Royal shows to watch if you love The Crown

Live like the nobility (vicariously) with these top-shelf series.
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So, you’ve binged watch the entirety of The Crown and now you are experiencing Princess Diana withdrawals? Well don’t get your corgis in a twist just yet, there is plenty of royal content out there to feed your addiction.

WATCH: The Crown’s Emma Corrin shows incredible BTS footage from Princess Diana’s wedding dress scenes

From historical dramas to conspiracy documentaries, we have compiled the ultimate list of binge-able royal content for your viewing pleasure. So grab your tea and scones and don your crowns, it’s time to live (vicariously) like Kings and Queens. 

Helen Mirren Catherine the Great
(Credit: Supplied)

Catherine the Great

HISTORICAL DRAMA| MA15+ | 4 episodes

STARS: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Richard Roxburgh


BINGE TIME: 4 hours

Helen Mirren Catherine the Great
Helen Mirren (pictured), who portrays Catherine the Great in the historical drama of the same name, has her own claim to royalty, receiving a Damehood in 2003. (Credit: Supplied)

When the opportunity arose for Dame Helen Mirren to portray another historical royal, she had one ruler in mind: Catherine the Great. While she’s played more revered rulers, such as Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II, her latest venture is far more brazen in its approach.

The empress ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796 after overthrowing her husband Tsar Peter III, but her rise to power was often shadowed by scandals and urban myths surrounding her lively sex life. Yet Catherine was cultured, smart and used the relationships she forged as a source of power. And that political nous is a central focus of this lauded four-part miniseries.

For Helen, 75, the role is as much a personal venture as it is a professional undertaking. Not only was her grandfather in the Imperial Russian Army (Helen was born “Helen Mironoff” to a Russian father), but the significance of Catherine’s life – and how she chose to live it – serves to highlight female empowerment in its infancy.  

“She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman,” Helen explains. “And succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name.”

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance

DRAMA | PG | Film

STARS: Murray Fraser, Parisa Fitz-Henley


BINGE TIME: 1.5 hours

Meghan and Harry a royal romance
If you’re a fan of the Sussexes, you’ll love Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. (Credit: Supplied)

It came as a surprise when Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.

The American actress, best known as Rachel from legal drama Suits, was an unorthodox choice for the royal family – and she’s been breaking with tradition ever since.

This fictionalised account – starring Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser as Meghan and Harry – is corny, but it’s also quite sweet as we chart their love story.

The Royals


STARS: Elizabeth Hurley, William Moseley


BINGE TIME: 28 hours

The royals
Elizabeth Hurley (left) plays fictional Queen Helena in this US-made regal soap. (Credit: Supplied)

Fans consider Elizabeth Hurley one of the crown jewels of English showbiz, so it’s fitting that she step into the role of Queen Helena – a fictional contemporary queen consort of England – in this US-made regal soap.

After the sudden death of the heir to the throne, the family faces a new era – and rebellious youngest son Liam (William Moseley) finds himself in the spotlight. Can King Simon (Vincent Regan) trust him with the responsibility of taking over?

In the modern era, where no scandal goes unseen, the royal family will navigate their responsibilities to the monarchy – and their personal problems. It’s the perfect guilty pleasure.

Mary: The Making of a Princess

DRAMA | M | Film

STARS: Emma Hamilton, Ryan O’Kane


BINGE TIME: 1.5 hours

Mary: the making of a princess
One of our own! Watch Australian Mary’s love story with Frederik unfold in Mary: The Making of a Princess. (Credit: Supplied)

In 2004, Australians beamed with pride as we watched one of our own become Danish royalty.

Mary: The Making of a Princess plots the journey from the fateful meeting at a Sydney bar to the fateful day Mary Donaldson (Emma Hamilton) married Frederik, handsome Crown Prince of Denmark.



STARS: Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes


BINGE TIME: 25 hours

Victoria historical drama
Watch Jenna Coleman (middle) portray Queen Victoria in this 2016 historical drama. (Credit: Supplied)

We’ll let Jenna Coleman – who plays Queen Victoria in this historical drama – tell you about this one.

As an actress, how do you prepare for a role such as this?

I read Victoria’s diaries, but although those have her words, they’re more about the rhythm of her writing and her emphasis and consciousness. She’s very emphatic in her writing – what she likes is in capital letters and underlined. It was very thorough and passionate.

What helped with your transformation into Victoria?

We went through a lengthy process with the contact lenses, trying to find the right ones that would look natural. There were a couple that made me look like a white walker from Game of Thrones! In all the portraits, the one thing that really sticks out are her eyes; they’re such a known feature.

There’s always pressure when taking on a role like this. What did you want to achieve?

We spoke a lot about the idea of playing between state and private – between Victoria’s public and private faces and going between those two worlds. When she’s in her quarters, she’s undone and private. It’s about finding the human within the role of the queen and discovering the girl taking on this incredible responsibility.

Victoria the making of a princess 2
Jenna Coleman inhabits the young Queen to a tee in the role of her life. (Credit: Supplied)

Victoria had a lot of talents – did you have to learn a whole new set of skills for the role?

It was very interesting, because once I got the job, it was a matter of only three weeks before I had to be on a horse, riding on camera, ballroom dancing and playing the piano. I managed to get some Beethoven down – I have a piano in my house and I’ve wanted to learn [to play] for ages, so it was the perfect opportunity.

The series also uncovers a lot of detail about Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert …

Victoria’s whole family – and everyone around her – regarded Albert as the person she was to marry, but she was extremely obstinate and never liked to do what was expected of her. So she resisted him – you see that in our story. But it isn’t for a very long time, as she takes one look at him and is head over heels.


Here are some period pearls for all the history buffs out there!

Alias Grace

HISTORICAL DRAMA | M | 6 episodes

STARS: Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Zachary Levi, Anna Paquin


BINGE TIME: 6 hours

Alias Grace
It’s like a darker version of Handmaid’s Tale. (Credit: Supplied)

From writer Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) comes a story about Irish immigrant maid Grace (Sarah Gadon), who’s accused of a double murder in 1840s Canada.

She claims to have no memory of the incident, and throughout her incarceration, the tragic abuse in her life is revealed.

While the maids’ modest garb is reminiscent of Handmaid’s, the events in this series are far darker – because they’re rooted in truth.

War & Peace

HISTORICAL DRAMA | M | 6 episodes

STARS: Lily James, Paul Dano, James Norton


BINGE TIME: 6.5 hours

War and Peace
War & Peace is an epic tale of love, war, friendship and heartbreak. (Credit: Supplied)

Derived from Leo Tolstoy’s classic 19th-century Russian novel, War And Peace intertwines the lives of three people – Natasha (Lily James), Pierre (Paul Dano) and Andrei (James Norton) – in an epic tale of love, war, friendship and heartbreak.

Against the backdrop of Napoleon’s doomed invasion of Russia in 1812, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, the trio face their greatest fears about what love and destiny have in store.



STARS: Tom Cullen, Simon Merrells, Ed Stoppard


BINGE TIME: 18 hours

This historical drama is based on the true events of the Knights of the 12th century. (Credit: Supplied)

Growing up as a kid in far-flung Aberystwyth, Wales, Tom Cullen would wave his imaginary sword and do battle like a knight in his own backyard. At last, his childhood fantasy has come to life in the epic historical drama Knightfall.

“I was obsessed with the stories,” Tom says. “In Wales, history is entrenched in the fabric of our DNA. So to get the chance to fulfil a dream of mine is incredible.”

The 35-year-old stars as Landry, a leader of the Knights Templar – a powerful military order and brotherhood of faith in the 12th century. Based on true events, the series is a gritty exploration of the triumphs and tragedies of their time.

“Landry isn’t your typical hero and can be quite polarising,” Tom explains. “He’s going on a very interesting and complex journey, which is thrilling for me as an actor.”

However, playing a noble knight isn’t a walk in the park. Tom and his comrades were put through their paces in an intensive three-week training program that consisted of riding lessons, sword-fighting classes and five-hour gym workouts daily.

Knightfall 2
Star Wars fans may want to tune in just to see Mark Hamill (pictured) swap Luke’s lightsaber for a cape and sword as Talus, who steps up for exiled Landry (Tom Cullen). (Credit: Supplied)

They also had to look the part, which meant climbing into 22kg of armour when they were shooting scenes.

“Anyone who envies me is a psychopath,” Tom says with a laugh. “I was really bruised and battered at the end of it; I broke my finger twice.

“But I was lucky. Most people ended up in hospital with injuries. It was an intense and brutal process.”

Tom, previously known for smaller roles in period drama Downton Abbey and sci-fi thriller Orphan Black, admits he was anxious about playing the series’ protagonist.

“Absolutely,” he says of the pressure to lead the show. “Every time I get a job, I pinch myself. So when you walk onto a set like Knightfall, which is epic, you do feel a sense of responsibility.”

Thankfully, stellar support comes in the form of his long-time girlfriend and Orphan Black co-star Tatiana Maslany. The couple have been together since 2011.

“She’s my best mate,” he enthuses. “But she’s also my biggest inspiration as an actor, so to learn from her and watch her grow at the same time is a real honour.

“It’s nice to be in it with somebody – and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for her.”

The Tudors

DRAMA | MA15+ | S1-4

STARS: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Sam Neill


BINGE TIME: 34 hours

The Tudors
Head back to the 16th century with this intriguing drama. (Credit: Supplied)

In 16th-century England, King Henry VIII was young, ambitious and ruthless. He had all the power, and a lust for conquest.

In The Tudors, Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is preparing to go to war with France, while the pressure to sire a male heir brings turmoil to his marriage.

With his interests conflicted, the king finds himself at a crossroads. While historians have questioned the accuracy of the events portrayed, The Tudors remains an intriguing watch for those who want to add a dash of entertainment to their real-life drama.


DRAMA | MA15+ | S1-4

STARS: Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Toby Regbo


BINGE TIME: 54 hours

If you’re a Mary, Queen of Scots, fan, this drama is one for you! (Credit: Supplied)

Most of us are familiar with Mary, Queen of Scots, but few know her road to the throne. As a teenager, she was known as Mary Stuart, and had pledged her engagement to Prince Francis (Toby Regbo).

In a loose retelling of events, Reign picks up as Mary (Australian Adelaide Kane) arrives in France to formalise her marriage. But their accord faces a great many obstacles, including the stance of his mother – Queen Catherine (Megan Follows) – and her own feminist viewpoint.

Downtown Abbey

DRAMA | M | S1-5

STARS: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter

WHERE TO WATCH: Amazon Prime Video

BINGE TIME: 50 hours

It’s been nine years since we first fell in love with the Crawley family as they welcomed us into the magical world of Downton Abbey. The series, opening before the outbreak of World War I, proved to be much more than a period piece.

It was a family drama, an exploration of class, a study in love and an historical snapshot. There was a little something for everyone, which explains why the show became a bona fide global success story.

We take a look back at the five biggest moments in Downton Abbey that made us either hold our breath or shed big, fat tears.

1. So long, Sybil

Sybil Downton Abbey
We all remember this heartbreaking moment. (Credit: Supplied)

Season 3, Ep 5: Sybil (Jessica Rose Brown, right), the youngest Crawley sister, dies after giving birth to a daughter who was named after her. Husband Tom (Allen Leech, far right) vows to bring her up as best he can.

2. Turkish Delight

Downton Abbey Turkish delight
Downton fans will never forget this shocking scene either! (Credit: Supplied)

Season 1, Ep 3: Mary (Michelle Dockery, inset right) shows her bold side when she entertains a Turkish diplomat in her bed. But when he dies during the night, he has to be manhandled back to his own room.

3. Bates to hang!

Downton Abbey Bates
We all remember Anna’s scream upon hearing the verdict. (Credit: Supplied)

Season 2, Ep 9: Bates (Brendan Coyle, left) is sentenced to hang for the murder of his scheming ex-wife Vera. A distraught Anna swears to fight for justice.

4. Heir today, gone tomorrow

Downton Abbey Mary
Another tragedy befalls Downton. (Credit: Supplied)

Season 3, Ep 9: Mary (left) is plunged into mourning when Matthew Crawley (Dan Stephens, far left) dies in a road accident just after his son and future heir George is born.

5. Brutal attack

Downton Abbey Anna
Poor Anna. (Credit: Supplied)

Season 4, Ep 3: Fans reeled as lady’s maid Anna (Joanne Froggatt, left) is raped by Lord Gillingham’s butler Mr Green after he punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground.

Diana: In Her Own Words

Documentary | PG


BINGE TIME: 1.5 hours

All hail the ‘People’s Princess.’ (Credit: Supplied)

In the early ’90s, Princess Diana was famously billed as the most photographed woman in the world. Yet for the amount of time she spent in the public eye, very few people knew the real stories unfolding inside the walls of Kensington Palace.

In the raw documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, the “People’s Princess” speaks candidly about her unease at joining the royal family and all that entailed, her utterly doomed marriage to Prince Charles, the allegations of infidelity on both sides, as well as her “unhappy” childhood.

Diana, William and Harry
Young Princes William and Harry tickle the ivories with mum in 1985. (Credit: Supplied)

Recorded by journalist Andrew Morgan, who captured seven hours of interviews, Diana opens up about her discomfort in her first meeting with Charles and the accompanying “strange” fame that came with being his wife.

From the outside, Diana appeared to be the princess the world always wanted. But inside, she was looking for a way out – or a way to survive, at least.

The documentary, which originally aired in 2017 on the 20th anniversary of her untimely death in a car accident in Paris, skips the usual narration and is instead simply edited to be told in Diana’s own voice. By doing so, it results in the feeling that she’s in the very same room, telling you her story.

Princes of the Palace



BINGE TIME: 1.3 hours

Charles, William and Harry
A royal trio. (Credit: Supplied)

The royal family has a long list of heirs to the throne (including, from left, princes William, Charles and Harry). This documentary charts the history of Britain’s royal princes, from their first steps to the mark of a king – as well as profiling the partners who have stood by their sides.

Royal Love Stories



BINGE TIME: 1.5 hours

Harry and Meghan
It’s a love story for the ages. (Credit: Supplied)

We all love a royal wedding, so what better way to feel like a blue blood than to watch a collection of their pageantry-filled nuptials? Royal Love Stories walks us through the momentous occasions that kept us glued to the TV, and shows how the love affairs – such as that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle  – came to be.


DOCUMENTARY | M | 10 episodes


BINGE TIME: 8.5 hours

Conspiracy documentary
Three of Prince Philip’s brothers-in-law were Nazi party members. (Credit: Supplied)

Did Hitler actually escape the bunker in Berlin where he supposedly died in in 1945? Were members of the royals helping the Nazis? These claims and more are investigated in the intriguing Conspiracy. If you’ve always had questions, they may be answered here – or they may invite more queries! Either way, it’s a unique perspective on some of history’s big moments.

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