The Crown: Queen Victoria Syndrome
November 10, 2022 12:10 AM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A much-needed update to the Royal Yacht draws scrutiny to the Queen's reign. Hounded by the press, Charles and Diana have a second honeymoon in Italy.

The Crown S5 E1 real history: ‘Queen Victoria Syndrome’ and a second honeymoon [History Extra]
The Crown Season-Premiere Recap: I’m on a Boat [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It gets harder to watch in more recent history, I am very anti royalist and I felt bad for the Queen during this episode, good work Imelda Staunton! Also Jonny Lee Miller is far too good looking to play John Major. #TeamDiana!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:23 AM on November 10, 2022

I'm getting more uncomfortable about the artistic liberties the series is taking. Apparently, there's no proof whatsoever that Charles ever tried to smarm John Major into supporting him in somehow, I guess, ousting the Queen? And why would he? I mean what could the Prime Minister realistically even do? As I've understood, getting Edward VIII to abdicate was a huge undertaking in the 30's, and he had broken the social and moral norms of his time in a significant way. In stead of just, well, getting older.

Also, compulsive fact checking has revealed that the supposedly crushing Sunday Times poll wasn't actually negative towards the Queen at all, so the entire slightly baffling scene with the newspaper being snatched from under her nose was not real. Kind of difficult to estimate if it's realistic, but I hope not.

Anyway, after this episode I was very curious to see if the series was really going to wholeheartedly side with Diana, and continue to depict Charles as being just awful. The Charles of previous seasons seemed much more nuanced. (I've now watched a few more episodes, but that's for other threads.)
posted by Dotje at 10:16 AM on November 10, 2022

The whole Britannia/queen are old/out-of-touch metaphor was heavy handed and, of course, fiction. When it came time to repair or decommission the yacht which happened in the mid-90s (not the early 90s as shown here), it was an election issue. The Tories (ie Major’s party) wanted it repaired, Labour (incoming PM Blair) campaigned against it according to Wiki. At any rate, the scene with Majors made the queen look greedy and petulant which hasn’t been her characterization on the show until now.

btw, I had no idea the Britannia is docked near Edinburgh and you can tour it. From the photos, it’s pleasant, old fashioned and not glitzy or grand.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:32 AM on November 10, 2022

From a show that has taken occasional steps to speculate dialogue around a basis of historical events - it seems like The Crown have gone to the other extreme here: acres of speculative plots and dialogue based on a thin tissue of (not very accurately depicted) history. Also Dominic West as Charles is just bizarre for anyone who remembers The Wire - or what actual 90s era Charles looked like.
posted by rongorongo at 1:23 AM on November 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hot John Major is just...weird.

I don't know what to make of that (fake) scene. It felt like Charles was arguing, "Put me in, coach!" more than an actual overthrow.

I felt so bad for Diana when Charles was being shitty about the shopping in front of everyone. Then Harry pipes up. Good boy, now you get to play Mario!

"Second honeymoon" with a bunch of people in tow, my arse, of course. Though Charles had a point about a 200-person-crew audience, too.

LOL, you think you can just hide newspapers from the Queen and she's not going to find out somehow?

The Queen was certainly...forceful...about her yacht, but Major had some good points about how remodeling it looked bad.

Major gives the impression of "uh-oh, what am I now involved with here?!"

Diana being all "everyone's going to get divorced in six months" seems quite optimistic.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:25 PM on November 12, 2022

John Major explaining the plot to his wife at the end of the episode sounded a little... too much explanation?
posted by applesurf at 6:56 PM on November 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

The Queen was certainly...forceful...about her yacht, but Major had some good points about how remodeling it looked bad

If you are in Edinburgh, I’d recommend a visit to the royal yacht. For something that, on the face of it, sounds like it would be incredibly luxurious - it really wasn’t so much. The vessel has precisely one double bed on it (one occupied by C and D on their honeymoon when it was installed and a litany of famous couples thereafter) - but otherwise very posh people seem to have a suspicion of such things. There is a glamorous sun deck and dining room - but otherwise the fittings are more robust NHS hospital than Trump hotel.
posted by rongorongo at 1:15 AM on November 13, 2022

@applesurf i agree, it reminded me of the bits from Fry and Laurie that mocked spy series for over-explaining everything. Kind of funny how bad it was, to be honest.
posted by bxvr at 9:37 AM on November 13, 2022

I thought Elizabeth's argument of "This boat is incredibly important to me in a deeply personal way, and that's why I think someone else should pay for it" was very funny.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:00 PM on January 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

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