I have always maintained that The Crown is particularly unsuited to this phenomenon called binging, which involves watching multiple episodes of a TV show in succession. The Crown, which chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II since her coronation to the present, has a lot of narrative heft and one needs a moment or two to digest the information.
Until The Crown Season 2 arrives, you can take a look at these shows that also explore the British royal families and those from around the world in their own way. Mind you, these shows may be very different since the socio-economic milieu and lifestyle of modern royals are very different from those from the medieval era. But all these shows are worth watching.
The Tudors: The Tudors is based on the rule of somebody who I refer to as the Donald Trump of medieval England: Henry VIII. The Tudors has a lot of court intrigue, and it is not as focused on a single character as The Crown. It does suffer from over-glamourisation, and there is considerably more emphasis on costumes and make-up than plot and character development. It also has some pacing issues and chooses style over substance. Still, The Tudors is a worthy alternative to The Crown. Watch it on Netflix.
Rome: Before Game of Thrones, HBO had Rome, a lavish and no-holds-barred take on Roman Empire around the time of Caesar’s assassination. It is a gorgeously shot show that unfortunately turned out to be simply too expensive and was discontinued after 2 seasons in spite of huge success. Stream it on Hotstar.
The Last Kingdom: Although this show is not exactly based on royals (the main character is a deposed lord living as a Viking), it gives some interesting insights on Alfred the Great, the man who first envisioned the idea of England as a single entity as opposed to a conglomerate of disparate kingdoms like Mercia and Wessex. Stream it on Netflix.
Vikings: Tired of stiff and prissy British royalty? Well, let’s take a look at Vikings, the ruthless warriors who dared to see what lay beyond at the cost of their lives. Many famous Vikings like Harald Bluetooth (after him the Bluetooth technology is named, no kidding) and our own Ragnar Lothbrok, the hero of Vikings, went on to become great kings. Vikings explores the rise of Ragnar to the top – and his inevitable fall. Stream Vikings on Netflix.
Versailles: An underrated show of the time when the Palace of Versailles was being built, and the court was being moved from Paris to Versailles. The show offers insight into the politics of the time and how kings dealt threats, internal and external. Stream on Netflix.