The Crown, episode five

May 11, 1937. Young Elizabeth helps her father rehearse and learns a bit about the coronation in the process. She joins him when he tries on the crown and then it is her trying on the crown with Charles and Anne looking on.

Elizabeth takes the crown and practices walking around in it. She goes to show Philip but he’s out flying again. Later that night she talks to him about his flying and then asks him to join her coronation committee as chairman. She wants to spend more time with him but he is hesitant.

They go to the ballet and he tells her total control or nothing at all. She agrees but tells him not to go crazy. These are ceremonies steeped in centuries of traditions.

The Duke of Windsor and his wife the Duchess are interviewed and giving a tour of their home. He talks about suits and soap before they make their way to his private room where he meditates for a few minutes each day. It is full of mementos from his royal life, his box and all sorts of pictures of him as king. None with the crown though because he was never coronated. Later that night he talks about another trip to London.

Elizabeth calls a meeting to let those involved know that Philip will be chairman of the coronation with full autonomy. They argue that it is the Duke of Norfolk’s job but she says that her decision stands. Afterward Tommy and the queen mother discuss their other issue, the Duke of Windsor. He will be arriving that day and meeting with Tommy the following day. She tells him to be ready because the Duke is tricky.

He visits his mother and writes to his wife about her declining health. He doesn’t think she will ever go outside again. He is later told that the archbishop would like to speak with him. Since he isn’t king, he now has to go to him.

It’s an ambush. Tommy is there as well as another member of the coronation committee. They try to dissuade him attending the celebration but he insists he will. They make sure he knows that as direct family he is invited, his wife however is not. The duke wants to let bygones be bygones but they aren’t having it so he turns malicious and rips on his late brother’s widow before commenting on his brother himself.

He asks if he can write a statement to be given to the queen and maybe make a resolution that no past monarchs can attend coronations, to save face. Tommy says he will mention it to the majesties before the archbishop interrupts with news that Queen Mary died.

The duke writes to his wife about the family descending to call dibs on her possessions and how angry he is that he has to be there without her by his side.

At the funeral, Philip runs a commentary on how identical it is to her father’s, including the guest list. He says the coronation won’t be like that. It will represent a new era and a fast-changing world.

He reports to his first day as the chairman of the coronation committee and expounds his radical new ideas, including televising the event. The old guard is not amused. They think that he was only appointed for the sake of the queen’s marriage and Churchill brings it up to Elizabeth.

Philip wants to change the text and Elizabeth asks Churchill his opinion bur he responds that it is up to her. She goes to see Philip at the Abbey and talks to him about why he’s doing what he’s doing. They negotiate and she will back him up on televising the ceremony if he will kneel. He doesn’t want to. They argue about the importance of his kneeling for his Queen and God.

The day of the coronation the Duke and his wife hold a viewing party. He explains the proceedings and who is in attendance to his friends. He describes it as magic and seems a bit choked up while he watches.

At the ceremony, things go as planned and Philip kneels before her, declaring her will serve her so help him God.

The Duke spends time in his meditation room watching the ceremony alone and then goes outside and plays the bagpipes.

Tommy was a jerk to Peter earlier in the series but I loved him standing up for the late King. I really don’t know anything about the Duke that abdicated other than the fact that he abdicated. I’m thinking maybe I should read up on that. He seems so angry all the time but maybe he’s just sad. Philip just has to keep fighting tradition at every corner. He has to see that some of it is good.

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