Channel 4’s spoof royal soap opera The Windsors – which just returned for a second run – may not be subtle, but it’s a fun distraction, and if there’s any one thing this blogger is addicted to, it is fun distractions.
The actors (led by Harry Enfield as Prince Charles) all give outrageous, panto performances. They’re either gin-soaked villains and/or monumentally, irredeemably stupid. The Queen and Prince Phillip are spared, save for the Duke’s expletive-riddled written missives (“Dear Funny Foreigner…”) which are read out by other characters.
(Their absence is more than fine though, as the Queen and the Duke have got The Crown, and it’s on Netflix and it’s waaay more prestigious.)
Although The Windsors is meant to be silly, all the characters are actually quite sweet and sad and touching, like poor Fergie (Katy Wix), desperate to be allowed back into the fold.
I’ve read the anonymous comments about the real Royal Family on places like Mail Online and people can be harsh and resentful (to put it lightly). Then there are fawning blogs, where for ‘Princess Kate’ fans, she’s Cinderella. The Windsors writers Bert Tyler-Moore and George Jeffrie have the former Miss Middleton as a gullible sweetheart from a family of travellers, because why not?
With the media focus on the ‘main three’ of Kate, William and Harry, Fergie’s girls have been relegated to bit-part players, but Tyler-Moore and Jeffrie have made B&E (Ellie White and Celeste Dring) main characters, which is nice. They’re depicted as airhead Sloanes who didn’t get the memo that they’re on the fringes of their own family, which..isn’t so nice.
It makes me feel almost sorry for the real Yorks, who sadly lack a certain media-friendly, fashion-savvy charm (constantly referred to as the ‘ugly stepsisters’), unlike the willowy Delevingne sisters, or even the Middletons. (I’ve written before that in our appearance-obsessed age, nothing would end the monarchy faster than an unattractive princess/future queen waiting in the wings.)
Pippa too (played here by the very talented Morgana Robinson as a vampish vixen seething with sisterly jealousy) can’t be seen to be having too much fun, before some online commentator yells: “Your sister is royal not you!!!” It’s as if to kowtow to the Cambridges, we have to remind ourselves we have some dignity by gloating at the position of the ‘lesser’ royals and royals-by-association.
Miss Markle, are you sure you want to join the cast of this real-life institution?!
The Windsors series 2 consists of six episodes. It continues on Channel 4 in the UK on Wednesdays. Get ready for the arrival of one President Trump!