“Never let them see the real Elizabeth Windsor”

Episode Title: Pride & Joy
Original Air Date: November 4, 2016
Episode Number: 1×08

Episode Description

Elizabeth and Philip go on an exhausting world journey. Margaret takes over some of her sister’s official duties and tries to liven things up.

My Review

Oh my God, I think this was perhaps my favorite episode yet of this show. Last episode was a gift in that we got so much Elizabeth, but this one was even better. It focused on the three members of Elizabeth’s famliy: her mother husband, and her sister – and how complicated her relationships are with them due to the added fact that she’s the Queen.

Elizabeth telling the Queen Mother that she’s the one who should give the speech to unveil her father’s statue was a surprise. Of course she’s in the right, but I thought that she would have yielded that speech to either her mother or her sister. You can see in this episode that Elizabeth has fully embraced the true meaning of what it means to be the Queen and being Britain’s Sovereign.

The Queen Mother feels insignificant and unnecessary so she goes to Scotland to escape from it all and ends up buying a castle for a hundred pounds. Now that’s a bargain. I thought it was sweet how the castle’s owner didn’t recognize her and that she never told him who she was because she didn’t want him to fuss over her once he knows who she really is.

And we have Phillip trying to convince Elizabeth not to take on a nearly impossible task of visiting all these countries and cities in such a short span of time. He asks her what she’s trying to prove or more accurately, who she’s trying to prove this to, that she can do it. Shut up, Phillip. Your wife is just doing her royal duties. Stop complaining and keep on waving that hand (even in your sleep).

I was shocked to see Elizabeth throwing things at Phillip when they were fighting and I wonder how bad it would have gotten if they didn’t see a camera crew across the lawn recording everything. Awkward!

I really liked what Elizabeth said to Phillip in response to him telling her that they shouldn’t go to Gibraltar: “I am aware that I am surrounded by people who feel that they could do the job better. Strong people with powerful characters, more natural leaders, perhaps better-suited to leading from the front, making a mark. But, for better or worse, the Crown has landed on my head. And I say we go.”

Meanwhile Margaret is left to act as Elizabeth’s representative and to deputize on her behalf and she somewhat makes a mess of things by putting herself before the Crown. Elizabeth tries to reprimands Margaret and I think this puts even more of a strain on their relationship. Color me shocked when both of them admitted that they envied each other and would rather live in the other’s shoes.

And then we had this exchange, which is perhaps one of my favorite scenes on this show:

“It would help if you didn’t give them what they crave.”
“Character and excitement.”
“Instability and drama.”
“Well, at least I give them something. You give them nothing.”
“I give them silence.”
“Silence is nothing.”
“It’s the absence of noise.”
“Emptiness. Blank page.”
“Which allows others to shine.”
“But the monarchy should shine.”
“The monarchy, yes. Not the monarch.”

Love it, love it, LOVE IT. So well-written and so perfectly acted. And if that wasn’t terrific enough, we got this line of dialogue from Margaret: “Would you consider doing it for me? Just from time to time. Putting a foot wrong. The occasional mistake. Let the side down. So I might not be so inconspicuous a failure by comparison. I’m just asking for a future I can bear.”

That last line, man. That really hit me in the gut and I started to tear up. I finally got where Margaret is coming from and I felt so much sympathy for her after she said that line. Wow. Just wow.

And I can’t forget to mention the two sisters talking about their father and how he would always say “Elizabeth is my pride and Margaret is my joy” and Margaret changes the latter part of that sentence to “But Margaret is my joy.” It’s amazing how much of a difference that sentence makes just by swapping out one three-letter word for another three-letter word.

Okay, I can go on and on about this episode, but I won’t. This review is long enough. Still not over how much I loved this episode.

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