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Royal Reading for the Royal Wedding

You watch “The Crown” and “Victoria,” and obviously, you‘ve seen every episode of “Downton Abbey.” We understand. Indeed, we’d argue royal watching is a legitimate intellectual pursuit. Bet let’s suppose that while you’re looking forward to May 19, with all its pomp and circumstance, your fascination goes beyond the cut of Meghan Markle’s wedding gown. If you’re like us, while everyone is talking about who will be there and when to watch the nuptials on TV, you want to hunker down with these 11 worthy books about the royal family. ‘William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls,’ by Katie Nicholl “An entertaining, richly photographed book that reads like a longer, more thorough narration of scoops the princes’ admirers devoured in Us Weekly or in the British celebrity magazine Hello!” ‘Kate: Kate Middleton, Princess in Waiting,’ by Claudia Joseph “With a historian’s eye for detail, and without a speck of intended bile, Ms. Joseph reaches back five generations, tracing every branch of Ms. Middleton’s family tree, exposing her ‘penniless,’ ‘insanitary,’ ‘scruffy’ and occasionally ‘unsalubrious’ roots, and tracing the rise of her family through the British class system.” “It takes Ms. Brown’s blend of arch journalistic savvy and social sang-froid to capture the kind of patrician women whose ‘aggressive beaky look comes from years of catering to oblivious men,’ or to say of Prince Charles that ‘it’s the grooming that gives him liftoff.’” ‘Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch,’ by Sally Bedell Smith “Smith taps a host of public sources and tracks down friends and former courtiers of the queen who are willing to share more intimate tidbits (all too often about horses and corgis).” ‘Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life,’ by Sally Bedell Smith “Prince Charles is that rare portrait — pro-Charles and anti-Diana. ‘I found,’ Smith writes in her preface, ‘that much about Prince Charles was poorly understood, not least the extent of his originality.’ She reveals that ‘Poor Charles’ was ‘a constant refrain’ as she conducted her interviews, ‘spoken in despair by those who loved him, with sarcasm by those who resented him.’” ‘Elizabeth and Philip: Portrait of a Marriage,’ by Gyles Brandreth “Biographers sometimes borrow the attitudes of their subjects. Perhaps that is why Gyles Brandreth would like you to know this about the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Philip, duke of Edinburgh: What goes on between them, Dear Reader, is really none of your affair.” ‘Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth,’ by Philip Eade “A remarkable new biography of the prince … the book does for the royal consort what Helen Mirren did for his wife in the 2006 movie ‘The Queen,’ breathing life into a figure who had seemed stiff and remote.” “The authorized biography of a woman who was born as the 20th century was beginning and died about a year after it ended, it is a linear, you-are-there chronicle of the events of her life.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/books/royal-wedding.html