E!’s guilty pleasure TV show, The Royals, is filled with the kind decadence we’re accustomed to seeing only on the likes of Kate Middleton and Prince William. From the furniture to the hors d’oeuvres, The Royals seems to have no qualms throwing around fictional British taxpayers’ money. Yet the most decadent aspect of the show is the delightful couture, especially when seen on the backs of Queen Helena (played by Gossip Girl favorite, Elizabeth Hurley) and Princess Eleanor (played by Alexandra Park). The boys may technically rule the kingdom, but The Royals doesn’t undermine the most powerful asset its regal women have: their appearance.
Anyone who watches the show will know the Queen and her daughter certainly have their differences. But, in the end, they both experience the same intense delight over being the best dressed woman in the room. With shows like Gossip Girl and Sex in the City off the air, a girl’s gotta take her fashion cues from somewhere. And it might as well be from the fictional British monarchy. So let’s go over a few looks and examine exactly why we think The Royals is the most fashionable show on the air.
According to The Royal’s costume designer, Rachel Walsh, Queen Helena sports designers like “Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang, and Dolce and Gabbana” on a daily basis (source).
As the lip gloss may suggest, The Royal’s Queen isn’t based off of any real-life monarch. But for Gossip Girl fans, Elizabeth Hurley’s smoldering, fitted, knee-length silhouettes are a welcome familiarity.
One part Jenny Humphrey, one part Joan Jett (and perhaps an extra part Samantha à la Sex in the City), Princess Eleanor doesn’t shy away from the drugs, sex, and royal rock n’ roll that E! so fervently promised us. With eyeliner permanently lining her eyes and a knack for stealing fine liquors, Eleanor is everything America dreams of when we imagine what our own monarchy would look like. One of the most iconically fashionable scenes from the show lies in Episode 3, when a delightful fight over the royal color purple emerges between the Princess and her mother. Even if this short, flippy, futuristic dress wasn’t good enough for the Queen, it certainly is good enough for us.
Vanity Fair has even deemed Alexandra Park “the next Blake Lively” (source). And no, it’s not just because of her acting prowess (which outshines her fellow cast members as she goes above and beyond what E! ever asked of her). So why is she lined up to be the next teenage fashion icon? Because Eleanor uses her clothes as her armor, ready to battle the lifestyle that was thrust upon her at birth.
Last time we checked, one of the most profitable moments in modern British tourism was the famous Will & Kate wedding. So it’s no surprise The Royals is reimagining the star-crossed lovers’ early days of romance. Ophelia, the daughter of the Royal head of security, is slowly falling for the irresistibly baby-faced Prince Liam — and we’re all about it.
Alas, her fashion sense is more along the lines of Julia Stiles in “The Prince and Me” than our beloved Kate. Which brings us to…
Prince Liam’s ex-girlfriend may be the emotional and ethical opposite of the Duchess of Cambridge, but her sense of style is aligned perfectly with Kate’s.
According to costume designer Walsh, we learn she’s all about the accessible brands; we’re talking J.Crew and Stella McCartney versus Princess Eleanor’s Alexander McQueen (source.)
What could have been a throwaway TV show may just be turning into the infusion of fashion pop culture’s been aching for.