A comedy of royal proportions! The royal family finally has its own show on HBO Max, but it’s not exactly a documentary.
The Prince, a new series created by Gary Janetti, follows an animated — and highly fictionalized — Prince George as he deals with the trials and tribulations of life in the palace. Janetti, a former writer for Will & Grace, developed the show after his satirical Instagram posts about the young royal went viral over the past few years.
Though the Vicious cocreator began posting about George shortly after he joined Instagram in 2017, his missives didn’t really start to take off until Meghan Markle entered the scene.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh, George won’t like this. You know, George won’t like sharing the spotlight with somebody else getting a lot of attention now,’” Janetti said of Meghan’s 2017 engagement to Prince Harry in a 2019 interview with the “Chicks in the Office” podcast.
The writer, who is married to celeb stylist Brad Goreski, added that he didn’t even know much about the royals before he began crafting his George posts.
“I knew who the basic people were,” he explained. “But, no, I didn’t give one thought to it.”
The Prince was scheduled to premiere on HBO Max earlier in 2021 but was pushed back after the April death of Queen Elizabeth II‘s husband, Prince Philip. Despite that consideration, critics have still questioned the appropriateness of depicting a child as the catty, Real Housewives-obsessed character he is on the show.
Janetti, however, maintains that his interpretation is all in good fun. “I do what I think is funny, and it’s never meant to be anything other than to give, like, a laugh and be silly and funny,” he explained. “It is never meant to be anything that’s mean. … It’s all about George’s insane take on the world and his wanting to be a star.”
Orlando Bloom, who voices Harry in The Prince, said that his partner, Katy Perry, encouraged him to take on the role of his fellow Brit.
“Initially, I was like, ‘Hmm, how do I feel about this,’ because I’m a British boy who’s very proud of my roots,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. “I understand how the royal family is loved by some and loathed by others, and I’ve always understood it as part of my heritage and background. … Katy saw one bit of it and was like, ‘You’ve got to do this. This is genius.’”
Though Bloom didn’t know Harry when he took on the part, he has since met the former military pilot. “This guy is so nice, and I think he’s got a great sense of humor,” he said of the Invictus Games founder. “I hope he maintains that through this because they’re sort of on a pedestal. We’re showing real adoration to them in one form or another. I try to justify it, because quite frankly, if I’m honest, it’s not like me to poke fun at anyone, but it is done with affection.”
Keep scrolling to see the voice cast behind The Prince: