Leave it to E! to turn the British monarchy into an international version of the Kardashians.
The cable network’s first original drama, “The Royals” (10 p.m. Sunday, E!), envisions a world where the Queen of England, Helena, is portrayed by the glamorous Elizabeth Hurley and the royal offsprings have the morals of guttersnipes.
Hurley, 49, says it could happen.
“I thought to myself when I got offered this part: What would it have been like if Princess Diana had become queen of England? Because I felt she was someone we could identify with more because she’s a more similar age group and then her kids would be about the age of these kids now,” Hurley says. “And so I sort of took some inspiration from her, knowing how she dressed, how she spoke. Everything that we saw for the public stepping out of cars, raising money, making speeches.
“What we never got to see with Princess Diana really was behind those closed doors. All of that, I made up myself.”
Hurley went so far as to throw a little Cruella de Vil from Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” into the mix. She can also draw on her own experiences, having met members of the royal family at various social events. She’s a big fan of Prince Charles, having worked with him through one of the charities she supports.
The series features Vincent Regan as King Simon, William Moseley (Prince Liam) and Alexandra Park (Princess Eleanor), Merritt Patterson, Jake Maskall, Ukweli Roach, Tom Austen, Sophie Colquhoun and Oliver Milburn.
Hurley recalls how well members of the royal family handle themselves in social situations. She believes that in many ways they are good actors because they always come across so polished and poised.
“I know it’s their job, but they are master diplomats. They’re just unbelievable, and that’s something that I think my character really, really wants her children to be like that,” Hurley says. “She wants Princess Eleanor, she wants Prince William, to just be fabulous and wonderful examples to the world.
“And, of course, in her opinion, they fail her miserably all the time.”