Meet Serena, the florist

We sat down with Kara Tointon, the florist that catches Henry's eye in our new comedy.

Kara Tointon as Serena

Kara Tointon as Serena

Could you please describe your character to us?

Serena is from Dumfries and she has lost her husband, who was a soldier in Afghanistan. She's a flower girl, but a special one! She and the King meet in passing when she is putting together a flower arrangement for a banquet.

What appeals to the King about Serena?

They have a chat, and he's very taken by the fact that she's sweet and unfazed by him being the King. That's very refreshing. She catches his eye because she is someone from completely outside his regimented world. They have an instant connection and a really nice friendship.

What does she represent for him?

Serena offers a way out of his crazy institution. She is a link to the normal world that he is craving. He's having a bit of a midlife crisis and wants adventure and freedom. She offers light relief from his normal duties. She also has a lovely light-heartedness that he really enjoys being around. So they start to meet up. They have sweet scenes where they have ice cream and little walks in the park together.

What's it been like working with Charles Edwards?

I met Charles on The Halcyon, and he's brilliant. He's so easy going, which makes working together a real pleasure. It's great to watch him at work. He definitely has a regal air. When he walks around in a smart suit and tie, he definitely suits the part. There is also a real warmness to him.

Is this a laugh-a-minute comedy?

It is really funny, but in the midst of all the comedy, you still appreciate the strain of being in the Royal Family and what pressure that must put on you. There is an element of tragedy in this comedy, and that's the best kind of comedy.

Have you enjoyed working on this?

Absolutely. I had not done that much comedy before, but it's really fun. It is great that it's on Gold. That is now the go-to channel for investing in fresh new comedy shows.

Does Henry IX tell us something about being a member of the Royal Family?

Definitely. It made me think that it's a really hard job. It's a very clever way of suggesting what the real Royal Family must go through. People in the public eye often voluntarily go into that world and know what they're getting into. There may be many uncomfortable parts to it, but they work out how to make it work for them. But the Royal Family have no choice. Their personalities are permanently under the magnifying glass. It's difficult because they're just human beings who happen to have been born into that family.

What else does it say about being royalty?

It's made me reassess what I think about the Royal Family. Henry IX is a comedy, but the same time it makes you think, "Oh goodness, there are so many restrictions in that role." When you think someone has everything, it's not always the case. That world looks glamorous, but life doesn't always work like that. It's not just a fairytale.

What would we do if we didn't have a Royal Family?

An equivalent person who was up for it would have to be chosen. Who would be good in that role? Barbara Windsor is already our queen of drama and I think she would make a great alternative Queen. After all, she's already been Queen of the Queen Vic!