Fit for a King, Queen, or Teen:
10 Royalty-Inspired Books for YA Readers
by Iva-Marie Palmer
When Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle, an American actress, announced their engagement in November 2017, it was the kind of news event on which many could agree: No matter your level of interest in nuptials or the royal family separately, there’s something about a royal wedding that’s at least a little exciting. And for those who found the prospect really exciting, or who’ve found themselves binge-watching “The Crown” or captivated by the court dramas of Marie Antoinette, there’s so much in the literary world to explore.
These teen books centered on royalty — some pegged to real-life kingdoms and others to crowns of the writers’ inventions — will keep YA readers riveted.
Oddball Floridian Daisy Winters is about to become royalty … well, her perfect older sister who’s dating the Crown Prince of Scotland is. But Daisy is still stuck undergoing a crash course in how to be regal from Miles, a friend to the royal family. To readers’ delight, Daisy doesn’t filter what she says and therefore doesn’t exactly make a perfect pupil. Throw in the prince’s younger brother Sebastian (a real piece of work) and the stage is set for a royal romantic comedy that will sate anyone craving a lighthearted but high-stakes romp.
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
In this novel, conceptualized by Candace Fleming and written by a group of bestselling authors, the lives of Henry VIII and his six wives are reimagined in a gripping way. Told in the first person, each author takes on a character — from Henry himself to strong-willed Anne Boleyn to one-bullied, later-beloved Jane Seymour — and together build a gripping story about one of the most compelling and treacherous periods of English history.
While many royal weddings are a happy and buoyant affair, many crowns come at a price, and such is the case for Theo, who was given the shameful title of Ash Princess after her mother’s murder and made a prisoner in her own palace. After years of abuse from the Kaiser and his court, Theo does the unthinkable and ends up with blood on her hands. With intrigue, treachery, and the marks of an epic, Sebastian’s new series is for those seeking a royal heroine who upends the traditional happily-ever-after stories.
Historical fiction and Bridgerton fans will love this Regency-esque romance. Lady Ela Dalvi wants revenge. To get it, she poses as an heiress to manipulate the downfall of her ex-best friend. But getting a second chance at love puts an enormous hiccup in her devious plan. Charming, witty, and sharp, this novel has everything YA romance readers want.
Her Royal Highness
If you loved Rachel Hawkins’s Prince Charming, this companion novel is a must-read! Desperate to escape Texas and her broken heart, Millie gets accepted into a prestigious private school in Scotland, where she ends up roommates with the princess. At first, the girls can’t get along, but over time, friendship and romance blossom between them.
The British royal family inspired this series that reimagines America with a monarchy. Princess Beatrice, Princess Samantha, and Prince Jefferson wrestle with their duties, growing up in the public eye, falling in love, and the heavy expectations on their shoulders.
A River of Royal Blood
YA readers who enjoy cutthroat royalty stories will love this royalty-inspired fantasy about sisterhood, power, and choice. With the throne of their queendom up for grabs, princesses and sisters Eva and Isa must fight to the death. The winner gets the crown; the loser goes to the grave. This novel is unlike anything you’ve ever read!
The Guinevere Deception
The court of King Arthur awaits in this lush fantasy novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White. With dark magic seeping into Camelot and the king’s life under constant threat, Princess Guinevere poses as Arthur’s wife. She has sworn to protect him, but the job comes with unexpected twists, betrayals, and forbidden love.
Violet Made of Thorns
Violet is a prophet to the royal court and doesn’t mind altering her divinations if it benefits her. The only person who sees through her lies is Prince Cyrus. An accidental curse and an unexpected attraction to the prince put her position in court and her future at stake. Anyone who loves merciless court drama will find this book utterly addictive.
Murder, scandal, and secrets combine into a delicious, royalty-inspired thriller you can’t set down. Evan Bright is the illegitimate daughter of the King of England. She’s also American and has a whopper of a secret. On a visit to her royal relatives in London, someone gets murdered, and all the evidence points to her. She’ll have to find the actual killer to clear her name and keep her secret safe.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2023.