The Royals

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Royals TV Poster Image
Soapy monarchy drama has language, drugs, and alarming sex.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There is some discussion of a monarch's duty toward his or her country, but the message tends to get lost in the sex, drugs, and drama. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are "complicated" in a soap opera way, running the gamut from fallible to actually evil. 

Violence

Discussion of suicide, assassinations, political deaths. One character's mother died in a politically motivated killing. A man coerces a servant into giving him oral sex while she trembles and cries. A mother smacks her adult son in the face. 

Sex

Frequent verbal and visual references to sex. An unwilling maid is coerced into giving a member of the royal family oral sex. Couples are shown in bed moaning and thrusting in their underwear (no private parts shown). There are references to virginity, oral sex, and masturbation as well as group sex. 

Language

Frequent cursing: "bitch," "hell." Women are frequently referred to as "whores." Vulgar English expressions such as "fanny" and "tosser" as well as sexual language: "don't be a p---y." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes take place in nightclubs and bars, with characters acting drunk and silly when imbibing. Characters smoke from bongs and trade pills; they talk about being high. A man claims he drugged a woman's drink before having sex with her. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Royals is a soap opera about the troubled members of a fictional English monarchy. The show is chockablock with things that parents won't want young teens to see: characters popping pills and smoking marijuana, group sex, and a variety of sexual assaults, such as when a royal coerces a crying maid into performing oral sex on him or a man drugs a woman's drink, has sex with her, and records the results on his phone. Cursing is frequent and often sexually tinged: "whore," "bitch," "p---y." Vulgar English expressions such as "fanny" and "tosser" also are used. One character's mother was killed in a politically motivated incident, and other members are in danger from terrorists and other miscreants. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHelen M. February 20, 2018

Dont waste your time

In addition to the aforementioned graphic nature of this show, viewers should note that its really not a great show. The excessive and gratuitous sex is seeming... Continue reading
Adult Written byMr_Magnolia June 24, 2017

Camp

A campy romp making fun of badly-behaved monarchs but with moments of intrigue and a wistful wish of making a monarchy relevant. The royal family are all delig... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old July 3, 2015

Ruanchy, hilarious comedy is extremely racy but great.

Racy content 5/5 references to oral racy content, group racy content, and several graphic love scenes, nudity includes topless women and glimpses of full fronta... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byA.D6594 March 28, 2016

What's the story?

In a modern-day England, the fictional family behind THE ROYALS is going through a terrible time. After the sudden, shocking death of heir to the throne Prince Robert, the rest of the family is left to deal with the fallout. Icy Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) is determined to keep up appearances at all costs, as her husband, gentle King Simon (Vincent Regan) is shattered by his son's loss and starts threatening to petition Parliament for the dissolution of the monarchy. Now their younger son, Prince Liam (William Moseley), is next in line for the throne -- that is, if he doesn't self-destruct or his father doesn't get the whole family thrown out of the palace. Party girl Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) isn't helping matters by falling apart publicly, while her scheming uncle, Prince Cyrus (Jake Maskall), might have entirely more nefarious plans for his family members.  

Is it any good?

The Royals is the very definition of a guilty pleasure, with beautiful faux celebrities behaving badly in ways most of us would secretly like to try: swigging down a bottle of "1942-something" liquor, dancing on nightclub tables, slamming petulantly into the backs of limousines as screaming crowds wave flags and cheer. Certainly fans of the real-life English royal family, particularly those who swoon over Kate and William, can imagine The Royals as a sort of alternate history if Princess Diana hadn't been killed. Tabloid readers can smack their lips over the depraved antics, sumptuous settings, and wacky hats. 

But there's a darker sensibility at work here that makes this show unsuitable for young viewers. Women are assaulted: once in a cringeworthy scene in which a prince forces oral sex on a quivering, crying woman and once in which a man proudly explains to a woman he put drugs in her drink before having group sex with her, filming it, and blackmailing her with the film. These things do happen in real life, but these plot twists are hardly good, soapy fun. Rather they're sensitive and potentially traumatizing concepts that parents will want to discuss with kids and teens most carefully. If you must allow teens to watch, be sure to watch along to counter any worrisome messages. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether this show is realistic. How do you think royalty really behaves behind closed doors? 

  • How does the royal family in The Royals stack up against the real British royal family? Does Queen Helena have a real-life counterpart? 

  • The Royals has luxurious and eye-catching settings. Would the show be the same if it were set in a plainer environment? Why do you suppose the creators of this show chose to use such fancy trappings for the drama? 

TV details

For kids who love soapy drama

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