The Royals recap: Welcome Is Fashion and Ceremony
Cyrus comes clean about a deadly secret, while Eleanor gets back with Beck
There was more scandalous drama packed into this single episode than there are in the entire seasons of some shows, with a murder, a sick yacht party, a reunion between former lovers, a sex scene, and a crazy cancer reveal. #Loyals, let’s get into it, shall we?
“Welcome Is Fashion and Ceremony” kicked off by diving into Jasper’s is-he-or-isn’t-he-British story line, with he and Liam joking about his fake accent in a car outside the palace. The only thing worse than Jasper’s fake American accent is Liam’s fake American accent. (It’s really, really bad.) But their buddy-buddy time in the car is for a greater good, and Jasper clues Liam in on the fact that that Cyrus is using a body double for public appearances.
But the intrigue doesn’t end there. Jasper leads Liam to a secret room where Cyrus is sleeping in a wacko chamber outfitted with red velvet — the kind I imagine Kim Kardashian sleeps in to keep old age and wrinkles at bay. What the heck?
Liam confronts Cyrus about the lie. “You’re lying in some tub, like Michael Jackson.” But Cyrus responds with an explosive reveal: He has testicular cancer and offers up a convincing alibi. “I was getting treatment the night my brother died,” he tells Liam. He warns Liam that he doesn’t want anyone to know about his diagnosis because “people are such dicks.” Takes one to know one, Cyrus.
While Liam is playing the part of detective — looking particularly chesty in a tight sweater, I should add — Eleanor and Beck are enjoying the bliss of a night reconnecting. That is, actual connecting. (No sex.) For the record, that wasn’t Eleanor’s choice…which means Beck is a bit of a gentleman. I like the sound of that, so consider me on board for this relationship. Eleanor’s appropriately enamored, and to celebrate, she’s purchased him all kinds of pricey clothes, which he tries on while revealing why he left his wife. “She should have known, ever since Monaco,” he tells Eleanor. “It’s been you. It’s always been you.”
Although Eleanor’s love life is definitely on the up and up, Liam’s investigation into the king’s death is going nowhere. That said, Jasper seems kind of brilliant when he proposes expanding the search area where the king was murdered. He drops some impressive-sounding terms like “security” and “surveillance” and convinces Liam it’s a good idea. Then — because he has Liam all buttered up and thoroughly on his side — he complains about Eleanor not forgiving him. Liam’s response? He’s not too enthused about Jasper hooking up with his sister but clues him in about an upcoming yacht party, where Jasper can approach Eleanor. (‘Cause nothing says romantic reunion like a boat party where there’s sure to be lots of coke.)
NEXT: Shine bright like a diamond
Anyway, remember last week, when we met Pryce’s wife? Although we didn’t see her again this episode, we met another new character: Eleanor’s head of security. He’s definitely no Jasper: He’s old and gray, and not in the hot George Clooney kind of way. But he’s funny, and he’s #TeamSimon, so Eleanor vows to “give it a shot.”
It’s not a Royals episode without some major display of expensive bling, and lucky us, we’re introduced to a huge diamond that Cyrus plans to wear to the opening of Parliament. Helena reminds him it’s cursed — of course it is! — but nothing can get in the way of Cyrus’ love of accessories. Priceless diamonds aside, Helena’s sought an audience with Cyrus in order figure out which member of Parliament they should kidnap as part of royal tradition. Cyrus is as WTF about it as I am. “It’s ceremonial; I hate ceremony. But now that you mention it, I know just the hostage.” He chooses Mr. Holloway, who calls himself a “willing hostage” because there’s a possibility he’ll be entertained with Portuguese tarts (both the pastry and female variety) during his ceremonial kidnapping. But he’s taken away in handcuffs and shut in a cage that’s been fully lined with newspapers in case he needs to do No. 1 or No. 2. Cyrus is just so considerate like that.
While Holloway is in the midst of a pity party for one, the twins go party on a yacht. Dom Pérignon for everyone! And by everyone, I mean everyone except for Jasper. The yacht party offers the twins some time to chat, and Liam tells Len about Cyrus having ball cancer. Her response? “That’s awesome.”
Meanwhile, Beck introduces himself to Jasper. And make no mistake, Jasper’s not letting anyone — especially not some upper-crust ex-boyfriend — intimidate him. “I was with her for six months, right up until Monaco,” he tells Beck. Ooh, the shade! Beck also gets the rough side of things when Eleanor approaches him high as a kite and implies he better step right in line if they’re going to be together. Though last season it appeared that Beck was the only one who could get Eleanor to sober and straighten up, she’s not ready to give up her favorite vices as easily this time around.
It’s worth noting that while the twins have been partying on the yacht and Cyrus has been intimidating members of Parliament, Helena has been creating plans for a monument to Simon, as well as tying up the loose ends on her plan to get the crown. All seems to be going well, until she walks into check on the prime minister and finds him dead. And yup, you guessed it — he’s wearing the queen’s knickers. Her response is spot on. “FML.” It’s up to her and Rachel to cover up the evidence — i.e. remove the thong and “make him look normal” — and to come up with a Plan B, especially since Cyrus seems to have offed the PM in order to thwart her plan.
Time to check on Cyrus’ daughters, who’ve been noticeably inconspicuous during their dad’s reign. They discuss the possibility of boyfriends, each acting smugger than the other, which makes the fact that they’re each dating the same guy — Helena’s pawn — even more ridiculous-slash-satisfying.
NEXT: Liam makes an unexpected move
Back on the yacht, the show’s other set of siblings has a heart to heart. “You’ve been retracing dad’s steps ever since the day dad died,” Eleanor counsels Liam. “Retrace yours. Find that thing that made you happy.” I guess that means he has to get off the boat? Seems so. He tells Jasper he’ll be in touch but not before giving him some advice. “Everyone lets her down. Be the one that changes that.”
The day’s over, and so is the yacht party, so Beck and Eleanor find their way back to the palace. There, Eleanor pops into pay her mum an unwanted visit and serves up a sarcastic comment about the memorial to her late father. “This monument is about memorializing your father’s relationship with his kingdom,” says Helena. Eleanor’s understandably concerned about doing things for show — but enough of these one-off interactions! Give us a real mother-daughter moment; they’re so utterly touching and juicy.
Back in the bedroom, Beck asks Eleanor about the red graffiti on her walls. This brings up the subject of her dad or, as she puts it, her “supposed father.” Sadness = time for a shot, which Becks begs her not to take. But she’ll stop drinking as long as he’s making it out with her, which makes for our first steamy scene of the season.
Also sexy? The new acting prime minister, a gorgeous woman who has no problem calling the shots when she’s told that Queen Helena wants to see her. “I’m the acting prime minister. I don’t have time for tea with the queen, and I certainly don’t have time to repeat myself.” Another HBIC in town? Yasss.
The arrival of a new PM who’s unwilling to play ball definitely signals trouble for Helena, and it might for Cyrus too, though he has bigger problems on the horizon since his doctor seems to have some news for him. Could the cancer have spread? Is it worse? And could a worsened diagnosis been caused by the cursed diamond?
Listen, as dramatic as medical news is, nothing really compares to the ups and downs of romance, which becomes the subject of the next scene where we see Liam go to a door and say “Hi.” Who is he saying greeting? Ophelia? Or Gemma? Cast your vote in the comments below!
Liz’s best lines:
“You’re easy to spot. I can see your panty line.”
“You do understand we don’t kill people around here.”
Real-life royal reference score: 4 (1 for the quaint, totally weird ceremonial Parliamentary traditions; another for Queen Helena’s awe-inspiring tiara; 1 for the copious amounts of coke at the yacht party and extra points for making reference to the UK’s real 999 emergency call number.)