True Royalty TV’s Nick Bullen on why Princess Margaret is hot, Oprah is a queen and what you need to know about this streaming channel

Nick Bullen, one of the founders of True Royalty TV
True Royalty TV founder Nick Bullen dishes on the royals. Pic credit: Nick Bullen

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Monsters and Critics attended the first TCA presentation of True Royalty TV, the first and only subscription video on demand service devoted to the best in royals programming.

Not just content with the more familiar British lines, all the world’s royal dynasties will get their featured programming love.

During a British high cream tea (created by a royal) held in the courtyard of the Langham hotel in Pasadena, the TV critics noshed on delicious finger sandwiches and Devonshire cream and scones courtesy of the new streamer.

The purpose of it was an educational meet and greet with True Royalty TV founders Nick Bullen, Gregor Angus and Tim Vincent, the host of the Royal View.

Bullen spoke with Monsters and Critics exclusively and explained how this streaming newcomer plans to conquer and entice subscribing audiences who seem to never tire of anything royal related.

Monsters and Critics: Where can we find True Royalty TV?

Nick Bullen: True Royalty is available online, so you can download it directly if you want to. But as of Monday, the 11th of February, it’s available on Xfinity, on Comcast.

So, on Monday, we go into 23 million households around the US, which is very exciting for us.

M&C: For Americans, what can they expect with your network?

Nick Bullen: The exciting thing about True Royalty is, you can binge on all things royal, from thousands of years ago. We’ve got the pharaohs right through the Tudors, up to modern day.

So, literally, if you like the pyramids, or you like the Tudors, or Meghan and Harry are your thing — it’s all here. I mean, unsurprisingly, our most popular programs at the moment are the programs around Meghan, Harry, Kate, and William, and to a certain extent, Diana.

Although, interestingly, recently, Princess Margaret has become popular for us. And I think that’s off the back of [Netflix series] The Crown. So, The Crown’s been a big hit in the UK, I think a big hit here in the states?

M&C: Very big hit.

Nick Bullen: Princess Margaret became a bit of a breakout star of The Crown. So, we find they’re all searching for shows on Princess Margaret as well. But our number one shows, without doubt, are the young royals. That’s what people want to see.

M&C: Will you be going to DirecTV or any other carriers?

Nick Bullen: Yeah. So, the hope that the next move is that we go out to carriers and broadcasters around North America, and then start rolling out into Australia and India. The demand so far has been fantastic.

What we wanted to do with the Comcast launch, is do that right, prove that we can get it sort of playing well in the States, and then take it out across all the carriers around the States, and across Canada as well.

M&C: What’s been the biggest shift in the UK, with millennials and the younger generation, and Gen X, with their view of the royals, versus our generation, people that were born 60s, 70s, 80s?

Nick Bullen: That’s a really interesting question. I think with the younger generations, and sort of the Gen X, the millennials, the fascination has come back.

So, for them, Diana is history. Diana died in 1997. This is a long time ago now. For them, many of them weren’t even born at this point. Those that were, it really is, she’s a page in the history books. Now, the royals represent them.

And whether it’s Kate marrying William, and she wasn’t from an aristocratic family. She was a normal girl from a relatively middle-class family in the UK, through to Meghan, who is an American, and also to be frank, of sort of dual heritage.

I think that’s really exciting for the British royal family, because up until now, the British royal family didn’t really represent the broader spectrum of the world.

Suddenly, now, girls who may have thought they might’ve never been a princess, can now look at Meghan and go, “This might be me, too.” You know, who’s Prince George going to marry? Who will Princess Charlotte marry?

I think they’ve made the royal family relevant, current, and I think maybe given them another 100 years yet.

M&C: Do you think it will ever be, in our lifetime, a chance for a royal to come out as gay, and be comfortable and accepted?

Nick Bullen: Wouldn’t that be fantastic? For a member of the royal family to be openly gay, would be an amazing thing. And again, we know that there have been members of the royal family, who have been gay, but have had to suppress it. And that’s just heartbreaking.

M&C: It’s like the last hurdle, it feels like.

Nick Bullen: I think it is the last hurdle. I think you’re absolutely right. And I think, for that to happen, it must come. How amazing would that be? And imagine if, I don’t know if we could even go this far.

Imagine if you could have a gay monarch? I mean, that would be … Forget a member of the royal family, what if the person wearing the crown was in a same-sex relationship. I mean, amazing.

Whether we’re ready yet, I don’t know. But, I am. You are. So, let’s give it a go.

M&C: The English public survived Meghan Markle. The sun still came out.

Nick Bullen: I think that’s the truth. And again, back to your question about the younger generations now. I’ve got two boys. One is 19, one’s 23. They literally don’t care what your sort of orientation is, at all.

It just doesn’t rate for them. So, I think for them going forward, they generally wouldn’t care if the monarch was gay, bisexual, you know, whatever you wanted … Any form of the LGBTQ sort of range.

I genuinely don’t think they’d care, and I think that’s exciting. I think maybe our parents’ generation, and maybe some people in our generation still have issues, but I hope that the next generation don’t care.

M&C: Which American, past, present has the most royal-like quality to you as an Englishman?

Nick Bullen: This might be a cheat. I’m going to have to give you two answers. So, one, I think Grace Kelly was the embodiment of the word “regal.” I mean, she looked amazing, she carried herself brilliantly, the way she spoke.

And I think the way she settled into life in Monaco was an amazing example of that. Well, actually, she’s not American (anymore), so I’ve got to give you another.

Do you know who I think could do it? I think Oprah has that royal presence, that when she walks into the room, she’s the queen.

She stopped traffic and Harry and Meghan’s wedding. When she walked into that chapel at Windsor Castle, I think there was as much attention on Oprah as there was on many of the senior members of the royal family.

True Royalty TV is available online, or you can download it directly if you want to. But as of Monday, the 11th of February, it’s available on Xfinity, on Comcast.

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