This song features some ethereal vocals from The Kills and Dead Weather frontwoman Allison Mosshart.
This is one of producer Josh Homme's favorite tracks on Humbug. He told Mojo magazine September 2009: "It starts to grind at the end, gives me chills even now, he's almost like a disgusting John Lydon character."
Frontman Alex Turner wrote this song about his girlfriend TV presenter Alexa Chung. The lyric "If it's true you're gonna run away/Tell me where, I'll meet you there," refers to Turner relocating to New York after Chung landed her own shown on MTV. He told Mojo magazine September 2009: "It's the most honest song on the record. Some songs are disguises for one little thing that you wanna say. Just to tell someone something. Others are more constructed, formulaic and traditional. Show-offy." He added whereas this song, "is not so considered. Visceral. Is that the right word?"
Turner admitted to Q magazine, December 2009, that when he wrote this he was "smitten… though there's an uncertainty to the song." The frontman added that initially, he decided that the lyric was too personal and so recorded a version with Mosshart singing the vocals. "Then I just thought, F---ing grow up, like."
Q magazine suggested that the closing line - "I'd like to poke them in their prying eyes" represents a less laid-back attitude to being famous and in love. After consideration, Turner replied: "Well, I think… yeah... you do poke prying eyes. By just getting on with it."
16-tear-old Lorde wrote the lyrics to "Royals" at home in just half an hour. She was inspired by the "ridiculous, unrelatable, unattainable opulence" that runs through such albums as Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne and Lana Del Rey's Born To Die.