The Crown: Windsor
November 14, 2016 6:58 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

With Elizabeth in a new role, Phillip tries to assert some power. Churchill wants to delay the coronation. King George's disgraced brother arrives.

Fun fact: The Duke of Windsor (a.k.a. the former Edward VIII) is played by Alex Jennings, who played Edward's grand-nephew, Prince Charles, in Peter Morgan's other work about Elizabeth II, The Queen.
posted by Cash4Lead (15 comments total)
 
I'm delighted that the show continues to examin the how/why Philip is a jackass. Was not a fan of Matt Smith in Dr. Who but I'm really appreciating him in this.

The show feels really pro-QEII and to many of the politicians, can anyone speak to how accurate the portrayals are (as viewed from a reality-based community)?

John Lithgow is a treasure.
posted by porpoise at 2:34 PM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am enjoying this show (and I'm glad people are making FanFare posts about it), but, man, does it handle historical events strangely. There are allusions to the runup to events, and fallout from events, but the events themselves are mostly elided. I have to look people up on Wikipedia as I go, to try to fill in the blanks.

I don't think they need to go as far as a West Wing-esque "have a (usually female) character play unbelievably naive about their own situation so someone else can swoop in with an explainer" tactic, but I'd like to think there's a middle ground. Don't recite the wikipedia article on "X", but maybe say "X" so I don't have to infer it from the biographies of the players involved?

Unrelatedly: What a man-baby Philip is! I know it's the 50s but really?
posted by janell at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2016


In case other people don't read Tom and Lorenzo as habitually as I do, their summaries of the costuming in this series is really interesting - here's the run-down for this episode.
posted by punchtothehead at 5:26 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


janell, Philip is a a notorious man-baby.

sively posted in a previous thread, Here are 90 gaffes from across his nine decades on the planet, compiled by The Independent."

"have a (usually female) character play unbelievably naive...

Kind of resolves itself, but doesn't really improve on your concern.
posted by porpoise at 5:53 PM on November 14, 2016


Thanks!! punchtothehead, that's lovely. Any of those suits would look unremarkable today - aside from looking really good - in contrast with women's fashions.

But I'm not familiar with that era's clothing outside of Hugo Boss and fascists looking suave. Guess MAGA's going against the grain on that one.
posted by porpoise at 5:58 PM on November 14, 2016


"The Duke of Windsor (a.k.a. the former Edward VIII) is played by Alex Jennings, who played Edward's grand-nephew, Prince Charles, in Peter Morgan's other work about Elizabeth II, The Queen."

RIGHT??? SO CREEPY.

"can anyone speak to how accurate the portrayals are (as viewed from a reality-based community)?"

Relatively accurate, with the interpersonal conversations interpolated and somewhat soaped up. The Venetia character is imaginary and just a foil. The public events are generally quite accurate.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


There are allusions to the runup to events, and fallout from events, but the events themselves are mostly elided

I think there's a couple of things going on with that. First, the show is supposed to be about the inner, private lives of these highly public figures, so there is a choice to move the focus away from the big historic events and onto what is happening behind the scenes before & after. The King's Speech was somewhat similar in that regard. Secondly, I think they have to make some budget choices (although they have a staggering amount) and they are putting the budget into moments other than staging the events.

I'm fascinated with how the show is dealing with privilege - it's not drawing direct attention to it, but it was touched upon in the last episode, with Elizabeth obviously seeing the disparity between herself, her British subjects, and the people of Nairobi. Here we see Phillip's father toasting the fact that Mountbatten will be the name of the royal family, and he deliberately mentions that they have plenty while many in England are still struggling. So there's awareness of it, but it feels like the show doesn't know what to do with it. It would, perhaps, be interesting to contrast Elizabeth's life with someone in the middle class as opposed to giving us lots of scenes with Winston Churchill (although I am never going to complain about more John Lithgow).

I don't know; I'm enjoying the show, but I'm left to wonder what it is I'm watching - is it a biopic? a documentary? a period drama? an historical-drama? It can't seem to decide what it really wants to say about anything yet and so it feels like it's saying nothing.
posted by nubs at 9:19 AM on November 22, 2016


I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm enjoying what I'm watching, but I'm left feeling like I'm being a little undernourished as the viewer in a way I'm having trouble defining.
posted by nubs at 9:21 AM on November 22, 2016


Phillip's father toasting the fact that Mountbatten will be the name of the royal family

Mountbatten is not Philip's father, he's his uncle. Without looking it up, I forget what happened to his father, his mother became a sort of nun, and Philip was farmed out to various titled relatives while growing up. (This is alluded to in this episode where he says Clarence House is his first real home.) Mountbatten took him under his wing and decided to play matchmaker and encouraged the romance between Elizabeth and Philip, she was something like 13 when they were introduced and she was smitten because, dear god, have you seen pictures of Philip back then? He was like a Greek god (albeit Danish), much more classically better looking than the actor playing the role. Philip had to give up his (foreign) titles when he married Elizabeth. Fun fact: The Mountbatten name was originally Battenberg and was changed around the time of WW1, the same time the royal family became Windsors. They're ALL Germans.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:41 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: The Mountbatten name was originally Battenberg and was changed around the time of WW1, the same time the royal family became Windsors. They're ALL Germans.

Yeah, I was laughing in episode 1 when somebody was complaining about the German ancestry in Phillip's line, because hello House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha! Windsor! And, of course, this episode features Mary of Teck showing off her fluency in German.
posted by nubs at 8:55 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why was it so important to the government that Windsor remain the name of the royal house? Were/are there any practical implications if the name changes?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:08 AM on November 23, 2016


I'm not 100% sure, but I think a fair bit of it stems from the fact that Churchill didn't really like Louis Mountbatten, because Mountbatten hastened the process of independence of India while he was the (last) Viceroy of India. I'm not sure where Queen Mary's opposition to the name change comes from; it may have just been a sense of protecting the legacy of her husband, George V, who changed the name to Windsor.

I don't think it would have had any practical effects; I think it comes down to some very strong personalities that had certain ideas about things. Considering that the first Queen Elizabeth was a Tudor, and after her came the reign of the House of Stuart, thence to the House of Hanover, and then to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (now Windsor), I'm not sure there would have been any appreciable, real-world outcomes. They have apparently made accommodation, with some of the children styling themselves as Mountbatten-Windsor.
posted by nubs at 12:29 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


(And looking at it from a Crusader Kings II perspective, the fumbling around this episode makes it look like somebody forgot to tick the "Matrilineal" box when arranging the marriage)
posted by nubs at 12:32 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit late to this party but loving the show so far. Claire Foy is stellar, and I think Matt Smith does a really good job with the Bertie-Wooster-esque side of Prince Phillip.

Surprised, though, at the naivete they both show. Like, once George VI ascended the throne in 1936, it was pretty clear that Elizabeth (then 10 years old) was going to become queen one day. Yet the show makes a big deal of her total lack of preparation -- she's clearly nervous before the Nairobi speech in episode 2, and Phillip's "I want to live at Clarence House forever! I want to go back to my naval career!" sounds really petulant. Dude, you knew this was coming when you married her!
posted by basalganglia at 1:50 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


At some point doesn't one of them observe that they both knew this was coming, but they both thought they had more time? He died when he was 56; they may have both reasonably thought they had another 10 years of not being Queen and Prince-Consort ahead of them. Without knowing how realistic the show is in depicting these things, it does appear like King George VI got off to a bit of a late start in terms of getting Elizabeth ready for her role and nobody appears to have explained to Phillip what his role would be at all.
posted by nubs at 7:45 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


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