The Crown, episode four

Philip is at the airfield with Peter. He’s about to start to learn how to fly. They cruise around for a bit and Philip even takes control.

Dec, 4, 1952. The meteorological office. They have bad news and to cover their backs they send it to the prime minister. They don’t expect that he’ll read it but that’s on him, not them.

Queen Mary is in poor health. The doctor suggests opening a window but she won’t do it while they are rehearsing. He asks what they are rehearsing to which she replies “my funeral.”

Word of the weather warning spreads throughout necessary channels and Clement Attlee (Simon Chandler) is told about the fog. The incident in Donora, Pennsylvania is brought up and he says a team went and investigated that and protocols were put in place. They weren’t though. It was swept under a rug. He’s told something needs to be done about it.

Churchill is on his way out and Venetia is still there. He tells her to go home. She does and we see her hurry to a cold apartment. She’s bundled and has a heater on. A friend invites her out but she declines. She curls up in bed to read and as she goes to sleep, the fog seeps in.

Day one

London is at a standstill because of a dense fog. We see Philip as well as Venetia and several others open their curtains to start the day. It’s too hazardous to drive so Elizabeth walks to see her grandmother.

They discuss the fog being an act of God and the monarchy is the tool of God. There’s a reason the┬ácoronation will be in an abbey not a government building.

Attlee doesn’t want to do anything yet. He wants to give Churchill time to act, even if its just to mess things up.

Venetia is one of the very few that has made it to work at Downing Street. She talks to Churchill about how accomplished he was by her age and how inspiring she finds him.

Day two

London is more of the same. Venetia heads to work. Churchill meets with Elizabeth and she brings up the fog. He defends his lack of action and she makes a joke about Philip flying. Churchill is pissed. The father of the future king does not have hobbies. This is ridiculous. She defends him, calling it a private matter and none of his business.

Day three

The fog is worse than it has been. Power stations are doing what they can to reduce smoke but it’s unlikely anything will matter at this point.

Venetia helps her neighbor to the hospital.

Churchill heads into the cabinet meeting and they want to talk about the fog too but he snaps and says it’s weather. Nothing can be done about it. There are more important matters to discuss such as Philip.

Venetia talks to the doctor and he says that he and the hospital need money. She says that she will talk to the prime minister and the doctor calls her delusional. She wants to prove him wrong so she hurries out. She gets hit by a bus and killed.

Philip is getting ansty and so he pesters Elizabeth while she goes through her box of papers. He talks to her about flying and reads her a passage from a book. They are interrupted by a visit from Lord Mountbatten. He is on official business so Philip steps out.

He wants Elizabeth to intervene where Churchill is concerned. There is a national crisis and all he is worried about is Philip flying. She thanks him for the information.

Churchill is informed of Venetia’s death. He is very upset and blows off an important meeting.

Elizabeth speaks with Tommy about what steps she would need to take about Churchill. He says that her father was a stickler for tradition but this is a different situation and she is a different sovereign.

Churchill goes to the hospital morgue and identifies Venetia. While there he is told the queen wants to meet with him. He strategizes and decides to send word he will meet with the queen in the morning and turns his hospital visit into a photo op. He makes plans to fix the fog in the only way he can. He promises money and equipment to the hospital as well as an inquiry as to how this happened.

The papers love it and so do the people. He is called a true leader and when he turns up at the palace to meet with Elizabeth she doesn’t really know what to say. She makes him wait and then talks to him about seating at an upcoming state dinner.

He reports back to his wife about it and she talks to her grandmother. She says that she can’t stand by and do nothing but her grandmother tells her that she must. Any show of emotion is to declare a position, which she cannot afford to do.

Philip takes to the skies. He thinks he can have all his practice hours done in three months because it’s not like he has anything else to do. He suggests a trip to Edinburgh since he is the Duke there after all.

I can’t believe it took Churchill so long to act. What’s with his obsession with the goings on in the royal household? Is it really just because he is that interested in upholding tradition? I’ve heard of the Great Smog but I didn’t realize just how terrible it was. An estimated 12,000 people died when all is said and done. That’s obscene. I figured Venetia would die but I kind of expected her heater to catch fire so the bus thing came as a shock to me.

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