10 Royally Good Audiobooks for Fans of ‘The Crown’

In a year of great uncertainty, we can at least all take solace in the fact that The Crown will undoubtedly serve up a slice of really good television in November. From the gorgeous sets to glamorous fashions, Netflix’s flashy period drama just premiered its most momentous season yet. After all, it’s got Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands War, IRA attacks, and, of course, Lady Diana Spencer.

If you’re dying for more royal goodness after binging the latest season, check out our list of the best audiobooks to dive into for more drama and intrigue. From biographies to historical fiction, you’re bound to find your next perfect cup of royal tea.

The Gown by Jennifer Robson, narrated by Marisa Calin

Since its premiere in 2016, The Crown has held the title of the most expensive show ever produced by Netflix. Of the whopping $130 million that Netflix invested into the first two seasons, £30,000 (roughly $37,000) alone went into creating an exact replica of one of the most famous gowns in history: Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress.

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where Queen Elizabeth’s famous wedding gown was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, Robson introduces listeners to three unforgettable heroines whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

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Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words by Andrew Morton, narrated by Michael MaloneyCaroline Langrishe

Season four of The Crown introduced viewers to a young Lady Diana Spencer, who, two decades after her death, remains an icon and enigma. Andrew Morton’s blockbuster biography is a must-listen for any Princess Diana aficionados and is as close to an autobiography as we’ll ever get. Written using secret tapes recorded by Diana and Andrew Morton, Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words reveals Diana’s unhappy marriage, her relationship with the Queen, her extraordinary life inside the House of Windsor, her hopes, her fears, and her dreams. In this fully revised edition of his groundbreaking biography, Morton considers Diana’s legacy and her relevance to the modern royal family.

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The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen by Karen Harper, narrated by Bianca Amato

Karen Harper’s The Queen’s Secret focuses on a different Queen Elizabeth: Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother. As a steely, enduring figure who is resolutely devoted to the crown, the Queen Mother’s role in the show has grown ever more diminished as The Crown chugs forward in time and shifts the focus onto Queen Elizabeth’s children. So, for those who want more of Queen Mum, The Queen’s Secret will be sure to satisfy that craving.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

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The Woman Before Wallis: A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts, and Royal Scandal by Bryn Turnbull, narrated by Mary Jane Wells

Scores of books and movies have already been written about Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward abdicated the crown. The banished Duchess of Windsor made appearances in three out of four seasons of the show, but nothing has been said of Thelma Morgan, the American divorcée who captured Prince Edward’s heart before Wallis. In The Woman Before Wallis, Bryn Turnbull takes readers from the raucous glamour of the Paris Ritz and the French Riviera to the quiet, private corners of St. James’s Palace to tell a sweeping story of love, loyalty, and betrayal.

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Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn, narrated by Simon Prebble

If you want to switch gears for a more lighthearted royal story, Mrs Queen Takes the Train will absolutely be your cup of tea. William Kuhn draws listeners into a few delightful, fictitious days in the life of a modern monarch.

Queen Elizabeth, now elderly and feeling a bit low, pops down to the stables to check on her horses. Then, in a hoodie borrowed from stable lass Rebecca, the Queen strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun. This lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes listeners into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town.

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Royal by Danielle Steel, narrated by Nick Afka Thomas

Although Danielle Steel’s Royal isn’t based on any real-life monarchs, it’s got all the heartbreak, drama, and romance to satisfy everyone who’s trying to fill the royal-sized hole left behind by the latest season of The Crown.

As war rages on in the summer of 1943, the King and Queen choose to quietly send their youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, away to safety to live with a trusted noble family in the country. In time, she settles comfortably into a life out of the spotlight, utterly in the dark about her royal lineage. But, when a stack of hidden letters comes to light, a secret kept for nearly two decades finally surfaces, and a long lost princess emerges.

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The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel by Georgie Blalock, narrated by Ann Marie Gideon

Revisit the whirlwind life of your favorite royal troublemaker through the eyes of one of her ladies-in-waiting in Georgie Blalock’s The Other Windsor Girl. In dreary post-war Britain, Vera Strathmore, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret’s fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret’s second lady-in-waiting. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s affairs unfurl with delicious drama.

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Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown, narrated by Eleanor Bron

From her iconic style to her rebellious spirit, it’s no wonder Princess Margaret aroused passion and indignation in equal measures. If you’re dying to learn more about the most talked-about English royal, look no further. Combining interviews, parodies, dreams, parallel lives, diaries, announcements, lists, catalogs, and essays, Craig Brown’s Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret is a kaleidoscopic experiment in biography and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.

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Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, narrated by Omid Scobie

Fans who were hoping to see the latest Harry and Meghan royal drama play out on screen will be disappointed. The Crown creator Peter Morgan has confirmed the series’s sixth and final season will focus on the administrations of John Major and Tony Blair, the latter of which happened nearly a decade before Harry and Meghan met.

But, fret not! There’s plenty of material to dive into as Harry and Meghan’s saga unfolds. Finding Freedom by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie is the first in-depth and intimate portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s life together. With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, Finding Freedom reveals why they chose to pursue a more independent path and the reasons behind their unprecedented decision to step away from their royal lives.

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The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2: Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years that Defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977) by Robert Lacey, narrated by Alex Jennings

Finally, your essential The Crown listening list wouldn’t be complete without Robert Lacey’s official companion book. As the show’s historical consultant, Lacey takes listeners through the real history that inspired the drama. Volume one covers the show’s first season from 1947 to 1955, while volume two covers the second and third seasons from 1956 to 1977. Extensively researched, Lacey’s companion audiobooks offer an in-depth exploration from behind the palace gates.

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The King’s (and Queen’s!) Speech: A Majesty of Narrators!

If you’re a fan of British royal family-themed fiction, then almost certainly you’re a fan of two things: The Crown on Netflix, and Philippa Gregory. Out now is a new audio version of The Queen’s Fool, narrated by Yolanda Kettle, which follows The Other Boleyn Girl, narrated by Vanessa Kirby. Both Kettle and Kirby have been *spoiler alert* recent love rivals in The Crown, which got us to thinking, which other books have been narrated by The Crown stars? Let’s take a look!

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory, narrated by Yolanda Kettle

Philippa Gregory does it again!

Hannah Green is a young girl who is placed in the Tudor court as a holy fool to Mary I. Hannah, who has many of her own secrets, ends up trapped between the Catholic Queen and Elizabeth, her Protestant sister. She must choose between living a safe life of a commoner or risking everything for the fame and fortune of the court.

Yolanda Kettle’s narration really brings Hannah’s character to life. She has a very youthful voice, which is very apt for the characters in this novel.

Publisher’s Summary:

Winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee with her father from their home in Spain. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee; she has the gift of “Sight,” the ability to foresee the future, priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward’s protector, who brings her to court as a “holy fool” for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up with her own yearnings and desires.

Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen’s Fool is a rich and emotionally resonant gem from a masterful storyteller.

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The Secretary by Renee Knight, narrated by Victoria Hamilton

Christine Butcher is a devoted and loyal secretary to Mina Appleton. She listens, watches, and is privy to secrets that she always keeps safe…

But those years of discretion come at a high price—which Christine discovers at her peril.

Victoria Hamilton’s (Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) narration is perfect for this novel. Her calm voice adds an eerie and suspenseful tone to this thriller.

Publisher’s Summary:

From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina’s life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.

Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible—watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.
Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christine will pay.

Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman. Because as everyone is about to discover, there’s a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.

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Drama: An Actor’s Education by John Lithgow, narrated by John Lithgow

John Lithgow’s (Winston Churchill) memoir, which he narrates himself, is an absolute treat. He talks in depth about his life, his family, and his career, which has spanned decades and various genres. His stories about his parents are poignant and touching.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I love listening to authors narrating their own memoirs, since it adds real depth to the story being told. And of course, an actor with such gravitas as Lithgow brings much richness to the narration.

Publisher’s Summary:

Emmy Award-winner John Lithgow presents a charming, witty, and revealing memoir about his family, his work, and his life in Drama—an intimate story of insights and inspirational reflections from one of America’s most beloved actors. Lithgow pays tribute to his father, his greatest influence, and relives his collaborations with renowned performers and directors including Mike Nichols, Bob Fosse, Liv Ullmann, Meryl Streep, and Brian De Palma. A compelling reflection on the trials, triumphs, and changes across his long career, Lithgow’s Drama illuminates the inner life of a celebrated talent, and points the way forward for anyone aspiring to greatness in their own life.

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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, narrated by Vanessa Kirby

When Mary Boleyn comes to court, she falls in love with Henry VIII. However, she’s forced to step aside for her sister, Anne, when the King’s attention for Mary starts to wain.

As Mary realizes her family’s ambition is overriding her own needs and wants, she decides not to take it lying down…

Vanessa Kirby’s (Princess Margaret) regal narration style is so appropriate for this historical listen. The determination and strength of Mary’s character really come through in her reading.

Publisher’s Summary:

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.

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Forever and a Day: A James Bond Novel by Anthony Horowitz, narrated by Matthew Goode

Anthony Horowitz, a famous and talented writer in his own right, has taken on the character of James Bond to create an amazing origin story, with all of the excitement, intrigue, and passion that we all expect from the world’s favorite spy.

Matthew Goode (Lord Snowdon) is every inch the right narrator for this book, bringing the suaveness needed for the James Bond character.

Publisher Summary

A spy is dead. A legend is born. This is how it all began. The explosive prequel to Casino Royale, from bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

Forever and a Day is the story of the birth of a legend, in the brutal underworld of the French Riviera, taking readers into the very beginning of James Bond’s illustrious career and the formation of his identity.


M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. “We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.”

“‘It’s Bond, sir,’” the Chief of Staff replied. “James Bond.”

The sea keeps its secrets. But not this time. 

One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand. 

It’s time for a new agent to step up. Time for a new weapon in the war against organized crime. 

It’s time for James Bond to earn his license to kill.

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King, narrated by Michael C. Hall

If you had to pick an author who really symbolizes everything great about the horror genre, most of us would pick Stephen King.

Pet Sematary is a horror classic, centered around the character Louis Creed, who moves his family to a lovely small town that seems too good to be true.

Michael C. Hall (John F. Kennedy) is very compelling and right on the money as narrator for this book. With his background in thrillers in TV shows like Dexter, he brings a great presence to this listen.

Publisher’s Summary:

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job, and moves his family to the idyllic, rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow’s tranquility, there’s an undercurrent of danger that lingers…like the graveyard in the woods near the Creed’s home, where generations of children have buried their beloved pets.

Behind the “pet sematary,” there is another burial ground, one that lures people to it with seductive promises…and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself…

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