisca