The British monarchy has a rich and fascinating history. Combined with tension, drama, and love, it makes for an ideal TV show. Throughout the centuries, kings and queens have ruled England with an iron fist. Many of these royal figures became larger than life thanks to their personalities and methods of rule. There was King Henry VIII who went through six wives during his rule. You also have Mary, Queen of Scots, who is involved in a murder plot and a love triangle. Then there’s the current Queen Elizabeth II, who has been in power for a staggering 70 years. Many historical figures and their lives have been adapted to the small screen. Television shows about the monarchy and royal family continue to attract audiences around the world.
So, whether you want to learn more about Queen Elizabeth I or Thomas Cromwell, the chancellor of King Henry VIII, here are the best TV shows about the monarchy to binge-watch.
This fantastic Netflix series focuses on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Created and written by Peter Morgan (Queen, Frost/Nixon), Crown tells the story of the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II, from her wedding in 1947 to the present day. So far four seasons of the series have been released. Two more series will be broadcast in the coming years. Crown has won numerous awards and is critically acclaimed for her writing, acting and directing skills.
One of the interesting things about the movie is how the different actors play the characters as they get older. The first two seasons starred Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip. Seasons three and four featured Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip respectively. In the upcoming final seasons, Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce will take on the roles of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
There are also several other famous actors and actresses playing key roles throughout the seasons, including Vanessa Kirby (seasons 1–2) and Helena Bonham Carter (seasons 3–4) as Princess Margaret, Female Earl of Snowdon, John Lithgow as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.
While Crown largely fictitious events, it remains true to the life of Queen Elizabeth II and is the best TV show about the beloved king.
2. Tudor House
It’s only fair that King Henry VIII has his own TV show. Considered one of England’s great leaders, the charismatic king is best known for his six wives. During his 38-year reign, Henry had six brides and many mistresses, and produced many children. tudor family is another great show that deals with the British monarch with a standout performance by Jonathan Rhys Myers as his old friend Henry.
Created and written by Michael Hirst, tudor family ran for four seasons and chronicled the life and times of Henry. While focusing on Henry, the series also lets you see things from the perspective of his six wives and their experiences as members of the royal family.
Along with Jonathan Rhys Myers, the cast is made up of great actors. Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon are all very special. While it sometimes doesn’t fit the truth, there’s no better show about King Henry VIII and his six wives.
3. White Queen
Based on the historical novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory, White Queen Set during the Wars of the Roses. This was the period when England experienced many years of civil war as opposing forces tried to claim the throne. Think Game of Thrones but more fact-based. There’s plenty of backstabbing and power play as Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), Queen of England alongside King Edward IV, (Max Irons) tries to stay in power throughout the 1400s.
The show was a single season, and despite its low ratings, two spinoffs were released. White Princess details the marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) while Spanish Princess tells the story of Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope), a Spanish princess who becomes the eldest wife of King Henry VIII (Ruairi O’Connor).
In three shows, White Princess most praised, with Spanish Princess angered many Spaniards because it depicted Catherine of Aragon.
4. Wolf Hall
Not every monarch TV show focuses on ruling kings and queens. Wolf Hall tells the story of behind-the-scenes player Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance). Based on the novel Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall And Bring up the body, the series marked Cromwell’s rise from lawyer to prime minister to King Henry VIII (Damien Lewis). Cromwell is an intelligent but vindictive man. He made many enemies when he stalked the corridors of the Tudor court, but his strength was second only to the King. For six years he watched Henry before a few mistakes led to his death in 1540.
The six-part series has received critical acclaim since its release in 2015. Wolf Hall has won three BAFTA TV Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Peabody Award.
5. Elizabeth I
The great Helen Mirren plays Elizabeth I in this historical drama about the last 24 years of her reign of power. The two-part series was a huge hit when it aired in 2005. Elizabeth I critically acclaimed and went on to win Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe Awards. Mirren’s excellent performance as Elizabeth was also appreciated. Jeremy Irons (Earl of Leicester) and Hugh Dancy (Earl of Essex) are also great, very supportive.
Elizabeth I It is also more historically accurate than many other movies and TV shows about the famous queen, increasing its appeal.
Although most of the shows on this list revolve around the British royal family, Versailles takes place in France and looks back on the reign of Louis XIV. Versailles takes place during the construction of the Palace of Versailles, hence the series’ name. Forcing the imperial court to move out of the country with him while the palace was being built, the series examines the impact this had on the nobles as they were forced to move around their new surroundings. Since not everyone is happy with the move, it causes a lot of tension and drama among the people who live there, which makes for a great TV show.
7. Royal House of Windsor
Here’s something a little different; a documentary series tracing the history of the royal family. Windsor Royal House details the past 100 years of the current royal family. It traces their beginnings and how they became the most powerful royal family in the world.
The six-episode series begins during World War I as the monarch tries to establish himself and witness the rise of Queen Elizabeth II. Other notable sections of the archive focus on Prince Philips and his unorthodox methods, the blossoming romance between Prince Charles and Princess Diana and her subsequent death and eventual demise. current establishment of the monarch. The lives of Prince William and Prince Harry are also mentioned.
While none of the content is about the royal family, this series includes interviews with historians and palace insiders to provide a glimpse into life inside Buckingham Palace.
8. The Last Tsar
This Netflix original is about the last emperor of Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, Nicholas II. The six-part series follows Nicholas II’s sudden ascension to the throne at the age of 26 until his assassination in 1918. Nicholas II was one of the most controversial tsars in Russian history. Unable to participate thanks to the close confidence of Rasputin. The saint claimed to have had the tsar’s ears after curing his son’s illness. He used his position of power to influence the political decisions of Nicholas II.
The last tsar is a fascinating look at one of Russia’s most fascinating periods. Although there are not any famous faces participating, the actors have successfully completed their tasks and are able to write and direct. Fans of historical dramas or historical works related to the royal family will definitely enjoy this series.
This three-season drama follows the life of Queen Victoria when she ascended to the throne at the age of 18. It follows her marriage to Prince Albert of Germany, the difficulties she faces to balance her life. family with their rule of the British Empire and their sudden appearance. of her estranged half-sister, Princess Feodora.
Although it’s still pretty close to the truth, Victoria was accused of going down Abby City Center route by including slightly more soap opera-like storylines. That said, the show provides an entertaining viewing experience for those who love the monarch. The cast is also exceptionally talented, with the likes of Jenna Coleman (Queen Victoria), Tom Hughes (Prince Albert), Nell Hudson (Nancy Skerrett) and Rufus Sewell (Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), all are all special.
Once more out of England, King revolves around the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Having ascended the throne at the age of six, she spent most of her youth in France. She would marry three different men during her lifetime. When she returned to England, things did not go as planned. Once claiming to be the rightful heir to the English throne, Mary was chased across the country by her cousin Elizabeth I because she did not want her power to be tested. She was eventually arrested and imprisoned for 18 years, before being sentenced to death.
King charts Mary’s life from her time in France until her return to England. It also details her efforts to regain the throne. While the cast doesn’t feature any big names, Adelaide Kane makes a strong impression as Mary, Queen of Scots. Costumes and cinematography were also praised by critics.
Be wary, King more drama than reality, so if you’re looking for more insight, you’d be better off reading a book about Mary, Queen of Scotland than seeing this one.