Anyone else watching CW’s Reign? The show is about the young Mary Queen of Scots but don’t watch it for its historical accuracy. I’d like to describe it as The Tudors meets Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants — and a little Gossip Girl thrown in.
But I love, love this trend of young royal watching. Perhaps inspired by the new cool British Royals, Will & Kate, we seem awfully eager to watch young royals in history too.
Just like how shocked I was to discover that Romeo & Juliet were only 13 years old when they declared their love and drank the Kool-aid, I’m always surprised to learn that historically, most royals accomplished their most significant feats at an early age. By that, I mean they got hitched thereby sealing alliances.
Here’s my list of young royal reading:
1) The Royal Physician’s Visit (Per Olov Enquist): The Danish Queen Caroline Mathilde falls for her husband’s German doctor. This one inspired a gorgeous movie called The Royal Affair.
2) Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Antonia Fraser): Who doesn’t love to hear about the extravagant Queen of France and all those crazy wigs.
3) Wait for Me! (Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire): I have to admit that this one’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. Wait For Me is an autobiography by the youngest of the Mitford sisters and came highly recommended.
4) Driving the Saudis: A Chaffeur’s Tale of the World’s Richest Princesses (Jayne Amelia Larson): This one’s been on my list forever. While there’s been plenty of European royal drama, the Middle East’s aristocracy remains a mystery.
5) Royal Bodies (Hilary Mantel): A scathingly critical essay (and talk) from Hilary Mantel about Kate Middleton, royalty and what little substance there is behind the glamour. “Royal persons are both gods and beasts.”