‘Suddenly Royal,’ ultimately mediocre

TLC’s “Suddenly Royal” premiered last Wednesday, the story of a seemingly regular family discovering their ties to royalty.

The Howes, a working-class, seemingly run-of-the-mill family from Maryland were catapulted reality TV stardom with the discovery that they were actually royal. TLC’s “Suddenly Royal” premiered last Wednesday. The show opens with the obvious introductions: David Howe was researching his family history and found that he is directly descended from the last King of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea whose current head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Expectedly, regular Dave made his claim for the throne and now must travel across an ocean to win over a reluctant populace.

Ideally, the hour-long show would take us straight to the island, but instead we get the inside scoop on how any suburban family would plan an international trip. There’s talk of what to pack, flight schedules, accommodation and how they will afford it all. It’s amazing how TLC made a show out of this. Things seem normal until David consults his royal secretary via Skype and must tell his wife and daughter to bring their “formal wear,” which sends the family into a frenzy — their most regal moment was practicing forced “royal” waves while saying goodbye to David’s in-laws.

Audiences must wait 40 minutes for the family to even get on a plane. TLC wants the audience to hear about their insecurities repeatedly, like a form of initiation into a r eality TV show. If you can make it past the first 40 minutes, you can make it through anything. We then learn that Pam, David’s wife, has a fear of flying. Silly me, we already knew that because they’d repeated that line of her interview five times already. Phobias aside, they make it to the Isle of Man safe and sound.

Having been searching through castles online and idealizing royalty for months, the family finds out the Isle of Man doesn’t meet their expectations. David might, on some absurd technicality, be King, but he is not royal yet. “Suddenly Royal” is a guilty pleasure I just can’t get behind. Even with an interesting catch, the series falls into extremely trivial conventions like planning family trips. If I wanted to watch a family plan a trip, I’d go home and watch my own family try to plan, pack and get to Myrtle Beach on time. I’d much rather keep up with Khloe and Kim’s battles of vanity.


Email Aryn Aiken at [email protected]



  1. You have to be kidding. Family tree, okay, but isn’t it constitutionally prohibited for an American to be a so called monarch?
    Genealogically, this could be a good program, but what vanity for this man, an American, to think he can actually claim kingship of a foreign island.
    Isn’t Queen Elizabeth the queen of all of the UK, including the Isle of Mann?
    This man seems to me, to be in addition to a publicity grabber, rather stupid not to arrange a decent place to stay upon their arrival, ending up in a small apartment in a stable!

    It’s a stupid stunt and he ought to be ashamed of himself putting his family through this.

  2. Drew is amazing, he may have been born in the United States , and if he is of Royal Blood no one can change that. Other people would get offended of his position, accept it is his right to claim what is rightfully his. He is from the Island of Mann, it was not his choice to be born in America. Don’t Royals raise there children out of the country to learn other things to improve there way of running there land and people. Truly believe this is the case here. He has the heart, they are one of the best families I have ever seen, very noble, kind, strong, polite real people. If people walk around thinking they are above and beyond anyone else, they are delusional, these kind of people have been hiding in the cave years, or under a rock. But Drew hit the jack pot, he is very careing, to his child, and wife. This type of person, is how most of us only wish we even had, well in our dreams because we could only fake our happiness they truly carry naturally, LOVE THE FAMILY, is a great family show, that carry themselves with class when rude ignorant people insult him he is better than a Rolyal. Wonderful family!!? When other people insulte or laugh at others it clearly shows, lack of confidence, fear, no inner value, no self worth ignorance lack of knowledge . We see it hear on the show, how some rude people fear with shock, or just follow a rude rumor of others unable to stand on there own. So they stoop so low to hurt which don’t deserve.☺️


  4. this guy is a joke. people like him are what gives americans a bad name. this is nothing more than a joke to him. if he really believes himself royalty then act like it. stop making a joke out of everything. have respect for royalty and the people. if he cant take himself serious then how can he expect others to take him serious. every other sentence or word is a joke. he is teaching his daughter some very bad behavior. from what i read elsewhere there are a lot of people from the US that have lineage back to the royal family. he isnt that special, but maybe he is just to dumb and ignorant to realize that. im embarrassed to have someone like him representing my country abroad. to the people of the isle of man and england, i apologize for this clown. he doesnt represent me or my country. you would be doing us a favor by keeping him. for those of you that do have royalty claims a well, challenge this clown. hopefully someone with better breeding will have a stronger claim. i dont mean breeding as in higher ranking of class. no matter the ranking you can be ignorant. i mean it in having respect and taste. you can be very poor but respect people, titles, countries etc. you can also be very wealthy and be just as ignorant as this clown. again, sorry to the manx people from the bottom of my heart. someone above mention that if someone insults or laughs at others it shows a lack of self confidence, fear, no inner value, no self worth, ignorance. but they love this guy?? what do you think this guy is doing to these people. he is laughing at them by making a joke out of their way of life. no, he doesnt come out and say these words but by making a joke out of absolutely EVERYTHING he is disrespecting them, their way of life, their country, and their beliefs. he wants to take a royal oath but dosnt even know if the country has a constitution. if he cared about this country and not his 7 mns of fame he would know everything about this country. he would also know his family lineage, coat of arms etc to prove his commitment. not wear a shower curtain as a cape and a paper crown. there is a time for humor. if he really believes he is royalty this isnt the time. if he just wants to make a comedy show then i guess this is the time. if that is the case then let the people know it was a joke and that he wants to be a comedian. let them know that most americans would never joke or disrespect them, their life, or their beliefs.


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