Who's Rani On 'The Royals'? The Deputy Prime Minister Is A Worthy Opponent To Queen Helena

When the heir to the throne, the king, and the prime minister all die, you know you've got some serious trouble in Britain. With all of this power turnover — and even with Cyrus ruling as king — two women are really in control of England, Queen Helena and Deputy Prime Minister Rani, in Season 2 of The Royals. While all of Helena and Cyrus' strategic plays in Season 1 were great, the verbal altercations between Rani and Helena are proving to be even better. Cyrus and Helena are usually aligned in their desires (you know, except for the fact she's trying to take over as the ruler of England currently), but Rani and Helena have no common ground. Helena is used to manipulating those in power, but with Rani having such disdain for the monarchy, it's the first time Helena has had such a difficult opponent.

With assistant-by-day, dominatrix-by-night — Rachel — by her side, Helena is the queen (heh, heh) of blackmail. She had the prime minister under her thumb after Helena "caught" him in a compromising position with Rachel, but Rani doesn't seem like she'll be such an easy target. Rani worked her way to this power position and she's not going to be so careless, as she exhibited by not taking Helena's gift of real Jimmy Choos (the deputy PM wears knockoffs). The powerful woman — whose name means "queen" in Hindu — isn't going to set herself up by accepting a bribe and now Helena will need to come up with a new tactic to win over the deputy prime minister since making comments about her breast implants isn't going to work.

Although fans can be happy to see two powerful women sharing the screen, their banter can easily be referred to as "catfighting." (It is The Royals after all.) While that term makes my heart hurt, the E! show does excel at stereotypical "catfight" insults, whether a female or male is saying them. And, the woman behind the character Rani, British actress Laila Rouass, is no stranger to such scenarios since she is best known for her role as Amber in the series Footballers' Wives. And if you think The Royals corners the market on so-bad-it's-good drama, you should read up on Footballers' Wives. (Plus, Joan Collins, the Grand Duchess of Oxford and Helena's mother, was in that show too!)

With Rani squashing Helena's bill to alter the order of succession, she's going to feel the wrath of Elizabeth Hurley's masterful queen. But, Rani still needs to be officially confirmed by King Cyrus to the title of Prime Minister, which may prove difficult since she wants to disband the monarchy. She called the royalty a national exhibit and compared them to visiting the zoo — something the new and improved (read: more ruthless) Cyrus will not take kindly to.

Yet, if Rani sticks around, there could be a real interesting dynamic between her and Helena. As she astutely told the queen in the Nov. 29 episode, "You do understand we're the same, you and I? We employ the same tactics. The icy glare so you never have to raise your voice, a little cleavage, the occasional bat of the eyes, all to hide the fact that you're the smartest person in the room, and you're about to get exactly what you want."

Part of me would love it if these two powerful, intelligent, and sexy women became allies to take down King Cyrus, though I doubt that Helena will play nice with anybody to get what she wants. But, that's OK since the greatest foes are always the ones who are most similar. And, perhaps creator Mark Schwahn can give fans a Rani-Eleanor-Cyrus interaction some day soon — pretty please?

Images: E! (2); queenhelenas/Tumblr