This year sees a momentous occasion – Her Majesty The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years, making her the longest reigning monarch in British history. To celebrate, there are lots of activities happening throughout the country – from tea parties to baking competitions, reading celebrations to crafting sessions.

In our post today, we’ll be sharing some reading recommendations to help you celebrate the Platinum Jubilee whether you’re looking for a right royal read or ideas for your Jubilee garden party. There’ll be cookery books, picture books, history books and more.


Celebrating the Queen

A Queen For All Seasons: A Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II On Her Platinum Jubilee – Introduced and compiled by Joanna Lumley

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. She is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and the very first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

A Queen For All Seasons’, introduced and compiled by Joanna Lumley, is a perceptive, touching and engaging tribute to this unique woman.

Queen Of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman

With original insights from those who know her best, new interviews with world leaders and access to unseen papers, bestselling author Robert Hardman explores the full, astonishing life of our longest reigning monarch in this compellingly authoritative yet intimate biography.

Elizabeth II was not born to be queen. Yet from her accession as a young mother of two in 1952 to the age of Covid-19, she has proved an astute and quietly determined figure, leading her family and her people through more than seventy years of unprecedented social change. She has faced constitutional crises, confronted threats against her life, rescued the Commonwealth, seen her prime ministers come and go, charmed world leaders, been criticised as well as feted by the media, and steered her family through a lifetime in the public eye.

The Platinum Queen: Over 75 Speeches Given By Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch

For the first time, all 70 of the Queen’s Christmas speeches are published together in full, along with six additional feature speeches made at significant points in her life.

Organised by decade, each chapter opens with a narrative essay on the key events that follow, providing an important contextual backdrop to the speeches

The Queen: 101 Reasons To Celebrate Her Majesty by H. Sutcliffe and E. Dunne

Did you know that the Queen likes to wake up to the sound of bagpipes? That her favourite flower is the primrose? Or that she has established a whole new dog breed, the dorgi, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund? This book is a charming and witty paean to our longest-serving monarch; a collection of all the things that make Queen Elizabeth II a national treasure, from the profound impact she has had on 21st century politics, to her unshakeable sense of duty to her fabulous collection of headscarves.

Queen Elizabeth II by Sally Morgan and illustrated by Sarah Papworth

Queen Elizabeth II: steadfast, constant, dutiful. Read all about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch.

From her childhood years in London, to training as a mechanic in the Second World War and becoming queen at 25, learn lesser-known facts about this true icon.


Planning a Platinum Jubilee Party?

Tea At The Palace: 50 Royal Recipes for Afternoon Tea by Carolyn Robb

Former royal chef Carolyn Rob presents sumptuous recipes for tea time by the signature dishes served at 12 of the most popular and luxurious palaces in England.

From lemon & elderflower cake served at Windsor Castle to Highgrove House’s goat cheese zucchini & chive muffins to Churchill’s beloved fruit cake of Blenheim Palace, each delicious recipe offers a taste of the history and tradition of Royal British tea parties.

National Trust Book of Afternoon Tea

This volume has delicious recipes for savoury and sweet treats, from sandwiches and tart to cakes, scones, macaroons, shortbreads and preserves. Some are classic, some have a twist, such as cucumber sandwiches with minted cream cheese, toasted farmhouse bread with anchovy butter, the classic Victoria sponge, brandysnaps, cream horns or the classic scone.

Plus there’s everything you need to know to brew to the perfect pot of tea (not to mention the odd cocktail and bowl of punch).

Classic by Mary Berry

Britain’s most trusted cook, Mary Berry, has been showing the nation how to make delicious, foolproof food for decades. This collection from her landmark BBC One series brings together everything we love about Mary – wonderfully simple but utterly dependable recipes that are essential for every home.

These are recipes everyone can enjoy cooking and eating, no matter their time, budget or confidence. Featuring a wealth of recipes, each accompanied by Mary’s no-nonsense tips and techniques, this step-by-step cookbook ensures perfect results every time.

Va Va Vroom Vegan Cakes by Angela Romeo

Over 50 delicious vegan baking recipes for sweet treats that are as good to look at as they are to eat! Whether you are a full-time vegan or you choose to cut out animal products whenever possible, there’s no need to miss out on your favourite cakes. Baking without eggs, butter and milk is not only possible, but also easy and just as delicious as what you are used to baking. There are now so many alternative ingredients available from supermarkets and health food stores and with Angela Romeo’s inspired recipes, you’ll have all the know-how and inspiration you need to start baking.

Bake small treats such as Lemon Meringue and Marbled Go-nuts cakes; traybakes including Indulgent Chocolate Chip Brownies and Gin & Tonic Traybake; everyday bakes like Rooibos Tea Loaf or larger fancy cakes for special occasions such as a Pistachio, Lime & Raspberry Wowzer Cake or Chocolate & Salted Caramel Mud Cake.

Banana Breads, Loaf Cakes and Other Quick Bakes

60 recipes for banana breads, easy loaf cakes and other one-bowl bakes, perfect for everyday home baking.

These fuss-free recipes can incorporate a wide variety of ingredients, from fresh and dried fruit to nuts and seeds, and include delicious flavourings including chocolate, vanilla and warm spices. Popular recipes included here are Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Marmalade & Almond Bread, Lemon Polenta Loaf, Vanilla Pound Cake, Honey Cake and so much more!

You’ll find lots of other Platinum Jubilee-related ideas here. Have a go at creating your own bunting, find out more about The Great Jubilee Lunch and download activity and colouring sheets (including colour your own corgi!)


Fictional Queens

Before The Crown by Flora Harding

Before the crown there was a love story…

Windsor Castle, 1943. As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before. One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court. He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…

Step through the palace gates and discover a captivating historical novel of royal secrets and forbidden love exploring the tempestuous courtship between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the wake of WWII.

The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett

Windsor Palace, 2016. The morning after her ninetieth birthday celebrations, the Queen is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found dead in his room. It quickly becomes clear that his death was no accident, but when MI5 begin to suspect her loyal servants, she knows that they are looking in the wrong place. For the Queen has been living a double life ever since she was a teenager: by day she upholds her royal duties, while secretly solving cases as an amateur detective.

With the Crown’s reputation on the line, her investigations must be kept under wraps – and she must always ensure that someone else gets the credit. With the help of her Assistant Private Secretary Rozie Oshodi, it’s up to the Queen to find the real killer – before they strike again.

The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper

1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Antony

A naughty swan steals the Queen’s handbag, so naturally, the Queen races after it. She follows it all around the United Kingdom in various modes of transport, including an Aston Martin car, a motorbike, a Red Arrow plane, a speedboat, a train and a horse. Taking in sights such as Stonehenge, Snowdonia, Giants Causeway, Edinburgh Castle, Oxford and then arriving back in London, this chase includes the Queen’s butler and an awful lot of policemen.

American Royals by Katherine McGee

The American royal family have it all. They spend their winters at a luxurious skiing resort; they bring in the New Year at wild secret parties, and the rest of the year is full of glittering high-fashion balls. But behind the closed ‘VIP Only’ doors lie forbidden romances and scandalous secrets.

Together, four young women will navigate gossip and drama of America’s glorious court, with the eyes of the world on them. There’s everything to play for – but there can only be one queen.

This is the story of the most famous family in the world. This is the story of the American royals.


Some Right Royal Reads

Peppa’s Royal Party

Peppa and her friends have been invited to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee garden party, but when they get there things start going wrong! Can Peppa save the day?

This story will be a royal hit for Peppa fans of all ages, and will be perfect to share at home in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee!

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius–his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals.

What at first begins as a fake, Instagramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colours shine through?

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Four siblings. A country in ruin. One quest to save them all.

Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic – a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict – she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.

Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumoured to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by broken relationships and the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key – and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political and unwanted marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani, needs it to clear his name. And Riya, the runaway sibling who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who took her in.

They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harbouring secrets and their own conflicting agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family – and their world – for good.

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir

Alison Weir’s enthralling account of Henry VIII’s first wife is based on extensive research and new theories. It reveals a strong, spirited woman determined to fight for her rights and the rightful place of her daughter; a woman who believed that to be the wife of a king was her destiny.

History tells us how she died: this captivating novel shows us how she lived.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

In June 1837, the eighteen-year-old Victoria wakes up to find that she is Queen of the most powerful nation in the world. But will she be queen in her own right, or a puppet controlled by her mother and the sinister Sir John Conroy? Can this tiny girl prevail against the men who believe that women are too hysterical to rule?

Everyone wants her to marry but Victoria winces at a marriage of convenience with her cousin Albert, a shy bookworm who didn’t know how to dance the last time she met him. She would much rather reign alone with a little help from her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts – who never leaves survivors – her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup.

So starts a fairytale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.


The Big Jubilee Read

The Big Jubilee Read is a literary celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s record-breaking reign and is a partnership between The Reading Agency and the BBC. It celebrates great books from across the Commonwealth, to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee and features 70 titles – ten from each decade of the Queen’s reign.

Here are a few of the titles you’ll find on our library shelves and in our BorrowBox Collection.

The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

The Crow Eaters by Bapsi Sidhwa

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Golden Age by Tahmina Anam

Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue


Want to know more?

During May and June 2022, you can view displays of photographs taken from Local Studies collections in some of our libraries. These feature vintage images from celebrations all around Warwickshire of Jubilee’s past.

You can also view some of these images online in a special Jubilee gallery which you can find on our library catalogue page nearer to the Jubilee celebrations.

Why not also search on the Our Warwickshire website for more royal history with a Warwickshire link? There are some fascinating photos and articles to browse through.

You can also visit the royal.uk Platinum Jubilee website for even more history, information on the celebrations and ideas to help celebrate.


Want to know EVEN more?

Don’t forget, you can also use your Warwickshire Library Card to explore our eInformation resources to help you find out more about the history of the Monarchy and of Queen Elizabeth II and access eNewspapers and eMagazines so you’re up to date on all the latest news about the Platinum Jubilee.

Britannica has all the information you need to know about queens, kings, princes and princesses both past and present. Included in articles are images and videos to watch and you can search the site at one of three levels – Junior, Student, or Adult.

So whether it’s a last minute homework project, an essay that needs writing or an answer in the pub quiz, Britannica is what you need. Click the link to Britannica on our eInformation and Learning page (under Quick Reference and Encyclopaedias), log in with your Warwickshire Library Card number and start exploring.

Other useful sites you’ll find links to on our eInformation and Learning page include The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Times Digital Archive and access to Oxford Reference.

Use the links on the eInformation and Learning page and the joining instructions shown (for some, you’ll need to enter your library card number, for others you’ll need to select Warwickshire Libraries) to access a world of information.


Keep up to date with all the latest news with free eNewspapers and eMagazines

You can also access eNewspapers using PressReader and eMagazines via the Libby app with your Warwickshire Library Card, all for free. Find out how here.

Keep up to date with all the news about the Platinum Jubilee celebrations from newspapers including The Independent, The Daily Express, The Guardian and The Daily Mail.

Download the PressReader app and get your daily fix of news. International publications are also available to read.

With the Libby app, you can explore the latest eMagazines, from Hello! to special publications celebrating The Queen and the Platinum Jubilee.

Register with your library card number and PIN (if your card number contains an X please enter as upper case) and you’ll then be able to borrow and read on your tablet or phone with the app, or in your web browser.

Find out more about our eLibrary offer here and if you’re just getting started, our Digital Library Team can help – email libraryenquiryteam@warwickshire.gov.uk.


Royal themed events to catch up with

Warwickshire Libraries’ is a member of The Living Knowledge Network, a partnership between The British Library and public libraries throughout the country. As part of this Network, Warwickshire Libraries’ members are offered the chance to watch events live screened from The British Library.

To celebrate the Jubilee, find events available to view at home via The Living Knowledge Network website, including a recent event that celebrated the Platinum Jubilee Pudding.

Keep an eye out on our library catalogue and at your local library for future events that are being live screened in our libraries and explore The Living Knowledge Network archive for events you might have missed (please note, this archive is subject to change).