5. Pomp and glamour
The Royals looks more camp than a row of sparkly pink tents at an Elton John concert. The wardrobe department has certainly blown through its budget, with characters kitted out in the latest finery from names like Versace, Armani, even Dolce and Gabbana – although that may need a rethink after Domenico Dolce’s recent comments on IVF.
The acting is also unashamedly melodramatic. You could put the EastEnders doof-doofs at the end of pretty much every scene and they wouldn’t feel out of place.
4. An E! show with a script. Never.
E! is best known as the home of reality TV royalty – the Kardashians – so a glossy drama about the British monarchy isn’t too much of a leap. The Royals is also the network’s first ever scripted show, which says something about how confident they are that it’ll be a success. The series was created by Mark Schwan, who was behind the popular One Tree Hill, so it’s definitely in capable hands.
Although E! is airing episodes in the US before they go out in the UK, viewers in Britain will at least get to see the full series, which isn’t always the case with American networks.
3. Toff love
The public clearly loves a bit of posh, with the likes of Made in Chelsea and Taking New York enjoying huge ratings. The Royals is trying to attract the same audience, and although it’s a drama, it’s probably just as realistic as its manufactured counterparts – they’re all in the ‘posh trash’ category, along with empty magnums of Crystal, rotten caviar and old copies of Tatler.
For all of you who like seeing how the other half lives, keep an eye on the settings. The show was filmed in real places – Blenheim Palace, for example, fills in for Buckingham as the royal residence.
2. Art mirroring life
Part of the fun of The Royals is trying to work out the inspirations for characters and storylines. The princess whose misbehaviour attracts the attention of the tabloids – sound familiar? A certain flame-haired prince springs to mind. I can’t wait for the princess-goes-partying-dressed-as-a-Nazi episode.
Liz Hurley’s Queen is supposedly based on both Princess Diana and Cruella D’Evil, which explains the scene where she chases a load of dalmatians across a minefield. That didn’t happen.
1. The return of Liz Hurley
The last time I saw Liz Hurley in an acting role was Austin Powers, the one with the exploding bras – if you’re wondering why I remember that bit in particular, I’ve always been a fan of impressive robotits, I mean robotics. Now she’s playing the Queen in her first full-time TV role.
Helen Mirren she ain’t, but Hurley does a decent job as the icy matriarch, particularly in an opening episode in which the character development consisted of people just repeating their titles over and over again.
The amount of times Hurley announced ‘I’m the Queen of England’, I thought my TV was on the blink. Either that, or one is hearing voices again.
You can catch The Royals on E! at 10pm on Sundays. The series premieres on E!UK on March 25. Here’s a quick trailer: