Secret Princes

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I had my doubts about this TLC show but it’s actually a lot of fun. The title is inaccurate as the men aren’t all necessarily royalty but they are definitely aristocrats with some sort of title. I loved the elements of culture clash and a lot of the double dealings, contrivances and stratagems on the show are flat out hilarious, even if their actions and expectations are a bit cheesy, imbecilic and downright preposterous. I can understand why a rich blue blood might have a hard time finding girls who aren’t interested in him only for his money or the lure of a title. Their logic is sound and I applaud them for making an effort to find the right girl whom they know is definitely not a gold digger or social climber. Such rich diversity in personalities make this highly enjoyable to watch and it’s always fun to see someone accustomed to a life of ease struggling after a massive paradigm shift. The producers make absolutely no effort to pamper their aristocrats, often choosing the most undesirable of accommodations and deliberately making their lives while undercover distinctly unsavory.  Their wardrobes change from Armani and Saville Rowe to thrift store finds, as all their previous wealth, social standing and possessions are out of reach for as long as the producers choose.

Fish out of water humor, undercover romance, snobbery and entitlement all combine to make a very entertaining show. Some of the “princes” are more spoiled and overly privileged than others so it really is fascinating to watch how they react to the world when forced to try starting a relationship with nothing but themselves to offer the ladies. Even more illuminating are the shifts in attitude post-reveal, when each aristocrat takes his chosen American sweetheart home to meet family and friends, fully expecting her to immediately fall into his arms in the best traditions of the Cinderella story.  After going through such a humbling experience, the men themselves usually handle themselves decently, but others who have only watched from the sidelines have some seriously skewed expectations and their shallow materialistic natures betray themselves if the poor girl doesn’t turn out to be quite up to their exalted standards.  An enlightening and amusing social experiment, I’ll definitely be watching as more seasons are released. Season 1 was excellent and Season 2 had even more larger than life personalities, if such a thing is possible, including an Italian Medici prince and an exiled Russian Romanov.  – BETHANY

                         The first season’s cast, from left to right: Prince Salauddin Babi of Balasinor (India), Lord Robert Walters (England), Prince Francisco de Borbón y von Hardenberg (Spain), and The Honourable Ludovic Watson (England)

Season 2’s cast, from left to right: The Honourable Oliver Plunkett (heir-apparent to the Barony of Dunsany, Ireland), The Right Honourable James Rodd, Lord Rennell (England), Prince Francis Alexander Mathew Romanov (Russia), and Prince Lorenzo Maria Raimondo de’ Medici in Campitelli di Calabria (Italy).

Photos courtesy of Objective Productions, Kalel Productions and TLC

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