Sarah Lyall finds fresh connections between Wallis Simpson, Diana Spencer, and Meghan Markle in UNROYAL

It’s safe to say that the death of Queen Elizabeth in 2022 set off a new wave of fascination with the royal family. In the last year alone we’ve read Spare, watched the coronation of King Charles, seen renewed interest in Harry and William’s alleged falling out, and so much more. But how did we get here? And, with the dawning of a new digital age and the birth of a new monarch, what does the celebrated family have in store for us? 

To peer into the future, veteran New York Times culture reporter and Royals correspondent Sarah Lyall dives back into the past and unearths the stories of three women: Wallis Simpson, Diana Spencer, and Meghan Markle. Each one married into–and promptly challenged–the British royal family. In the audiobook original Unroyal, Lyall unpacks their attempts to modernize the world’s most famous monarchy over the course of the last century and illuminates what the family’s path forward might look like. 

Through three incendiary TV interviews, in particular, Lyall’s singular point of view from decades of covering the Royals from both sides of the Atlantic, and accompanied by  fresh recordings with other renowned subject experts (including bestselling author Tina Brown, journalist Tanya Gold, author and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, Princess Diana biographer Andrew Morton, and more) this audio documentary pieces together the uncanny similarities of these women’s experiences and shines a light on the harsh truths that lie at society’s most fraught intersection: power, fame, and family politics. 

Narrated by Lyall with a beguiling soundscape of contemporaneous news footage and an elegant score, Unroyal blends the probing inquisition of You’re Wrong About with the historical intrigue of The Crown to serve both neophytes and obsessives a delectable regal feast for the ears.