The Royals Recap: The Throne Is Up for Grabs—for Now, at Least

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All eyes were on the real-life royals as Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her debut this weekend, but the other monarchy that we can’t stop watching was struggling to survive. The fictional monarchy on E!’s The Royals, that is. On last night’s episode, we witnessed the dramatic aftermath of the attack on King Simon (Vincent Regan), and things were far from pretty inside the palace.

First, the family is locked in a safe room until the palace is declared to be free of threats. With emotions running high, accusations begin to fly—and it's not long before the royals turn on each other. Prince Liam (William Moseley) and Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) find themselves at odds with their cold-hearted mother, who seems to lack any interest in her husband’s wellbeing while he’s in surgery with life-threatening injuries. Add to that the shady antics of the suddenly pale and shifty Uncle Cyrus (Jake Maskall), and the heirs don’t know who they can trust. And really, can you blame them?

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As the king’s fate remains unknown, Liam nervously takes on his duties as acting prince regent. While her brother is forced to put on a brave face for the people of England, Eleanor lashes out at everyone in sight. Their mother, on the other hand, is never one to show emotion. Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) is only focused on public perception—and she's quick to defend herself in any situation. When Liam asks why she’s busy applying makeup when the king’s life hangs in the balance, Helena explains that the queen needs to embody strength and grace even in the darkest of times. Helena's advice to her children as she justifies getting glam in the safe room: “I suggest you all put your war paint on—this is mine.”

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And boy, did she need it. During Liam’s swearing-in ceremony, Helena is publicly confronted by Cyrus—and at first, it seems that the queen’s frequent co-conspirator has finally turned on her. He claims that Liam and Eleanor aren’t the king’s biological children, which makes Liam's claim to the throne obsolete and leaves Cyrus as next in line to reign. But while Helena puts on quite a show, slapping him and making threats, it turns out that she was in on the whole thing. So, with Liam essentially dethroned—and sent off for a DNA test along with his sister—the queen promptly raises her glass to the new acting king of England, her scheming brother-in-law, Cyrus.

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Tune in to The Royals on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on E!

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