CastleDrama: "The Crown" - Season 1, Episode 8
Previously on Castleholic: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7
The show must go on, could be the title of "The Crown's" episode eight. Queen Elizabeth and her mother and sister must deal with the aftermaths of the death of King George VI. When the Queen Mother can't bear to give a speech in his honour, Princess Margaret offers to do so insisting that she was the King's favourite daughter. She, however, is quickly shot down by Queen Elizabeth after all "I am the head of the family", she says. The tensions between both sisters run high throughout the whole episode with both envying the life the other lives. While Elizabeth checks out some 100 dresses for an upcoming tour of the Commonwealth, Prince Philip knows how the show for a dying empire must be run. "Nobody wants to face it or deal with it, so they send us out on the Commonwealth roadshow," he explains while fitting uniforms. "If the costumes are grand enough, if the tiaras sparkle enough, if the titles are preposterous enough, the mythology incomprehensible enough, then we’ll still be fine." Quite the pessimistic outlook, Your Royal Highness.
Nevertheless, he goes on the three months long tour that is the "Commonwealth roadshow" with his wife - and while they are away, Princess Margaret runs the show back home in the United Kingdom. The Queen Mother convinced Elizabeth to let her sister be the deputy to give her "a chance to shine; she needs to shine, that one." Margaret, however, chooses to do things her own way rewriting speeches et al after she sees Elizabeth deliver a perfectly majestic performance while away. The newspapers love Margaret but she also manages to offend the government as well as her sister along the way.
Meanwhile on the royal tour through the Commonwealth, Elizabeth and Philip are on a gruelling schedule with 88 days of work within 89 days time, but the Queen refuses to cancel any engagement. "What is it you’re trying to prove? What is it you want to hear him say?" Philip says, referring to her father. "'Now, finally, I love you more than I love Margaret'?" Bam - and with that we arrive at the show that is the life of a royal family. When Elizabeth throws a vase and a badminton racket at her husband while he is running out of the living room into the garden, it is also captured by a TV crew standing right in front of the house they are staying in. The couple soon notices and gets back inside the house. After a moment, Elizabeth walks out to speak to the journalists who captured her marital argument. "What would you like me to do for your newsreel?" she asks, offering what she can in exchange for their silence. In a move that certainly wouldn't happen 50 years on, the journalists offer her the tapes without anything in return.
The episode is a taste of what is to come for the royal family in the coming episodes and years. They live life in a fishbowl with every aspect of it being scrutinised. A life where every emotion must be suppressed because a camera may be watching. And also a world, where the media-affinity of a person and the way they manage to present themselves in public is valuable more than the things they actually say and do. Generally, it may be a bit of a filler episode but it still gives you food for thought.