BBC America’s Throne Game
In a sociological experiment gone slightly awry, BBC America earlier this year trained its cameras on royal siblings Poppy Carlton and her brother Georgie, 55th and 51st, respectively, in line for the British throne, as the two toured the former colonies (Almost Royal, June 21, 10p ET, BBC America).
Their trip to the States was the last wish of their departed father, Lord Carlton, who had a penchant for U.S. history and was anxious for Poppy and Georgie to see the country. In keeping with their selfless personalities and often clueless intellect, Lord Carlton’s heirs brought him along for the trip—in an urn. [Editor’s Note: Georgie on traveling with his father: “Since he died, it’s been lovely to have him around all the time and I’ll be honest, he’s much more manageable like this.”]
Of course, royals wouldn’t be royals without controversy. In the case of Poppy and Georgie, it’s at the heart of their relationship. We’ve been told that Poppy and Georgie are siblings. Yet during Saturday’s premiere episode (10:00p ET, BBC America), the two argue during a bicycle tour of Hollywood stars’ homes that they’re also “friends with benefits.” Needless to say, your crack Cfax reporter jumped on that piece of hard news, asking them point blank about it during our exclusive interview. [Hey, this is America, Jack. We in the press don’t have to give the royal family as wide a berth as journalists across the pond are obligated to do.]
Other bits of hard news covered in the royals’ brief audience with us include the most unusual American customs the two observed during their trip, Poppy’s interest in becoming a TV cooking-show host, her brother’s assessment of her acting abilities and Poppy’s near-obsession with Rick Moranis.
Making your correspondent wait for more than 20 minutes while they had their hair and makeup done for this phone interview, Poppy and Georgie then visited a hotel bathroom before talking to us, insisting they always have “a royal flush” before meeting with the press. “One vulgarity before another vulgarity,” Poppy said. Below is a barely edited transcript of the proceedings.
[SPOILER ALERT: Several details of the series’ initial two episodes are revealed in this interview and it might make more sense to hold off on reading this article until after you’ve watched this weekend’s premiere episodes. Should any of this concern you in the least, however, an immediate visit to your nearest mental health professional is highly recommended.]
CABLEFAX: Poppy and Georgie: You’ve visited a meeting of The Tea Party in Boston where they didn’t serve tea, causing extreme throat dryness for both of you. What other American customs did you see during your trip that were stranger than that?
Georgie: In New York, people live in very odd little places called “apartments.” We went to see one and the chappie giving us the tour showed us a “dining room,” which was just a sad little table propped against the wall in the entrance hall. Where we come from a room usually has four walls, a fireplace and at least two points of entry. Maybe some French doors out to the garden if it’s south facing.
Poppy: You don’t have a class system. Anyone at all can get into a restaurant or shop or use a taxi. It’s very confusing. How are you supposed to know who the potential husbands are?
[Editor’s Note: Poppy’s been quoted discussing her favorite qualities in a man: “I really like rich men, they’ve got so much less to prove. And such nice cars. I’d only go out with a poor person if he was pretending, such as for a film or to get their inheritance.”]
Georgie: In New York, the people are obsessed with coffee. They drink it morning, noon, and night, and then they’re all ‘F’ this and ‘F’ that as a consequence. Very aggressive.
Poppy: It all comes back to tea in the end. If Americans embraced tea, they’d be a lot calmer and less red of face.
CABLEFAX: Poppy, you seem to be obsessed with Rick Moranis. Explain, please.
Poppy: What’s not to love? He’s the only American man who makes me feel safe. He can blow things up. He can shrink things. If I was with Rick, I might finally be able to lose this pesky extra one and a half pounds and get down to my target weight. [Editor’s Note: Poppy has an enviable figure and can easily be described as beautiful, yet her greatest fear is “getting ugly.” Georgie’s greatest fear? “Poppy getting ugly. I’d be the only one of our family to leave the house.”]
CABLEFAX: Georgie, a sensitive question. In one of this weekend’s episodes you watch as Poppy auditions for a soap opera casting agent. I thought Poppy was really good. What could she possibly do to improve as an actress?
Georgie: It’s quite like having Meryl Streep as a sister, if Meryl Streep had brown hair and was a lot sexier. My sister is perfect, of course, but maybe she just needs to look up from the page a little more often and try not to be too sexy as the other girls in the room get very jealous of her hair and cheekbones. That old lady [the casting agent] from the soap opera still hasn’t called her back about the part. It’s very odd. But Poppy keeps her phone with her all the time and never turns it off. Not even during father’s memorial service at the chapel in Caunty Manor [the estate the two inherited from their father upon his passing].
CABLEFAX: Poppy, we know that in addition to becoming a famous actress, you want to host a cooking show. What are some of your specialties in the kitchen? And besides your outstanding looks, superior breeding and magnetic personality, what could you bring to the table that’s missing now in the cooking genre?
Poppy: My specialty is yoghurt. [Editor’s Note: the British spelling of yogurt.] I can bring every kind of yoghurt you can imagine to the table. Georgie peels back the lid and I spoon it into the bowl. Name any one and I can make it… Peach, strawberry, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, apricot, raspberry, salted caramel, probiotic… That last one is a bit disgusting. My friend Tabitha once had a very persistent infection and I’ve never been able to look at probiotic yoghurt since. The only other one I don’t like is Greek. Father said the only decent Greek was Prince Edward and that was only because he had spent a hundred years sharing his bed with the Queen.
CABLEFAX: Georgie and Poppy, let’s end with a discussion of the phrase “friends with benefits.” Clearly your bicycle tour guides in Hollywood were upset with you using that term to refer to your relationship. Perhaps there’s a language problem. Can you please explain what you mean when you use the phrase and perhaps help us understand why your tour guide was so distraught?
Georgie: It’s very simple. Poppy and I are very close – there is a sparkle of electricity between us that could run the milking parlour for months on end – and on top of that we’re brother and sister. Benefit! So we’re friends with benefits. The benefits are siblings. We’re very lucky really. We’re like Jamie & Cersei Lannister [from “Game of Thrones”], but with better breeding and less all-around weirdness…
Poppy: I don’t know what that bicycle man was implying at all. I think he’s been out in the California sun for too long and his brain had melted under his silly little helmet.