This is no winter wonderland.
'Twas the day before Christmas on Sunday's all-new episode of The Royals, and all through the house palace not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. And, that's because Prince Liam (William Moseley) decided to follow in his late father's footsteps and dismiss the entire staff for the day.
Unfortunately for him, the family had absolutely no idea how to fend for themselves in the help's absence, and pandemonium ensued. Elsewhere, the festive holiday continued to turn into a nightmare for Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park), who received an unexpected surprise from Jasper (Tom Austen).
Keep reading for tonight's recap!
Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) was furious after she learned Liam had released the staff without any warning. "Your father let the staff go after months of planning," she fumed, hitting him over the head. "Every detail was planned in advance. What the hell are we going to eat?!"
"I just wanted to feel like dad was with us," Liam responded. "I'm sorry." But since it was already done, they to just make the most of it, and Prince Robert (Max Brown) took the lead. And, Cyrus (Jake Maskall) couldn't pass up the opportunity to taunt his youngest nephew about it. "Liam ruins Christmas," he taunted. "Good thing big brother's back to clean up your mess again."
Meanwhile, Helena got to work cooking the turkey for dinner, even though she had no clue what to do. Luckily, Spencer Hoenigsberg (Jules Knight) was around to offer his assistance in more ways than one. After whipping up the main course, the queen confronted him in the wine cellar and asked if he wanted to have sex. "When posed by you, the answer to that question is always yes!" he responded.
Then, Liam and Eleanor attempted to tackle setting the table. But when that also turned into an epic fail, Liam revealed a bombshell about his love life to his twin sister instead. "I met a girl. She was seeing someone, and then she stopped seeing them, and now she's seeing them again," he explained. "She thought he was dead. So did I."
"You're dating Robbie's ex?" clarified Eleanor, who clearly wasn't pleased to learn Kathryn (Christina Wolfe) had been juggling her two brothers. "When Robert came back, we ended it," Liam said. "He doesn't know about it. There's no reason he should."
Cyrus decided the easiest way to handle the holidays was to get as drunk as humanly possible. But, he wasn't the only one feeling uncomfortable with the forced, family bonding time because the tension between Liam and Robert was almost palpable. "You screwed up and let the staff go," Robert scolded. "I rally the family, like always. Just say thank you, Sparrow." Liam immediately rejected the condescending nickname.
"If you have an issue with your code name, call MI6," Robert retorted. "Don't make it seem like I've gone out of my way to remind you that you're not the first-born son of this family, Sparrow." Liam then stood up and got into his brother's face just as Helena walked in at the perfect time.
Meanwhile, Jasper was frantic to find the perfect Christmas present for Eleanor, so he turned to Sarah Alice (Miley Locke) for some expert advice. She suggested he get creative and make her a princess storybook and then put the ''happily ever after" necklace he bought for her inside. But Jasper's special project was soon ruined after he received an ominous text message from a shady reporter named Harper (Margo Stilley).
When Jasper went to meet her, she attempted to blackmail him for details about his relationship with Princess Eleanor. Harper also threatened to expose his dark, twisted past with information from an unknown source, who later turned out to be his conman father, if he didn't cooperate.
Just like the entire day, Eleanor's world began to fall apart once Jasper returned to the palace in a sullen mood. She was excited to exchange Christmas presents, but instead he lied and broke her heart in order to protect her from Harper's potential story. "I can't be the guy that is waiting around for letters and writing words that I don't mean," he said coldly. "I'm no good at relationships. I can't be in one, not with you. I'm just trying to be honest."
Dinner was extremely awkward following Eleanor's breakup and Liam and Robert's spat. But Liam was sent even further over edge as his older brother stood up to make a toast. "In the absence of dad, I suppose it's incumbent upon me to remind everyone how fortunate we are, for the food and for everyone's company," Robert stated. "When I was stranded on that island, I would have given anything for this moment with you. Cheers."
Next, Liam quickly stood up to offer his rebuttal. "I wasn't on an island, and I'm also not sure it's incumbent upon anyone to remind us of anything in the absence of our father. Regardless, here's to a happy Christmas and to ushering in a new year where hopefully everyone's a little less full of s--t than they are this year, especially my brother." Ouch!
An explosion erupted at the dinner table as Liam and Robert continued to argue back and forth. Cyrus then emerged from his drunken nap to declare he would still be giving the traditional Christmas address to the country, which no one thought would be a good idea. But amidst all the discord, Sarah Alice suggested presents would be the perfect way to fix their mess. She had found a secret bag filled with gifts from Santa Claus. However, when she pulled them from the closet, it turned out they weren't from Santa after all; they were from Simon before his death.
Helena received a bottle of her favorite perfume. Cyrus received a personalized sword. Liam received Simon's old boxing gloves. And, Eleanor received her father's watch, which she had always loved. There was nothing for Robert because he was already "gone" at the time. Nonetheless, the unexpected gesture seemed to help them all put down their walls and remember what was important.
Afterward, Liam was inspired to drop by Kathryn's apartment for one last attempt. "I know you have a history with Robert, but you have a future with me," he pleaded. "I want you, and I will fight for you, unless you tell me to stop." Unfortunately, that's exactly what she did.
"You have to," she replied gently. "If Robert hadn't been taken from us, you and I would never have happened. When we lost him, I would have given anything to have him back, and I know that you would have too. This is how things are supposed to be."
"So I've been told," Liam responded, before storming out.
He returned to the palace and immediately challenged his brother to a boxing match at the upcoming People's Gala. The winner would get to keep their father's gloves. Robert agreed, but he also had to get something off his chest. "Sparrow, I'm not going to apologize for being alive, for coming home," he said.
"I say thank you every day for the fact that you're back and alive and well," Liam replied. "But I won't apologize either…for being the person I've become since you left. See you in the ring."