Caroline Stanbury’s stiff upper lip looks like it will be tested on the latest edition of Ladies of London.
Season 3 sees the English entrepreneur’s best friend–turned–sister-in-law Sophie Stanbury joining the cast as a regular — and immediately stir up trouble with costar Julie Montagu, whom Caroline has already driven to tears on at least one occasion.
The Ladies‘ queen bee chatted with PEOPLE about the family drama, frenemies and “girl gang”-ups she’ll encounter this season.
London is calling once again! From the trailer for season 3, it’s clear there’s going to be some tension and that you might be even more of a lightning rod than ever before — which is saying a lot! What can we expect?
There’s a lot more conflict between the girls. These girls, some of them have been around me for a long time, and I think they just know how to push your buttons. I also think that they go through life changes, and because I’m the tougher one they never ask me how things are going in my life; and when something’s going wrong in their lives, they take it out on me. And I think that a lot of the conflict was maybe the others trying to knock me off my perch.
Is it even possible to knock you off your perch?
I don’t know. With a group of women you get jealousy, you get rivalry, you’re just constantly vying for each other’s attention and friendships. I think what I mean by “knock me off my perch” is that they become focused on who they think is queen bee of the show. Which I mean, you can’t really orchestrate that — I wouldn’t even know how. I’m sure it’ll naturally happen on its own, that someone will come in and knock me off my perch at some point. But I don’t think it’s going to be from aggression or just building a girl gang. These girls like to spend a lot of time in a pack, and I don’t have a pack mentality. I’m actually fine on my own.
You mentioned life changes, and a big one is that Sophie is going through a divorce from your brother. Obviously that puts you in an awkward position as a best friend …
I was fine with it, surprisingly. I actually think they’re two great people but they’re probably better off apart. I think I wasn’t so fine with the way Sophie dealt with it …. I don’t know if she felt she had something to prove to everyone. But I would never let it impact my relationship with Sophie because I had a relationship before they were married, I have a relationship after their marriage. And at the end of the day, she’s still the mother or my brother’s children and she’s going to be in my life whatever. So I always have a certain level of respect and loyalty for Sophie as my family — even if she’s not in the family, she’s still part of the family.
You did have this moment in the promo that you say, “I can’t trust my family” — was that related to the divorce or was it something else?
That’s more related to the way Sophie’s been dealing with everything. I think as you see in the promo, I get a lot stick from every single one of them. And the one person I wasn’t expecting to have a go at me was Sophie.
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How does your relationship come back from that?
Not easily. Not easily because you don’t build that trust back easily. We’re getting there, but it’s not what it was [at the time].
Without giving away too much, the friction between you and Julie carries over from last season. And Sophie has something to do with that in the first episode. How much can you say?
When you speak to family you assume it’s not going anywhere, especially when they don’t have a relationship at all [with someone outside of your family]. But apparently her relationship with Julie at that point was more important than her relationship with me.
It’s only going to get worse. There’s not a lot of love lost between Julie and I. There are so many whispers and and so much jealousy, and Julie is someone who is slightly paranoid anyway and slightly sensitive. So she wants to know how things are said, every single little word that’s said about her and at the end of the day, some conversations are meant to be private for a reason. It doesn’t serve her in any way to know everything, and Julie has to know what’s going on with every single girl at all times or she feels left out and it really affects her.
Do you think that’s more her personality personally or her being American?
I don’t think it’s cultural at all, I know a lot of Americans that aren’t like that. I’ve been out to dinner with plenty of Americans that have gotten my humor that don’t burst into tears every time I [make a joke]. I think that’s she’s just desperate for attention from us and to be accepted by everybody. … And I don’t care. I think she just needs to relax.
Ladies of London airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on Bravo.