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10 Royals You didn’t Know were Actually Authors

Being a royal isn't just about ribbon-cutting, pomp and circumstance, or royal visits.  There were also royals who were intellectuals, artists and authors. Meet these the ten royals who also penned memoirs, touching stories, and poems.

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (1902-2004)


Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was the daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, then the largest landowner in Scotland. She married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, in 1934 and bore him two sons, Prince William, who died in a plane crash in 1972, and Prince Henry, who succeeded as 2nd duke of Gloucester in 1974. One of the most popular royals during her lifetime, she was also the longest-living member of the British Royal Family, passing away at the age of 102 in 2004. She penned her memoir, The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, which was published in 1981. Ten years later, the revised edition, Memories of Ninety Years, was published. However, it was noted that her book contained no depth and lacked in details with regards to what happened in her life and her family. One reviewer wrote: “You walked away from each chapter with questions that were never answered.”

Queen Elisabeth of Romania (1843-1916)



Born a German princess, her father was Hermann, Prince of Wied. Her artistic leaning, which bound to eccentricity, was observed since her childhood. Using the pen-name Carmen Sylva, Elisabeth was a prolific author in German, Romanian, French and English, and her work ranged from poems, plays, and novels to short stories, essays and aphorisms. Her most critically works included: "Sappho" and  Hammerstein," which appeared in Leipzig (1880), Les Pensees d'une reine (1882), which was honored by the Académie française with the Prix Botta, and Cuvinte Sufletesci, religious meditations in Romanian (1888).

Infanta Eulalia of Spain (1872-1952)



Infanta Eulalia of Spain was notorious for her controversial books. The youngest child of Queen Isabella II of Spain, she authored provocative works under the pseudonym Comtesse de Avila. Her work Au fil de la vie (The Thread of Life, 1911) contained her views on education, the independence of women, the equality of classes, socialism, religion, marriage, prejudices, and traditions. These issues that were deemed too liberal during her time. In 1925, she wrote Courts and Countries After The War (1925), which discussed world political situation, especially the never-ending conflict between France and Germany. Her memoir, Mémoires de S.A.R. l'infante Eulalie, 1868-1931 was published in French in 1935 and in English in 1936.

Princess Helena  of the United Kingdom (1846-1923)


Princess Helena of the United Kingdom was the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Considered as the most active member of the British Royal Family during her mother’s reign, Princess Helena was hailed for taking up a hectic schedule of royal engagements at a time when it was not customary for royals to appear in public. Her marriage to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1865) was regarded as a happy one and four of their five children survived through adulthood: Prince Christian Victor, Prince Albert, Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise. Princess Christian was an avid translator of German works, including the first biography of Prince Albert (1867), The Memoirs of Wilhelmine, Margravine of Bayreuth (1887), and First Aid to the Injured (1882). Sir Charles Grey praised the princess for the “surprising fidelity” of her work, while Saturday Review wrote that her work was “thoroughly alive, with a sound dictionary translation and a high accuracy in spirit.”

Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956)


Princess Marie Louise was the second daughter of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. She was married to Prince Aribert of Anhalt, third son of Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt, in 1891. The marriage, however, was annulled in 1900. An active member of the British Royal Family, she documented her life in her memoirs, My Memories of Six Reigns (1956), from the reign of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, to that of her niece, Queen Elizabeth II. Her work was praised for her vivid descriptions of the events in her life as well as for the historical value that it rendered.

Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938)


Queen Marie of Romania was the second child and eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Married to Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the couple ascended as King and Queen of Romania in 1914. Her biographer, Diane Mandache revealed that she published 34 books and poems both in Romanian and English, the most popular of which was her three-volume autobiography, The Story of My Life.

Grand  Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929)



Grand Michael Mikhailovich of Russia was the third child and second son of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich, a son of Czar Nicholas I of Russia. Her morganatic marriage to Countess Sophie von Merenburg lead his banishment from Russia. His resentment to the Imperial Family was the inspiration for the novel, Never Say Die. In the preface he wrote:" Belonging, as I do, to the Imperial Blood, and being a member of one of the reigning houses, I should like to prove to the world how wrong it is in thinking - as the majority of mankind is apt to do - that we are the happiest beings on this earth. There is no doubt that we are well situated, but is wealth the only happiness in the world?"

Prince Michael of Greece (1939-)


Prince Michael is the only child of Prince Christopher of Greece, youngest son of King George I of Greece. His father died when he was just one year old. A contributor to the magazine Architectural Digest, Prince Michael’s royal status enabled him to write about historical fictions, including The White Night of St. Petersburg, his first novel, The Empress of Farewells: the story of Charlotte, Empress of Mexico (2002) and Le Rajah Bourbon (2007)

Princess Michael of Kent (1945- )


Princess Michael of Kent is the wife of Prince Michael of Kent, youngest child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fifth child of King George V. She was the daughter of the Bohemian nobleman, Baron Gunther von Reibnitz and the Hungarian Countess Marianne Szapary. A professional interior designer and lecturer, Princess Michael penned historical non-fictions and fictions: Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of eight royal brides (1986), Cupid and the King (1991), The Serpent and The Moon: two rivals for the love of a Renaissance king (2004) and The Queen of Four Kingdoms (2013).

Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhaelovich of Russia (1859-1919)


Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhaelovich was the elder brother of Grand Duke Michael Mikhaelovich. A popular Russian scholar and historian, he was also an expert in botany. His published works included the 10-volume Discussions on the Lepidopterae, The Princes Dolgoruki, Collaborators to Emperor Alexander I and many more. 

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