Two months after The Crown was released on Netflix, we’re in the thick of the holidays, with plenty of time for binge watching … and nothing to watch since we devoured The Crown. If you, too, have already made it through the addictive series, try one of these royally inclined hits instead.
If you enjoyed The Crown so much you interested in a similar take at another British queen, then PBS’s new series, Victoria, is for you. Focusing on Queen Victoria’s early years on the throne, the show also follows the beginnings of her legendary romance with her eventual husband, Prince Albert. The good news? It premiered in January, so you haven’t missed much yet!
An obvious choice for anyone who loves period pieces, England and big, elaborate houses. While not about royalty exactly, Downton Abbey follows the trials and the tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family against the backdrop of the early 20th century, World War I and the 1920s. Keep an eye out for the royals in the fourth season’s finale, when the family pays a visit to Buckingham Palace and rubs elbows with King George V, Queen Mary and the Prince of Wales — the future Edward VIII.
If you want to go back a little further, but not too far in history, try The Young Victoria. The film chronicles the early years of Queen Victoria’s life, including her epic romance with Prince Albert. Emily Blunt stars.
If you prefer your history with a dash of fiction, then Reign is a solid binge choice. The CW’s show about Mary, Queen of Scots, takes more than a few liberties with the facts.
Can’t wait for future seasons of The Crown? Get a peek at the events to come in The Queen, which stars Helen Mirren and is written by The Crown creator Peter Morgan. This story sees Queen Elizabeth in the days after Princess Diana’s death, grappling with a changing family and a shifting public perception of the monarchy.
This Naomi Watts-starring film made a blink-and-you-missed-it stop in theaters, but is available to stream on Netflix. The movie centers on the late princess’s relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan after her divorce from Prince Charles. Her relationship with Khan ended just months before her August 1997 death. Though panned by the critics, royal fans will surely be intrigued by the movie.
History buffs, this one’s for you. The Tudors is a sexy take on the reign of Henry VIII — and yes, all six of his wives. The best part? Unlike the historical paintings would have you believe, The Tudors’s Henry is the very fit Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Sadly, The Crown viewers only get a few episodes of (SPOILER) George VI before he dies and his daughter ascends to the throne. Though necessary for a mini-series about Queen Elizabeth’s reign, audiences didn’t get to see her father’s interesting-in-its-own-right story. In comes the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech, which sees George VI work on conquering his stutter as he prepares — unexpectedly — to take the throne.
If you want a peek at the Queen’s life — or at least, her imagined life — before the events of The Crown, as well as more Margaret, try the 2015 film A Royal Night Out. This movie takes the “legend” that the then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were allowed to go celebrate in the streets on V-E Day in London, and builds an over-the-top fictional tale of their night out. Bonus: Rupert Everett as George VI.
Helen Mirren is practically a royal herself — she’s played enough of them! In this HBO mini-series, she takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth the first in her later years, in particular, dealing with the looming pressure to marry. Though we now know she never does, it’s an interesting look at how that happens. (Hence why she’s called the Virgin Queen.)