Review: The Windsors (Series 1&2)

DVD: The Windsors (Series 1&2) (2016-17)

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors of the rich and famous, in particular the Royal family? Despite having untold wealth and privilege that us commoners will never know, surely they must be a bit like us? They are human after all, and as the old saying goes, their shit stinks the same as ours! Writers George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore must have had similar thoughts when they wrote The Windsors, as they have created an outrageous version of one of Britain’s most famous families!

The Windsors takes an exaggerated playful swipe at the exploits of Kate, Wills, Camilla, Charles, Harry and other members of the Royal family. All of the stereotypes we imagine of the royals are brought to life, in the style of a comedic soap opera. The show portrays most of the family as idiots, as they lie and cheat to get their own way. Kate is a former gypsy trying to get to grips with royal life, whilst Wills is balancing being a ‘man of the people’ flying helicopters and doing his royal duty. Harry is a drunken fool shagging his way into oblivion whilst Fergie is a loser, living on past glories as she tries to worm her way back into the family. I could go on, but part of the fun of watching The Windsors is seeing how each character is portrayed. If you’re wondering, of course they make frequent reference to Pippa’s arse!

For me the highlights of the show have to be Haydn Gwynne and Morgana Robinson who play Camilla and Pippa. They both relish their roles, taking absolute pleasure revelling in just how evil, manipulative and self-centred they can be to get what they want. I remember seeing Haydn Gwynne in another excellent Channel 4 production, Drop the Dead Donkey, so I knew she had the comedic touch, but Morgana Robinson was also wonderful, and I’ll be keeping an eye on her career going forward.

Another part of the reason why I really enjoyed The Windsors, was because of the inclusion of Harry Enfield who plays Prince Charles. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and remember first watching him emerge in the 80’s on Channel 4’s Saturday Live, with characters such as Stavros and Loadsamoney. His BBC television shows Harry Enfield and Chums, and Harry Enfield’s Television Programme were staples of my childhood, and he created some absolutely fantastic quotable characters. It was great to see him back on TV and long may it continue.

The Windsors reminded me of Spitting Image, which was another childhood favourite that I used to watch on Sunday night. Although not necessarily as satirical as Spitting Image, there is definitely something comparable in terms of the caricatures of the royal family. There is also the connection of Harry Enfield, who used to voice a number of characters of the infamous puppets.

Included in this excellent package are series 1 and 2 and the Christmas special. Both are great fun, but for my money I think I enjoyed series 2 more, as it adds Princess Anne as a sinister, spectral presence. It is also worth mentioning that full credit has to go to the writers, as we were impressed with just how up to date the story lines are which do coincide with real life events.

My wife is a big fan of the royal family, whereas I couldn’t really care less about them. An example of this is that she was glued to the TV from 7am to midnight when Kate and William got married! I chose to break up concrete and lay slabs in the back garden, basically doing hard labour to avoid watching it. I thought she would hate the way the royals are portrayed, but I’m happy to say that she thought it was brilliant!

The Windsors is rude and crude and I thought it was great fun, (I would have liked to have seen some behind the scenes features on the disc, but you can’t have it all!) It’s definitely worth your time!

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Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin) from discs kindly supplied by Aim Publicity.