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12 Best Shows Like The Crown That Fans Should Watch Next

When the Netflix drama "The Crown" premiered in 2016, it was an almost immediate hit. With Claire Foy as a young Elizabeth II of the House of Winsdor for the first two seasons and Olivia Colman taking over the role for her middle-aged years, we were drawn into the world of the living royals, and offered an inside look, albeit a fictionalized one, inside the English monarchy. Season 5 of "The Crown," featuring Imelda Staunton taking over the role, promises to dive into the Queen's "annus horribilis" and the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

Season 5 of "The Crown" was always going to be a major television event, but with the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, people are even more interested in tuning in. If you just can't wait any longer and need a royal fix, or if you manage to binge the new season in one sitting and want more royals, drama, and Windsor scandal, don't worry — we've got some recommendations for you. Here are 12 shows to watch if you're totally obsessed with "The Crown."

The White Queen/The White Princess/The Spanish Princess

If you want to go back to the beginning of when the English monarchy got super interesting, check out this historical drama trilogy based on the novels by Philippa Gregory, the author of "The Other Boleyn Girl." The first show, "The White Queen," stars Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville, a young woman who marries King Edward IV during the height of the "Wars of the Roses," during which two houses, York and Lancaster, battle for the throne. That fight finally comes to a close when Elizabeth's daughter, Elizabeth Princess of York, marries Henry Tudor of the House Lancaster, who then becomes Henry VII. Their marriage and the new era is laid out in "The White Princess," which stars Jodie Comer as the titular princess and eventual queen.

Henry VII and Elizabeth's second son was the famous Henry VIII, whose first wife was Catherine of Aragon, a princess of Spain. Charlotte Hope stars as "The Spanish Princess," the young woman who's betrothed to Henry's older brother and eventually marries the second in line. These three shows all have compelling, strong, and yet flawed women in their lead roles, just like "The Crown," and seeing history unfold over three eras and three series, with characters re-cast with new actors in each, is pretty similar to "The Crown" as well. 

The Tudors

After the shenanigans of the "Wars of the Roses," King Henry VIII ruled for 36 years, though not without drama of his own. "The Tudors" stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the king, whose inability to stick to one wife over the course of his reign most definitely contributed to his problems. His story unfolds over four seasons, with Maria Doyle Kennedy playing divorced first wife Catherine of Aragon, Natalie Dormer as beheaded second wife Anne Boleyn, Annabelle Wallis as third wife Jane Seymour, who died after giving birth, singer Joss Stone as divorced fourth wife Anne of Cleves, Tamzin Merchant as executed teenage fifth wife Catherine Howard, and Joely Richardson as Henry's last wife Catherine Parr, who outlived him in the end.

"The Tudors" is a Showtime series, so naturally there's lots of dirty talk, sex, nudity, bawdiness, and bloody violence, all things we pretty much never see on the much more proper "The Crown." And even if it is the backbone of English monarch history you want, "The Tudors" isn't always historically accurate. Some characters are made up composites of real-life historical figures and others are totally fictional. But the show is lots of fun, with other great actors, like Sam Neil, Henry Cavill, and Gabrielle Anwar.


For the show that's probably the most similar to "The Crown," check out the PBS Masterpiece series "Victoria," starring Jenna Coleman as the 19th Century queen. Much like "The Crown," "Victoria" focuses on a proper and stable young woman of the times who is thrust into the spotlight when crowned. She has to balance her own wants and desires with being the head of state in a troublesome time, and also has a husband, Prince Albert (Tom Hughes), who is jealous of the attention and his role as second fiddle to the monarch. Much like "The Crown," each episode of "Victoria" combines a pressing historical issue, personal struggles, and top notch costuming.

Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years and now ranks as the second longest-reigning English monarch in history; Queen Elizabeth surpassed her and eventually hit 70 years before her death. But while Victoria had many decades from which the series could mine storylines, we've only gotten three seasons so far, and the series has been on hiatus with no plans to pick back up again. Perhaps like "The Crown," "Victoria" will return with a new cast and new lead queen to reign again. 

Catherine the Great

For yet another strong female leader who's gone down in history as a powerhouse monarch, check out the "Catherine the Great" miniseries starring Helen Mirren as the titular Russian Empress. This is not the humorously anachronistic series on Hulu; rather, in 2019, Ms. Mirren and HBO dove into the later years of the last Empress of Russia and her attempts to rule while battling the usual sexism pervasive during the 18th century. In fact, while "The Great" takes pride in being an elaboration of Catherine's young life, this HBO miniseries takes great pains to be as accurate as possible. 

"To me it's very important not to put down stuff that bears absolutely no relation to the truth," the show's writer, Nigel Williams, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The urge is to try, without making it too stodgy and boring, to be as faithful to what happened as possible." In the same piece, Mirren adds, "The people around her loved her. She was nice. She wasn't a violent, obsessed, mad dictator, as so many of the Russian court had been." So for a serious and dramatic take on the character, Mirren's Catherine may be for you — but if you want a different twist, keep reading. 

The Empress

Set in the Victorian era but taking place in Austria, Netflix's "The Empress" dives into the life of Bavarian Duchess Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, who became Queen of Hungary and Empress of Austria after marrying Emperor Franz Joseph at the age of 16. Devrim Lingnau stars in the series, which includes six episodes in its first season. Much like the early seasons of "The Crown" and "Victoria," "The Empress" is very much a coming of age story as Elizabeth, or Sisi as she's called, learns how to maneuver the world of her new husband. In her way are her new mother-in-law, Princess Sophie of Bavaria (Melika Foroutan), and brother Archduke Maximilian (Johannes Nussbaum), whose jealousy is quite apparent. Similar to Victoria and Elizabeth II, Sisi never expected to end up in her position, considering Franz Joseph was intended to marry her older sister Helene (Elisa Schlott). 

"The Empress" has earned comparisons to "The Crown" and "Victoria" due to its compelling lead character, elaborate costumes, and historical intrigue. And centering on a monarch we're not used to hearing about is a refreshing take, as focusing on the English royalty can get a bit repetitive sometimes.

The Hour

If you want a bit of a break from royalty but are still looking for something set early in Elizabeth II's reign, the BBC's "The Hour" has you covered. Set in 1956, the series focuses on the team behind a popular news show and the important world events that make it to air. Being that the show is set during the first five years of Elizabeth II's time on the throne, you'll see a couple of events here that we also see on "The Crown," such as the Suez Crisis and Soviet influences spreading throughout the globe.

The series stars Romola Garai as Isabel (Bel) Rowley, producer of show-within-a-show "The Hour," with Ben Whishaw as Frederick (Freddie) Lyon and Dominic West as Hector Madden, co-presenters of the show who butt heads at practically every moment. The style here is very "Mad Men," though with a decidedly British atmosphere everything is a little more proper, with that suggestion of a royal presence throughout. Indeed, some of the stories and scandals that Freddie investigates suck him into the royal world and potential dark connections. There are only two seasons here, so it's a quick but fun binge.

The Royals

If a comedic or more lighthearted interpretation is more of what you're looking for after all of the proper, and perhaps stuffy, elements of "The Crown," the next few shows might be to your liking. First up, we have "The Royals," a scandal-filled soap opera that combines royalty and trashy TV. It's basically what you'd get if you put "The Crown," "Gossip Girl," and  "The O.C." in a blender. 

The series stars Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena and Vincent Regen as King Simon, heads of the Henstridge line, a fictional British royal family. When their eldest son and heir apparent Robert (Max Brown) goes missing in a plane crash and is presumed dead, the line of succession must transfer to their next eldest son Liam (William Moseley), who is, shall we say, a mess. Not much better off is his twin sister Eleanor (Alexandra Park), whose party girl reputation makes her a tabloid fixture. When Simon's brother Cyrus challenges the legitimacy of Helena's kids, all hell breaks loose. If you're in the mood for something as salacious as "The Tudors" but set in a modern era, "The Royals" is one to check out.

The Windsors

The Henstridges of "The Royals" may not be based on anyone in particular, but the family in "The Windsors" certainly is. This series is what people angry at "The Crown" think "The Crown" is doing — that is, making a satirical mockery of the real-life British royal family. The description of the show from network C4 reads, "Imagine, who really controls the scepter in Charles and Camilla's marriage? What do the Royals really think of Kate? Does Wills really want to be king? Will Harry ever take Pippa up the aisle or will they end on a bum note? And what do Beatrice and Eugenie actually do for a living?"

"The Windsors" boils every character down to basically the worst thing a British tabloid has written about them. Charles is an unfit doofus, while Camilla is power-hungry to be queen. Harry is immature and illiterate while Meghan is a self-absorbed actor. Oh and Will sees the ghosts of former kings and queens while Kate is actually an Irish traveler scheming the family. It definitely isn't for viewers who take the royal family seriously, but it's all in good fun — and totally the opposite of the pomp and circumstance of "The Crown."

The Great

For a decidedly unorthodox — and overall quite funny — take on the life and legacy of Catherine the Great, head over to Hulu, where this series introduces the audience to a young princess named Sophie, who converts to Russian Orthodox Christianity so she can marry her cousin, Tsar Peter III. Elle Fanning stars as Catherine, with Nicholas Hoult opposite her as the immature ruler Peter, Emperor of Russia. Standing in cheeky opposition to Helen Mirren's more historically focused HBO adaptation, "The Great" describes itself as being totally "un-historical." Everything is exaggerated, characters speak in anachronistic terms, and the whole thing happens under a thick layer of heavy, heavy satire. In fact, although it's loosely inspired by real events, you probably shouldn't believe anything you see on "The Great" actually happened.

But in the end, that willingness to play fast and loose with history is part of what makes the show such great entertainment. "The Great" is downright zany with its slapstick humor and almost sitcom-like setups, and Fanning is totally charming here, as Catherine grows from a naïve young princess into a smart and savvy queen who learns more and more each day how intellectually vapid her husband is. Hoult, meanwhile, uses his incredible comedic gifts to make us laugh with as well as at the idiotic Peter. 

Royal House of Windsor

You can pretty much take it for granted that no matter how accurate any of them might seem, all historically driven television series take dramatic license with historical facts — all of which is to say that if something a little more historically accurate is what you're looking for, it's usually best to turn to the documentary genre for that information. To start, if you'd like to know what all happened before the events that open "The Crown," or even before the scenes with young child Elizabeth, check out "The Royal House of Windsor" on Netflix. This six-part docuseries begins in the early 20th century, before Elizabeth was even born, taking viewers back to the very beginnings of the royal family that would call itself "Windsor."

This docuseries is interesting, but only for the total newbie. If you're at all familiar with the history of the British monarchy, this one might be a bit like a rehash of an old history lesson. But if you're completely new to this stuff and "The Crown" has you intrigued, "The Royal House of Windsor" is a good place to start. It also moves into the second Elizabethan age and into the modern era, including Charles and Diana.

The Diana Investigations

With Season 4 of "The Crown" depicting the courtship between the Prince of Wales and his Princess, and Season 5 heading into their divorce and its aftermath, it's clearer than ever that interest in Princess Diana remains just as high as ever, even more than 25 years after her untimely death. There are any number of films and TV series to check out if you want insight into Diana, such as 2021's "Spencer," starring Kristen Stewart, or the HBO documentary film "Princess." There are also the two documentaries commissioned by her sons William and Harry, "Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy" and "Diana, 7 Days," which focuses on the aftermath of her death. But for this list, we're going a little darker.

There's no doubt that the true crime genre has exploded on television over the past several years. So what happens when Princess Diana's death is treated like a true crime mystery? That's what "The Diana Investigations" does. The four-part investigative series asks the viewer to reject the idea that Diana's death was an accident, and includes interesting access to the French police reports of the crash as well as the British Metro Police's investigation into the matter. Draw your own conclusions at the close.

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

She'd been the Queen of England for as long as many of us have been alive, so for a lot of people, it's still hard to accept that she's gone. Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, and in early 2022, mere months before her death, she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. In celebration, the BBC put together "Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen," a short documentary that included previously unreleased home movies from the royal family and 400 new reels of footage. As a result, this is the closest look at Elizabeth that anyone outside her family is probably ever going to get.

But the real special thing about "Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen" is that, unlike other documentaries or docuseries narrated by experts, talking heads, and historians, this one is actually narrated by the queen herself. It's quite a feat, and truly special if what you love most about "The Crown" is the one on whose grand head it sits.