The Crown, episode seven

Windsor Castle 1940. The princesses are receiving etiquette lessons. When that lesson ends, Elizabeth reports to Eton for more education on government.

The Soviet Union successfully tests an H-bomb. Elizabeth talks to her mother about wishing she had received a more formal education in addition to learning about her place in the monarchy but it’s too late for all that now. Tommy comes in to tell Elizabeth that Churchill is there.

While they walk to meet him, Tommy shares that it is his retirement year and that the transition will happen smoothly because a deputy has been trained. She thanks him for his service and comments on working with Martin again but Tommy says that he is the junior deputy so it is not his job. She requests it be made his job.

Churchill gets down to business. Britain needs to secure peace with the Soviets. He has to explain the specifics of how they plan to proceed. Churchill wants a summit with Eisenhower to try and bring Russia back into the fold and he’s sent Anthony to handle arranging that. Elizabeth questions that because as she’s heard, Anthony is in bad health.

On the flight across the Atlantic, Anthony and his aides discuss Khrushchev’s plans as well as his alleged nuclear readiness. Anthony has some sort of episode and needs one of the aides has to administer a shot of some sort to help him. They arrive in DC and a US representative is brought out to meet with him. He finds Anthony asleep on the couch with blood on his sleeve. Quite the metaphor.

Elizabeth summons Martin to offer him the position of her secretary. He points out that that would break protocol but she doesn’t care. He asks if he can do anything for her. She says no but before he leaves she changes her mind. She would like a tutor, one with a sense of humor.

Anthony and Churchill talk over the phone. Anthony needs a gallbladder surgery so he will be staying stateside for the procedure, not at the summit. Churchill tells him that is unacceptable and after much pushing admits he needs Anthony there. Anthony doesn’t relent though.

True to his word, Martin sends a Professor Hogg (Alan Williams) to the palace to consult with Elizabeth about her education or lack there of. After there meeting she confronts her mother about it and she tells Elizabeth that she has no right to cast stones in that respect. She tells her to accept her limitations in life.

Martin takes his wife Mary (Jo Herbert) to see where there new residence would be. She is delighted.

Churchill has had a stroke and wants to hide it from the queen. He will send word that he can’t make their weekly briefing due to the flu. More importantly, he can’t fly so he has to find a way to lure Eisenhower to London.

The plan is made to invite Eisenhower to a state dinner at the palace. That way he can come to the dinner and meet with Churchill. Elizabeth agrees to it.

Tommy is hurrying to make the arrangements but Michael Adeare (Will Keen) stops him to complain about Martin getting the job that would be rightfully his. Tommy calls Martin to his office and tells him mind his place.

Elizabeth meets with Hogg. He has planned a more general lesson but she requests a new one, on Eisenhower, to prepare for the dinner. Hogg doesn’t have much information readily available so he asks for 24 hours to plan it.

Churchill and his wife discuss telling the queen about his health and he is adamant that she should not know. He receives word that Eisenhower is coming that he gets so excited he has another stroke.

Elizabeth is reading up on Eisenhower when she receives word that he won’t be able to come. She’s relieved. Martin also tells her that he has to decline the post of private secretary. She goes to have words with Tommy and he fights back because it is the protocol. He says that ultimately it is up to her.

The prime minister’s secretary is brought to the palace. Elizabeth had him as her private secretary prior to Martin so she wants his opinion but he thinks he is there because she knows about Churchill’s strokes so he apologizes for not telling her. She admits she didn’t know but now that she does it is far more important.

She talks to Hogg about it and shares that these bright intellectuals intimidate her so she plans to do nothing. He tells her she has integrity so she should do what is right, summon them and give them a good dressing down. Before she can though she has the property torn apart looking for her notebook from her Eton schooling days.

Lord Salisbury (Clive Francis) is brought in first and told that he has inhibited the work of the crown and that she couldn’t do her duties because of him. Churchill is next. She tells him that it feels like a betrayal of trust for not just the institutions they represent but on a personal level as well. She asks him if he is well enough to serve, and before he can answer tells him to consider her rank, not age and gender, when answering. He says that he is not done yet but will be soon.

Elizabeth goes back to her quarters and finds Philip preparing for a state dinner that has been cancelled. They talk about what he’s been up to because he’s been away from the palace quite a bit and then he gets flirty and she blows off a meeting with Michael.

I felt really bad that she was apparently intimidated by Churchill and the other dignitaries that she was forced to deal with because she never had a formal education. I’m glad she saw that she could still hold her own with them, especially when they were in the wrong. I love her scenes with Hogg. He amuses me to no end.

 

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