Hello! Welcome back to TV Tuesday! Today I’m going to be talking all about season one of Netflix’s The Crown.
Who knew that the royal family was so scandalous? I have to admit that I didn’t really get into this show until about the third episode, that’s when it really started to get very interesting. It’s hard to remember that this is all based on facts, that still kinda blows my mind. I have to keep myself from Googling things because I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s so tempting to look up things about the real family.
So the show opens on Philip being sworn into the family by the King. Okay let me back track a few here, the show really opens on the King coughing up a lung… it’s actually really unattractive, and my first thought was, this show decided to choose a weird scene to open on; who wants to watch this? This is how we learn that something is up with him, health wise.
Philip and Elizabeth are set to be married, and guess who shows up late… the Prime Minister of course. I have words about him later. The show also starts when Winston Churchill has been elected into power for the second time, I fear people are not happy about this.
Now that Elizabeth and Philip are married with two children, Charles and Ann, and they are off on a Commonwealth tour without her father he is too sick to attend. He had a lung transplant, but it only works for so long, especially when you smoke a lot.
While they are on their trip, unfortunately the King dies in his sleep. Now Elizabeth has to be Queen. Only that doesn’t go as smoothly as we think it will. It only took six months for her father to be sworn in, but the PM wants to wait a year. Elizabeth is appalled, and I don’t blame her; why must she wait all that time? Do they think she won’t make a good Queen?
That’s when we get to meet her uncle, who was actually King before her father was. I was SO shocked to hear how this all went down. So her uncle was appointed King since he is older, but since no one agreed about the woman he wanted to marry he had to step down as King and leave it to his brother. Wow.
When Elizabeth’s grandmother shows up, we’re not sure who she is at first. She’s this woman who shows up in all black. We learn that she hated her son for that, she blames him for her other son’s death claiming being King stressed him out.
Philip, poor guy. He just wants some control in his family, he wants to keep his family name, and he doesn’t want to live in Buckingham Palace, but Churchill sees none of that. The guy seriously has it out for Philip.
I knew that Winston Churchill was a bit of an asshole, but really? Ugh. When a fog rolls in, a lot of England becomes in great distress very quickly. It’s hard to see out, and it’s very hard to breathe. Everyone wants the PM to do something, but Churchill wants none of it; instead at their meeting he wants to discuss Philip’s flying, because he doesn’t think he should fly. Like talk about a jackass.
Then there’s his secretary who has to bring her roommate to the hospital due to smoke inhalation, she tells one of the doctors she’ll get the PM in, and he laughs, so she determinedly goes out into the fog to get him, but she gets hit by a bus (sadly she dies), but I knew as soon as that happened that would get him there, and I was right. He marchers over there to see her, then decides that they should do something about the crisis and the understaffing at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the PM’s people are going to the Queen telling her she needs to tell him to step down as PM. She’s SO close to doing it, but by the time they meet the fog has cleared and she can’t really make the claims she wanted to, boo!
I like how they parallel the Queen’s coronation to that of her father’s. We get to go back in time and watch a young Queen help her father practice for his. Seeing both of them wear the crown is kinda funny because it’s so large and it looks heavy.
Seriously back to everyone hating Philip, Elizabeth wants her husband to be the chairman to her coronation, but the council does not. They finally give in, and they hate his ideas. The Queen tries to rain him in, but he takes that as an offense; the two are definitely having a row, but I’m sure they’ll work it out.
The Queen’s grandmother dies in her sleep, much the same way her son did, and her other son has come to England to pay his “respects”. Although he seems really bitter about the coronation to the Queen. He narrates the whole process, in the end he says he turned all down for something better, meaning his wife.
The Queen’s coronation is really beautiful. It’s very regal, but it also looks like her husband is walking away from her, letting her be Queen.
Uh oh, I think a scandal is about to fall. We’ve known for a while that Elizabeth’s sister Margaret have been having a secret love affair with Peter, one of the King’s men. A reporter picks up on the smallest thing (picking fluff off his jacket) and he believes a secret romance is happening. Peter is a divorced man, and in those days it’s a scandal to marry someone who is divorced, let alone a royal to do so!
Margaret asks to have dinner with Elizabeth, Philip and Peter. At first I wasn’t sure what for, but then at dinner that’s when Margaret tells all and asks for Elizabeth’s permission. Of course it’s granted, but Philip hates it. I’m not really sure how I feel towards Philip sometimes I like him, other times I don’t, like he doesn’t want anything to do with the royal family, he’d rather go fly or go to the gentlemen’s club.
I also love the scene where they show Margaret phoning the Queen… everything she has to go through, all the switch boards, wow it takes almost two minutes to connect! It’s really nice to see the parallel to today’s world.
When the Queen leaves it up to her people to decide what to do about her sister’s relationship, they make Peter leave the country. This infuriates Margaret and now the sisters aren’t speaking.
Now their feud is growing as Margaret has to give a speech and she gives a little of her personality and talks about the man she loves, which of course only causes scandal. The PM is not happy about that and gives her a talking to, but I don’t think it really sets in, when Elizabeth tells her she has to apologize, it seems to create a bigger wedge between the two.
We get to see these two girls who live such different lives yet who envy each other because they would each rather have the other’s life.
When the PM has not only one, but two strokes they try to keep it from the Queen as long as possible. I love how it’s one of the PM’s men who thinks the Queen has summoned him because she found out and he tells her everything, well I think someone is getting fired. All she wanted was advise on choosing her next secretary.
I found it so interesting that the Queen never studied anything other than how to be royal as a child; you’d think they’d want their child to be educated in current affairs at least. I love how we get to see the past (young Elizabeth) correspond to the present day Elizabeth (in the show, not in real life; it still boggles my mind that this is the Queen’s story).
Damn, Winston was still Prime Minister when he was 80, holy! It’s his 80th birthday and so the government wants a painting done up of him. He agrees to it, but when the final product is displayed, he is very upset. He rejects the painting because it shows so many of his flaws, but that is what the painter tries to tell him, he’s aging and there is nothing he nor the PM can do about it. I think it’s finally sinking in for Churchill how old he really is. Wow in the end he burns the painting; talk about dramatic. It’s this time where he steps down as PM (because don’t you think it’s time, 80 years old?) and his right hand man, Eden becomes Prime Minister.
The story of the pond was absolutely beautiful. In place of losing a child he built the pond and he always paints it, listening to the story was so heartbreaking. John plays Churchill so, so well. He’s so captivating to watch, just like Claire is playing the Queen; I swear she is perfect for the role.
Then we have Elizabeth’s weird plot; she and Philip are kind of at odds he barely wants to be with her and her him so now all of a sudden she’s hanging out with an old fling picking out horses to race, all the while this old fling, Porchey has just gotten engaged and his fiancé knows his past with her and pretty much doesn’t want Elizabeth as part of Porchey’s life.
I can see where she’s coming from, but now all Elizabeth wants to do is hang out with him. We learn that Elizabeth was supposed to marry Porchey, but she chose Philip instead because he’s the only person she’s loved. I think Philip didn’t really know what he was signing up for when he married her. He probably didn’t think she’d be Queen until they were much older, but life has other plans.
The season finale jumps two years and now Margaret is 25 and can make up her own mind about who she wants to marry. The Queen no longer has a say but guess what, she has to wait another year for it to go through Parliament, and even still that wouldn’t grant her what she wants.
Elizabeth tries, and you can tell she’s trying to figure a way to get her sister what she wants and to be happy, but everyone keeps turning her down; this only makes Margaret hate her more, driving a real solid wedge between the sisters. Margaret always compares her love to Peter to Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip, saying she would have done anything to get Philip, and yes I can see where she’s coming from, but she doesn’t know how rocky the relationship between Elizabeth and Philip is.
I was wondering how long it would take before Elizabeth went to talk to her uncle, since he was pretty much in the same boat. He pretty much tells her she will always be stuck in the middle, but that she should fulfil her duties as Queen because they come first. That sucks. Peter makes an announcement that the two won’t marry, happily never after.
So PM Eden does drugs? We know that he had some complications that left him in the hospital when he was out doing work for Churchill right before Churchill had his two strokes, but now he’s injecting something in his arm. It almost looks like he’s dead… does he die?
They just kinda leave it there. Well I guess I just have to keep watching to find out. I’ve become very engrossed in this show without really thinking I would. I was very skeptical I would like it in the beginning, but damn, the drama that is the royal family is very amusing.