A new TV subscription service is streaming only programmes about the monarchy – just the thing to ward off those royal wedding withdrawal symptoms
Name: True Royalty.
Age: Brand new, also eternal.
Appearance: On demand.
Oh, thank God – King Arthur’s back?! Long promised to appear at Britain’s hour of greatest need and now arrived just in the nick of time! Tell him Morgan le Fay is the prime minister, send Gawain to cut down Farage and Merlin to magic Corbyn into a locked tower until this is all over. I’m afraid not.
Somehow I knew it couldn’t be. What, then, is True Royalty?A new generation of vampires spinning off from True Blood? No.
True Detective reimagined as dispossessed monarchs plotting reinstatement from arid, blasted but still picturesque US landscapes? No. It’s a new, niche subscription service that shows only programmes about the royals. Mostly the UK royals, but a bit of Romanov and Grimaldi stuff thrown in for your £4.99 a month.
Can ardent monarchists afford this on their pensions? (That’s good tea-towel money you’re spending there.) Once again your shameless prejudice misleads you. The world is full of monarchists of all ages. According to the new service’s founders, 5 million people a day search for programmes on the royal family and 29 million people watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in the US alone. Our royals are a global delight.
So, the market and the money is there – what material is the service offering? Forty hours of fun.
Only 40 hours? That’s not exactly a princely amount. They’re hoping to increase it to 400 or so, partly by commissioning new programmes and mostly by doing a deal with BBC Worldwide for access to some of the eleventy billion reels of stuff they have in the archives.
Until then, what can I access? The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. Documentaries about the Duke of Edinburgh …
After the watershed, one presumes. And one called The Duke and Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Photos of Their Love Story.
Crikey. If the rumours are true, that will have to be on even later than the Prince Philip stuff. They’ve also got programmes about Britain’s remaining dukes, previous kings and queens and that one where Ant and Dec interviewed Prince Charles.
I’m starting to feel quite giddy. Royal fever, that. It gets us all in the end.
Do say: “Would anyone like to commission an hour-long documentary about me and my 1980-81 Lady Diana scrapbook?”
Don’t say: “Will my subscription include the full, inexplicable four seasons so far of The Royals starring Elizabeth Hurley and Joan Collins as the Queen and her mother, Grand Duchess Alexandra of Oxford? And if not, sirrah, why not?”