The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – 8 royal reads to celebrate

Contributed by Lauren Carpenter

Books2All reporter

Fri 3 Jun 2022

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are in full swing up and down the nation this weekend, from street parties to barbeques in the garden. Whatever you’re doing, we’ve got some books to help commemorate our monarch’s past and reminisce on royal history generally and the stories it inspired.

Her Majesty The Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee after 70 years of service. Queen Elizabeth began her reign in 1952 at just 25 years old after her father passed away. She is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the longest-serving female head of state.

Platinum Jubilee 1: There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo

Ages 5+

Suitable for the little ones in your family, There Once is a Queen pays tribute to the monarch in beautiful technicolour illustrations. Morpurgo guides young readers through the life of Queen Elizabeth, from hats to houses, in an easily digestible format. Former Children’s Laureate Morpurgo is a wonderful and well-loved storyteller, and this book is no exception. One to treasure on the bookshelf and take down for another read in the future.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
There Once is a Queen published by Harper Collins (2022)

Platinum Jubilee 2: How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour

Ages 6+

A modern rework of a well-loved classic, How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel, tells of a young girl who lives in a tower block with a broken lift. The tradespeople ask Rapunzel to let down her hair to get into the building. She ignores them, so they are forced to climb all 16 flights of stairs. Rapunzel gets a job at the library and pretty soon has mastered many skills, from playing the bassoon to speaking foreign languages.

This book is a playful take on female empowerment and reminds young girls that they can achieve anything they want to if they put their minds to it. An uplifting bedtime tale to share with your little ones.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel published by Lincoln Children’s Books (2015)

Platinum Jubilee 3: Our Queen Elizabeth by Kate Williams

Ages 7+

Written by historian Kate Williams, Our Queen Elizabeth documents our Queen with colourful and charming illustrations. The book takes us through Elizabeth’s incredible reign from corgis to carriages. Readers can learn all about her life, as well as her very famous family. Williams explains why the Queen has two birthdays and why she always wears bright clothing. A great way to discover Elizabeth’s life with your children in a whimsical and easily digestible way.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Our Queen Elizabeth published by Wren & Rook (2021)

Platinum Jubilee 4: Queens by Victoria Crossman

Ages 7 to 10

Spanning 3,000 years of incredible and formidable monarchs, Queens tells the lives of some of history’s greatest queens. Filled with vibrant illustrations and fantastic facts, this book provides an interesting way to divulge the lives of these famous ladies. Featuring female rulers such as Cleopatra, Queen Victoria and Catherine the Great, it’s a perfect way to celebrate the wonderful women of royal history.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Queens published by Scholastic (2020)

Platinum Jubilee 5: Queenie by Jacqueline Wilson

Ages 9+

Set in 1953, Queenie tells the tale of little Elsie Kette, who is desperate to see the Queen’s coronation. But she is taken ill and has to stay in hospital. She tells epic tales of adventure and captivates their hearts to keep herself and the other children entertained. Elsie makes some true friends, and while she is in hospital, she is paid a visit by an unexpected face.

Wilson is a longstanding writer of children and young adult fiction and is known and loved by children of all ages (even those who are now big kids). Queenie provides another captivating read for children and young adults to indulge in the spirit of the Platinum Jubilee.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Queenie published by Yearling (2013)

Platinum Jubilee 6: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

Ages 10+

We all know the story of the Little Mermaid from the Disney film adaptation, but Hans Christian Anderson wrote the original story. The tale concerns a mermaid who longs for a life above the sea. To make this happen, she sacrifices everything to a sea witch, who grants her legs and pronounces that she must make a prince fall in love with her to stay this way. Unfortunately, the prince falls for someone else, and the little mermaid is left heartbroken. A sad tale, but you can watch the Disney alternative for a happier outcome!

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
The Little Mermaid published by Hans Christian Andersen

Platinum Jubilee 7: Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

Ages 10+

Another read for older children, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is the first in a series by Christopher Edge. Ideal for historical fiction fans, this book is set in Victorian London, where we meet our 13-year-old protagonist, Penelope Tredwell. She runs London’s most popular magazine under her pseudonym Montgomery Flinch, but Penny finds herself drawn into a real-life adventure when she receives a letter. This novel is packed with twists and turns to keep readers engaged right to the very end.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Twelve Minutes to Midnight published by Nosy Crow (2012)

Platinum Jubilee 8: Little Briar Rose by Jacob Grimm

For adults

Royalty is often celebrated for the monarchs who reigned over us, but it has also influenced a large part of our literary history. The Brothers Grimm wrote a famous collection of fairy tales adapted from folklore from around the world. Although the original stories aren’t suitable for bedtime reading, adaptations of these works have become the classic tales we know and love.

The Grimm fairytale Little Briar Rose and the Disney film Sleeping Beauty both tell the tale of a beautiful princess cursed to fall into a slumber on her 15th birthday. She is rescued by a brave prince who falls in love with her, and the kingdom is saved. A classic fairy tale that everyone loves, whichever version you prefer.

Books2all blog: 8 royal reads to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Little Briar Rose published by Amazon Kindle

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