Publication Date: 06/10/2022 ISBN: 9781786499141 Category:

Spying and the Crown

Rory Cormac, Richard J. Aldrich

Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication Date: 06/10/2022 ISBN: 9781786499141 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



A Daily Mail Book of the Year and a The Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2021

‘Monumental.. Authoritative and highly readable.’ Ben Macintyre, The Times

‘A fascinating history of royal espionage.’ Sunday Times

‘Excellent… Compelling’ Guardian

For the first time, Spying and the Crown uncovers the remarkable relationship between the Royal Family and the intelligence community, from the reign of Queen Victoria to the death of Princess Diana.

In an enthralling narrative, Richard J. Aldrich and Rory Cormac show how the British secret services grew out of persistent attempts to assassinate Victoria and then operated on a private and informal basis, drawing on close personal relationships between senior spies, the aristocracy, and the monarchy.

Based on original research and new evidence, Spying and the Crown presents the British monarchy in an entirely new light and reveals how far their majesties still call the shots in a hidden world.

Previously published as The Secret Royals.

Publisher Review

This monumental book is really a history of the British secret services, focusing on the fascinating moments when this intersects with royal history... Authoritative and highly readable... As every page of this book attests, the royals have always been involved in secretly directing the affairs not just of this country but of many others. -- Ben Macintyre * The Times, 'Book of the Week' * Bizarre and disturbing episodes are revealed in this excellent history of the royal family's relationship with espionage... Richard Aldrich and Rory Cormac's fascinating history argues that modern intelligence evolved out of efforts to prevent Queen Victoria being assassinated... Through unbelievably thorough research - all of it fully referenced for grateful future scholars - they have compiled something comprehensive and compelling. * Guardian * A fascinating history of royal espionage... The book, which stretches back to Elizabeth I and her spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, has something of interest on pretty much every page. -- Rowland White * Sunday Times * Gripping * Daily Mail, 'Books of the Year' * Authoritative and gripping. * Observer * Their mastery of a subject that is extensive both chronologically and in its geographical scope is assured and impressive... An intriguing alternative narrative of British royal history. -- Matthew Dennison * Sunday Telegraph * Aldrich and Cormac have written an important book. Packed with new material and fresh insights, it offers an original way of looking at royal history. It's also a very good read. -- Jane Ridley * Literary Review * [A] thorough and informed survey of how matters of high state have really worked - and work. -- Alan Judd * Spectator * Intricate, ingenious and determined... Intelligent, fair-minded and a pleasure to read. * Times Literary Supplement * A valuable and unmissable read. -- Alexander Larman * The Chap * Outstanding research that shines a light into the very darkest corners of the British establishment. Filled with royal revelations - our monarchs are viewed through an entirely new lens - as keepers of the secrets and even as spy chiefs. Were Victoria and Elizabeth II more like 007's mysterious "M"? This is the royals as we have never seen them before and each story is supported with startling new evidence. -- Kate Vigurs, author of Mission France, on The Secret Royals

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible