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Series / The Royals

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Royally Screwed Up.

The Royals is an American television drama series that premiered on E! on March 15, 2015 and ran for four seasons, ending in 2018. Created by Mark Schwahn (One Tree Hill) and starring Elizabeth Hurley, it is the network's first scripted series. The show is a loose adaptation of the Michelle Ray novel Falling for Hamlet. Although shot in England, it was dropped from E! UK after season two.

Hurley stars as Queen Helena, a fictional contemporary queen consort of England, along with William Moseley and Alexandra Park as her twin children, Prince Liam and Princess Eleanor; Jake Maskall as Helena's brother-in-law and nemesis, the new King Cyrus; Tom Austen as Eleanor's bodyguard and blackmailer, Jasper; and Oliver Milburn as Ted, the Royal Family's head of security. Season 1 also starred Vincent Regan as Helena's husband, King Simon, and Merritt Patterson as Liam's love interest, Ophelia.

The Royal Family is a collection of scheming, backstabbing, spoiled, and worthless layabouts constantly mired in scandal - so much so that when his eldest son Robert apparently dies in a military training accident, King Simon decides to abolish the monarchy and end their stain on British honor.

The show was cancelled in August of 2018.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Prince Robert was this to the rest of the family.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Sarah Alice, who chides Eleanor on not being very lady-like.
  • Ambiguously Gay: James Hill, who tries to help in secret both Jasper and Eleanor writing each other love letters (as part of their romantic routine that's based on a very old tradition), writes (as Eleanor) that Jasper has a body of Greek God. When Eleanor finds out what James writes to Jasper, and Jasper finds out about the whole thing, she says that "at least James thinks you do (have a body of Greek God)".
  • Betty and Veronica: In the first season, we have Ophelia (Betty) and Gemma (Veronica) for Liam. Liam finally ends up choosing Ophelia, but she rebuffs him.
    • There's also Nick (Betty) and Liam (Veronica) for Ophelia. Nick wins.
  • Big Brother Worship: Eleanor admires both Robert and Liam. More straightforward with Robert, when he returns to the palace, alive.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Grand Duchess of Oxford, Helena's mother.
    • Robert.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Eleanor and her bodyguard, Jasper, start out from a blackmail for a video that actually never existed to genuine romantic feelings for each other.
  • The Caligula: Prince Cyrus has all of these tropes despite the fact he's only the Duke of York at first.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Henstridge twin sisters.
  • Cool Old Guy: James Hill, Eleanor's new bodyguard.
  • The Cutie: Sara Alice, James Hill's little daughter who's sweet, adorable, and also believes in fairy tales, particularly the ones about princesses.
  • Dark Secret: It's revealed that Simon's true love, Dominique, was killed while horseback riding, thanks to Helena's mother who planned to infiltrate into royalty by introducing Helena to Simon.
  • Decadent Court: The monarchy's complete lack of power prevented the former but not the latter. It changes when they assassinate King Simon.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Cyrus is this, sleeping with multiple men and women across the show.
    • Mandy is also one of this or just okay with using her sexuality on women in cons.
  • Dirty Old Man: Earl Frost, Jasper's father, who flirts creepily with Eleanor until Jasper interjects with "Don't do that. Don't slimeball my girlfriend, dad. Not this one."
  • Divine Right of Kings: King Simon thinks it's hogwash while Cyrus seems to genuinely believe it.
  • Evil Matriarch: Queen Helena is this to her children, primarily Princess Eleanor. Their relationship gets better, though.
  • The Evil Prince: Cyrus is one of these despite just being the Duke of York. Also doubles as an Evil Uncle.
  • Expy: Queen Helena is one for Cersei Lannister in that she's a scheming, conniving, power hungry wife trapped in a loveless marriage while believing she deserves to have the power (limited as it may be) of the throne. The big difference between them is Queen Helena may actually be worse since she seems to detest her children unlike Cersei. She also has a few elements of Princess Diana, albeit almost none of her redeeming qualities.
    • Liam is a stand-in for Prince Harry but missing his military service and having elements of his brother William.
    • Ophelia is a fairly transparent one for Kate Middleton but in love with the Prince Harry analogue.
    • Cyrus has virtually every crackpot conspiracy theory element of Prince Charles, coupled with a few of his brother Prince Andrew. Also, Charles' reported bad taste cranked up to the 11.
    • Eleanor is all of Prince Harry's bad traits and party boy reputation in one person
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: Ted Pryce, who, after protecting him for years, suddenly murders King Simon. He explains his motive as getting revenge for the death of his wife Daphne, who was shot by someone attempting to murder the Queen (Helena had nothing to do with Daphne's shooting, but she did let her die in agony).
    • However, the video shown of Ted murdering Simon shows that he did so with his left hand (despite being right handed) and had been threatened by someone as yet unknown, so there is a possibility he was framed.
  • Fanservice: The audience is treated with hot and attractive characters such as Queen Helena, Princess Eleanor, Prince Liam, and Jasper. The guys also have their Shirtless Scenes.
  • Functional Addict: Princess Eleanor is a drug addict who can still live a normal life as long as she gets her fix.
    • Except in one episode, when she deliberately takes drugs in order to deal with people for a charity event, where she's already high while meeting them. It turns out successful, as Eleanor appears to be "very" friendly to them.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Helena is the primary antagonist along with Prince later King Cyrus.
  • The Good King: King Simon is probably the most dignified and stately monarch England could have asked for, which makes the contrast to the rest of his family all the more stunning.
  • Hot Consort: Elizabeth Hurley plays Queen Helena. Who is, at middle age, very much attractive despite being a mother.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Eleanor starts to do this in secret after receiving letters from the people of England, by taking some of the things in the palace.
  • Knighting: During his regime as king, Cyrus knights every single prostitute he hires.
    • Jasper was knighted by Robert thanks to a deal with Jasper's father.
  • Modest Royalty: King Simon, again, though resoundingly averted with everyone else.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Used often whenever a couple has sex, mostly with Eleanor and Jasper.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Eleanor who spends most of her time in sexy outfits or in underwear.
  • No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: Princess Eleanor and Prince Sebastian try to go to a restaurant (who are naked, but painted in tiger costume for an event), only to be snubbed by the maître d' who didn't recognize them, and Prince Sebastian ends up buying the restaurant.
  • Not Quite Dead: Prince Robert in season 3.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: Cyrus throws one of these for the House of Lords with prostitutes and drugs as part of his scheme to avoid the monarchy dissolving.
  • Puppet King: King Simon points out the monarchy is nothing more than an extravagance which serves no purpose in the modern world with all decisions made by Parliament. He then subverts this big time by attempting to abolish the monarchy, which is entirely his decision (albeit one Parliament has to approve as well as the British people).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: King Simon gives an epic one to his children on national television before announcing his plans to dissolve the monarchy. He gives an even nastier one in private to his wife and brother.
  • Rebel Prince: Liam.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Gemma Kensington, a wealthy jewelry heiress and Ophelia, daughter of the head of royal security, for Prince Liam, in season 1.
    • Lord Twysden "Beck" Beckwith II and Jasper, the royal bodyguard, for Princess Eleanor.
    • Prince Sebastian and Jasper, for Eleanor in Season 3.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Eleanor falls in love with Jasper, who blackmailed her into being his Sex Slave for a few episodes. They're, by far, the most popular couple among fandom.
    • Nick constantly badgers Ophelia for a date, basically showing up at her house unannounced to take her out and telling her he'd "wear her down eventually".
  • Royal Brat: Princess Eleanor, Prince Liam, and the Henstridge twins. All of them turn out to have a kind heart though, well, at least for Eleanor and Liam.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Princess is a drug addict, the Prince is a worthless layabout, the Queen is the worst since Cersei Lannister, and the Duke of York is a Depraved Bisexual Smug Snake. It's no wonder the King decides to abolish the monarchy. Essentially, this is the central premise of the show.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Resoundingly averted with all of the family but Simon and Robert, who both served in the military. Simon, notably, thinks the desire to avert this is what got his son killed.
  • Sexual Extortion: Cyrus forces palace maid Prudence into this at first for fear of losing her job and then because she tried to poison him.
  • Ship Sinking: Ophelia dumps Liam for Nick after he abandons her then leaves the show.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Robert didn't like Eleanor with Jasper from the beginning and it turns out, he was the mastermind behind the whole blackmail on Jasper's secrets by a reporter, which would lead to his breakup with Eleanor, in order to protect her.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Liam and Robert.
  • Sketchy Successor: Cyrus was this to his brother until his children were born. Liam never expected to be King so when his brother dies, he's immediately viewed as this (with good reason—albeit he tries to avert it). Cyrus is still one after all, thanks to his scheme that makes everyone believes that Liam and Eleanor are Simon's illegitimate children.
  • Spare to the Throne: Cyrus, Eleanor, and Liam were all this. Essentially, being told for their entire lives they'd never have to worry about anything but could never do anything with their lives either.
    • Lampshaded in season 3 finale by Eleanor, when Liam is still upset about Robert being crowned as the King of England.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Beck, who seems like a cool and nice guy in his earlier appearances, turning into a jealous, arrogant jerk in season 3.
  • Toplessness from the Back:
    • Gemma when she takes off her shirt in front of Liam in "Infants of the Spring".
    • Ophelia when she briefly takes off her bikini top at a balcony in Monaco when Liam dares her. She's photographed by a Paparazzi which causes some trouble.
    • Eleanor when she changes clothes in front of Jasper in "Passing Through Nature to Eternity".
  • Uptown Girl: Princess Eleanor to her bodyguard, Jasper.
    • The male version is Prince Liam to Kathryn and formerly, Ophelia.
    • Also the male version is Robert to Willow, the royal family's social media advisor and formerly, Kathryn.
  • Wham Episode: Season 1 Episode 7, when King Simon is murdered. In its season finale, he died.
    • Season 2's "And Then It Started Like a Guilty Thing": Jasper finds out who kills King Simon, it's Ted Pryce. Its season finale has Ted Pryce getting killed, and it also shows that Robert is still alive, and Simon might be alive as well, since his body is missing.
    • Season 3 finale: Robert is finally being officially crowned as the king, while his true colors are revealed, as he's the reason why Jasper and Eleanor broke up, he apparently knew all along about his brother's affair with his girlfriend, which leads to him making Willow, Liam's ex, to be his wife, and based on the flashbacks with his father, Robert might have his own personal agenda for being the king. It ends on a cliffhanger, where Cyrus is about to shoot Liam, who still thinks Robert is up to something.