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Here’s why everyone’s talking about this drama about the Royal Family

It’s Queen Liz, but not as you know her.

Source: WAY OF LIFE/YouTube

THERE’S A NEW drama being made about the British Royal family, and it’s… well, it’s nothing like you’d get from a documentary about the real monarchy.

The series is made by E! (home to Keeping up with the Kardashians among other shows), and is described by the channel as a:

Drama about a fictional British Royal family set in modern day London, who inhabit a world of opulence and regal tradition that caters to any and every desire, but one that also comes with a price tag of duty, destiny and intense public scrutiny.

Here’s why everyone’s been talking about it

the royals e

It’s from the guy behind One Tree Hill

Mark Schwann is the creator of the show, which is also E!’s first scripted drama. (Not that we doubt the arguments in Keeping Up With The Kardashians are 100% real, ahem.)

Schwann says that many people call the show “delicious”, which is down to its sumptuous locations. He told E!:

We’re shooting in London. Look, the bar is set high. When you’re shooting the royal family they have to look good, they have to look impressive. We would talk about crowd scenes and I would say, ‘If they walk out that door and we don’t see hundreds of people, I don’t know who they are. I don’t know what we’re doing.”

It looks completely over the top

Elizabeth Hurley plays Queen Helena, who has “the power, beauty and intelligence to get what she wants”, and is pretty great at controlling her family’s public image. Hurley says her inspirations for the character were Princess Diana and Cruella de Vil.

the royals family

Vincent Regan plays her husband, King Simon. Then there’s William Moseley (Chronicles of Narnia), who plays her youngest son, and is a particularly sought-after young bachelor. So far, so Prince Harry.

When he gets involved with an American woman, her antics get her into trouble with the fam. We also have his younger sister Eleanor, who’s always in the tabloids.

Naturally, with a royal family there has to be drama about the heir to the throne. We’re told that kicks in during the first episode. This is probably a hint:

the royals car crash

But are we going to learn anything about the real monarchy?

“I think you’ve seen a lot of it already,” said Elizabeth Hurley in a recent interview. “There’s so much access to the outside look of the family.”

But what none of us has seen “is behind closed doors”, she said, describing it as fictitious, but showing things that “could” happen.”

the royals pic A scene from the show

She told another interviewer: “I think the opportunity to do a fictitious version of that world and do what they do and show our fictitious family doing what they do, and then going behind closed doors and imagine what it could be like to be the most famous family in the world… for me that’s just fascinating.”

It has already been renewed for a second season…

…before it has even aired. Now that’s a vote of confidence.

Their version of Buckingham Palace looks a little different

the royals palace

It’s all about money, sex and power

“We are not a normal family,” says The Queen at one point. Indeed. Elizabeth Hurley has described the series as having elements of Gossip Girl and Dynasty. It stars Joan Collins as her mother, the Grand Duchess of Oxford, which certainly helps with the latter.

royals fml

“It has the big element of Dynasty, it’s a family drama, it’s rich, there’s intrigue,” she said. “But it has an atmosphere of Gossip Girl too – there’s a lot of youth, there’s a lot of beautiful youth, and they’re getting up to things that beautiful youths get up to.”

Schwann, the show’s creator, said that: “The big question is family or love? What do you put first?”

Even the show’s tweets are a bit saucy

It features a Queen’s Speech with a difference

(And a few NSFW words)

Now that’s not something you’d hear from the real Queen.

Speaking of which, there hasn’t been any public statement from the real British monarchy yet. We’re awaiting the royal word on that one.

The reaction so far has been interesting:

The show airs on E! on 15 March. What do you make of the trailer?

Read: BBC postpones documentary about the royal family’s PR tactics after Diana’s death>

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