The Crown presents Her Majesty the Queen as imperious, rather than regal. She frequently looks like a snotty, po-faced upper-crust miss, spoilt beyond belief. In life, I don't think that anyone has EVER regarded the Queen in that manner. I suppose that playing a woman who was genuinely beautiful, genuinely regal and had a wonderful quality of deep serenity and composure about her is not an easy ask. But the composure that was present on her 21st birthday, when she made her memorable speech, pledging herself to a life of service for her people, and the extraordinary grace and courage with which she descended from the aeroplane after the death of her father, to greet the waiting dignitaries are the keys to the reality of Elizabeth.
This story-teller has not gone for the actuality . He has looked for a dramatic story. He has attempted to "normalise" Queen Elizabeth, presumably by trying to imagine how a much less extraordinary young woman might have acted in similar circumstances.
He has also tried to imagine how a person of a very different background to Prince Philip might act.
Prince Philip was born a Prince. But his uncle, King of Geece, was put off the throne, the family fled and Philip's mother became a nun. Philip was schooled in Scotland where he would have been whipped by the masters or beaten up by the boys if he acted like a smarty. At 15 he entred the Navy, serving through World War II. In 1952 he was Commander of HMS Magpie.
When Philip married Elizabeth, he did not visit foreign countries with the attitude of a freshman whose only experience of life is cheeking professors and chatting up girls in the canteen. Philip had already travelled the world, been into battle, seen men die and had led others into dangerous actions. Philip UNDERSTOOD the order of RANK. As midshipman he scrubbed the decks. He knew how the Commander of a ship behaves towards an Admiral of the Fleet. In other words, when Philip married Elizabeth, their was NO QUESTION as to whether he would bow his knee, and offer his allegiance. Paying that homage to his monarch was a given understanding from the moment that he started courting her.
1. When this series shows Philip kneeling resentfully in front of the throne AT HER MOMENT OF MOST NEEDING HIM then this is worse than stupid; it is a cruel denial of all Philip's devotion. What right does the film-maker have to do this?
Was Philip REALLY thinking of himself or was he looking at his beloved wife and wondering how he could possibly ease the huge burden of responsibility that landed on her little head with that 4 pound weight of crown?
2. Philip is a military man. So here, in this amazingly stupid scene from the series, he is shown with an elderly Kenyan War Veteran, looking at his medals, saying: "Good God! I've got one of those, and one of those, and one of those!" Like a child comparing Pokemon. Then he looks at the fourth one, a cross and says "Good grief! Where did you steal that?"
The wardrobe department researched Philip's medals. They are exactly right. BUT the scriptwriter and director have it wrong, and the actor looks like a total smug ass. WHY?
The first three medals are ordinary service medals, with two indicating service in WWII and the third indicating service in the African Campaign. Philip would recognise the medals as easy as you recognise a Coca Cola logo. They would not provoke any verbal comment, beyond a slight acknowledgement from the higher ranking officer (Philip).
The fourth medal is a different matter entirely. Every single military person including the Princess, would have noticed the cross on the maroon ribbon protruding from under the string of beads. It would have been more obvious than a blazing diamond in the sunset.
That piece of dull metal is the Victoria Cross, the highest award "FOR VALOUR". Prince Philip, and all the others, would have looked at it in silence, because that is what you do, when you are confronted by a true hero. The idea that Philip, a Prince, and Naval Commander, would make fun of a man with a Victoria Cross is not just farcical, it is seriously insulting to Prince Philip. For anyone to write this sort of stuff without consideration of how a high-ranking naval officer might act, is reprehensible.
I DETEST the fact that this same noble old Prince who has served his Monarch and the people of her Realm tireless, day after day, since the day he entered the Royal Navy at fifteen years of age, until his semi-retirement at 96, can be so misrepresented, at a time when he is so old, and too frail to lay a wreath on the cenotaph for his fallen comrades.
Concerning the suggestion of "oral sex". Many sexual practices now considered "normal" only became so with the publication of books like Alex Comfort's "Joy of Sex" 1960. Previously, many people always had sex in missionary position, wore night clothes, never saw their partner's genitals and made love in the dark. They still managed to have fun! It is most unlikely that Pince Philip would keep his wife from an official function in order to perform fellatio.
There is no justification for this scene. The people depicted are now nonogenarians. Both are in possession of their wits, and capable of being embarrassed, distressed and angered But they are NOT capable of making an open denial that they are being misrepresented, in the matter of whether they would desert a function to have sex. The writer has indulged his fantasies to an extent which is unfair to the two living persons who are involved. I find this production deeply shaming, and opportunistic.