By Samantha Simon
Updated Dec 07, 2015 @ 11:00 am
The Royals LEAD
Credit: Courtesy E!

In a monarchy driven by power and fortune, you never know who to trust. And that was true as ever on Sunday night’s episode of The Royals.

First, cancer-stricken King Cyrus (Jake Maskall) learned that the operation he had in last week’s episode was unsuccessful, meaning that he'd need additional treatment to beat the disease. Angry at his situation, the already-resentful king was in no mood to play nice, and he certainly wasn’t about to take part in publicly mourning his late brother, King Simon, who was being memorialized with the unveiling of a glass monument in his honor. So in true Cyrus fashion, he canceled the event. This caused an outcry among the British people—and Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) was far from pleased.

She confronted Cyrus, and the two former allies got into a huge argument about whether or not the memorial should take place—but to Helena’s delight, her son, Prince Liam (William Moseley), swooped in to save the day. Liam caught a glimpse of the news as he was getting out of the shower and decided to head to the just-postponed dedication to give a heartfelt speech about his dad. He was ultimately allowed to unveil the monument in his honor, and it was a win-win that we got a peek at the prince in his shirtless glory in the process.

“All of the male actors are in such good physical shape that it’s unreal,” the show’s costume designer Rachel Walsh recently told InStyle. “They have all been working out and just look more matured—and Prince Liam has definitely grown up a bit, too.” Moseley wasn’t the only one to show off his sculpted abs during the episode. His onscreen bodyguard, Jasper (Tom Austen) also gave us a glimpse at his hard-earned body during an earlier scene in which the pair played soccer. And his time spent in the gym has paid off, according to Walsh. “Tom has gotten bigger this year,” she said, adding that it’s a rare treat for us to see him in anything other than his bodyguard uniform. “He mainly wears a black suit because he is on duty, but there are a couple of episodes when he does manage to get out of his suit."

While Jasper was busy stripping down, his on-screen ex, Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park), was getting dressed up. She headed out for a day at the museum with her new friend, Mandy (Sarah Dumont), but the two soon snuck off, leaving Eleanor’s security detail in their dust. And the princess looked edgy as ever in a baseball cap, crop top, and fringed studded skirt. “We tried to be a bit more dangerous and adventurous with her looks this season,” said Walsh. But Eleanor’s wardrobe isn’t the only thing she's experimenting with these days. After declaring herself to be on a “#guyatus” and taking a break from men, things heated up between the Princess and Mandy when they headed back to the palace. It didn’t take long for Eleanor to get spooked, though, and she soon headed outside to tap into her secret drug stash—only to find her mom and brother had already beat her to it.

And so Helena, Liam, and Eleanor had family bonding time while they sat and got high together. Helena told her kids that love is the most important thing in their lives, something that resonated with Eleanor. So after realizing that she’s the happiest she’s been in a long time, the princess went back to her room to hook up with Mandy. Only we soon found out that Mandy isn’t who she claimed to be—and her name isn’t even Mandy, it’s Samantha. While Eleanor slept, her new love interest crept around the palace in nothing but a tank top, ending up in the room where the crown jewels are kept. When Jasper appeared behind her, it instantly became clear that the two have met before. And after Jasper asked her why she was there, Mandy/Samantha kissed him, saying she was there to “finish what we started.”

The Royals - EMBED
Credit: Courtesy E!

But they weren’t the only ones plotting. The Royal Head of Security, Ted Pryce (Oliver Milburn) was trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious Domino symbol after meeting with Jasper to discuss its recent appearance on Liam’s necklace. Turns out, Pryce had a card with the same mark on it stored in his desk, only upon further inspection with a blacklight, this message from Domino had an address stamped on its back. And a flashback soon informed us that it’s the same address at which Pryce's wife—aka Ophelia’s mom—was murdered. After this revelation, Pryce went to the museum only to find the Domino logo illuminated on the floor, along with the words “You are not alone” lit up on the railing. On his way out, a visibly-shaken Pryce was confronted (and threatened) in the parking lot by a man who accused him of being the one who killed King Simon, the man he devoted his life to protecting. Talk about a twist.

While the beloved king’s death may still be a mystery, it was no secret who was responsible for destroying his newly erected memorial at the end of the episode. It was none other than his brother Cyrus, who drunkenly drove his Bentley through the glass sculpture before telling concerned bystanders that they don’t have to like him—and he doesn’t have to like them, either. It’s a typical statement from the king, who cares less and less about public perception as his health declines. Plus, he’s confident that he'll soon have an heir to take the over the throne: Earlier in the episode, he stopped by the home of maid-turned-baby-mama Violet to confirm that she’s indeed carrying a boy.

Of course, the new prince won’t be Cyrus’s first child. He’ll join his two adult sisters, Princesses Penelope (Lydia Rose Bewley) and Maribel (Hatty Preston). But these days, Maribel is virtually unrecognizable. She’s had plastic surgery on her entire face and body, as well as changed her voice and wardrobe, just to become the seemingly perfect princess (now played by Jerry-Jane Pears) that she believes she’s destined to become. “The sisters are still ridiculous, funny, and over-the-top, but we used more designer pieces for them this season,” said Walsh. “They’re princesses with access to every designer on the planet, and I think they look more high-end this season.”

So will the newly revamped Maribel give Eleanor a run for her money as the palace’s most stylish princess? Tune into The Royals on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on E! to find out.