Living... in New York in a suite at the Lindbergh Palace Hotel. Royal has lived in the hotel for years – but he’s just now running out of money, and is going to have to find a new place to live.
Profession... retired. He used to work as a prominent litigator until the mid-eighties, when he was disbarred and briefly imprisoned. His own son Chas helped put him behind bars.
Interests… the law and detective novels. Royal has never really been able to fake a genuine interest in his children, despite the fact that they were all prodigies. Chas displayed a “preternatural understanding of international finance,” Margot was an acclaimed playwright, and Richie was a champion tennis player that won two US Opens.
Relationship Status... separated from his wife Etheline for 22 years, although the two never formally divorced. Although they had three children together, the two haven’t spoken in seven years. Etheline is still furious that Royal abandoned the family, and only talks to him after he lies and tells her he has only six weeks to live.
Challenge… reconnecting with his three adult children who have all come back to New York to live with Etheline. Royal was never there for his children when they were younger. His apathy bordered on cruelty, and with the exception of Richie, they are determined to never forgive him. But his “illness” is finally opening the door for him to reintegrate with the family. That is assuming they don’t figure out that the whole thing is a sham.
Personality... insensitive, short-sighted, and self-absorbed. Royal has spent his life looking out almost exclusively for himself, a road that has left him profoundly lonely. A born bastard, he never had any intention of changing his ways, but his “near-death” experience is starting to change his perspective – even if his illness is imaginary.
Royal Tenenbaum's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #2769 out of 5,300+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.
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