The Princess Royal Series Premiere - Papa

The Princess Royal Season 1, Episode 1

Olivia, the Princess Royal, the estranged daughter of Queen Eleanor of the United Kingdom, is sitting at her dinner table with her husband Fred when the phone rings.

Olivia: The phone? At this time of night?

Fred: Liv, it’s thirty past five.

Olivia: The children know I don’t like to answer the phone after five.

Fred: Perhaps it’s an emergency?

Olivia: Like our children would call us if there were an emergency.

Fred: Just answer.

Olivia: Fine, I will answer. It better be important fi it’s interrupting my shepherd’s pie.

Fred: We all know nobody should ever interrupt Olivia’s shepherd’s pie without good reason.

Olivia: I sense mockery in your voice, but you’re right.

Olivia answers the phone call, which is from her brother, Claude.

Olivia: Hello? Gigi, is that you?

Claude: I’m afraid no. Just Claude.

Olivia gasps.

Fred: Are you okay, dear?

Olivia: C- Claude?

Claude: I know it’s been a few decades but surely you knew I’m not dead. You sound like you’re talking to a ghost!

Olivia: You haven’t spoken to me in twenty years, am I not allowed to be surprised?

Claude: It’s been eleven. I called you on that one Christmas when Christine was ill, remember?

Olivia: Now that you mention it. I believe that conversation ended in a screaming match.

Claude: Let’s not let that happen today.

Olivia: Let’s hear why you’re calling before I commit to anything.

Claude: Olivia, I truly wish I were calling with better news.

Olivia: Well could you spit it out so we can get it over with? I’m not getting any younger.

Claude: It’s about papa, he doesn’t have much time left.

Olivia: To pay off his bank loan or…”

Claude: Olivia, this is not a joking matter.

Olivia: You’re telling me that our father, the most stubborn, persistent man I’ve ever known, is dying? I don’t think he would ever accept that.

Claude: You can’t negotiate with god, Olivia. Even papa knows that.

Olivia: He’s really dying?

Claude: It’s a tragedy.

Olivia: I suppose you wouldn’t be calling if it weren’t true. Thank you for letting me know.

Claude: He wants to see you before it happens.

Olivia: Papa wants to see me? Me? That doesn’t sound like him.

Claude: He misses you, he always has. Don’t let them die without making things right.

Olivia: I miss him as well, but he could’ve called.

Claude: Our father? He doesn’t call people. People call him. Then he doesn’t answer and has one of his assistants call them back.

Olivia: He genuinely wants to see me? He said that?

Claude: He’s very ill, but yes.

Olivia: What about mother?

Claude: She’s upset with you for never reaching out. She wants you to come, though. She knows papa won’t be happy if you don’t come see him.

Olivia: How ill is he, Claude?

Claude: He doesn’t have long, I encourage you to come as soon as possible.

Olivia: I know I will regret this, but does tomorrow work?

Claude: It works just fine. I’ll let everyone know, see you then.

Olivia hangs up the phone.

Fred: So what was that all about, dear?

Olivia: Well, papa is dying, but the shepherd’s pie has been interrupted enough today so I think it’s time to get back to dinner.

Fred: Your father is dying? I’m so sorry.

Olivia: It’s really…

Fred: Really what?

Olivia: I haven’t seen the man in twenty years and now he wants to see me before he dies. Why could this not have happened sooner? How am I supposed to feel about this?

Fred: Would you have really been open to speaking with him or anyone in your family if it weren’t for his illness?

Olivia: I am a stubborn old bat, aren’t I?

Fred: You are. That’s why I love you.

Olivia: I feel like I’ve missed so much time and for what? I don’t even remember what we argued about.

Fred: Ahem.

Olivia: Oh, right. You.

Fred: Was I worth it at least?

Olivia: Eh…

Fred: That warms my heart, truly.

Olivia: I should call the children. They’re going to want to see their grandfather.

Fred: So the shepherd’s pie will wait a few more minutes?

Olivia: Sadly, yes. Some things are more important.

Fred: Wow, one phone call with your brother and you’re already a different person.

Olivia: Am I really? That terrifies me.

Fred: The Olivia I know would never prioritize anything over her shepherd’s pie.

Olivia: Now that you mention it, maybe I can finish my supper before I make my calls…

Five minutes later, Olivia calls her daughter, Gigi.

Gigi: Mother! What are you doing calling so late?

Olivia: It’s only six o’clock!

Gigi: Is that not bedtime for you?

Olivia: Just because I’m not out partying like a madwoman like you are does not mean I’m in bed at six!

Gigi: Mum, I'm n- you know what? Forget it. What are you calling about?

Olivia: It’s about your grandfather.

Gigi: What about the old prick?

Olivia: He’s dying.

Gigi: Oh no!

Olivia: That was quite the about-face.

Gigi: You just told me my grandfather is dying, I think anyone with a soul would be upset about that, even if he can be a prick.

Olivia: I’m just pulling your leg.

Gigi: What’s going on with him?

Olivia: I’m afraid I don’t know, your uncle Claude just called me tonight to tell me.

Gigi: Claude called you?

Olivia: I was as shocked as you are.

Gigi: Didn’t you tell him -

Olivia: I don’t think we need to bring up what I may or may not have said in the past.

Gigi: I think we should, it’s fun!

Olivia: Anyhow, I’m calling to ask if you want to come with me to Buckingham Palace tomorrow to visit him. I was invited, we don’t have to break in or anything.

Gigi: Us? In Buckingham Palace? In the year 2021? By invitation?

Olivia: Again, I’m just as shocked as you!

Gigi: Are you sure he meant to call you? Maybe he was trying to invite aunt Selina instead?

Olivia: Oh, he meant me. So are you coming?

Gigi: I don’t know, I’ll have to come home early tonight from partying…

Olivia: I need an answer.

Gigi: Yes, I’ll come. I sorta forgot what it looks like in there, this may be my only chance to ever see it.

Olivia: See you around ten then?

Gigi: Aren’t you in bed then?

Olivia: In the morning.

Gigi: Yikes.

Olivia: Goodbye, Gigi. See you at ten!

Gigi: Ah!

Fred: You really think she’ll be out of bed by then?

Olivia: She better be. I’m not facing my mother alone.

Fred: Alone?

Olivia: Honey,I. love you, but I really don’t intend on my father dying any faster than he already is. Seeing you would be enough to kill him.

Fred: He loves me that much?

Olivia: He didn’t speak to his only daughter for nearly two decades because you married her. He’s not the president of your fan club.

Fred: Fair point.

Olivia: I’m calling Todd now. I just spoke to him earlier today so he’s going to think I’m losing my mind but that’s all right.

Olivia calls her son, Todd, but receives no answer.

Fred: That is Todd for you.

Olivia: You know what, honey?

Fred: What?

Olivia: I’m feeling tired? I think I’m going to go change into my night clothes.

Fred: You mean you pajamas?

Olivia: I’m not twelve, Frederick. I don’t use the work “pajamas.”

The next day, at the entrance to Buckingham Palace…

Olivia: Todd, I’m simply astounded that you made it here today, given that you didn’t even bother to call your mother back.

Todd: I was on the phone with Gigi all night!

Gigi: All night? We spoke for thirty minutes.

Todd: That’s a long time for me to speak on the phone!

Olivia: Let’s not argue, what’s done is done. We need to be composed and respectful in there. No arguing, no speaking out of turn, no obnoxious behavior of any kind.

Gigi: Can you handle that, Todd?

Todd: Can you?

Olivia: Children! Can you try not to argue here? At Buckingham Palace? Do you want to get officially banned?

Todd: I’m not a child, mum. I’m forty years old!

Olivia: Then stop acting like one! Both of you!

Gigi: I was doing nothing wrong.

Olivia: Really?

Gigi: I wasn’t!

Todd: Hey mum, uh, when do we go inside?

Olivia: Whenever they open the door. Be patient.

Todd: I don’t want to wait out here looking stupid like a bunch of idiots.

Gigi: You’d look just as stupid inside as you did inside.

Todd: Mom, make her stop!

Olivia: I feel like I’m standing with a couple of teenagers! Knock it o-

The door opens to reveal Olivia’s nephew, Arthur.

Olivia: The bitch is back!

Arthur: Auntie Olivia!

Olivia: Oh lord, I’m so sorry, Arthur. I thought your father was going to answer.

Arthur: No, just me. It’s so nice to see you, though!

Olivia: You only say that because you barely remember me. I remember you, though!

Arthur: I remember you plenty. I’ve missed you so much.

Olivia: You mean it? Your father hasn’t spent the last twenty years telling you about how horrible I am?

Arthur: He didn’t really talk much about you.

Todd: Ouch!

Olivia: Shut up, Todd.

Gigi: She told you.

Olivia: You be quiet, too.

Arthur: Granny is in the sitting room upstairs, I can take you to her.

Olivia: Where is your father?

Ethan (Olivia’s brother): He’s upstairs with mum, apparently she is incapable of being alone so he must keep her company at all times.

Olivia: Ethan, you’re here? Wow, it’s a right family reunion today!

Ethan: It’s quite a time for our family, none of us want to miss anything.

Olivia: Because I’m back? I’m not that big of a deal!

Ethan: Because papa is dying and we don’t have much time left with him.

Olivia: Oh, yeah… right.

Ethan: You being back is quite the event as well! Twenty years!

Olivia: Twenty long years. I’ve missed you all tremendously.

Gigi: We all have! Even Todd!

Todd: If it were up to me, this never would’ve gone on so long. It was so unnecessary.

Arthur: This family is quite good an unnecessary drama. The important thing, though, is that you are back now. Nothing can tear us apart again!

Olivia: I think the would be news to your father.

Arthur: My father? He was more excited to see you again than anyone.

Olivia: Your father? Claude?

Claude: That’s my name, don’t wear it out.

Claire (Arthur’s wife): I tried to beat him down the stairs to let you all know he was coming, but he’s faster than he looks!

Claude: I do come from a family of athletes.

Gigi: You sure do, uncle Claude!

Claude: That’s our Olympic silver medalist!

Olivia: Okay, Claude. You don’t have to rub it in that my daughter won a medal but not me.

Claude: Look at us, it’s like old times!

Ethan: You almost forget that we’re all here together to spend time with our dying father.

Olivia: Yeah, Claude. Don’t be joyful, it’s inappropriate.

Ethan: I didn’t say not to be joyful! I’m simply trying to remind you of what we’re here for, just on case you forgot.

Todd: Can we go see grandpa now? Nothing against all of you but you all have plenty of time, I want to spend some time with him before… you know.

Claude: Just follow me.

Arthur: Wait!

Claude: For?

Arthur: I feel so rude, I never introduced them to Claire.

Claire: And I never introduced myself. Look at us, a couple of rude people.

Arthur: Aunt Olivia, Gigi, Todd, this is my wife, Claire.

Claire: It’s lovely to meet you all. I’ve heard so much about the three of you.

Olivia: None of it accurate, I’m sure. He hasn’t seen in twenty years.

Arthur: I already told you, I remember you very well. You were a major influence in my life, whether you realize it or not.

Olivia: That is terrifying.

Claude: It sure is. Anyway, you’re all introduced now. Ready to go up?

Olivia: Can I tell you a secret, Claude?

Claude: Please tell me you haven’t killed anyone in the twenty years you've been gone? You’re dressed like you have.

Olivia: Excuse me! This is Burberry!

Claude: You should get your money back.

Olivia: That’s the Claude I remember!

Claude: What’s your secret? Dying to know!

Olivia: I’m really quite scared to see mum and papa again. They’ve always scared me, now after not seeing them for twenty years?

Claude: They’ve gotten much older. Much shorter, too. Other than that they’re just the same. You’ll be fine. Come on, let’s go.

Claude, Olivia, Gigi and Todd walk up the steps to find Eleanor at the top.

Olivia: Mum! What are you doing here?

Eleanor: It’s Buckingham Palace, Olivia. I live here.

Olivia: I must curtsey.

Eleanor: You don’t have to, I can make one exemption. Just this once!

Olivia: It’s so nice to see you again, it’s been a lo-

Eleanor: It’s nice seeing you again, as well. I don’t know why we ever let things go this long. I’m sorry.

Olivia: Mum, is that really you?

Eleanor: I love you, Olivia. I’ve never stopped after all these years, even though I mistreated you. It was your life to live, not mine. I never should’ve tried to control your personal life like I did.

Olivia: Am I hearing this correctly? Out of the mouth of Her Majesty The Queen?

Claude: I can’t believe it myself.

Eleanor: You are hearing it correctly. I just want you to know, on behalf of your father and I both, we are sorry and don’t want to waste any more time or energy being angry.

Olivia: You and I are going to have to have a longer discussion later but for now, I’m completely fine with brushing it aside. For papa’s sake. Now, can I see him?

Eleanor: Of course you may.

Olivia: It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Buckingham Palace, where exactly is papa’s room?

Eleanor: Down the hall and to the left.

Olivia: I know you’re messing with my head intentionally now.

Eleanor: Down the hall and to your left, is that so complicated?

Olivia: There’s about ten doors on the left.

Eleanor: Do you want me to walk you to the room?

Olivia: I’d appreciate that, yes. Come along, kids.

Eleanor: I want Genevieve and Todd to both get their time with your father, but it has to be one at a time. Too many people at once will be far too much excitement for him.`

Gigi: I can wait, granny. I’ll let mother go have her talk.

Olivia: How kind of you.

Todd: Who is Genevieve? I think gran forgot Gigi’s name over the years!

Gigi: Gigi is a nickname, you ninny. My birth name is Genevieve.

Todd: Why?

Olivia: I liked the name, now shut it.

Eleanor: I forgot how pleasant you all are. so nice to have you all back.

Eleanor walks Olivia to her father Paul’s room.

Eleanor: Here you are. I’ll let you be alone with him while I catch up with the children.

Olivia: Mum…

Eleanor: Yes, Olivia?

Olivia: Thank you. I know I wouldn’t be here without your permission and, uh, thank you. Thank you for letting me say goodbye. Thank you for letting me know he was sick. I couldn’t just find this out from the BBC.

Eleanor: I’ve been cruel to you for far too long, but I could never go that low. I could never be that cruel.

Olivia opens the door.

Olivia: Papa…

Paul: Olivia, is it really you?

Olivia: Hard to believe, huh?

Paul: You look wonderful.

Olivia: Thank you! Claude made me feel so self-conscious about it but I know the dress is great.

Paul: The dress is rubbish, you look great though!

Olivia: Oh…

Paul: I’m so pleased that you came today. I know I’m sick and that I’m dying, and that’s why you came, but that you came at all after everything that’s happened is so appreciated.

Olivia: We wasted so much time, what’s the point in wasting any more?

Paul: I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t see you again. I guess that’s a bad way to word it, I’m not going to be living much longer either way.

Olivia: I understood the point. I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t think I would’ve been able to live with it if I didn’t see you before, you know.

Paul: I may not have spoken to you in all this time, but I’ve always loved you and been so proud of you. I wish I’d have expressed it.

Olivia: Give me your hand.

Paul: What are you going to do with it?

Olivia: I want to hold it.

Paul: Well, all right. I’m not used to that, but, when in Rome…

Later that night, at Olivia’s house…

Fred: You’re finally home! I was about to call the police and report you missing, I assumed your mother threw you into a moat or something..

Olivia: It was lovely, Fred. I felt so welcomed, there was no animosity or hatred or vitriol. It was like the old days. I genuinely feel like this is a turning point, and that I might actually be able to see my family again. It’s crazy, I know.

Fred: They hated me in the old days so, do they still hate me now?

Olivia: My mother apologized for intruding on our lives. We didn’t talk about you specifically but I think we can really get somewhere. I think we can heal.

Fred: It’ll be hard, but if they are willing to extend an olive branch, I can as well. For your say.

Olivia: Olive branch? The term is “Olivia Branch.”

Fred: How was your father?

Olivia: Sick. But we had a lovely talk, it lasted two hours. Gigi and Todd got quite sick of waiting for me to be done, but at least they got to catch up with their gran.

Fred: Two hours? You don’t talk to anyone for two hours. You shut down after talking to me for about twenty minutes.

Olivia: I know! It was just, so freeing to speak with him after all this time. I missed him and it felt so freeing to speak with him. Now, if you excuse me, I need to take a shower because it’s nearly six o’clock and that is far too late for me to not be ready for bed. I feel like Gigi!

Three days later, Olivia receives a call from Claude.

Olivia: It’s only been three days, Claude. You miss me already?

Claude: I wanted to tell you before you heard it on the news…

Olivia: Oh no.

Claude: Papa slipped away in his sleep. Mother was there with him all through the night, he was not alone.

Olivia: Talking with him on Sunday, he seemed ill but not that ill. I never could’ve imagined it would happen so soon.

Claude: He put on a good act for you, he didn’t want your only recent memory of him to be in some decrepit state.

Olivia: He didn’t have to do that.

Claude: We all know that, but he’s stubborn. Was stubborn.

Olivia: I’m so thankful that you called and made sure I got to see him.

Claude: So am I. Getting to see you again brought him such jot in his last few days. It brought all of us joy.

Olivia: Do you want me at the funeral? I’ll come, but only if everyone comfortable with that. I don’t want to intrude.

Claude: Of course we want you there. You are an important, beloved member of this family. We want you back in our lives, no more wasted time.

Olivia: Are you sure about that?

Claude: Of course! We want you back in the family and back to your royal duties. What do you say?

Olivia: Umm…

What did you think of the series premiere of The Princess Royal? Let us know in the comments, vote in the poll below, and make sure to return for a new episode next week!

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