Tiaras and Tribulations: A Guide to Royal Family Shows


Royal families have captivated audiences for centuries. Their lives, filled with tradition, intrigue, and sometimes scandal, provide a rich backdrop for captivating television shows. Whether you’re a history buff or simply enjoy a good drama, there’s a royal family show out there for you.

This guide explores the different subgenres of royal dramas, delves into popular shows, and offers recommendations based on what you’re looking for.

Dramas Based on Real Events: History with a Twist

The Crown (Netflix): This critically acclaimed series takes a fictionalized look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It explores the political rivalries, personal struggles, and social changes that shaped Britain during her long rule. The Crown has been praised for its lavish production value, nuanced performances, and exploration of complex historical events.

Victoria (PBS): This British drama chronicles the early life and reign of Queen Victoria. It depicts her rise from a sheltered teenager to a powerful monarch, while also delving into her passionate relationship with Prince Albert. Victoria offers a compelling portrait of a young woman navigating the challenges of love, duty, and leadership.

The Great (Hulu): This darkly comedic drama takes a satirical look at the rise of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. The show offers a fictionalized account of her overthrow of her feckless husband, Peter III, and her attempts to modernize Russia. While not historically accurate, The Great provides a witty and entertaining exploration of power, ambition, and gender roles.

Reign (The CW): This historical drama focuses on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, from her teenage years to her execution by Queen Elizabeth I. Reign takes liberties with history, weaving in elements of fantasy and courtly intrigue. It’s a show that prioritizes entertainment value over historical accuracy, offering a visually stunning and dramatic portrayal of Mary’s life and loves.

Versailles (Netflix): This French drama explores the reign of King Louis XIV and the construction of his opulent palace, Versailles. The show depicts the court’s extravagant lifestyle, political machinations, and the king’s quest for absolute power. Versailles offers a glimpse into the opulent world of the French aristocracy and the dark underbelly of courtly life.

Fictional Royalty: Escapism with a Crown

The Royals (E!): This American drama follows a fictional British royal family, the Henstridges. The show focuses on the glamorous yet dysfunctional lives of the royals, filled with family secrets, scandals, and forbidden romances. The Royals offers a lighter take on the genre, with soapy plotlines and over-the-top characters.

The Prince (HBO Max): This animated series takes a satirical look at the life of Prince George of Cambridge, a young prince who one day will be king of England. The show follows his adventures, mishaps, and encounters with various outlandish characters. The Prince offers a humorous and irreverent take on the lives of royalty, poking fun at royal traditions and protocol.

Red, White & Royal Blue (Amazon Prime): Based on the popular YA novel of the same name, this upcoming series features a fictional American prince who falls in love with the son of the British Prime Minister. Red, White & Royal Blue offers a heartwarming and modern take on the royal romance, exploring themes of love, identity, and the challenges of public life.

Beyond the Palace Walls: Exploring Different Royalties

Young Royals (Netflix): This Swedish coming-of-age drama follows Prince Wilhelm, a young royal who falls in love with his classmate at a prestigious boarding school. Young Royals explores themes of identity, sexuality, and the pressures of duty and expectation. It offers a fresh perspective on the lives of young royals, showcasing their struggles to navigate personal desires within a rigid system.

The Spanish Princess (Starz): This historical drama tells the story of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII of England. The show follows her journey from princess of Spain to Queen of England, and the political machinations that led to their eventual annulment. The Spanish Princess offers a different perspective on the Tudor dynasty, focusing on the powerful women who often stayed in the shadows of history.

Marco Polo (Netflix): This historical drama is not strictly about royalty, but it portrays the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor who ruled much of Asia in the 13th century. The show follows the adventures of Marco Polo, a young Venetian explorer who finds himself caught up in the intrigues and power struggles of the Mongol court. Marco Polo offers a glimpse into a fascinating historical period and a different kind of royal court.

Finding the Perfect Royal Family Show for You

With so many shows to choose from, how do you find the one that piques your interest? Here are some tips:

  • Consider your historical period: Are you interested in a specific time period, like the Elizabethan era or the reign of Catherine the Great?
  • Choose your genre: Do you prefer a historical drama, a contemporary docuseries, or a lighthearted comedy?
  • Think about your preferred level of accuracy: Some shows prioritize historical accuracy, while others take creative liberties for entertainment purposes.

Once you’ve considered these factors, you can start exploring the vast array of royal family shows available. With a little research, you’re sure to find a show that will transport you to a world of tiaras, scandals, and captivating stories.


Q: What are some popular royal family shows?

  • A: Some shows depict real-life royalty, like The Crown (a fictionalized account of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign) and Victoria (a historical drama about Queen Victoria).
  • For fiction, there’s The Great (a dark comedy about Catherine the Great), Reign (a teen drama on Mary, Queen of Scots), and even The Royle Family (though it’s a hilarious British sitcom about a working-class family, not an actual royal).

Q: Where can I watch these shows?

A: Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime offer many royal dramas. Double-check which shows are available on your preferred platform.

Q: Are these shows historically accurate?

A: Shows like The Crown take creative liberties for dramatic effect. If you want pure historical accuracy, documentaries are a better bet. However, these shows can spark interest in real historical figures and events.

Q: What is The Crown about?

A: The Crown is a fictionalized account of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, starting from her marriage in 1947. It dramatizes the political rivalries and personal struggles of the British monarchy in the 20th century.

Q: Is there any controversy surrounding The Crown?

A: Yes. The show has been criticized by some for its historical inaccuracies, particularly its portrayal of events involving the Royal Family. The creators have defended their artistic license, emphasizing the show’s basis in historical research.

Q: Is The Crown worth watching?

A: With its lavish costumes, production value, and stellar performances, The Crown is a popular and award-winning show. Whether it’s entirely historically accurate is a question for debate, but it’s undeniably entertaining.

Q: What’s Victoria about?

A: Victoria is a historical drama focusing on the early reign of Queen Victoria. It explores her struggles with love, loss, and wielding power as a young monarch.

Q: Is The Great really about Catherine the Great?

A: Yes, but with a darkly comedic twist. The Great uses Catherine’s rise to power in 18th-century Russia as a backdrop for a satirical look at court intrigue and power struggles.

Q: Are there any reality shows about the British Royal Family?

A: Not exactly. Documentaries explore the royals’ lives, but there are no official reality shows with them.

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Jyoti Kumari

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