The Crown: Bubbikins
November 21, 2019 5:48 AM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Left without a home by a political coup in Athens, Philip's eccentric mother, Princess Alice of Greece, is invited to live in Buckingham Palace by the Queen.
posted by Cash4Lead (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This episode is an interesting contrast to Aberfan. In particular, the ways in which Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark was politically engaged in the world both in terms of founding a religious order dedicated to nursing, and also (not shown in the series but referenced above) point-blank defying the Gestapo by hiding Jews and walking around after curfew distributing rations to children. Compare with her daughter-in-law's response when told a hundred schoolchildren had been buried alive by a coal heap -- "Why should I go?"

She's played as a doddering and slightly irrelevant eccentric whose main role is to show us how Philip became who he is, but as always, life is more fascinating than fiction here.

(Separately, I continue to be bewildered that a show about one of the most powerful and recognizable woman in history is so focused on the actions and motivations of the men around her. That's not to diminish Olivia Colman or Claire Foy as actors because they have been incredible. I do think it speaks to interests of the almost all male writing and directing team.)
posted by basalganglia at 2:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]


So this episode seems to be basically factually true (at least all the backstory about Princess Alice). It's funny - I knew that Prince Philip's sisters married Nazis but not that his mother sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. She seems to have been a remarkably strong woman to have endured all that she did.
posted by peacheater at 7:35 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


I love this show’s portrayal of Princess Anne, that she was savvy enough to know the best way to impress the journalist was to do exactly what Philip was afraid of.
posted by sallybrown at 5:13 PM on November 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


I've finished this season and have decided to start over from the very beginning. I just watched the first episode and seeing her appear in the scene of the wedding photoshoot of Elizabeth and Philip was especially resonant this time around. It's very brief, but having some of the other characters derisively talk about her being released from the asylum for the wedding and dressing as a nun had so much more weight to it in light of what her painful reality actually was. She was an extraordinary woman.
posted by acidnova at 9:47 PM on November 23, 2019 [6 favorites]


I love this show’s portrayal of Princess Anne, that she was savvy enough to know the best way to impress the journalist was to do exactly what Philip was afraid of.

Very weird treatment of the various children in this season, so far at least. By 1967 - when the film started shooting - Charles was 19, Anne 17, Andrew 7 and Edward 3. You can see them all in this out-take from the original 1969 film. We did see the older 3 of the children in Season 2 - but all those other than Ann seem to have vanished form Season 3 so far.

Here is a slightly different take on the making of the 1969 film
: it claims that the BBC shot it over 18 months and that, when shown, is did actually succeed in making the royals seem more popular and approachable. Buckingham palace hated it however - and apart from the 2 minutes leaked above in 2017 - it remains in the vaults.
posted by rongorongo at 5:14 AM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's very brief, but having some of the other characters derisively talk about her being released from the asylum for the wedding and dressing as a nun had so much more weight to it in light of what her painful reality actually was. She was an extraordinary woman.

I haven't rewatched it, but I recalled that scene too and yes, it's so much poignant now! At the time, it was like wow, even royals have crazy relatives.
posted by peacheater at 5:53 AM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


a show about one of the most powerful and recognizable woman in history is so focused on the actions and motivations of the men around her.

To me it feels like maybe the problem is that of all the major characters, we probably know the least about her in terms of her actual inner life and thoughts. It's maybe just my perception as an American, though one who has long been interested in the world of the royal family - but it seems like the other members of the family turn up in the media more. Elizabeth shows up to functions and duties, gives bland speeches, but she's not giving filmed interviews with Barbara Walters or Oprah. But Charles, Diana, their children, George, Anne, etc. - it feels like we know more about them because they're out and talking with the media more. Even though they're managing the family image, of course, they're at least giving more appearance of candor or something.

So it feels to me like in trying to write her as a character, the writers have to be careful in how far into speculation they go, which maybe ends up feeling like she's kind of an enigma in the center of the actions of everyone around her.
posted by dnash at 10:16 AM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I am kind of loving Princess Alice, both in the show and real life. From the info about her,
During the fighting, to the dismay of the British, she insisted on walking the streets distributing rations to policemen and children in contravention of the curfew order. When told that she might have been struck by a stray bullet, she replied "they tell me that you don't hear the shot that kills you and in any case I am deaf. So, why worry about that?"
posted by corb at 1:07 PM on December 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


Does it really feel like 1969 to anyone? If you said that this season took place in the 1950s, I'd believe it aside from historical events like the Greek coup and the Aberfan disaster.

I forget what stately home they are using for Buckingham Palace interiors but dear god, the green walls and pale blue grillwork on the staircase are hideous.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:19 AM on December 21, 2019


It's monstrously unfair that Prince Philip isn't king! Great idea to say that openly on television?
"Queen Elizabeth hasn't had a pay raise in 15 years."
"Not me, I'm darling or cabbage. Sweetie is someone else."
"A collection of the people you most hate in life. Well, we all got together--" "In a reptile cage, at a zoo."
"We have cameras crawling all over the place." "As it happens, I had noticed."
In the driest tone of all time: "We are being filmed watching television. That people might watch us watching television on their own television sets at home."
"This is really plumbing new depths of banality." Well, at least you've got the corgis!
"What do we do now?" "Do you expect us to say something?"
Margaret: "This is nothing like a normal evening. If it were a normal evening, we'd all be on our own in sad isolation in individual palaces....This is like some kind of nightmare Christmas." They're also VERY bored of what they are watching.
"Everything improves with a drink."
"And cut." "Thank God for that."
"And I promise we'll have a big jumble sale of all the palace valuables on our return." And they say the Queen isn't funny.
Oh, sure, NOW she notices her hair looks frightful. Philip tried to point that out years ago.
Elizabeth's sick face as she's told the ratings were high and the reviews were great. "They were brutal." "None that I read!" Nice try, Wilson.
"Perhaps the royal family is not suited for it."
"No, ma'am, you're not normal."
"We have uncles that embarrass us, Christmasses to endure." BWAHAHAHAHA YOUR UNCLE SLEPT WITH MARRIED LADIES, QUIT THE THRONE AND WAS A NAZI SYMPATHIZER. YOU WIN, LADY!!!!
"They don't WANT you to be normal." "What do you want from us?" "We don't know what we want, other than we want you to be ideal." "No human being is ideal."
Elizabeth rants about how they really should be sheltered, but at the same time CAN'T be. "The best we've come up with so far is ritual and mystery, because it keeps us hidden while still in plain sight." Legit assessment.
Princess Anne: "It was always a daft idea. It was always going to backfire."
Daddikins: "Is it really necessary for you to speak your mind quite so mercilessly at every opportunity?"
Anne: "Well, where do you think I get THAT from?!"
Oh, sure, ask a teenage girl to save the monarchy? Even Anne is all, you think that's actually going to happen? THEN SHE HAS A THOUGHT.
OH MY, ANNE JUST THREW HER SMOKING GRANDMOTHER OUT AS BAIT FOR THE REPORTER. LOLOOLOLOLOLOLOL.

I have to say, this was a hoot. I assume we won't ever see much of Princess Anne (and what, no sons at all for family filming time? What, are they ALL at boarding school?), but meow, she's a hoot in this.

And a surprisingly touching ending, go figure. My mom called me in mid-watch, asked how far along I was and when I said 38 minutes, said to wait until the end because it doesn't go where you think it'd go. Nice to see Philip not being an arsehole. And while yeah, he's got an entire cast of dull and not dazzling at this point to film, he has points about making sure that people don't want to throw out the royal family. And him and his poor mother. And she kept plugging along anyway. Good for her.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:32 PM on June 10


This is nothing like a normal evening. If it were a normal evening, we'd all be on our own in sad isolation in individual palaces....

And then later they all get together to watch the documentary about themselves, although in separate armchairs instead of piled together on the couch.
posted by cardboard at 5:11 AM on June 21


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