11.10.2016

Television: The Crown, "Windsor"

All right, so Elizabeth is now queen, though she hasn't been officially crowned yet. Churchill seeks to put off her coronation for a year, partly because he feels doing so will stall his party's attempts to unseat him.

Elizabeth—really, Phillip, though Elizabeth ostensibly supports and agrees with him—has two items on her checklist: (1) keeping her married name of Mountbatten, and (2) living at Clarence House rather than Buckingham Palace. She doesn't mind going to Buckingham to do the work, but the family would rather live at Clarence House, which Phillip has recently spent a pretty penny to renovate.

She's told "no" to both.

And she caves. Without much of a fight.

Once supposes she was young and easily led at that point, too uncertain to put her foot down, but it just seems so random that she didn't press harder on either point. Phillip is, of course, unhappy. His manhood is at stake, to a degree (and keeping in mind the time period)—his wife outranks him, and she won't even take his [adopted] name. Nor will she let him live in the house he redecorated. One can feel sorry for him under the circumstances, at least a little.

Meanwhile, Princess Margaret continues her affaire de coeur with Townsend. His wife has left him, and she urges him to get a divorce so he can remarry. But we all know what the royal family thinks of divorc├ęs; it's made very clear in the circumstances of David, Duke of Windsor, who was briefly king before having to abdicate in order to marry a divorced American (Wallis Simpson). The bad blood lingers as David comes home for the funeral, his wife left behind in New York because she is not welcome. David's goals are to keep, if not increase, the allowance his brother Bertie (aka George VI) had given him, and to ideally have his wife given a proper royal title. The first may be possible, but the second, uh, no. It is Elizabeth who extends an olive branch to David, saying she would value his advice in the absence of her father. Meanwhile, the rest of the family blames David for Bertie's death, the logic being that if David had remained king, Bertie would not have had to be and would not have died from, er . . . stress? I don't think being king gave him cancer, but whatever.

Of course, it is Uncle Jerk who tells Elizabeth to keep the name Windsor—hardly an unbiased opinion, since he's the Duke of Windsor—and to move into Buckingham. Such is the deal Jerk made with Churchill, to push Elizabeth in the direction the Council wanted. "Good Job, Uncle Jerk!"

The Crown continues to be enchanting. It's a string of small moments, nicely matched, like pearls. This is the strand of a life . . .

One last thing, however. Can I just say that every f***ing credit sequence for everything ever now looks and sounds exactly the same? I'm really, really sick of it. The sequence for The Crown looks the same as the sequence for The Night Manager which in turn looks like Westworld and the sequence for any number of other things I've seen recently. Ugh. Stop it. Get an original idea, guys. Come on.

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