The final episodes of The Crown have finally dropped on Netflix, giving us the closing chapter to one of the most dramatic families in modern history. (Well, in televisual terms, at least; the real thing continues to this day.) If, like many other people, you’ve devoured the story of the British royal family and find yourself wanting more, we have a couple of suggestions that might help scratch that itch.
Whether it is stories of royalty you’re after or you just want more of the scandals that embroil the rich and famous, these shows are the perfect chaser when you’ve finished watching The Crown.
If you watched The Crown and thought it could do with a bit more sex, murder, and comedy, The Great will be your new favorite show. Catherine has big dreams of marrying the emperor of Russia but finds him to be a boorish, violent manchild, so she decides to have herself a little coup to make things more bearable. Starring Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning as Peter and Catherine The Great, it is one of the funniest dark comedies we’ve seen and the final season has finally aired which makes now the perfect time to dive in.
One of Netflix’s biggest hits in recent years has been Bridgerton, which takes all the elaborate costumes and political scheming of the Regency Period and injects a healthy dose of sex into every scene. Seriously, everyone in this show is annoyingly good-looking and we love them for it. With the third season on the way in 2024, this is the perfect show to binge now that The Crown is over.
Before Queen Elizabeth II came into the picture, Britain was ruled by Queen Victoria. This show follows a similar blueprint to The Crown – it follows a woman on the throne of one of the world’s most powerful nations as she has to navigate the politics and drama that come with that. The fact that Victoria takes place further in the past means there is more room for the writers to dramatize the events, making them more intriguing if slightly less historically accurate.
Countless documentaries follow Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign, but this one focuses heavily on her relationship with her sister Margaret. The two are remarkably different women, with Elizabeth bearing the weight of the crown and Margaret’s wild and scandalous lifestyle a constant distraction for the monarch. If you want to see more of the true story behind some of their scenes in The Crown, this documentary goes deeper than most.
Sometimes you just need to see more rich people doing rich people things. Downton Abbey was, in many ways, the blueprint that The Crown would eventually follow. While The Crown had a bigger budget, Downton Abbey had the advantage of not being tied down to a real family. There is a greater sense of whimsy and fun in Downton Abbey, making it the perfect light-hearted chaser to the final season of The Crown.
Following King Henry VIII during his reign, The Tudors is a more dramatized and sexier take on the British royal family. Henry was notorious for his lavish lifestyle, hosting huge parties and engaging in his ferocious appetite for both women and food. There are some great performances, political backstabbing, and gorgeous costumes to watch throughout this period drama that takes a very loose approach to historical accuracy.
Few families wielded more power during Renaissance Italy than the House of Medici. Their banking empire funded art, science, and war across the nation, bringing them into conflict with other families and with the Pope himself at times. Medici follows that family across several generations, letting you witness the rise and inevitable fall of one of history's most important families.
While The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth II across her entire reign, Becoming Elizabeth focuses entirely on the years shortly after her namesake Elizabeth I takes the throne. It portrays her in a more human, vulnerable way, as an orphaned teenager thrust into the world stage before she was ready and how she made her mark on her country. It is a more intimate, personal drama that tries to humanize one of history's most remarkable women.
The Last Czars is a darker take on The Crown’s formula, following the much shorter reign of Nicholas II of Russia, who took the throne in 1894 and was publicly executed as part of the Russian Civil War which followed the First World War. If you can look past some production errors including a shot of Red Square with Lenin’s Mausoleum before Lenin was even dead, there is an interesting story here about the inevitable fall of a dynasty and the personal tragedies that it creates.
Not every take on the British royal family needs to be so serious and The Windsors is here to prove it. It boils each Royal down into a caricature of themselves, but, in doing so, highlights exactly what makes them so fascinating. While The Crown depicts them as a serious, determined, powerful family focused on guiding their nation through difficult times, The Windsors shows the Royals as backstabbing, conniving, and passive-aggressive individuals bound by blood to share a house. Just like a real family.
But who really cares about what we think? This year, we had you vote for your best movies, best comics, and best TV shows of the year too. Check the lists and mix and see if you agree with our (and your) top choices of the year!