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S01.E08: Pride & Joy

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On 12/16/2016 at 3:14 PM, CeeBeeGee said:

My thoughts exactly. Damn, Philip, not only did you know what you were getting into, you sought it. You and Dickie angled and connived and maneuvered to marry into THE royal family, way WAY out of your league, and now you're pouty just because of your damn male ego. Philip drives me craaazy, I have never liked him. 

It seems the King's advice to him didn't register. I really like Matt Smith but boy, Phillip is testing my last nerve. He was a real bastard to Elizabeth just before she chased him out. 

 

 

On 12/16/2016 at 8:37 PM, rubyred said:

Yeah this pissed me right off. Slagging off on how Elizabeth was "unprepared" to be Queen when in the previous episode the QM was so defensive about not preparing her! And then mentioning that Margaret got even less education -- yet Margaret seemed to think Elizabeth had the better life and Margaret would be a better queen because she had some wit. She knew even less, certainly she hadn't even had the constitutional history education E had. Argh. Like David/Edward, IMO Margaret would have been a lousy Queen (as it was and is defined now). It's not as if, given her allegedly vaunted intellect, she couldn't have gone out and gotten a real education or found a purpose or passion in life. She certainly had the resources. She grew up knowing the deal. She wanted to party and be glamorous, she didn't actually want the crown. But let's pout and whine and score burns about Daddy loving me best. Nice, sister. Sorry, I just can't with this one.

I can't either, and I usually like flippant, immature characters. The Papa loved me best thing feels so damn petty. Coupled with her screwing up with some very important people/responsibilities wins Margaret 0 points. 

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I tend to give Philip some slack. He was in a thankless role - admittedly, one he took on willingly, but still a punishing job. And all he was doing was truth-telling. He's calling it like he sees it: the Empire is crumbling and their tour is nothing but a sideshow to make themselves feel relevant and to prop up the illusion of the Empire. They were both killing themselves trying to keep to this rigid schedule to the point where Elizabeth had to get a shot in the face (EW!) and he found himself waving to crowds in his sleep. They were getting up at 4:00 am to catch 6:00 flights. And all he wanted was for them to cut out some of their stops so they could rest more. But she wouldn't even do that and once again he rightly guessed why. She was on some bizarre quest to prove herself. 

I give less slack to Margaret but I did think her little pre-knighting speech was hilarious, especially about the food being rather ordinary as a rule but the wine being good. I also laughed when the reporter asked her if she missed her sister and she said "Not quite as much, no."

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 9:17 PM, snarktini said:

The learned helplessness of the idle rich. 

Did Margaret do additional princess-ing that we're not seeing? If the Fug Girls' weekly roundup is to be believed, today's princes/princesses have causes and events they participate in regularly. (To what extent it's a photo op v. real involvement, I have no idea.) It does seem like the monarchy is doing a better job today of education and giving the "spares" a role and purpose. 

Margaret never did a whole lot; at least in part because, after her initial disastrous appearances; she got married and was having kids.  Meanwhile Anne and Charles were growing up and were able to share in the public duties.  Margaret was pretty well know to have a marked dislike for the typical royal stuff; visiting hospitals, attending military ceremonies, opening public buildings and special events.  She had to do some of it to maintain her stipend, but she didn't do a lot.  Margaret really did just want to be a jet setter; she wasn't ambitious for anything much more.

On the other hand, Anne, the Princess Royal, is an absolute workhorse, even to this day.  She makes far more personal appearances and serves on far more charitable boards than any other member of the royal family; to very little recognition or credit.  She's not glamorous, she doesn't suffer fools and she's not interested in clothes or showbiz or anything else that might put her in the spotlight.  By most accounts, she is very devoted and involved in her charities; far more than just a figurehead. Members of the Queen's staff have repeatedly commented about her work ethic and that she wants to be busy, she wants to serve.  She's a brilliant example of the modern royal.  And, of course, she refused the Queen's offer of royal titles for her husbands or her children; supposedly letting it be well known that she didn't think being a princess was all that.

Edited by doodlebug
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13 minutes ago, doodlebug said:

she didn't think being a princess was all that

Which of course is much easier to say when one is already a princess. Not that she doesn't have a point.

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3 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

Which of course is much easier to say when one is already a princess. Not that she doesn't have a point.

I think Anne felt her title limited her in many ways, and, especially since her kids were never going to be anywhere close to the throne; it was going to be more burden than boon.  Anne herself is now 12th in the line of succession.  I get the impression she wanted her kids to realize that they needed to find their own way and achieve something beyond the royal family.  Contrast to Princess Margaret, who loved all the perks of being a member of the royal family and didn't really feel any sense of responsibility to the Crown.

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When Queen Mary escaped up Scotland and was interested in buying that old rundown castle - did she really buy it? Does the family still own it? Does it have a name?  Can a royal just casually sit buy property like that?

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54 minutes ago, CathinAZ said:

When Queen Mary escaped up Scotland and was interested in buying that old rundown castle - did she really buy it? Does the family still own it? Does it have a name?  Can a royal just casually sit buy property like that?

You might want to take this over to the History Talk conversation, since it's a really valid question, however has nothing to do with the episode. (I actually went and googled this very question after watching!)

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I have trouble being sympathetic with most of these people so I didn't love this episode.  I guess I feel a bit for Elizabeth missing her kids' childhood but it seems like she's mostly ok with it and it was the norm regardless of being queen or not.  But the rest (Phillip, Margaret, the mother)... oh boo hoo.  Their lives are not exactly difficult, hours of waving included.  It seems like most of the tension is the supporting players all wishing they were the sovereign themselves and all for selfish, petty reasons. 

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I guess I feel a bit for Elizabeth missing her kids' childhood but it seems like she's mostly ok with it and it was the norm regardless of being queen or not.

But she never acts like she misses them. Watching this show, I get the feeling that Philip was the only parent who ever paid much attention to Charles and Anne when they were little.

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Yeah, exactly.  Her saying she envied Margaret's life or wished she could be an anonymous English country wife was about all we've seen to suggest she may have had any misgivings at all about her kids.  I guess there was no real reason the kids couldn't have been with them on a lot of their travels so it was largely just a cultural thing.  

I don't follow the royals at all but don't the latest batch with young 'uns (I guess their names are Kate and William, which I had to look up) take the kids along on various travels often?  

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1 hour ago, Winston9-DT3 said:

Yeah, exactly.  Her saying she envied Margaret's life or wished she could be an anonymous English country wife was about all we've seen to suggest she may have had any misgivings at all about her kids.  I guess there was no real reason the kids couldn't have been with them on a lot of their travels so it was largely just a cultural thing.  

I don't follow the royals at all but don't the latest batch with young 'uns (I guess their names are Kate and William, which I had to look up) take the kids along on various travels often?  

Shows how much times have changed.  Back in the day, the kids were raised by nannies and were born and even attended school within the palace.  Back in the 50's, most dads weren't very hands-on and many never changed a diaper, held a bottle or spent a lot of time with their kids. Philip seemed more involved than most dads. Elizabeth and Philip took multiple months-long royal tours without their kids during the 50's and 60's and no one batted an eye.  There is a rather infamous photo of Charles as a child, walking up to his mother and shaking her hand as she returned from a long trip overseas without him. There was a definite formality and sense of decorum in their public relationship, at least.  Contrast with the photos of Diana flinging herself at her sons as they ran gleefully to meet her after a much shorter trip abroad.

Nowadays, people would look askance at any parents who left their kids for months at a time while doing stuff like ribbon-cutting and meeting the locals.  Kate and Wills have taken their kids on multiple trips abroad, although they have also gone solo.  They also specifically plan some of their tour activities to include their kids, so we get PR shots of George at the zoo or both kids on a helicopter.  Their kids were also born in hospitals and attend regular schools like other kids and, when Kate and Wills take extended trips, Kate's parents often take care of them at their home.  That would've never been done a couple generations ago.  Of course, Prince Philip's mother had some rather significant mental health issues while Diana's father and his wife were not known for their interest in spending time with their grandkids; so it was also probably situational.

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On 1/3/2017 at 2:01 PM, Winston9-DT3 said:

Yeah, exactly.  Her saying she envied Margaret's life or wished she could be an anonymous English country wife was about all we've seen to suggest she may have had any misgivings at all about her kids.  I guess there was no real reason the kids couldn't have been with them on a lot of their travels so it was largely just a cultural thing.  

I don't follow the royals at all but don't the latest batch with young 'uns (I guess their names are Kate and William, which I had to look up) take the kids along on various travels often?  

Well, there are prohibitions about direct heirs traveling with their heirs, in case the plane crashes or some other calamity happens and suddenly 1-3 heirs are wiped out at once. So Elizabeth could never have been on the same plane as Charles and Anne. Beyond that it was thought that continuity was best for the children. Why uproot them for a months long tour? As has been stated at that time and with members of that class, parents just were not as hands on as they are nowadays. My parents and his siblings had nurses (nannies)--they loved their grandparents but that's just how it was.

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1 hour ago, CeeBeeGee said:

Well, there are prohibitions about direct heirs traveling with their heirs, in case the plane crashes or some other calamity happens and suddenly 1-3 heirs are wiped out at once. So Elizabeth could never have been on the same plane as Charles and Anne. Beyond that it was thought that continuity was best for the children. Why uproot them for a months long tour? As has been stated at that time and with members of that class, parents just were not as hands on as they are nowadays. My parents and his siblings had nurses (nannies)--they loved their grandparents but that's just how it was.

I don't know if it was common among their circle but I know it was common in the Royal family. Elizabeth's parents when on a months long trip to Australia when Elizabeth was a baby and had to leave her behind too.

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On 11/11/2016 at 9:38 PM, GaT said:

"I have the kind of face if I don't smile everybody says oh, isn't she cross" The Queen has resting bitch face LOL.

 

Oh my, the hubs and I watched this tonight and I had to pause the show so I could explain resting bitch face to him!  Ha!

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The portrayal of the queen mother is terrible, in my opinion. Maybe I just don't care for the actress, but she's made the character so unsympathetic. I keep thinking of Helena Bonham Carter's clear-eyed, steadfast interpretation of the role. Some of that would have been very welcome.

But perhaps it's the writers who don't care for QETQM. As someone else pointed out, claiming you have no purpose when actually you've been asked to fill in as the sovereign for six months is ridiculous. Especially when you choose to slot your dilettante youngest daughter in your place and don't even stay to give advice and support.

Edited by huahaha
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7 hours ago, huahaha said:

The portrayal of the queen mother is terrible, in my opinion. Maybe I just don't care for the actress, but she's made the character so unsympathetic. I keep thinking of Helena Bonham Carter's clear-eyed, steadfast interpretation of the role. Some of that would have been very welcome.

But perhaps it's the writers who don't care for QETQM. As someone else pointed out, claiming you have no purpose when actually you've been asked to fill in as the sovereign for six months is ridiculous. Especially when you choose to slot your dilettante youngest daughter in your place and don't even stay to give advice and support.

I'm having the same problem its hard to be sympathetic between that getting mad at her daughter asking about her lack of education only to complain about how unprepared her daughter is.  She could be helping Elizabeth adjust to her new role, give her advise and/or filled in for her. She could have stayed and helped Margaret and maybe try and keep her from messing up.  There are things she could be doing but she doesn't and then complains.

Edited by andromeda331
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Oh, Margaret.  Again, I feel for you on a lot of levels, because it sucks having to be separated from your significant other, due to some silly, dated rules and I understand why she wants to break out of Elizabeth's shadow and do her own thing.  But does she have to be so petty about it?  Her pre-banquet speech was charming and I could even look past her dig about not missing Elizabeth as being caught in the moment, but she apparently (off-screen) did things like show up late to events and insult or dismiss so pretty powerful people?  It's like she's trying to screw things up on purpose, but then gets all shocked when Elizabeth gets her the third-degree for it.  It really could be worse, Margaret.  If they wanted to, I wouldn't be surprised if Elizabeth or Churchill could actually send Peter somewhere that is even more unpleasant then somewhere that is simply "boring."  Vanessa Kirby though is still fantastic in the role.

Philip was also at his worst in this one, even if I imagine the trip probably was tiring and exhausting, and probably really didn't do that much to improve the monarchy, despite Churchill's claims.  But, really, he was lucky he only got a tennis racket thrown at him after he made that crack about Bertie getting cancer so he wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.  I'm all about the dark humor, but that was never going to land, Phillip.

Nice to see The Queen Mother get some stuff to do, even if I'm not quite sure it amounted to anything.  I did like the insight into how she felt when her power was suddenly taken away.  Wish that had been addressed more.  But, hey, it looks like the newly retired Tommy might be checking in on her, so yay for any excuse to have him show up!

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Once again, while I agree with Philip in theory, I still want to smack the smugness out of him. He's going on and on about how this is all a show and as long as the titles are preposterous enough, then everything must be fine. This from the guy who CHOSE to marry into the royal family? Was Elizabeth's 13 year old personality so fascinating that he wanted to marry her DESPITE the fact that she was the heir apparent? Uh, no. He clearly wanted the title so he can STFU.

As for his whining about costumes for show vs uniforms being worn for battle, what about all the men in the military who never go into battle? Are they just wearing costumes? It is exhausting to listen to him whine about his petty complaints while his wife is doing things like grieving her father. And the annoying thing is that I agree with what Philip is saying about the old machine rusting beneath a new coat of paint, but I just can't with his condescending attitude about everything. He clearly thinks he's above it all while still enjoying all the privilege it affords him.

While part of me feels for QEQM for feeling useless now that her husband is dead and her daughters are grown and don't need her, I was so annoyed when she said that "they" took everything away from her and put it in the hands of an unequipped girl. Well, whose fault is it that she's unequipped? Who should have better prepared her for this job?

One again, Philip can't even bring himself to be polite when they're on tour. Saying, "Is that it? Can we knock off now?" as they're walking through crowds of local people lined up to see them was so fucking rude. As for his sarcastic remark about whether he would ever get time to pee, hello, that's what you should have been doing while your wife was changing into her millionth dress instead of sitting around making snide comments.

I have no pity for him. Elizabeth was born into this position. There was no way for her to avoid this fate once David abdicated. Philip, on the other hand, CHOSE to enter this life knowing that these would be his duties. If he didn't want to travel the world waving at people, he shouldn't have married Elizabeth.

Don't get me wrong - I know that a tour schedule like theirs is grueling. 57 Australian cities in 58 days? Sheesh. But he was such a sourpuss about the whole trip that when he suggested they skip a few stops, I felt like he was just trying to seize the opportunity to relax a little instead of genuinely wanting to help Elizabeth. What he said to Elizabeth about Bertie smoking was way over the line. He was being cruel just for the sake of being cruel. Not an attractive personality trait, man.

Who I really feel sorry for are Elizabeth and Margaret. They were born into these roles and there's nothing for them to do but accept their roles, but they're both chafing and envious of each other, knowing that there's nothing they can do about it.

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14 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

What he said to Elizabeth about Bertie smoking was way over the line. He was being cruel just for the sake of being cruel. Not an attractive personality trait, man.

 

Absolutely. He’s acting like a petulant child. This is his JOB, being the Queen’s husband. She’s right there with him, away from home, smiling, traveling from place to place, never having a moment of peace.

 What he said about her father (whom she loved dearly) was inexcusable! I’m glad she started throwing things at him he deserved it. 

Edited by Scarlett45
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Since Elizabeth became heir to the throne at a relatively young age and therefore could conceivably be educated to not only be Queen but an educated woman, I don't know why they couldn't do that for both her and Margaret, together. After all, in just the previous generation, the heir presumptive ended up abdicating. If I were that family, I wouldn't have put all my eggs in one basket. In any event, I thought Elizabeth had a good point in the previous episode which kind of carries over into this one. They taught her all about the Constitution and ceremony, but apparently didn't even bother with the most simplistic liberal arts education. I was shocked by that. They were lucky that her personality suited the job, unlike Margaret's. That being said, apparently Elizabeth might have made a great horse trainer or bookie since she seemed to know much more about that than her expert tutor.

Edited by Nidratime
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4 hours ago, Nidratime said:

Since Elizabeth became heir to the throne at a relatively young age and therefore could conceivably be educated to not only be Queen but an educated woman, I don't know why they couldn't do that for both her and Margaret, together. After all, in just the previous generation, the heir presumptive ended up abdicating. If I were that family, I wouldn't have put all my eggs in one basket. In any event, I thought Elizabeth had a good point in the previous episode which kind of carries over into this one. They taught her all about the Constitution and ceremony, but apparently didn't even bother with the most simplistic liberal arts education. I was shocked by that. They were lucky that her personality suited the job, unlike Margaret's. That being said, apparently Elizabeth might have made a great horse trainer or bookie since she seemed to know much more about that than her expert tutor.

Its crazy that they didn't bother to give her or Margaret a real education. George VI has said how unprepared he was when he suddenly ending up King. You would think he of all people would realize how necessary it is to educate both his daughters. Prepare Elizabeth for her future role and Margaret just in case. You would think his own father would have done the same thing. He only became heir after his older brother died.   

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On 2/19/2018 at 8:44 PM, andromeda331 said:

Its crazy that they didn't bother to give her or Margaret a real education. George VI has said how unprepared he was when he suddenly ending up King. You would think he of all people would realize how necessary it is to educate both his daughters. Prepare Elizabeth for her future role and Margaret just in case. You would think his own father would have done the same thing. He only became heir after his older brother died.   

 

On 2/19/2018 at 3:57 PM, Nidratime said:

Since Elizabeth became heir to the throne at a relatively young age and therefore could conceivably be educated to not only be Queen but an educated woman, I don't know why they couldn't do that for both her and Margaret, together. After all, in just the previous generation, the heir presumptive ended up abdicating. If I were that family, I wouldn't have put all my eggs in one basket. In any event, I thought Elizabeth had a good point in the previous episode which kind of carries over into this one. They taught her all about the Constitution and ceremony, but apparently didn't even bother with the most simplistic liberal arts education. I was shocked by that. They were lucky that her personality suited the job, unlike Margaret's. That being said, apparently Elizabeth might have made a great horse trainer or bookie since she seemed to know much more about that than her expert tutor.

I agree with both of you- but I think there was still sexism at play. Elizabeth & Margaret were girls before they were heirs....hence the lack of education. 

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I'm mystified that so many people who recommended this show to me thought I'd love Margaret. I want to smack her almost every time she opens her mouth. She's not half as witty or entertaining as the show thinks she is or needs her to be. Others have nailed it, she wants all the privileges of her position without any of the obligations and responsibilities and I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.

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5 hours ago, slf said:

I'm mystified that so many people who recommended this show to me thought I'd love Margaret. I want to smack her almost every time she opens her mouth. She's not half as witty or entertaining as the show thinks she is or needs her to be. Others have nailed it, she wants all the privileges of her position without any of the obligations and responsibilities and I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.

I'm pretty much in agreement with that. AFAIK she didn't exactly carry her load as a royal of public appearances, etc. She couldn't have if she spent as much time on her private Caribbean island (Mustique), and partying till dawn when at home, as her biographies indicate.

I remember 20 years ago, I was talking with a Brit guy who had been a young sailor in the British Navy in the 1950's, I think it was his National Service duty. He described being mustered to stand at attention on deck for a Royal Visit by Princess Margaret. She walked by him at a close distance. He said her makeup looked like it was applied with a trowel and she looked a bit the worse for wear (I understood that to mean she'd been partying late the night before). He wasn't charmed.

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I enjoy Margaret as a character and Kirby's performance without liking Margaret as a person. I agree that she's not half as clever as she thinks she is and that she's a spoiled brat. 

I suspect every family has a Margaret. . . . 

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Clearly the birth order and differential treatment of the two daughters played somewhat into how their personalities eventually developed, but it is also evident that practically from birth Elizabeth was dutiful and serious, and Margaret was narcissistic and spoiled. Can you imagine if the birth order had been reversed, with Margaret as heiress presumptive? Who knows if the monarchy would have even survived.

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2 hours ago, ombelico said:

Can you imagine if the birth order had been reversed, with Margaret as heiress presumptive? Who knows if the monarchy would have even survived.

The wrong brother was heir in their father's generation; it's how Elizabeth became queen, technically. But the consensus seems to be that even if the Prince of Wales had been willing to marry anyone other than Wallis, he was unlikely to have children. Sooner or later, the throne would have passed to his eldest brother's daughter. And it's true: if that heiress presumptive had been something of another Edward -- glamorous, self-centered, prone to ruining herself -- who knows. Britain might have decided to Crexit before crowning her. 

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My suspicion is that if Margaret had been the heir, she would've probably found herself pinned in the same situation as Edward VIII because she was unfit to rule due to being so impulsive and unburdened by a sense of duty. 

So, I think she would have ultimately been forced to abdicate in favor of her sister. (Even the Peter Townsend thing would've done the trick.)

Of course, the damage to the crown in having two abdications in approximately twenty years of each other is incalculable. I'm sure the goodwill George VI had built up during his reign through the war would've evaporated quickly in the wake of another abdication scandal.

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