Although “The Crown,” a historical drama series produced for Netflix, has received critical acclaim for its biographical portrayal of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, nothing beats a reality show. Millions of viewers are waiting with bated breath for the season finale of “As The Windsor World Turns” slated for broadcast on Saturday. Huge ratings are guaranteed because so many juicy plot lines will come to a head.
Not since the days of the U.S. TV series “Dallas” has such an interest in the lives, loves and scandals of a family been so captivating. While “Dallas” gave Americans the fictional Ewings, “As The Windsor World Turns” gives us the living, breathing Windsors. Of course, no one refers to the family members by their last name. They are known merely by one name with a title sometimes preceding it. Instead of Ellie, J.R., Sue Ellen, Bobby, Pam, and Lucy from the American Ewings, the English Windors have Elizabeth, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry. But, families are families, so squabbles, scandals and snubs are to be expected and enjoyed–at least by the viewers.
“Dallas” famously ended one season with the shooting of older son and love to hate him bad guy, J.R. Viewers were abuzz with the oft-repeated question “Who shot J.R.?” Guns are frowned upon in jolly old England, so no shooting is anticipated in this week’s Windsor season finale. The Brits, as well as many of us across the pond, are buzzing with concern as to “Who’ll escort Meghan?”
How clever of the Windsors to end their season with the much anticipated wedding between Harry and Meghan, a time for family members to put on their best duds and behave their worst. A wedding, of course, is a good venue to bring family drama to a head because relatives are forced to come face to face. As the previews have revealed, the Windsors may be royal, but they are really just like the rest of us when it comes to a weddings. Love may be in the air for the bride and groom, but a wedding is a time when simmering family feuds rise to the surface. The Windsors will be no exception.
For those who have not been keeping up with the story line, let’s provide a bit of a background. The groom is the handsome son of a beloved princess who, unfortunately, took after her name, i.e., Di did die, and tragically at that. But before her death, she did not live happily ever after because her hubby, Prince Charming–er Prince Charles, was carrying on with a former flame during their marriage leading to a DI-vorce.
The former flame ultimately married her Prince Charming to the great chagrin of the Queen who has referred to her daughter-in-law as “that wicked woman.” (Hope the seating chart at the wedding reception keeps these two women on opposite sides of the castle.) Prince Charles, in the meantime, is fixated on if Mummy Dearest, age 92 and still going strong, will ever retire and give him the opportunity to sit on the throne before he is forced to sit in a wheelchair.
The groom’s older brother, William, is none too happy about having to get all gussied up to attend the royal wedding. His latest bundle of joy has been keeping him up at night to the extent that he is nodding off at official functions. And, gosh darn, the wedding celebration conflicts with a big polo match he wants to attend. He hopes to sneak out unnoticed to attend it. Ha! Good one, Wills!
William’s wife, Kate, is also tired from popping out the third heir to the throne she has produced in the last five years. Who said a princess has an easy life? Just last month she left the hospital mere hours after giving birth having to be impeccably dressed and coiffed for a photo shoot outside the hospital door. Now she has to get all dolled up and corral her four year old son and three year old daughter into being a page boy and a page girl at their uncle’s wedding Bet Kate would probably be napping. Perhaps she could hire a lookalike to attend in her place.
Then there’s poor Princess Eugenie, Harry’s cousin. Although she’s engaged as well, no one cares about her. Her cousins have succeeded not only in stealing her engagement limelight as well as pushing her down in the line of succession to the throne. How much press has her upcoming October wedding to what’s his name received?
But as snubbed as Eugenie feels, her mother has gotten the public shaft. Fergie (no relation to the Black Eyed Peas singer), the ex-wife of Prince Andrew with whom she still shares a home (two can live as cheaply as one, you know), has not been invited to the exclusive evening wedding reception being thrown by her former father-in-law, Charles. You know Charles–the Queen’s son, Di’s ex, Harry’s father and “that wicked woman’s” current husband.
Just to add a little comic relief to the Windsor family drama, there’s the bride’s family. Well, they aren’t much of a family, but they are related by blood, seemingly bad blood. Meghan’s half-brother wrote an open letter to Harry telling him to ditch Meghan. With family like that, who needs enemies? Meghan’s half-sister, in cahoots with Meghan’s father, arranged for some staged paparazzi pictures of the father of the bride. The arrangement became public, things blew up and the FOB had a heart attack at some point causing him to announce he’d forgo walking his little girl down the aisle. Wait! Just kidding! He’ll do it after all. Oops! Now he can’t because of the urgent need for heart surgery. Who can keep up with all these plot twists?
Which brings us back to the big question of who we will see coming down the aisle on Saturday. Sure all eyes will be on the bride if only to see whose arm she is holding as she makes her way down the aisle to her own Prince Charming, Harry. What a crazy start for this couple trying to live happily ever after.
Yes, I confess I will be watching “As The Windsor World Turns” on Saturday. Sadly, the show is not a fictional series but people’s real lives. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. And given the reality of Windsor life, clearly being a royal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Royals may live in castles, but they also live in a fish bowl.
Just WONDER-ing: Do you plan to watch the royal wedding? Is there a place for royalty in today’s world? Would YOU want to a royal?