sat 15/08/2020

The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals | reviews, news & interviews

The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

Harry Enfield's Prince Charles tries to show leadership to his farcical band of ninnies

Harry Enfield as Chuck, Haydn Gwynne as Camilla

The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in the wind. Channel 4’s bogus royal family is back after a two-year gap, charged (as an introductory voice-over explained) by Her Majesty’s government with cheering up the divided nation.

The timing is exquisite – or, I suppose, horrific if you’re a member of the real-life royals – since the air is still echoing with the fall-out from Harry and Meghan’s great escape and Prince Andrew’s “interesting” private life. Andrew was played by Tim Wallers like an obnoxious fund manager after a heavy lunch, as he made his excuses for (as Harry Enfield’s Prince Charles put it) “your nonce chum who hanged himself”. No, protested Andy, “I just used to go to his parties, fly on his jet and stay in his house. I was never his friend.”

In this opening episode, writers George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore took as their theme the idea that Charles was leading the senior royals out on strike, disgusted by the government’s proposal to raise the Sovereign Grant by only a measly four per cent. Thus we found them protesting and waving placards outside the Chelsea Flower Show (“We’re Being Royally Screwed!”), but since nobody took any notice, Charles tried to recruit the “Fab Four” (Kate, Wills, Harry and Meghan) to the cause.

But the joy of The Windsors is in the absurdist detail, with particular attention paid to the various royal accents. Enfield’s Charles is a riot of sharply-observed verbal tics and facial contortions, the ensemble completed by his magnificent pair of jug ears. Wills and Harry’s lockjawed vowels transform Meghan into “Muggan”, while Haydn Gwynne’s Camilla, Highgrove’s own Cruella de Vil, formulated diabolical plans to drive Meghan and Harry (who were upstaging Charles) out of the country in a venomous cut-glass drawl.

While Meghan herself (Kathryn Drysdale) agonises with aching sincerity over the tragedy of the unsustainability of avocado farming, Harry (Tom Durant-Pritchard) has given up drink but is desperate for his next one (pictured above, Harry and Meghan). Yet threatening to steal the show were Beatrice and Eugenie (Ellie White and Celeste Dring), with their sustained display of airheaded ennui, their sentences trailing away like stale champagne down a drain – “I’ve been so busyyyyyyyyy…”, “I wish I was engaaaaaaa-ged...” Yes, the nation could consider itself cheered.

Meghan agonises with aching sincerity over the tragedy of unsustainable avocado farming

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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