The Royals may have just revealed a killer family secret. In Sunday night’s episode, called “Taint Not Thy Mind, Nor Let Thy Soul Contrive Against Thy Mother,” Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) and Prince Liam dealt with the aftermath of their joint birthday party. Eleanor, still in a funk and clinging to a bottle of vodka after Jasper and Mandy betrayed her in last week’s episode, awakened to an unusual sight: her mother standing over her bed—and ready to bond, no less.
“Today’s gift is mother-daughter time,” Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) said, revealing that she was taking the princess to see her beloved horse, Charlie Jones. That was enough to get Eleanor out of bed, so she agreed to spend the day horseback riding with her mom. And the E! series’ costume designer, Rachel Walsh, made sure they dressed the part. “We tried to give them a different look that wouldn’t necessarily make people think of horseback riding,” said Walsh. “We assume that they go riding all the time, and we wanted to stay away from that typical equestrian look.”
For the Queen, “we kept her very pale and elegant,” said Walsh. “She wears a beautiful white blouse with a fur [vest] and pale jeans, which were actually Elizabeth’s own jeans that she brought in.” The princess’s outfit had to be a bit darker, as usual. “For Eleanor, we went with black and red,” said Walsh. “Instead of a jumper, she’s wearing leather trousers and an amazing black-and-red Moschino riding jacket. We wanted the clothes to stand out against the castle in the background, and these looked better than muddy and murky equestrian colors.”
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Their outfits certainly stood out, but the revelations made on the castle’s grounds were what truly made an impact. Eleanor was treated to a whole lesson in family history as Helena told the story of her one true love, and how her mother stood in the way of her happily-ever-after. Helena didn’t reveal Allistair’s identity, but she explained that he couldn’t afford to give her a diamond, so they decided to have a pebble set into a ring as a symbol of their love. But soon, Helena’s mother forced her to trade the pebble for diamonds—and the prospect of a royal wedding to King Simon. Helena said that she doesn’t want the same fate for her daughter, and encouraged Eleanor to give bodyguard Jasper a shot… even though the queen slept with him last season, too. Oh, and she apologized for that transgression.
As Eleanor spent her birthday having a heart-to-heart with the queen, Liam was busy searching for answers. He was looking for the mystery girl who left the elusive Domino symbol on his necklace last season, and he finally tracked her down to the tattoo parlor where she works. She couldn’t say much, but she did provide him with one major clue: a name, Dominique Stewart. After a few Google searches revealed that King Simon knew Dominique when he was younger, Liam still needed to know more. So he went to the home of one of his father’s oldest acquaintances to find out just who Dominique is—or was.
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At the same time, the palace’s head of security, Ted Pryce, was summoned by yet another Domino calling card. He headed to the address he was given, only to find the same man who accused him of killing the king earlier this season. And here’s where we started to get some answers. Between Liam’s conversation with the king’s old friend and Pryce’s chat with the man who’s ultimately revealed to be Dominique’s brother, we find out that Dominique and King Simon were in love—and that love came to a tragic end when Dominique was thrown from her horse on her way home from a riding competition. But her brother—who couldn’t pronounce her name as a child, and thus called her “Domino”—doesn’t think it was an accident. He believes that the horse was drugged at the competition, which was hosted by Helena’s mother, and he thinks that she killed his sister to make room for herself on the throne. That’s why he’s ready to make the royal family “tumble down,” domino-style. And he wants Pryce to join his mission.
Later that day, Liam went back to see the tattoo parlor mystery girl again. He discovered that she’s Dominique’s niece—and the daughter of Pryce’s possible new accomplice. She explained that proving Dominique was killed is the family business, and her family will stop at nothing to take down the queen. After hearing enough shocking news for one day, Liam returned to the palace. He and Eleanor exchanged birthday pleasantries, and then Liam bluntly told his twin sister, “I think mom killed someone.” Probably not the gift that Eleanor was expecting after her earlier bonding sesh with the queen.
But Helena had bigger things to worry about. Her mother just spoke to the crown jeweler and learned that Simon had picked out a ring for Violet, his chambermaid-turned-girlfriend. If they’re married when he dies, she’ll be England’s sole ruling monarch. As expected, this news didn’t sit very well with Helena. She’s not about to let anyone or anything stand in the way of her throne now, more than ever. And so she made Violet disappear right before Cyrus’s public address—and whether or not she returns or faces a Dominique-like fate is TBD.
Tune into The Royals on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on E!