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Series / The Windsors

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The Windsors is a satirical soap opera airing on Channel Four that revolves around a very fictionalized version of The British Royal Family.

Prince Charles (Harry Enfield) is impatiently waiting for his mother to die so that he can finally get a chance to be king. Camilla (Haydn Gwynne), meanwhile, is scheming to find ways to become the true ruler of the British Isles. William (Hugh Skinner) and Kate (Louise Ford), on the other hand, just want to live semi-normal lives without the pressure of being royalty. Harry (Richard Goulding, Tom Durant-Pritchard), an illiterate fool, is carrying on an affair with Pippa (Morgana Robinson), who is trying to manipulate everyone into supporting her lavish lifestyle.

The programme is notable in that everyone is considered fair game to be satirized... except the Queen.

This programme provides examples of the following:

  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Camilla is depicted as a schemer who is willing to do anything as long as she gets to be in charge.
    • Pippa is portrayed as a stuck-up, money-grubbing social climber.
    • Beatrice and Eugenie are depicted as The Ditz who are unable to hold down a job, despite in reality being two of the few British royals who are privately employed.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Princess Anne is mad about horses. The only way Kate can stop Anne from giving her a home lobotomy is by humming the theme tune to the TV adaptation of Black Beauty.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Pippa acts like one throughout the series, especially to one-up her sister.
    • Theresa May even manages to intimidate Camilla.
  • Bad Future: Wills has a nightmare where Britain falls apart after abolishing the monarchy, turning the country into a dystopian hell hole.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ellie Goulding is depicted as a very nice person who helps the disadvantaged. She's also a brutal Combat Pragmatist who can brawl with the best of them when pushed too far.
    • Kate accidentally killed an opponent during her past career as a freestyle fighter.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    • Fergie is tricked by the grocer into sex in exchange for food in Wills’ Bad Future nightmare.
    • Trump extorts Camilla into having sex with him and underperforms doing so.
  • Brainless Beauty: Meghan is presented as a dimwitted, mediocre actress in Ms. Fanservice clothing and a stunning beauty.
  • Butt-Monkey: Fergie is portrayed as a pathetic emotional punching bag for her ex-husband, daughters, and the entire royal family.
  • Demonic Possession: Satan himself possesses Prince Charles at a Satanist function over which Charles and Camilla have to preside. But the old fiend himself is rather less than impressed after finding his human host doesn't actually have much real earthly power as a royal.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Prince Philip ordered MI5 to assassinate Fergie if she ever gets within a five-mile radius of a royal function.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Fergie takes Eugenie and Beatrice to the VIP section of a music festival with only two tickets, a security guard confronts her and forces her to choose which one of her daughters will be escorted out of the VIP premises.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After conspiring to get rid of Charles with his Evil Twin Chuck, Camilla can't bring herself to shoot him when the time comes.
    • In her own words, Pippa never wanted to kill Kate, just fuck her over a little.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The show goes out of its way to avoid any mention or reference to the late Princess Diana. The only time the subject was ever touched upon was a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to the half-forgotten conspiracy theory about Harry's true paternity.
  • Evil Plan: Trump has a surprisingly cunning plan to hegemonize Britain as America's 51st state by installing Charles or William as king so that he could turn it into a chlorinated chicken farm and frack it for oil. And he blows it by giving his Motive Rant before Charles is crowned.
  • Evil Twin: Princess Anne has been hiding Charles' twin brother Chuck in the attic of Sandringham Castle. (Although given Chuck's rather convivial personality, one has to wonder who really counts as the "evil twin" between them.)
  • Fake Pregnancy: Camilla unintentionally invokes this trope when her sudden pregnancy turns out to be just a severe case of gas and bloating.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job:
    • Prince Edward is depicted working odd menial jobs for extremely low wages due to his various ventures turning out to be financial failures.
    • Fergie is depicted trying to plug half-assed infomercial products.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: At least once per season Camilla makes a device to further one of her plans. These include a time bomb, a radio transmitter wired into a carbon monoxide detector, and a robot replica of Kate.
  • Flanderization: Wills' Upper-Received-Pronunciation accent becomes more exaggerated with each passing series until he starts mangling vowels so badly other characters start correcting him.
  • The Ghost: The Queen and Prince Philip are never seen and only mentioned. Prince Philip makes his presence felt, however, through profanity-laced letters.
  • Gold Digger: Pippa's affections wax, wane, and shift depending on the net worth of her love interests.
  • Gratuitous German: The entire royal family is prone to this, particularly William and Harry.
  • Gypsy Curse: Pippa casts a gypsy curse on Kate that makes her unable to touch gold. As Kate does a lot of handing out gold trophies, it's a big problem for her.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Princess Anne is implied to be either some sort of a malevolent apparition or an otherworldly ghoul.
    Princess Anne: When people meet someone royal they don’t want “bubbly!” They want someone stern and austere who’ll create a bit of an atmosphere. Someone dead inside, who’s clearly the victim of some unspecified trauma. In short — me!
  • Immodest Orgasm: A family trait. Charles, William, and Harry are all very loud when climaxing.
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: Camilla humiliates Kate by tricking her into wearing a one legged pirate costume to an amputee charity ball.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Camilla publicly announces she will donate her kidney to an adorable bed-ridden child singer just to improve her public image, but is actually planning to sabotage the girl's wheelchair and have her go over a cliff before the surgery so she won't have to go through with her promise.
  • Karma Houdini: Exaggerated with characters doing things such as attempted murder and getting away with it scot free.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The change in actors playing Harry (from Richard Goulding to Tom Durant-Pritchard) doesn't pass without comment.
    Will: You look different!
    Harry: You know what? I feel different.
    Meghan: I can't see any change!
  • Leitmotif:
  • Manchild:
    • Charles is extremely immature and has no idea how the real world works due to being mollycoddled his entire life.
    • Harry, meanwhile, is illiterate and produces childish scribbles of Spitfires.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Camilla, Pippa, and Meghan, in shades.
  • Narcissist: Meghan. She's still obsessed with her time acting on Suits and references it whenever possible. So great is her obsession with her public image that she brags quite a bit about being a "strong independent woman", which she immediately contradicts by wanting to be a princess and marry Harry.
  • Obliviously Evil: Charles doesn’t see anything wrong with his family’s past ties to the Nazis.
  • Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: Camilla is reimagined as being one, bullying her family members into doing her bidding and constantly trash-talking others.
  • Once per Episode: Wills or Kate will have a vision from a historic British Monarch/Head of State who will give them advice.
  • Only Sane Man: William and Kate are the only members of the royal family who have any common sense... not that that's saying much.
  • Pragmatic Evil: Princess Anne is medically licensed to perform lobotomies because the royal family members undergo the procedure so often.
  • Race Lift: Kate and Pippa are reimagined as members of the Travelling community, whom Charles and Camilla dismiss as "mere gypsies".
  • Rich Bitch: Camilla confesses one of the reasons she married Charles is so she wouldn't have to operate a toaster.
    • Pippa, while not being "old-money" rich like the Windsors, is arguably more of a snob than anyone else on the show.
  • Riches to Rags: Poor Fergie, former Duchess of York, is now living in a rundown council estate, her entire schedule centering around benefits hearings with her social worker.
  • Sex God: Edward, of all people, is depicted as one and has the stamina to go at least eight hours non-stop. He attributes this to the brief time he spent training to join the Royal Marines.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening credits parody the opening sequence of Dynasty1981.
    • The characters often reference the show's "dramatic counterpart" The Crown (2016).
    • The first episode features a scene where a vindictive British woman tricks a naïve newcomer (Kate) to the household into humiliating herself at a lavish costume ball. Hmmm...why does it sound vaguely familiar?
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Except for one scene that shows him from the back, Prince Philip is never seen and only heard from in letters, all of which drop as many profanities as possible.
    Wills: (reading a letter) "Dear fuckers: It's too bastard cold. We're fucking off to that Polynesian island where I'm worshipped as a god. If anything comes up, say I've got another urinary tract infection. Fuck off. Granddad."
  • The Sociopath: Camilla is a textbook example: she freely lies, manipulates, steals from, and even physically harms her family members in schemes.
  • Spirit Advisor: Wills is usually visited by spirits of previous monarchs of England and of the whole UK (plus Oliver Cromwell) whenever faced with a difficult decision.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Princess Anne is capable of appearing out of nowhere, the only warning sign of her arrival being a sudden drop in temperature that freezes people's breath.
  • Take That!: The show's version of Ellie Goulding confesses that she can't sing and became a brawler because people were getting violently angry towards her lack of talent.
  • Thermal Dissonance: Princess Anne's appearances are often preceded by a sudden coldness accompanied by sounds of a chill wind and people inexplicably exhaling fog.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Beside Kate, William and to a lesser extent Meghan, the entire family is depicted as this trope to varying degrees.
  • Upper-Class Twit:
    • The entire royal family is depicted as having absolutely no purpose beyond living idle lives with the occasional public appearance. This is Wills' main motivation for trying to leave, abolish, or do more than just live in the monarchy.
    • The York family is hit with this particularly bad. Beatrice and Eugenie spend their time attempting to be social-media influencers (with little success) while Jack Brooksbank (Eugenie's husband) is depicted as being so lacking in marketable skills that all he can do is provide free tequila samples to his rich acquaintances.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Fergie longs for the days of her glamorous past when she was known as the "original Fergie."
  • You Say Tomato: Wills has a Verbal Tic that exaggerates certain aspects of the Upper-Received-Pronunciation accent, forbidding him from properly pronouncing any word that ends in Y.
    Kate: Even though I'm a gypsy?
    Wills: Because you're a gypsah.