The Crown: Favourites
November 18, 2020 12:43 PM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Thatcher's son (and favourite child) goes missing during the Paris-Dakar rally, prompting the Queen to question her relationships with her children. She finds that all of her children are unhappy in their own way. Argentina makes trouble in the Falkands.
posted by nubs (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A few thoughts:

-for all her hate against people who lack "grit", MT sure seems to be raising a son more in keeping with the House of Windsor.

-the episode conflates timelines; Mark Thatcher was found in January of '82, but the Falklands weren't an issue until March of '82. Making Thatcher appear to be making decisions about national security while anxious about her son doesn't really serve her well, I don't think (and I don't like Thatcher, just that I don't think you need to conflate these two issues to make her look bad).

-the show seems to feel fine with taking a few pokes at Andrew. That conversation was likely about Koo Stark, but to the modern viewer, it certainly contains some references to Andrew's reputation and links to Epstein.
posted by nubs at 12:58 PM on November 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

... It's Andrew, right? Her favorite?

He's the only one whose company she seemed to enjoy. On the other hand, the sincerity and depth of her criticism of Charles could point to him.
posted by meese at 8:57 PM on November 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was wondering how much we’d be seeing of Andrew. Glad they got the “I’m a creep” foreboding in straight away.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:05 PM on November 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

It's Andrew, right? Her favorite?
Not that he's necessarily correct, but doesn't Philip say so after she's met with all four?
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 1:47 AM on November 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was seriously wondering if Philip was going to identify her horse as her favourite. She always seems smiley and loving with her horse in a way that she doesn't with anyone else. The scene where she went riding with Anne was case in point.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:19 AM on November 19, 2020 [6 favorites]

Yeah, Philip does say that Andrew's her favorite, and she doesn't deny it. Seems like a confirmation to me, since she was denying earlier that she had one at all.

I don't think there's any way you can't hear all that stuff with Andrew's section and not see the direct line to Epstein-ville. What a creep. (I couldn't help wondering how close to Edward that portrayal was--he was awful, too.)
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I couldn't help wondering how close to Edward that portrayal was--he was awful, too

Commenters over on the AV Club were saying that he and his wife are the only ones that the Queen really seems to enjoy spending time with these days. He's the only one of the kids who hasn't been divorced (which leads me to believe that his marriage is OK because it's not like it's a big scandal any more, after all his siblings) or had any kind of scandal touch him, I think. I think it may be likely that the jerkiness in that portrayal came from being an entitled but bullied teenager and there's a decent possibility that he outgrew it.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:57 AM on November 19, 2020 [6 favorites]

I watch this show assuming it is all heavily fictionalized for our entertainment. I don't think it's a good idea to project the behavior of the characters onto the real people, no matter how compelling and well acted.
posted by Anonymous at 5:01 PM on November 19, 2020

It's Andrew, right? Her favorite?
Right at the start of the episode, where Philip is challenging the queen about favourites, there is a background shot of family photos. Andrew has the biggest. I believe “biggest photo on the mantelpiece” is as good a way as any of showing which kid is best loved.
posted by rongorongo at 12:50 AM on November 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

If you’re going to cast Olivia Colman as the Queen, it’d be producing malpractice not to have an episode called “Favourites”.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:30 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is by far one of my most favorite episodes of the series. It lays out the stultifying and bizarre nature of the royal family when the queen has to request bios and CVs of her children and then need to schedule appointments via secretaries in order to meet for lunch. Not counting the current occupant but can you imagine one of the US presidents needing to familiarize himself this way? And they have the double role of head of state and head of government (albeit for 8 years max). Requesting the bios is the writer's fancy I hope but having to schedule a visit is not.

The meetings with the four offspring neatly laid out what has passed for common knowledge about them: Edward was bullied and struggled to find a role (eventually quitting his military service, responding petulantly to media criticism, and inviting protests when he used his connections at his production company). Anne endured years of scathing media stories about her rudeness and the arrival of Diana intensified it. It's a pity that the show assumes viewers are familiar with this because it's only been the last decade or so of "Workhorse Anne, the Princess Royal What a shame she's not next in line to the throne". Andrew, showboat helicopter pilot buzzing whatever palace that was supposed to be. She beamed throughout the meal, even when she scolded him for describing the plot of a soft porn movie. Of course he's the favorite! There have always been rumors about his parentage since he so resembled her horse racing manager, Lord Porchester. And Charles, so needy and self-absorbed, tentative but always Aware of His Position, the future crown is like a millstone hanging around his neck. Imagine going through life waiting for Mummy to die so you can get on with your "real work". Passing up (or being passed up by) confident jolly hockey-sticks women and landing on the one who showed sympathy, not realising that they were both raised with absentee mothers and expected their partner to provide the nurturing love that was missing.

Whew. As I said, a great episode that focused on the characters and not so much events.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:30 PM on November 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

Elizabeth didn't even know her children well enough to know if she had a favourite and then she had her staff brief her on each of them and interviewed them over lunch, only to find out they were all problematic people. Yikes.
posted by orange swan at 8:18 PM on May 8, 2023

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