The locked red box infamously delivered daily to Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t just contain classified government memos; it’s also where her most trusted advisers have at last delivered their plot pitches for the next season of The Royal Family, the serialized PR drama whose real-life Game of Thrones has gripped the world for centuries. As this purloined memo proves, the heat is on as the masterminds sweat Prince Harry’s next move.
Greetings, Your Majesty,
Congratulations on another smashing season of The Royal Family. Drama-wise, nothing may top Season 470, when Henry VIII blew through and buried not one but two wives. But you’ll be thrilled to know that William’s swing from the romantic hero of Season 945’s big wedding to the reluctant heir who takes awkward ski vacays with models, and the subsequent press waffling between “drunken cad” or “nerdy dad,” fed both his fans and his foes. And the introduction of Meghan Markle as Harry’s divorced (!) American (!!) girlfriend did better than we could have dreamed. (You were correct to write out his ex; “Duchess Cressida” sounds like a varietal of lettuce.) But it’s the finale that really sang, thanks to your inspired idea to make Twitter think Prince Philip had died. Summoning the staff from Scotland in the dead of night was ingenious, Ma’am; have you ever considered running Celebrity Big Brother?
Unfortunately, until Prince Harry gets on with it and proposes, this carriage is running on fumes. We need to vamp until we can deliver a satisfying engagement story and morph back into a fairy tale. Herewith, a few suggestions for keeping the buzz alive in season 951 and building to the emotional finale that everyone wants—and that Great Britain deserves, now that Bake-Off is ruined.
Episode One: The Danish royal family did a perfectly fine First Day of School photoshoot recently, but we can do better. Obviously, they're free-view channels and we’re premium cable. Let’s get George in his uniform, waving, a jaunty hat akimbo, shorts a bit longer this time (public feedback to the hemming situation has not been ideal). And we'll give him a book—no, two books. Literacy is charming. One should be Middlemarch; the other, Curious George, obviously. (Incidentally, please counsel William not to ask other parents if George ate any of the pages. I know he likes to "be relatable" but we don't have to share everything.)
Episode Two: We realize the Duke of Edinburgh is the world’s top Fergie hater, Ma’am, but let’s lean into it and kick up those rumors that she and Andrew rekindled the flame because they thought he was at death's door. Is there any chance we can get them stuck in a lift at the National Gallery for a few hours? Emotions high, oxygen supply low? Fallback: Kate goes blonde.
Episode Three: Ma’am, we’re sorry to report this, but Pippa is good for business. Book her on some—dangerous perhaps?—adventure travel that ends in a fundraising leap off the side of a glacier (she’ll be caught, possibly by that husband of hers whose name and face no one actually remembers). Have Pips wear a lot of leggings and look tan, though that’s easy enough; it’s her baseline state anyway. As a tie-in, get that butler chap of Diana’s, Paul Burrell, to yammer about the last time he and Diana ever talked about sunscreen, and what her changing SPF meant about her emotional state. We know he’s not your favorite, Ma’am, but those "newly remembered moments" work like gangbusters. Fallback: Kate experiments with mini-skirts.
Episode Four: Still no engagement? No problem: We'll feed the frenzy by asking Harry to play sports in public with tiny children and at least two animals, followed by a Mary Poppins sing-along with Lin-Manuel Miranda (get the Hamilfans invested, and show we’re not offended by the whole George III bit. Two birds!). Meghan can “covertly” walk to Whole Foods holding a copy of Brides. Fallback: Kate looks nauseated and touches her stomach a lot.
Episode Five: We can’t ignore Charles, Ma’am. We don’t want this production to get cancelled once his seasons start. Can we send him and Camilla…anywhere? Perhaps a tour of Italy, where they’re handed a giant commemorative salami? That woman is dynamite with an unconventional prop. Could contrast this with Paul Burrell's exclusive interview with World of Interiors about the last time he and Diana discussed occasional tables, and what it meant about her emotional state. Fallback: Kate adds a third kitchen, a second nanny, and a petting zoo to Kensington Palace.
Episode Six: Fergie replaces Andrew at a major family event, while Bea and Eugenie…go hat shopping? (We know you want them involved, but it's proving very difficult to make them interesting. Could one of them run off with the heir to a moist-towelette fortune, or join the touring cast of Matilda?) A new portrait of Princess Charlotte would go over a treat, too. Use the dog if he has finally stopped resenting her; Twitter loves pets. But no profile shots. Studies show social media reaction to Charlotte’s face is in direct correlation to the pinchability of her cheeks. Fallback: Kate cancels the shoot due to “food poisoning.”
Episode Seven: Our last before the season finale finale—Ma’am, please call Harry and make sure we’ll even have a finale—so let’s pack this to the gills: a quote about Meghan’s spirituality, from a Facebook friend of her fourth-grade boyfriend; news that Prince Philip runs three online Suits fan communities; word that “power-mad” Camilla is scheming to poison either you or Kate before you can hand the throne straight to William— a classic recurring gag!—and rumors that William will abdicate altogether and make Harry take his place. Fallback: Kate wears a bizarrely baggy dress but also publicly nurses a beer. Keep them guessing!
Episode Eight: This is it. Either Prince Harry gets engaged or they have to break up, because anything else is boring, and boring is bad for the family business. So, we’ll build to the Invictus Games in Toronto, either joyously hosted by Harry with his new fiancé by his side, or bravely attended through sheer heartbreak. (We’ll put the photogs on notice to get pictures of him wiping any part of his face where a tear might feasibly drop.) This might also be a good spot for Paul Burrell’s exclusive interview with OK! about the last time he and Diana discussed rugby, and what that meant about her emotional state. Fallback: Kate gives in and gets pregnant for real, because the only substitute for a royal wedding is a royal baby. If she's not keen on another round of vomiting, remind her that PR is a team sport. There's no “i" in "monarchy," after all!
Looking forward to your thoughts. God save you, etc.
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