Queen Helena is officially back. The Royals returns for season two on Sunday, Nov. 15, and Elizabeth Hurley’s manipulative monarch is just as power hungry as you remember her. InStyle got the scoop straight from the star herself when we stopped by The London NYC in New York on Monday to catch up with Hurley and her co-star Jake Maskall, who plays the E! drama’s newly-appointed King Cyrus on the show. The duo revealed that while Helena may seem defeated following some of last season's tragic storylines, you won't see her suffer for long.
“I think at the end of season one, the queen seems to have lost everything,” said Hurley. “Her husband is dead, her firstborn son is dead, and she’s told her lover she can’t see him for the foreseeable future—so she’s kind of on her knees." That means it's time for Helena to return stronger than ever for season two. "Some people who are on their knees want to go hide in the forest and grieve and lick their wounds,” said Hurley. “She doesn’t. She comes out fighting like a lunatic.”
Queen Helena’s thirst for power will be a driving force that continues far beyond Sunday night’s episode. “For the first half of the season, she’s pretty deranged I think,” said Hurley. “[Her husband] was the voice of sanity, and now he’s gone. So someone has to seize the sanity back.”
Of course, on The Royals, sanity is overrated. And nothing on the show is ever what it seems. “As this season progresses, I think you’ll find that we learn a great deal about these characters and how they become who they are,” said Hurley. “I think we all take quite a step forward at the end.” That step may not require the characters to be dressed. Hurley teased that by the end of season two, “They’re stripped bare—literally.”
Raunchy moments (and you know there will be plenty of those) aside, the queen will eventually focus on repairing her far-from-functional relationships with her children, Eleanor (Alexandra Park) and Liam (William Moseley)—and Helena has her work cut out for her, according to Maskall. He told Hurley that her character is “pretty mean to [her children] at the end of season one by declaring them illegitimate, so [she’s] got quite a bit of clawing back to do.” Replied Hurley, “A lot—and perhaps that begins to happen toward the end of season two. Anything can happen—and if there’s a season three, the stage is open.”
See the trailer for season two of The Royals below, and tune into new episodes starting Sunday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on E!