The Royals finale recap: 'To Show My Duty in Your Coronation'
A new king takes the throne
The time has come: The Royals finally crowned a new king in Sunday’s season 3 finale. But is Robert really the king we deserve, or are you still standing by #KingLiam? I’m betting you can guess where I stand on that issue.
Of course, the episode was jammed with big reveals, cliffhangers (since we’re getting a fourth season — rejoice, fellow Loyals!), and heartbreaking moments. So, without further ado, I’ll give you my breakdown, complete with pressing questions I need to have answered in season 4. (And if you’re looking for even more Royals, check out what creator Mark Schwahn had to say about the finale here.)
Most Surprising Twist
Once upon a time, E! launched its first scripted series around the premise of a royal family, the king of which announced he was considering abolishing the monarchy. It appeared, way back in that pilot, that King Simon’s decision had something to do with the “death” of his eldest son, Robert; his wild twins, Liam and Eleanor; and his sneaky queen, Helena. But it turns out, that wasn’t the whole story. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that it was because of Robert, and Robert’s shortcomings, that Simon wished to end the monarchy. “Your hubris, Robert, it will be your downfall one day,” he says. “I have decided to disband the monarchy, my son. It’s not your fault. You’ve done nothing wrong. It’s just who you are… You have all the gifts that can be taught and none of the gifts that can’t. And as much as I love you — and I do love you, my son — you will never make a great king.” Guess that explains why Robert had the portrait of Simon removed from the family’s sitting room.
Burning Question: That chess match scene happened when Robert was fairly close to the same age he is now, and Robert clearly didn’t take it well. Do we think Robert’s plane crash wasn’t just planned by Pryce and executed by Boone, but, perhaps, the whole thing was orchestrated by Robert as a way to oust Simon and make himself seem almost miraculous? And by that theory, was Robert even in the plane when it went down?
Least Surprising Twist
It was taking too darn long for Robert to find out about Kathryn and Liam getting together while they thought he was dead, so Robert clearly already knew. And sure enough, bearded Robert spotted them together before he ever turned up at the palace and announced he was alive. Further, we all knew he was going to drop her like a bad habit the minute he became king. I will say, I was pretty shocked when he called her “quite the whore in bed.” I didn’t see that coming… and it stung.
Burning Question: Would Liam really take her back after everything that’s happened? I kinda hope not.
Jack Parker, We Hardly Knew Ye
It was good to see Queen Helena properly appreciated this season by a handsome gent, but anyone who was going to try to whisk the sovereign away from the palace for any extended length of time (take heed, Sebastian) couldn’t possibly be long for this world. And poor American Jack wasn’t. Apparently, his plane back to the U.S. — the one Helena was nearly on — crashed, and he didn’t survive.
Burning Question: Um, remember what I said earlier about Robert orchestrating a plane crash? Who’s to say he wouldn’t do it twice? And let’s not forget that Robert fired Spencer. Looks like no one touches Robert’s mom and gets away with it. (Guess we shouldn’t tell him about that time she hooked up with Jasper then…)
Robert’s Most Conniving Moment
Jasper never got Eleanor’s Christmas love letter?! Robert stole it and threw it in the fire?! Does the man not want to see his sister happy? (And no, trying to replace Jasper with a Sebastian set-up doesn’t count.)
Burning Question: Does he hate happiness?
NEXT: Much ado about Willow and the biggest reason to tune in for season 4
Okay, so after their little moment during the gala episode, I wasn’t surprised to see Willow make the list of potential brides for the King of England. “I hope the sorting hat isn’t too disappointed,” he said. Well, I really hope the sorting hat is disappointed. So consider this “HUH?!” preemptive, because having to wait until next season for her to turn him down cold will inevitably make me nervous that she might think about it.
Burning Question: Did he do this to stick one more knife in Liam’s back? He definitely did, right? Not that Willow wouldn’t make an amazing queen…
The Biggest Reason to Count Down Until Season 4
That moment where Liam goes to Cyrus for help? That’s undoubtedly going to be HUGE. And I am all in for that sparrow team-up. Bring. It. On.
Outfit of the Week
Eleanor’s fairytale princess moment — glass slippers and all — was three seasons in the making and made my heart full.
Of course, this saucy tulle number also had my heart racing.
Shirtless Moment of the Week
Sadly, no one had any time to take off any shirts this week. That said, Kathryn looked pretty killer in her sports bra doing yoga with Angie.
Musical Cues of the Week
- “Dark Silence” by Family Cactus, as Robert is getting fitted for his crown
- “Umpqua Rushing” by Blind Pilot, as Helena is remembering Jack and Eleanor is looking at Jasper’s storybook
- “Fortress” by Bear’s Den, when Jasper goes to see Eleanor
- “Where It Stays” by Charlotte OC, when Robert visits Kathryn
- “Open Passageways” by All Them Witches, when Simon tells Robert he won’t be a great king… and then he becomes the king anyway
- “Holy Smoke” by Palace, as we see Robert steal Eleanor’s letter and toss it in the fire
Crown Jewel Quips of the Episode
- “You can learn a lot about a man’s character from how he plays chess.” —King Simon to young Robert
- “Merely because it’s the most valuable piece doesn’t mean it’s infallible. Never underestimate the value of your pawns… Every piece has its part to play.” —King Simon dropping more life lessons via chess to young Robert
- “I hate that you didn’t come back. Because while you were hiding on that island like the damn coward that you are, I was here watching dad die.” —Liam, calling Robert out
- “Live your life. Chase whatever makes your heart race. Jack made his mark. Make yours.” —Helena, when Eleanor came to comfort her
- “Sometimes, you think you’ve reached the end of something, when actually it’s only the beginning. I should know. I was dead once.” —Robert, to Eleanor
- “I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of time, and that’s exactly what I intend to do because happily ever after — it’s real. And we’re going to find it together.” —Jasper, coming clean to Eleanor
- “I want you to be exactly who you want to be…. I’m not expecting you to just run back into my arms, but if you leave this palace behind, don’t leave us behind. You’re my girl, princess, and I’m going to love you no matter what.” —Jasper, breaking my heart
- “I hope you’re right about Robert because he’s the only son you’re going to have when this is over.” —Liam, to Helena
And that about does it. Long live the king… I guess.