15 Royal TV Shows like The Empress
Carolina, who originally hails from Argentina is a movie buff through and through. She enjoys nothing more than binge-watching the latest Netflix series and is a big fan of their 'Originals' line. Her favourite movie is Frozen and she's a big fan of The Good Place & The Dragon Prince.
The Empress is a German TV show based on the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, widely known as Sissi. The series was released on Netflix in September 2022, becoming an instant success.
Netflix announced they gave the green light to a second season. But in the meantime, how are you supposed to fill the hole The Empress has left in your heart?
If you’ve already watched the 2nd season, what’s next?
Simple, here I gathered 15 TV series about queens, princesses and royals that can fill the gap until they make another season of The Empress.
The Serpent Queen (2022)
Drama – 9 episodes – 52 min. each episode
Based on the 2004 nonfiction book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, this Starz production follows the life of Catherine de’ Medici, the 16th century Queen of France portrayed by actress Samantha Morton.
Married at the young age of 14 years old, Catherine de Medici proved to be a clever and powerful woman who ruled France as queen for 30 years.
Becoming Elizabeth (2022)
Biography, Drama, History – 8 episodes – 60 min. each episode
This Starz historical drama created by Anya Reiss follows the younger years of Queen Elizabeth I as an orphaned girl who sees herself in the middle of the politics of the English court while she paved the path to the crown.
Alicia von Rittberg (Fury) plays the role of Elizabeth, followed by John Heffernan, Oliver Zetterström, Jamie Parker, and Romola Garai.
The Spanish Princess (2019)
Drama, History, Romance – 16 episodes – 55 minutes each episode
Another Starz historical drama created by Emma Frost and Matthew Graham and based on the novels The Constant Princess (2005) and The King’s Curse (2014) by Philippa Gregory.
It is also a sequel to the miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess.
The Spanish Princess follows Catherine of Aragon, the titular Spanish princess who became Queen of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII.
Charlotte Hope (The Theory of Everything, The Nun) plays Catherine of Aragon, followed by Stephanie Levi-John, Ruairi O’Connor, and Laura Carmichael.
The White Queen (2013)
Drama, History, Romance – 10 episodes – 60 min. each episode
Set during the War of the Roses, this historical drama is based on Philippa Gregory’s historical novel series The Cousins’ War, which is composed of The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter.
The series follows three different and powerful women, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville, who pull the strings behind the scenes to gain power.
Rebecca Ferguson stars in this series as Elizabeth Woodville, along with Amanda Hale as Lady Margaret Beaufort and Faye Marsay as Anne Neville.
The White Princess (2017)
Drama, History, Romance – 8 episodes – 60 min. each episode
The White Princess is a direct sequel to The White Queen and picks up the story just where it left it. Elizabeth of York married Henry VII, putting an end to the War of the Roses.
Now the Lancaster and York houses are united, but the distrust and political plottings by their mothers put their marriage and kingdom at risk.
The cast is led by Jodie Comer (Killing Eve, Free Guy) as Elizabeth of York, and she’s followed by Rebecca Benson (Flack, Game of Thrones) as Margaret “Maggie” Plantagenet, Jacob Collins-Levy (Young Wallander) as Henry VII, and Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) as Margaret Beaufort.
Drama – 3 seasons – 78 episodes – 42 min. each episode
Reign was created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie Sengupta for The CW, and it’s set in the late-sixteenth century following the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, and how she gained power in the French court through sexual and political intrigues.
Adelaide Kane (Once Upon A Time, Teen Wolf) plays Mary, while Megan Follows (The Republic of Sarah) is Catherine de’ Medici, and Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl, Batwoman) is Elizabeth Tudor.
Biography, Drama, History – 3 seasons – 30 episodes – 52 min. each episode
Versailles is a French historical drama series produced by Canal+ set during the construction of the Palace of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. The series was aired later on BBC Two in the UK.
Now the complete series can be found on Netflix in some countries.
When Young King Louis XIV moves the French court from the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris to his father’s former hunting lodge near the hamlet of Versailles, the nobles that were loyal to the king move as well and begin a series of dangerous intrigues while the Palace of Versailles keeps growing.
Empress Ki (2013)
Action, Drama, Romance – 1 season – 51 episodes
Empress Ki is a South Korean historical drama television series that follows Ki Seungnyang, a Goryeo-born woman who reaches power by defying the class restrictions of the era. Then, she marries Toghon Temür and becomes a Yuan empress.
The Great (2020)
Biography, Comedy, Drama – 3 seasons – 30 episodes – 45 min. each episode
This historical drama is a satire that mixes a great balance between black humour and drama. The story is loosely based on the life of Catherine The Great, Empress of all Russia.
Of course, the series is more fiction than factual history, and it follows the young years of Catherine as she marries Emperor Peter III and plots to kill him. The two main roles are in the hands of Elle Fanning (Catherine) and Nicholas Hoult (Peter).
Queen Seondeok (2009)
Biography, Drama, History – 1 season – 62 episodes – 60 min.
This South Korean drama follows the life of Queen Seondeok, originally known as Deokman, who was born as a princess, but she was raised as a commoner.
Deokman was one of the twin daughters of King Jinpyeong and Queen Maya, but following a prophecy, the King sent one of them away from the palace to protect her and the queen.
The Tudors (2007)
Drama, History, Romance – 4 seasons – 38 episodes – 60 min.
Created and written by Michael Hirst for Showtime, The Tudors is a historical fiction television series set in the England of the 16th century that follows the reign of King Henry VIII.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers leads the cast as Henry VIII, and he’s followed by Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon, James Frain as Thomas Cromwell, Sarah Bolger as Mary Tudor, Guy Carleton as Chamberlain, and Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn.
The Borgias (2011)
Crime, Drama, History – 3 seasons – 29 episodes – 50 min. each episode.
Created by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire, Greta), The Borgias is a historical fiction focused on the Borgia family and how they get the papacy through intrigues, crimes, and scandals.
The series was produced by Showtime and lasted for three seasons. Jordan planned to finish the series in the fourth season, but Showtime cancelled it because the production was very expensive.
The Borgias is set during the Renaissance era in Italy, portraying all the infamous means used by the Borgia family to rise to power and ascend to the papacy.
The series has an ensemble cast composed of Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, François Arnaud as Cesare Borgia, Holliday Grainger as Lucrezia Borgia, and Sean Harris as Micheletto.
Biography, Drama, History – 3 seasons – 25 episodes – 60 min. each episode
Victoria is a British historical biographical drama created and written by Daisy Goodwin that focuses on the early years of Queen Victoria, from her accession to the British throne at the age of 18 until her marriage with prince Albert.
Jenna Coleman (Waterloo Road, Dr Who) plays Queen Victoria, while Tom Hughes (The Game, The English) plays prince Albert.
Biography, Drama, History – 3 seasons – 24 episodes – 60 min. each episode
This historical drama was created by Frank Spotnitz, who is better known for his work in The X-Files, and Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution).
The series was produced by Italian companies Lux Vide and Rai Fiction in conjunction with Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions.
The story follows the Medici family during Renaissance Florence, as they were bankers of the Pope. Each season portrays the important events in the family history with the political and artistic background of Renaissance Italy.
The cast is composed of Daniel Sharman as Lorenzo de Medici, Alessandra Mastronardi as Lucrezia Donati, and Sebastian De Souza as Sandro Botticelli, among others.
Marie Antoinette (2022)
Biography, Drama, History – 1 season – 8 episodes – 52 min. each episode
Created and written by Deborah Davis (The Favourite), Marie Antoinette is a historical drama produced by the BBC and Canal+ that follows the life of the titular last queen of France before the French Revolution.
German actress Emilia Schüle plays Marie Antoinette, and she’s followed by Louis Cunningham as Louis XVI and Marthe Keller as Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche.
The Empress has been a success on Netflix since it was first released in November 2022.
Whether you’re waiting for the second season, or it has already now passed, you can fill the hole of historical dramas with these 15 amazing series about queens, princesses, and royals.
You can find them in the most popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, and Hulu.
Which series is your favourite? Drop some a comment below!