Episode Number


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Written by

Victoria Wood

Executive Producers

Philip McIntyre
David Tyler


Victoria Wood
Geoff Posner


Geoff Posner

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Royals (broadcast 19th November 1998) was the second episode of Dinnerladies.

Synopsis Edit

The ladies are very excited to hear that the firm will be receiving a royal visit and that the royal guests will be taking a look at the facilities. Although they are disappointed to hear that the royal is only His Royal Highness Prince James, Stan is excited as he remembers Prince James from a royal visit that was made at an army base, at which he worked, 30 years previously. Out of the issues that arise are Twinkle's inability to speak under pressure, Anita's accidental slip of the word nipple into conversation and the friendly rivalry between Jean and Dolly Bellfield.

Plot Edit

The episode begins with the girls talking in the canteen whilst having a cup of tea. Dolly is informing the others about certain aspects of the effect of Princess Margaret on fashion. This leads to further debate as to who will be the royal guest that will be arriving within the next few days. Somehow, they find conversation moves on to the range of teabags and teapots. A petty argument opens between Dolly and Jean regarding the flow of the conversation, which sees Stan getting involved. Tony then enters, asking Stan if he has a slippery floor sign, which in itself leads to more confusion. All of a sudden, Philippa Moorcroft enters in a fluster with a brief for the royal visit, revealing the visitor to be His Royal Highness Prince James (also known as the Duke of Dansby), which makes Stan very happy.

The day moves onward to them having a practise behind the counter, with Philippa pretending to be the royal. Whilst Tony and others view the situation pesimistically, Philippa continues unphased. Philippa then reveals that Prince James wishes to talk the workers but Tony says otherwise. He gives reasons for why conversation between a royal and the workers is not a good idea, including Jean's constant talk of yeast infection, which causes a debate between the two of them for a while.

The scene changes to the end of the work day when the workers are all preparing to leave. Tony tells them that they may all serve on the counter but insists that they do not speak to the royal unless spoken to by him. Stan enters and reveals that he has had a past encounter with Prince James when he was working at an army base. After Anita gets confused over what a gangbang may be, they all decide to call it a day except for Stan who tells Tony and Bren that he is expecting the Prince to approach him, after he will have recognised him.

The next scene shows Dolly teaching Bren and Jean how to curtsee. This leads to another friendly dispute between Dolly and Jean regarding how mobile Jean really is. Anita then shows off her practised curtsee and Dolly turns to Jean to check hers but Jean fails to maintain her position. After getting up, Jean makes an excuse to leave, leaving Dolly feeling rather guilty about part of the dispute, leading her to run after Jean to apologise. Anita then asks Bren about underwear, a topic she has been most worried about. Twinkle then walks in with her overall on, which she doesn't get told off for as Tony is elsewhere.

The day moves on yet again and sees further rearrangements for the royal visit. They practise speaking to royals in which they ask Twinkle about the most popular meal on the menu. Her answer is not appropriate, causing them to worry slightly about the real thing. Later that same day, the staff are cleaning the canteen, which annoys two customers who are still eating. They seem not to be impressed with how the upcoming royal visit is being handled.

On the day of the visit, the workers are mithering about their appearances. Certain things are not welcomed by Tony, including Jean's footwear and Twinkle's make up and open bust. Stan enters with a toupé on and Dolly expresses how pleased she is with her weight, after she paid a visit to the toilet. A baffled Tony leaves for a cigarette and Stan shows Bren a picture of Prince James visiting the army base 30 years back, in which his leg features.

The moment finally arrives and the royals enter the canteen. Although the Prince's wife does not take kindly to the food, the Prince thinks it looks marvellous and asks for lots of it. The two of them walk to their table and the Prince fails to recognise Stan. Shortly after, Philippa brings the royals into the kitchen to meet the staff. During the conversations, Twinkle's nerves cause her to fail to answer her questions, Anita manages to talk about her nipples and Dolly and Jean manage to bump into each other after failed attempts at curtseeing. Jean and Dolly show the Prince's wife to the toilets. Tony introduces Prince James to Stan and Bren and, once again, Stan goes unrecognised. When the Prince needs to smoke, Tony shows him to the fire escape.

The aftermath of the conversations is bumpy and most members rush up to the boardroom with the refreshments, Anita bawls about her having talked about her nipples and runs to the bathroom. Bren decides to stay in case of further questions while a frustrated Stan decides to just continue with his work. Bren and the Prince get talking and the Prince wonders whether he could have a quick grope as he states that he rarely gets a chance for sex and continues to mention that his life is a complete bore. Although she turns down the grope, she makes him a deal. She gives Prince James bacon sandwiches- something that he has craved for a while- in return for him "suddenly recognising" Stan, which lights up Stan's day. The episode ends with a very happy stan and the royals deciding to call their visit a day.