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  1. A Scottish deerhound named "Claire" just won this year's National Dog Show. Coincidence? I think not! (Outlander fans, we are legion.)
  2. There were (and are) plenty of things that royals can do to be useful even when they are not an official "Counselor of State." For example the Duke of Kent (a.k.a. Prince Edward, the Queen's cousin) is the president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon) and awards the prize to the winner each year. I'm sure other "second-tier" royals have similar roles as royal patrons to numerous charities and arts organizations. But I can also understand how Margaret -- a princess "of the blood" -- the daughter of a king and only sibling of the queen -- a woman who gave up the man she loved rather than give up her position as a royal -- would find it a cruel slap in the face to see her own prestige diminished just because her nephew hit his 21st birthday. That being said, by the time this happened I have no idea how often Margaret was out in the public "princesssing" (i.e., cutting ribbons and receiving curtseys.) She may have been offended by her change in status (especially if it came with a cut in funding) but she may have also have been secretly relieved that she could now run off to Mustique whenever she wanted (and she may well have been doing that already.) I suspect that Princess Margaret remained very much in the public eye and there were plenty who were willing to fawn over her in return for a bit of reflected royal glamour long after she ceased to be a "Counselor of State."
  3. And yet this was totally in keeping with the era -- a time when Playboy magazine was in it's heyday giving men (and women) warped ideas about what men wanted or were entitled to with regard to sex and with regard to pleasing one's mate in general. I was born in 1961 and I can remember finding a record album at the very back of our family's album collection that had the title "How to Strip for Your Husband" (or something like that). I never spoke of it to either of my parents (some things you just don't want to know) but that sort of thing -- putting on a show for your husband -- was EXACTLY the sort of advice that Playboy magazine and others of that ilk would have recommended in the 1960s and 70s. I'd like to think that things were different in the '80s and later but there's a French saying: "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (which roughly translates to "the more things change the more they stay the same".) So Diana thinking that putting on a private dance performance for her husband would be a thoughtful gift that would please him does not seem far-fetched to me. Nor does his negative reaction -- those two were SO badly matched.
  4. So I'm just sitting there, doing my Pandemic thing (working on a jigsaw puzzle while daytime TV drones in the background) when what name do I hear but "Up next, Sam Heughan." Sam was just on GMA3 (which I guess has something to do with Good Morning America -- perhaps a 3rd hour broadcast later in the day?) Anyway he was promoting "Clanlands," the book he wrote with Graham McTavish. But before he could say anything, the VERY first thing that happened when they cut to him (in a remote location) is that the overhead lights went out. He looked like he was sitting in an empty conference room in an office building -- which may be exactly where he was -- and someone wandering by suddenly thought to himself," Who left all these lights on?" and turned them off. (That guy was a dad-- you just know it.) Anyway Sam sat in the darkened room -- face lit by the screen of the computer he was using -- and talked a bit about the book and then said they hoped to resume filming on Outlander in the new year. Fingers crossed that they find a way to do it, given the Pandemic restrictions!
  5. I think when Presidents and Prime Ministers take a holiday, they are the focal point of all the support staff involved in making that holiday happen. I don't think US Presidents on vacation stop working completely -- they just cut way back, relying on their support staff (some of whom probably travel with them) to make sure anything time-sensitive is brought to their attention. But this episode suggests that when Thatcher visited the Queen there was an expectation (by the royals) that the Prime Minister would leave ALL her responsibilities behind for the weekend (or however long they were invited) and that she would focus all of her attention on her role as a guest of the Queen. That seems unrealistic. Surely the Queen has invited other Prime Ministers before? Surely there is already an established protocol for ensuring the Prime Minister has the support he/she needs to relax during a week-end get away, while still attending to time-sensitive matters of state. I've no doubt that Thatcher was a fish-out-of-water during the visit but I scoff at the depiction of the visit that has been served up.
  6. I also think it's important to remember that when Elizabeth was born she was NOT the heir to the throne. She lived through the trauma of the abdication and was old enough to have some sense of what a crisis that was AND to recognize what a blow it was to the status of the monarchy. I mean, what is the "divine right of kings" if a playboy-prince/not-yet-crowned-king can just walk away from the gig because he has the hots for an American divorcee? Remember too that her father -- a shy man with a speech defect -- was likely hastened into an early grave due to his having to assume a role for which he was ill-suited. (The movie "The King's Speech" depicts his smoking -- which led to his fatal lung cancer -- as having begun as a treatment for his stammer and it likely became a tonic for his nerves as well. In an earlier episode of this show we saw him taking a quick few puffs before going out on the balcony to wave at the crowd.) King George VI repaired some of the damage caused by the abdication when chose to stay in London during the Blitz and weather the storm with his people. Some questioned his decision, especially since the Queen and the Princesses stayed as well but his Queen famously said: "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave." (I'm not sure that quote is her exact words.) She also said -- after Buckingham Palace was bombed -- something to the effect that "Now I can look the East End in the face" (the East End of London having suffered tremendously during the Blitz.) I think it's fair to assume that all that trauma at an early age is one of things that contributed to Queen's remoteness to her children, as depicted in this episode. After all Elizabeth went through with the abdication, World War II, and losing her father/having to assume the throne MUCH sooner than expected, I can well imagine her having a complete lack of patience for Diana's bulimia or Charles' disappointment with his unhappy marriage or ANY complaints aired by her children in this episode.
  7. Yes he was wrong but it's still not clear to me what level of emotional maturity the "child" has. Toddlers are selfish little anarchists (i.e. "the terrible twos"). They think the world revolves around them and no rules apply to them. They are constantly testing boundaries and they do not understand the concept of sharing (or if they understand it they HATE it). Often their first word after Mama and Dada is "MINE!". (I still remember my little niece refusing to let anyone help her with anything, exclaiming "MY do it!") They've named this character "The Child" despite his (?) being 50 years old so, alas, selfishness and boundary testing are likely to be two of his defining characteristics for the rest of the run.
  8. Okay I just read something new about this episode that directly responds to a complaint I had about the ending of the episode. Beth getting out of her car in communist Russia -- ditching her KGB CIA minder in the process -- and wandering around Moscow on foot REALLY bugged the crap out of me. I completely missed the symbolism, even though it was screaming at me via that all-white coat-and-hat combo. She's the white queen now. She is powerful and can move freely on the board like the queen chess piece. But don't take it from me -- I completely missed it. Read the Screenrant article below. https://screenrant.com/queens-gambit-ending-beth-white-outfit-queen-meaning-explained/?utm_source=SR-FB-P&utm_medium=Social-Distribution&utm_campaign=SR-FB-P&fbclid=IwAR1MBBttJEDPA_ZfkOjn-wAcQbcXBUpjGCuaW3uavngH7E96pXBm-1ONqCQ
  9. I'm not gonna lie . . . I'm pretty unhappy with that episode. Back to Navarro AGAIN? Also, the idea of dragging an unwilling participant along on a caper like that seems so ill-advised than I can't get over it. What was the point of bringing the blue dude along? He had no special skills and you can't even say he was the get-away driver because they couldn't trust him enough to leave him alone with the car. And no, Mando, you can't just dump the kid in a classroom like that and just assume everything will turn out fine. Similarly, it's probably a really bad idea to ask a child to assist with engine repairs. I have no problem with the willful suspension of disbelief when it comes to things like cloning and space travel and giant dragon creatures, but when it comes to human nature (or whateverthehelll blue guy is) I expect characters' motivations and behaviors to make sense. And how many times are we going to see Mando hire a mechanic to work on the ship only to have something dubious happen as a result? It's happened four times in the 12 episodes we've seen and 50% of the time the results have been bad. It really is a shame that he was unable to convince that Ugnaught (Kuiil) to come along and be his on-board mechanic.
  10. Thank you! I was sure I recognized her but I couldn't figure out why. I read these books years ago but have forgotten most of the story. So I can't tell if the foreboding I feel in this new city is just a reaction to all the creepy we saw on screen or some vestigial knowledge that bad things, they are a-coming. All things considered, I think it was all on the screen: the recently abandoned city, the creepy kids who attack animals, the stupefied adult at the fountain and -- last but not least -- that creepy smoke-monster cliff-hanger ending. I mean . . . damn. I'm delighted the show is back. I just stumbled across it in the online listing at exactly the right time. As if . . . I was supposed to find it. Hmmmmm.
  11. I'm just now recollecting that the Earl Spencer was not very healthy at the time of the wedding. I think he'd had a stroke or some other serious medical incident and commentators were speculating (prior to the ceremony) that he might not escort Diana up the aisle. Ultimately he was able to do it but -- assuming I'm remembering this correctly -- it does offer another reason why he and Diana's siblings seem to play no role in Diana's life in the run-up to the ceremony. They simply may have been focused on the health saga going on in their own family and been only too glad to leave all wedding-related matters (including the housing and care of the bride-elect) to her "new" family.
  12. WatchrTina

    S04.E10: War

    There's a saying that it is better to love than to be loved. Preferable to be the pursuer rather than the pursued. It seems clear that Charles' attraction to Camilla was stronger than her attraction to him. In fact, it was clear she loved her husband. And Charles -- who probably spent most of his 20's and 30's being pursued by every available aristocratic girl in the land -- probably found Camilla all the more desirable once he realized that not only was she not waiting around for him, she'd actually fallen in love with someone else and married him. That must have made her all the more desirable to him. She was the "one that got away." But her husband turned out to be a philandering jerk so Charles was able to work his way back into her life. Now, in addition to everything else, they had marital disappointment in common. What a pair!
  13. I thought Anne had every right to be hurt by the way the public reacted to Diana as their shiny new princess. From what I have read, Princess Anne is still one of the most hard-working of the royals. She is royal patron of numerous organizations and she shows up for a huge number of public events each year. But back then, when she was a newly-wed with a young child and a troubled marriage, it must have hurt, after all those years of being THE princess (a princess "of the blood", "The Princess Royal") to find herself compared unfavorably with lovely, stylish, princess-come-lately Diana -- especially since Anne knew about what Diana got up to when she was out of the public eye.
  14. WatchrTina

    S04.E10: War

    Oh me too! Isn't it funny the things that one notices? That reminded me of a fact of royal life that has always irked me. There was a time when, in England, having an affaire with the Princess of Wales (or the Queen) was an act of treason, punishable by death. At the same time, being the acknowledged mistress of the Prince of Wales (or the King) was actually an "honored" position in society. I understand it -- the King producing a handful of bastard children would have no impact on the line of succession but the Queen having an affaire could result in an heir to the throne that was NOT of the royal bloodline, and that would then call into question the whole "divine right of kings" that underlies monarchies. But still, that double-standard pisses me off (though, based on Diana's behavior this season, she wasn't too concerned about it.) Well, I'm sad this season is over. I didn't enjoy this season as much as prior seasons and I think that is due -- in part -- to my having lived through the events shown in this season, while the prior seasons were much more revelatory to me. I look forward to Season 5 but, given that they're going to make us wait a year and a half for it, I'm feeling a bit frustrated right now. But I guess if that's how long it takes to brings us all those amazing scenes, filmed in locations that can pass for the real thing, then that's what it takes.
  15. Did anyone else cringe when Anne used the language "In and out and in and out" to describe to her MOTHER the logistics of Diana's relationships with various men? That was a bit on the nose if you ask me.
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