Could there be a more perfect time for series three of The Windsors, the spoof comedy about the Royal Family?
With all that’s been going on recently, the show’s writers George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore have barely been able to keep up.
But although the series was filmed towards the end of last year when Prince Andrew was more in the spotlight than Harry and Meghan, the writers presciently predicted the couple’s move to North America.
‘It’s a seat-of-the-pants operation,’ laughs Bert, who alongside George honed his craft on sketch shows such as Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry & Paul and The Armstrong & Miller Show, and created Channel 4’s spoof celebrity series, Star Stories.
‘Oddly, we predicted a move to America for Meghan and Harry so it’s almost like events are playing out exactly as we prophesied.
‘We saw there was a feud brewing and that there was a bit of unhappiness there, so we thought that might be the upshot of it.’
The show began back in 2016 with the writing duo creating parodies of all the key members of the family – apart from the Queen and Prince Philip.
‘I think from the beginning everyone thought the Queen’s so loved and respected and doesn’t do much wrong that it was best to steer clear,’ explains Bert.
‘There’s not much to take the mickey out of, whereas with the others there’s plenty.’
Series three follows on from the Harry and Meghan royal wedding special in 2018, and sees the couple adjusting to life as new parents with Harry trying to stick to Meghan’s clean-living ways.
Harry is now played by Tom Durant-Pritchard, who starred as Billy Wallace – briefly a fiancé of Princess Margaret’s – in The Crown, while Kathryn Drysdale continues as Meghan, a role she’s been playing since the show began.
‘When I first started playing her all we knew was that she was an actress from LA who had a lifestyle blog and loved her green juices,’ says Kathryn.
‘But since then there have been more public appearances so there was a lot more stuff for me to research.
‘I noticed that her accent has muted a bit and that’s obviously part of the job.
‘Because she’s an American and Prince Harry, Princess Diana’s son, found love with her after being single for so long, people are always going to find their narrative interesting whether they had stepped back as senior royals or not.’
Nevertheless, there are elements of being a member of the Royal Family that Meghan seems to enjoy in the new episodes of The Windsors.
‘She’s using her position as a platform to speak out about the things she truly believes in and superfoods, especially avocados, are one of them,’ laughs Kathryn.
‘She’s got Harry off the booze and they’ve just been to a wellness retreat where she integrated some of her yoga lifestyle into his.
‘I don’t know if she has a strong hold over Harry in real life, but certainly in the world of our Windsors she does.’
Tom is relishing playing Harry too. ‘It’s such a fun role,’ he says. ‘Harry is actually still succumbing to some of his old vices like booze, crisps and peanuts, all the things he loves, although he’s trying not to.
‘It’s a slightly different vibe to appearing in The Crown, but The Windsors isn’t done in a way that’s cruel.
‘Everything is taken to a ridiculous level and I think that’s why it’s so enjoyable. I think it would be a slightly awkward conversation, though, if I met Harry and he said he watched it.’
Expect more feuding among the Fab Four – Wills (Hugh Skinner), Kate (Louise Ford), Harry and Meghan – in the new series, fuelled by incessant meddling from Camilla (Haydn Gwynne).
Charles (Harry Enfield) is offered the chance to be the King of America, while newly engaged Beatrice (Ellie White) along with her sister Eugenie (Celeste Dring) and mum Fergie (Katy Wix) are worrying who’s going to walk Beatrice down the aisle now that Andrew (Tim Wallers) has ‘withdrawn from public life’.
‘The Jeffrey Epstein story is very unpalatable, but it did break while we were filming, as did the interview with Emily Maitlis, so we do have some references in the series,’ says Bert.
‘Beatrice faces the dilemma that if she has a big wedding she can’t invite her dad because he’s persona non grata.
‘If she had a small wedding he could come, but she’d like a big wedding like her sister had. It’s a dilemma that may be happening in real life as well.’
Bert and George claim they’ve heard the show has had a mixed reaction from the royals. ‘William did a talk at Channel 4 and he’d obviously watched it because he made reference to it,’ says George.
‘But it didn’t seem like he was cross. We’ve heard other people are very slightly cross about it, like Charles and Fergie. But it’s all hearsay.’
Neither Bert nor George is a royalist, and they believe it’s vital that parodies of such institutions exist, whether you like them or not.
‘Things like The Crown can be quite reverential to the Royal Family, so it’s great to be able to take the mickey,’ says Bert.
‘Having said that, we try to make all our characters loveable. The trick is to win over both those who are fans of the Royal Family and those who aren’t. I think we’ve pulled that off.’
The Windsors will air later this month on Channel 4.