When I was in late elementary school, I LOVED the Royal Diary Series and the My America series. Those books were THE JAM.
So I thought I would look back on them this month and rank my favorite Royal Diary books. Ive always been a history nerd, and I think it’s a bit sad that more people don’t love history.
One of the reasons I love the Royal Diary series is that the books don’t just look at European nobility, they also look at lesser known non-European nobility, royalty, etc. As an adult, I wish there were adult versions of these, but I probably just need to find some biographies.
However, I have been thinking I might go back and reread these because I do have a soft spot for royal history. I also believe that there are other royalty they could have covered as well.
For example, they could have made some about more of Japan’s Empresses or about Himiko and Iyo. As well as Hatshepsut and Nefertiti from Egypt.
- Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts – Rhode Island, 1653
I think I might have owned a version of this that had gold foiled edges. I can’t remember if all of the royal dairies had gold edges or not but I believe mine did.
When I was younger, I LOVED Native American culture (and still do) and history. I thought it was so interesting and had to read and learn everything I could about different Native American kingdoms and nations.
I was reading over some of the Goodreads reviews as I was putting together this list and it kills me how so many people brought up the fact that Weetamoo couldn’t read and write. But like, this isn’t an actual dairy, so why are we so hung up on this?
Anyways, as a child, I really enjoyed and connected with Weetamoo’s voice in this story and the story telling itself.
2. Lady of Ch’iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531
I’ll admit I don’t know much about her outside of this series, but I really loved this particular dairy. Red Bird was a really interesting person to write about and if I remember correctly she participated in some fight scenes here.
I specifically remember them talking about Kingfisher birds in this book. Not sure why that has stayed with me, however I find ancient Chinese history to be really interesting.
To me, this was one of the more complex Royal Dairies, but I think the ones outside of European history are more interesting.
3. Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France, 1553
I’ve always thought Mary Queen of Scots was really interesting. I didn’t personally own a lot of the royal dairies as a child, (and don’t own any now but I actually wouldn’t mind buying them again) but this was one of the ones I did so I read it a lot.
I’ve learned a lot about Mary as an adult (and cringed at Reign) and find her to be a really interesting and complex historical character. I also find it fascinating that a lot of famous royal figures lived all around the same era (Mary of Scotland, Elizabeth 1 of England).
I will always love the fact that Queen Mary had four ladies in waiting all named Mary. It cracks me up every time I think about it.
4. Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
By FAR I think Kristina is one of the MOST INTERESTING royal people I can think of off the top of my mind. I’m especially curious as to why more people in 2021 don’t talk about her or have heard of her yet.
I wrote a research paper on her in high school. What’s particularly fascinating about her is that for some reason her father thought she was a born when she was first born. And later finding out (after he declared a prince, haha) that she was a girl, just decided to raise her as a prince ANYWAYS.
Although she eventually became KING, she didn’t stay on the throne for too long and I think had a pretty traumatic childhood. After she abdicated, she traveled Europe, cross dressed a lot, got into a lot of trouble, was favored by the Vatican, and may or may have been bisexual or a lesbian.
5. Sŏndŏk: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595
This non-European one was another favorite. I don’t know a lot of Korean history, but from a story stand point, I love the Three Kingdom periods. I find it really interesting.
One of the points that really struck out to me in this book was the astronomy in this book. I thought it was really interesting. I enjoyed this science part of it and the struggles of another Princess to be Queen storyline.
6. Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914
Hands down, to me Anastasia is one of the most tragic royal stories that I can think of. I will forever think it’s so sad that her whole family was murdered. I wish they could have just banished them instead.
I remember being fascinated with the idea that for a long while, people thought there was a possibility that Anastasia could have survived and people tried to pass as her. In 2007 however, they discovered some remains nearby the site where they were killed and have confirmed that those were Anastasia’s or Maria’s (and Alexei as well).
I wasn’t surprised that they found their remains, I don’t think her murderers would have risked them living.
- Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490
- Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743
- Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136
- Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858
- Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466
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