The Royals Season 1, Episode 3 recap

I do not understand why Princess Eleanor even cares about Jasper evil-butlering her by releasing the tape of their threesome. When we first met her she had a bare-assed upskirt photo on the cover of all the tabloids, last week she was openly smoking a joint at a royal function, and this week she conducts a war with her mother in the papers. They’re not treating the tape like evidence of a crime but as a pawn in the game of sexual chess between Eleanor and Jasper—why should we care about as anything more than that, too?

I wish there was a different setup between Eleanor and Jasper, though, because they actually have chemistry and are fun to watch sparring on screen, whereas Liam is a total bore and Ophelia is only interesting as a spunky counterpoint to all the British snobs around her. We learn that Jasper is either the son of Las Vegas con artists or a Tragic British Orphan, but either way, he is a legit Mysterious Person. And Eleanor is clearly fascinated and their “blackmail sex”—this is GROSS—maybe means more than just gamesmanship. Eleanor has a chance to shut Jasper down once and for all thanks to Liam’s antics, but she doesn’t take it. She wants to win “fair and square”. Princess, he’s BLACKMAILING YOU INTO SEX. This is not a relationship you prolong.

Prince Wet Blanket goes out for a night on the town with his sister and Gemma in an attempt to get over Ophelia—they were together for like two minutes but somehow losing Ophelia is more emotionally devastating than the death of his elder brother. While driving to an after party Gemma decides to cease controlling her vehicle in favor of giving Liam a beej, which is the kind of thing that only seems feasible in Florida. She crashes, of course, and Jasper knocks Liam out in order to remove him from the car so he isn’t caught with his pants down, literally. Eleanor then ensures that no one will tell on Jasper for punching out the prince. Why not just have Eleanor in an illicit affair with her bodyguard? Why does there have to be a gross blackmail plot? She’s an entitled, twatty princess—she doesn’t need a reason to have hate sex with the help.

And Helena knows something is up with Jasper. Ophelia and Eleanor are trying to take him down (half-heartedly), but Helena will probably the one who gets it done. It’s fashion week this episode, and in this world, the Queen hosts a fashion show IN THE PALACE. (I feel like The Royals is basically “what if the Grimaldis ran England?”) To prove that she can have a life outside the monarchy, Eleanor also decides to host a fashion show, and Helena spends the entire episode being a terrible mother by undercutting her daughter. King Simon is just as much a wet blanket as his dumb son, but he is right when he tells Helena she should be a better mother. At this rate Eleanor is going to murder Helena in her sleep and frame Jasper for it.

Next week on The Royals: Prince Cyrus stops daydreaming about it and does us all the favor of running Liam through and freeing us from the reign of Prince Wet Blanket.