Best documentaries on the royal family and how to watch them online

Get ready for some unique insights into Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and more

Queen Elizabeth Ll With Princess Diana And Prince Charles Watching The Traditional Highland Games At Braemar
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Documentaries are the perfect way to gain a unique insight into the intriguing world of our Royal Family.

With so much still unknown, royal traditions (opens in new tab) unexplained and secrets kept private, it can often seem like we’ll never discover the truth behind the many fictional films and series we enjoy every day. Now with the release of The Crown Season 4 (opens in new tab), more people than ever are eager to learn more about our Royal Family.

What was Princess Diana’s relationship (opens in new tab) with the royal family really like? And how has Queen Elizabeth negotiated life as the longest reigning British monarch?

With the Christmas break approaching, there’s never been a better time to settle down and enjoy a royal documentary - or two.

Here we reveal our pick of the best documentaries on the royal family and how you can watch them online.

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Best documentaries on the royal family

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales and Prince William stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Trooping The Colour

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Royal House of Windsor 

This 6-part docuseries gives viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the history of the British royal family. It traces the origins of the British monarchy (opens in new tab) up until the modern era, through rare archive footage and interviews. 

The series shows how the royals have survived the last 100 years of politics, power struggles and more. This makes for the perfect viewing experience for those wishing to gain a comprehensive overview of the British royal family.  

Available on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm

This unique documentary film showcases a range of different perspectives into the royal family’s history. It profiles the servants, consultants, advisers and guards who work for the royal House of Windsor (opens in new tab)

Serving the Royals shines a light on the inner workings of palace life and how the royals function away from the public eye. 

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab)

The Royals

This fascinating documentary includes details about most aspects of royal life that viewers could possibly be interested in learning more about. Covering everything from the splendour of the royals, to babies, weddings (opens in new tab) and even controversies, with experts to give their opinions on how events have influenced and impacted the monarchy, there’s plenty to enjoy. 

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab)

Best documentaries about Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Being the Queen

For those who can’t help being fascinated by the life and reign of our Queen (opens in new tab) Elizabeth II, this documentary is the perfect choice. Diving right into the life of our monarch, Being the Queen incorporates archive footage as well as never-before-heard interviews to show viewers the real woman behind the crown. 

Available on NowTV (opens in new tab).

Elizabeth is Queen

Originally released in cinemas, this 1953 documentary reveals the astonishing footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation day in glorious colour. For those who want to experience the magic of one of the biggest days in the Queen’s life, this brings the excitement and splendour of the occasion into your own home 67 years later. It’s just as wonderful now as it was then! 

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab).

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The Majestic Life of Queen Elizabeth II

Created to chronicle our reigning monarch’s reign, this brilliant documentary features rare archive footage which helps to uncover the story behind a princess’s journey to become queen. 

Beginning with the death of the Queen’s father King George VI, this documentary ends with the marriage of her grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge (opens in new tab)

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab).

The Story of Queen Elizabeth II

The Story of Queen Elizabeth II recounts the life of Queen Elizabeth and how she began her career as a royal. Each of the many exciting and terrifying historical moments that have occurred throughout her lifetime have helped to shape this extraordinary ruler. With this documentary, viewers can see how the Queen became who she is today. 

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab)

Best documentaries about Princess Diana

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Story of Diana

For those who have been transfixed by The Crown’s depiction of their early relationship, this documentary reveals the real-life public unravelling of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage (opens in new tab) and is even more heart-breaking and astonishing. 

Those who provide their thoughts on the late princess include her brother and others who knew her very well. As the media became ever more intrusive, viewers will see the seeds planted for the tragedy that would later befall the Princess of Wales.  

Available to watch on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Diana: 7 Days that Shook the World 

First released on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, this documentary delves into the devastation felt by the royal family and the nation in the seven days after she died. It features interviews with both of the Princess of Wales’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. 

They reflect on how they coped with the loss of their mother (opens in new tab). This is an incredibly moving documentary and definitely one to add to your to-watch list. 

Available on Netflix (opens in new tab)

The Diana Story Part I: The Young Princess

The first chapter of this documentary series focuses on Princess Diana as she was first introduced to royal life and the royal family. Beginning with her arrival at Balmoral Castle (opens in new tab) in 1980, fans of The Crown Season 4 might be familiar with a few moments that inspired the fictional series. 

Two years after that summer, Lady Diana Spencer became the royal princess that captured the nation’s hearts. 

Available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab).

Diana: In Her Own Words

For those looking for a truly in-depth documentary that sheds light on the real life of the late Princess Diana, there doesn’t come much more comprehensive than this. Taken from journalist and biographer Andrew Morton’s collection of previously unheard recordings with the late princess, this tells the events of Princess Diana’s life, as she experienced them. 

Available on Now TV (opens in new tab)

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Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may regularly make headlines, but in this enlightening novel, Scobie and Durand delve into the unknown details of the couple’s life together. 

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Battle of Brothers by Robert Lacey

Written by royal expert Robert Lacey, this book gives readers an unparalleled insight into William and Harry’s early closeness and later rumoured estrangement. It asks what happens when two sons are raised for very different futures and explores each of the family's highs, lows and most difficult decisions. 

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Diana: The People's Princess by Nicholas Owen 

This book from Nicholas Owen documents the life and death of Princess Diana, and aims to celebrate her achievements, her legacy, and the public outpouring of grief following her death. It's also been brought up to date to include Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle.

With so much to learn and enjoy about our royal family, these documentaries are sure to give you all the behind-the-scenes insights you could ever need.

Happy watching!

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.