The Crown: Terra Nullius
November 20, 2020 9:01 AM - Season 4, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Charles and Diana tour Australia and New Zealand, and their marriage buckles further under the strain of Diana's celebrity and approachability. The Queen struggles with the idea of opening up a bit and maybe showing some affection.
posted by nubs (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Loving Princess Margaret this season: "Do you think that might have had consequences?"

Still hate Chuck; instead of seeing how his wife could be a benefit for both himself and the Family, he remains a petty, jealous, insecure man-child. (My kids have gotten interested in the Crown, and I started re-watching with them from the beginning, and it is interesting how this is kind of the mirror image of the Elizabeth-Philip early years, with Philip feeling left in the shadow of his wife).
posted by nubs at 9:04 AM on November 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

It has been a little disconcerting to see the number of people who put a lot of stock in how this show depicts the royals given the laundry list of historical inaccuracies associated with it. I read commentary on it that doesn't just cover the characters but assumes this is how their real life counterparts actually are and that something conceived purely for entertainment's sake can be trusted to offer us insight into the heads of actual people. What is the sourcing on this show like? How do they claim to be getting their information? If I had a drama made about my life in my lifetime that got a bunch of shit wrong and presumed to know how I thought and felt I'd be pissed.
posted by Anonymous at 4:31 PM on November 20, 2020

Why do you feel the need to keep coming in to these threads to lecture people about musing on the way the show depicts royals vs. what they're like in real life? I don't understand. What possible concern is it of yours if we want to muse on things and throw out questions about those depictions, or wonder what things are like in their actual lives? This is the second time you've said something like this, and look, we honestly don't need the explaining. We know this isn't a documentary. WE KNOW. Some of us are extremely familiar with the rules of dramatizations and fictionalizations of real people. We're just enjoying thinking about stuff, discussing what we know vs. what's shown on the series, kicking stories around. Maybe you missed the tagline under the commenting box that says "Note: We're all fans here, please be nice." We're simply being fans. Just let us enjoy nitpicking or wondering or getting into pointless details about the royals.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:04 PM on November 21, 2020 [29 favorites]

It’s heartbreaking to see Elizabeth be so cold to Diana and to accuse her of loving the spotlight too much. She wants to be accepted into the family and they are all to a person cruel and petty.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

I really enjoyed this episode, as an Australian, and being the right age to remember the events of the tour. I was 8 years old at the time and stood to watch the motorcade pass by on their brief trip to Victoria (which they didn't depict in this episode). I really enjoyed this version of Bob Hawke and the excitement of the Aussies coupled with the story of us trying to severe ties with the Queen as Head of State. It still hasn't happened!

I also appreciated the dramatisation of Charles & Di's relationship, given we all assumed at the time that it was a fairytale. And I'm glad their small period of happiness happened in Australia, even if they went their separate ways (to separate house) once they returned to the UK.
posted by crossoverman at 5:55 PM on November 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here is some original newsreel footage of the night of the ball where the royal couple where filmed dancing together for the first time. My wife, maybe 10 at the time, instantly knew that the dress shown in the crown was the correct one. The producers swapped out "The More I See You" for "Can't take my eyes off you" - but otherwise seems to have nailed the mood. Diana was a pretty good dancer - as Wayne Sleep recalls here.

One small detail I liked was Diana taking a camera off an admirer in the crowd and...taking a picture of the admirer because selfies were still a few decades away from being invented properly.
posted by rongorongo at 10:48 PM on November 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm not finished the season yet, but I keep returning to MT's comment in "Balmoral Test," when she said, "They aren’t sophisticated, or cultured, or elegant, or anything close to an ideal." At that point, the show puts that comment in the mouth of possibly the least sympathetic character in the show, and you can sort of disregard it in MT's bitterness. I feel like after three seasons, the show is finally at the point where it can show us that the royals aren't just unremarkable people but pretty awful. It's not just the Diana story, but it's a generational inability to experience human emotion. And, in a very meta way with this show, as viewers and as a public, we're complicit in furthering the mythology.
posted by gladly at 12:19 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Maybe you missed the tagline under the commenting box that says "Note: We're all fans here, please be nice." We're simply being fans. Just let us enjoy nitpicking or wondering or getting into pointless details about the royals.

Schroedinger is just as much allowed to post his opinions in these threads as anybody else and I don't see any posts which break the guidelines. Why does it bother you that some posts question the show's adherence to factual history ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:06 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Weirdly, I am becoming not so interested in the Diana drama. Maybe because I've heard and read so much about it that I don't think there's anything new to be learned by this dramatization. They were a terrible match, had a sad marriage followed by a lurid divorce, the end.

One thing I've noticed since the very beginning and it was especially noticeable in this episode is that the queen always sits ramrod straight at the edge of her seat. Not just while meeting the PM or other notables but when she's alone watching tv or talking with Philip. Aside from being a deliberate choice by the actresses, I wonder if that's true, that her back has never touched the sofa cushion. The scene in which Charles and Diana are summoned to discuss the upcoming tour to Australia, both of them were tense and leaning forward while the queen was perfectly composed as usual. Josh O'Conner has decided his Charles is perpetually hunched over as a physical manifestation of his insecurity but IRL he was an athlete, a rider and a military officer. Maybe the cringe will let up after he marries Camilla in S6.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:36 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

We were wondering about the actor for the QM in S5&6. Cathy Burke would be good but not to everyone's taste.
posted by biffa at 2:37 PM on November 24, 2020

The scene of the conversation between the Queen and Anne while they were being fitted for uniforms put me in mind of the conversation between Ming and Klytus at the beginning of Flash Gordon (1980).
posted by biffa at 4:41 PM on November 24, 2020

They were a terrible match, had a sad marriage followed by a lurid divorce, the end.

I think what The Crown is doing a really good job of showing is that it’s not so much that they are a terrible match, but that the pressures put on by the nature of royalty and the relationships of royalty would make any marriage a terrible match. QEII is shown as a bad mother in the aggregate - good queen, but a bad mother. And Charles is and was objectively a bad husband who couldn’t associate his wife’s misery with the plain fact that he was the one doing wrong. I think a lot of competent women have had that husband, who is insecure about them being more charming, or making more money, or what have you, because they measure their own self worth by those standards.

I wonder when the physical absence also started to come about in the royals, and why.
posted by corb at 5:13 PM on March 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

The one brief, few minutes of hope between C&D....well, it would be nice if that had happened. I kind of assume not. Sometimes this show is better than what probably happened IRL.

Was Diana really that horribly awkward in a press conference like that?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:53 AM on August 1, 2021

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