Entertainment TV Archie withdrawal? Here are the best and worst of TV’s royals shows to binge on or avoid

Archie withdrawal? Here are the best and worst of TV’s royals shows to binge on or avoid

Ta da! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex present son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 8. Photo: Getty
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For royals fans, the unpalatable truth about Harry and Meghan showcasing little Archie Harrison to the world on May 9 is that it might be months until we see the little chap again.

Archie’s next semi-public appearance will likely be his christening, which by usual Windsor timetabling will be in a couple of months.

With royal fervour at an all-time high, it seems only fitting to kill time until then by bingeing on TV series and movies about Archie’s family, from Queen Victoria to great-grandmama monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Harry and Meghan coo over Archie, who will now be under wraps for months. Photo: Getty

Some are grand, others so bad they are … well, bad, but oddly addictive.

Here’s our pick of the best royal dramas to enjoy tonight, from majestic masterpieces to the guiltiest of pleasures.

The Royals, Stan, seasons one to four

Liz Hurley in The Royals. Photo: IMDB

Liz Hurley plays a modern day Queen of England, a scheming seductress equally dangerous in a negligee or the Crown Jewels.

Hurley can’t act for peanuts but it doesn’t matter in this Dynasty-esque drama with its awful dialogue and bonkers storylines.

Most likeable is Princess Eleanor (played by Australian Alexandra Park), a drug-addled wild-child with a penchant for bad boys, presumably inspired by the wayward Princess Margaret in her youth.

Throw in a handsome prince, tyrant uncle, a worthy king, hilariously inbred cousins and Joan Collins as the Queen Mum … you might just find you are still watching at season four.

Victoria, Foxtel Now, seasons one to three

Rufus Sewell, David Bamber, Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, and Jordan Waller in Victoria. Photo: IMDB

Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) nails Queen Victoria, who was a popular ruler despite having suffered the double misfortune of being born a woman, and a tiny one at that.

“Small but perfectly formed,” as they said.

The lush costume drama concentrates on the love story between the diminutive monarch and her husband Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) with whom she had nine children.

It has a few soapy moments and some actual bodice-ripping, but overall strikes a good balance between historical accuracy and heartwarming love story.

The Crown, Netflix, seasons one to two

Matt Smith and Claire Foy in The Crown (2016). Photo: IMDB

An undisputed modern masterpiece and some of the most eye-wateringly expensive television ever made, The Crown takes us back to Queen Elizabeth’s early reign in all its lavish glory.

Matt Smith plays her insecure and sometimes boorish husband, Prince Philip, while the monarch herself is beautifully embodied by Claire Foy (Wolf Hall), who conveys Lizzie’s inner turmoil with few words.

Critics and fans agree that this compelling tale of Britain’s longest-serving monarch is one for the ages.

Diana (2013)

Australian actress Naomi Watts as Diana. Photo: IMDB

Aussie Naomi Watts gamely took on the role of the doomed princess – and scored some of the worst reviews in her otherwise stellar career.

“Car crash cinema,” screeched The Guardian’s scathing review.

“The awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, (Diana) has died another awful death.”

It wasn’t for lack of effort on our Naomi’s part. She went all ‘method actor’, living and breathing the part, even wearing a prosthetic nose (something that worked for her mate Nicole in The Hours).

She later admitted it was a rare misstep, a stinker of a film. “I got seduced by the fantastic character … if you have to go down with that sinking ship, so be it.”

Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, available on 7Plus

Fun first date, anyone? Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser in Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. Photo: Lifetime

A slapdash script, pumped out in two weeks by the writers of E! scripted series The Royals … it was never going to be an Oscar contender.

But our obsession with the Sussexes is such that we couldn’t resist this telemovie about their courtship.

The casting criteria were pretty loose: a posh accent and a passing resemblance to royalty appeared enough to cut the mustard. The screen Kate Middleton is particularly cringeworthy: look out for the breakfast scene.

Starring Parisa Fitz-Henley as Meghan, Murray Fraser as Harry, and featuring a young Princess Charlotte who bizarrely appeared years older than the actual princess, it’s solid nonsense.

In fact, solid enough that Seven will soon air sequel Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal, which follows their first year of marriage.

A Christmas Prince, Netflix

Netflix movie, A Christmas Prince was shockingly popular. Photo: IMDB

This one has naught to do with reality and everything to do with cheesy, Hallmark cliches.

A Christmas Prince proved shockingly popular (with emphasis on ‘shockingly’).

A classic of the ‘so bad it’s good’ genre, a young American journalist goes undercover to expose an irresponsible playboy prince in fictional Aldovia.

It’s implausible and stars no one of note. Park your brain at the door and submit to the fairytale.

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