Themes we've explored

In between seasons on The Queen's Reading Room, we pick a theme to explore in greater detail.

A Christmas Carol

A celebration of the most beloved of Christmas stories, narrated by Their Majesties and their guests, and accompanied by treasures from the Charles Dickens Museum.

A Very Christie Christmas

A fascinating journey into the greatest mystery writer of all time, Agatha Christie, as we explore her life, her work and her extraordinary legacy in the company of some of our favourite authors and actors and Christie’s own great-grandson, James Prichard.

Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes

Celebrating Arthur Conan Doyle and swotting up on everything Sherlock Holmes with a flurry of crime loving to really work out what made the creator of the world’s best known detective tick.

Children’s Classics

An interlude dedicated to Her Majesty’s favourite children’s books, with guests from the Royal Society of Literature.


A journey around the world to explore literary treasures from the Commonwealth.

Diaries & Diarists

An interlude dedicated to diaries, both fictional and real, and their use by authors from Samuel Pepys to Helen Fielding as a brilliant vehicle for storytelling. Explore a selection of diarists who have altered perceptions, encouraged thought, recorded social change or have simply made us laugh.

Food Writing

An interlude exploring cookery books and literature, and why they make such congenial bedfellows.

His Majesty Recommends

His Majesty kindly recommends some of his favourite books to The Queen’s Reading Room.

Nature Writing

An interlude to reflect on how blessed we are to have so many fantastic writers on nature in the UK and internationally and introduce a selection of some of the most compelling books on this topic.

Northern Irish Poetry

Celebrating the rich literary history of Northern Ireland and the steady stream of literary greatness that continues to emerge from the region to this day.

Plays & Playwrights

An interlude to explore some of the greatest plays of all time and the extraordinary people who create them and bring them to life on the stage.

Poets and Poetry

An interlude dedicated to all things poetry. Here you will find readings from the poets themselves, brilliant actors and fantastic pupils, who contributed to bringing to life the words of some truly stunning poems from Shakespeare to current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

Queen Mary's Dolls' House

Celebrating the centenary of Queen Mary's Dolls' House with an interlude dedicated to both uncovering its history and some of the extraordinary treasures contained in its library, and learning more about the marvellous modern day miniature books contributed by some of the greatest authors of our time.