“The Royals” gives its princess a lady love interest


If an American soap opera and a British tabloid had a baby, it would be E!’s original series The Royals. Elizabeth Hurley leads the cast as Queen Helena of England in a show steeped in sex, intrigue, murder, betrayal and more sex. While Elizabeth (God save the Queen!) is beyond delicious as the matriarch of all matriarchs, it’s her wild child daughter Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park, the spitting image of her on-screen mom) who has our attention.


See, Princess Eleanor doesn’t give a shit about rules. We know this because she spraypainted her royal quarters and parties harder than an ’80s hair band. She’s also a sensitive soul. After fleeing a boring suitor for a night in London, she’s rescued from curious subjects and their camera phones by an American blonde beauty named Mandy. They do shots, drugs and talk about boys like you do.


Eleanor and Mandy become fast friends, escaping Eleanor’s bodyguard and running off to cause some mayhem. The chemistry between them quickly turns into a kiss, and it’s clear that Eleanor is quite taken by the other woman. When Eleanor takes a breather from the intensity of her feelings, Queen Helena tells her daughter to follow her heart. She doesn’t realize her daughter’s heart is leading her to fall in love with a woman.


Of course, nothing can be as easy as two ladies finding love, can it? It turns out that Mandy is actually Samantha, the ex-girlfriend of Eleanor’s former bodyguard and lover, Jasper. Mandy/Samantha and Jasper make out, while Eleanor has no idea she’s about to get played big time. Mandy/Samantha has a bigger goal than getting in Eleanor’s royal bedchamber. Damnit.


The women get closer and Eleanor really starts to fall for the mystery woman. In bed together, Mandy/Samantha calls Eleanor her girlfriend and they text like a normal couple, except that Mandy/Samantha is texting Jasper. He demands that she meet him in the tunnels under the palace. It appears that Jasper, who is attempting to reestablish the royal family’s trust after the King is assassinated and he schtupted the Queen, is actually planning a big con. He worries that Mandy/Samantha will ruin all his hard work.


Eleanor and Mandy/Samantha have a boozy, kissy brunch and naturally it’s caught by the tabloids. Queen Helena has a royal fit, asking Eleanor if she’s about to become the first lesbian princess. The Queen’s Mum (played by the glorious Joan Collins) interrupts to throw some support for her granddaughter. “Well darling, don’t tell me that you haven’t tasted the rainbow once or twice in your life,” she says to a horrified Helena. The scene is too good, so I included it below.

Eleanor admits her feelings to Mandy/Samantha and the woman pushes her for info on Jasper, something Eleanor isn’t willing to discuss. Mandy/Samantha, maybe a little jealous, takes this info to a furious Jasper and decides they need to make their move on the night of Eleanor’s birthday. They plan to steal the huge, royal diamond and take off. I hate when girls are only into you for you massive pressed carbon.


This romance with the duplicitous Mandy/Samantha can only mean heartbreak for Princess Eleanor, but The Royals does create a compelling story for the reckless young royal. It does whip out the tired evil bisexual trope in Mandy/Samantha, but Eleanor’s comfort in her feelings and her own bisexuality shines brighter. She finally finds someone who not only gets her but that she has big, real feelings for. Based on scenes for next week, it looks like Eleanor is in for a world of hurt, but you can bet on the royal jewels that we’ll be watching.

The Royals airs on Sunday nights at 10/9c on E!

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