The Crown: Annus Horribilis
November 10, 2022 12:22 AM - Season 5, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Between a fire at Windsor Castle and tensions in her children's marriages, the Queen commemorates and reassesses her 40 years on the throne.

The Crown S5 E4 real history: the Queen’s “annus horribilis” and Princess Margaret’s relationship with Peter Townsend [History Extra]
The Crown Recap: Love’s Refrain [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA (6 comments total)
Nice interview with Leslie Manville in Vulture / Archive.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:51 PM on November 11, 2022

Possibly the best line anyone's had to say so far...

"Sucking Sarah's toes, Mummy!...People tell me I put my foot in it from time to time. At least I don't put it in someone's MOUTH....If he was that hungry, he could have just ordered a sandwich."
"Or some sole."

I feel like they're trying to make Andrew more sympathetic in this one? I'd be encouraged by that except we know how he ends up.

The dreaded "breath of fresh air!" Which leads to, of course...
"destroy anyone that's different....that no one with any character, originality, spark, wit and flare has a place in this system." Absolutely true. The BRF likes to be dull as dishwater and yet be treated as stars, but if anyone else marries in and stands out, they get thrown out/exiled/treated like crap. (This is why I've always privately given Kate Middleton kudos. She may possibly be boring IRL, I don't know, but she keeps her head down and keeps things bland and survives.)

Margaret: "I'm entirely unchanged since our last meeting in 1955." Love it.

It's so fast! First episode Anne's spying on Tim with binoculars, by episode 4 she's quickie divorced and making out with him in public. (Albeit that guy...not impressed to look at. Like Dodi, you're all "what is the appeal?")

"I didn't deny you as your sister" didn't exactly make things better, honey. Especially good comparison to Anne.

"Everybody blames me, all of the time. And they're right to." That's certainly a take.

"You're not drinking rum like some pirate?"
"Nah, I just named my dog rum."
"I named mine Brandy and Sherry, what does that say about us?"
Also promising to never say I love you again because it's so middle class :P
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:44 PM on November 12, 2022

I really liked how the Annus Horribilis episode centred on Margaret, though putting some of the speech's words in Margaret's mouth felt a touch heavy-handed. I often can't see the writing in this show; I don't know enough about history to tell when Peter Morgan is fudging things, but that was a bit too obvious. That said, he also had Margaret call the fire at Windsor a metaphor, so he was really tipping his hand there. As I was watching the fire sequence, I was thinking it was a pretty heavy-handed symbol of the royal family crumbling, but it did all happen in the same year. Lovely to see Vanessa Kirby and Ben Miles in flashback; I can't remember if these were scenes lifted from season one or if they had the actors back like they do with Claire Foy on occasion.

They had to whip through things in this horrible year - I'm amazed that Sarah Ferguson was almost entirely skipped over, but I thought the spine of the episode was really solid.
posted by crossoverman at 6:29 PM on November 12, 2022

This was a better put together episode in terms of tracking actual events and giving the actors some time to show their skills. Agree we see very little of Fergie depicted in the show.
You can listen to Margaret’s actual (1981) Dessert Island Disks here.
posted by rongorongo at 3:56 AM on November 25, 2022

On the comparison to Anne, I think Margaret is not quite right about the situation being exactly the same. The surrounding society has changed significantly, and with it the level of control that the Royals can exert. That's the big change.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:52 AM on January 27, 2023

I was so annoyed by Margaret's chastising of Elizabeth for not letting her marry Peter. Margaret chose not to marry Peter because she couldn't marry him in the Church of England and wouldn't be able to take communion if she married him. The show's disregard for the facts might have given it a tidy explanation for Margaret's subsequently being a hot mess for the rest of her life and a handy way for it to pump up the drama between Elizabeth and Margaret, but it's super annoying.

It's so odd we see nothing of Margaret's children. She is portrayed as being quite a good and loving aunt.

I kind of love Anne as she's appeared in this series.

Of the queen's four children, only Edward got marriage right on the first try, though Charles and Anne have had successful second marriages.

From what I understand, Andrew and Sarah's marriage failed largely because of the palace's meddling in it. Andrew was in the navy when they got married and Sarah wanted to live on the naval base with Andrew, like all the other naval spouses, but the palace said she couldn't, that she had to live in Buckingham Palace. They saw each other just 40 days a year during the five years they were married, and how many marriages would survive that?
posted by orange swan at 10:38 PM on May 13, 2023

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