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S03.E02: Margaretology

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While Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon visit the USA, the queen, at the bidding of Harold Wilson, asks them to make a side trip to Washington, D.C. to ask President Johnson for financial assistance for the United Kingdom.

Dropping on Netflix on Sunday, November 17, 2019.

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This episode had a lot of great things going on.  From the return of The Mustache,  to Margaret's fabulous shoes, to the casting of Clancy Brown as LBJ, topped off with great performances from all the cast.

   I do wonder though if there is historical evidence that LBJ conducted state business while taking a piss.  That scene felt off and unnecessary. Yes, LBJ grew up poor in Texas, but that felt too crude. 

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5 hours ago, Helena Dax said:

Wow, this episode was insanely good! Margaret is a fascinating character and I'm often sorry for her.

The feelings and actions of Margaret were indeed very interesting.  When they were young girls, Elizabeth expressed her thought that she would not be able to take over as queen.  Margaret said she would like to do so and inquired if she could.  She was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible for her to be queen.  

After Margaret's trip to America, she told the queen that she did not want any kind of reward for her efforts except for a more serious and involved role in monarchy events.  Elizabeth looked rather stricken after Margaret's request and said she would have to think about it.  After her talk with Phillip, she decided Margaret should not have a bigger role, but was so concerned about what that would do to her relationship as a sister to Margaret.  Elizabeth knows that no matter what the personal/family consequences might be, her first and main duty is to be Queen and her family feelings come second.  Pretty serious stuff and I understand a lot more about Margaret feeling like the vice-queen and having to play second fiddle all her life.  

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2 hours ago, freeser said:

The feelings and actions of Margaret were indeed very interesting.  When they were young girls, Elizabeth expressed her thought that she would not be able to take over as queen.  Margaret said she would like to do so and inquired if she could.  She was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible for her to be queen.  

After Margaret's trip to America, she told the queen that she did not want any kind of reward for her efforts except for a more serious and involved role in monarchy events.  Elizabeth looked rather stricken after Margaret's request and said she would have to think about it.  After her talk with Phillip, she decided Margaret should not have a bigger role, but was so concerned about what that would do to her relationship as a sister to Margaret.  Elizabeth knows that no matter what the personal/family consequences might be, her first and main duty is to be Queen and her family feelings come second.  Pretty serious stuff and I understand a lot more about Margaret feeling like the vice-queen and having to play second fiddle all her life.  

Somehow I can't see the conversation between the young Elizabeth and Margaret ever taking place.  I suspect once Elizabeth knew she would be queen someday, that was it.

I don't see why Elizabeth couldn't have told Margaret that she could have represented the Crown at certain public events.  There was plenty of precedent going back to Victoria, and it's standard for the extended Royal Family now.  They wouldn't be sharing duties, but it would be important work nonetheless.

Edited by Brn2bwild
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Meh. These Margaret centric seem to have a distinct formula:

  • Margaret wants something or to do something
  • Elizabeth agrees with Margaret
  • Somebody tells Elizabeth that giving Margaret what she wants is a bad idea.
  • Elizabeth has to backtrack and tells Margaret she can't have what she wants
  • Margaret resents Elizabeth

HBC is good in her role, but I'm beginning to get bored of her character. I feel like Margaret hasn't gone anywhere new since S1 and hopefully that will change later on in the season.

I didn't particularly enjoy the portrayal of LBJ this episode either. It wasn't outright terrible like the Kennedys episode and Clancy Brown wasn't bad; it just felt a bit hollow and LBJ-by-the-numbers.

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1 hour ago, Brn2bwild said:

Somehow I can't see the conversation between the young Elizabeth and Margaret ever taking place.  I suspect once Elizabeth knew she would be queen someday, that was it.

I agree.  I'm very much enjoying the new season but that whole episode with young Princess Elizabeth telling her little sister to go tell the palace establishment that *she* (Margaret) should be the heir apparent conflicts completely with the the young Elizabeth as she has previously been portrayed in this show.  (It also flies in the face of everything I've come to believe about the real Queen Elizabeth and the notion of duty that was stamped on her character as a result of her uncle's abdication.  But I'll leave aside reality for the moment and just focus on the young Elizabeth who has been portrayed in this show.)  Can anyone really imagine the young girl we previously saw being privately tutored in the finer points of constitutional monarchy at Eaton could EVER have believed that she could just "opt out" of the line of succession?  And even if she did, can anyone imagine her communicating that desire via her little sister to Tommy Lascelles?  IF the princesses had EVER cooked up a scheme of changing the order of succession they would have spoken to their parents, not a member of the King's senior staff (with whom they likely had little if ANY contact.)

So that clunker of a scene spoiled the episode for me to a certain extent.  But that being said, I do love the idea of Margaret and Johnson bonding over their shared, long-simmering resentments  at always being in someone's shadow.  And I can totally believe that they had a shared love of a dirty limerick, which I can assume Margaret inherited from her father -- remember the very first episode?

Edited by WatchrTina
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1 hour ago, Brn2bwild said:

I don't see why Elizabeth couldn't have told Margaret that she could have represented the Crown at certain public events.  There was plenty of precedent going back to Victoria, and it's standard for the extended Royal Family now.  They wouldn't be sharing duties, but it would be important work nonetheless.

The whole royal family has some representation duties and chairs institutions, but there is a strict order of importance. F.ex. the duke of Kent used to award prizes of tennis competition in Wimbledon. 

So, it's not that Margaret could have a role and duties and she no doubt has some although not the most important and glamorous ones. We have earlier seen that in the 50ies she was a vice-sovereign when Elizabeth made a tour around the empire, but failed and Tommy had ask the Queen Mother to step in. But now it's simply too late: her role is going to be less important year by year when the Queen's two eldest children are going to adults.   

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1 hour ago, Brn2bwild said:

I don't see why Elizabeth couldn't have told Margaret that she could have represented the Crown at certain public events.  There was plenty of precedent going back to Victoria, and it's standard for the extended Royal Family now.  They wouldn't be sharing duties, but it would be important work nonetheless.

I don't think that Margaret was asking just to be the Crown's representative at minor public events. Her meeting with LBJ was a unique circumstance. Margaret got to meet with both the Head of State and the Head of Government for the United States in LBJ, which was requested by both the Head of Government (Wilson) and the Head of State for the U.K. (The Queen) for an urgent political purpose. That is heady stuff. The likelihood of another such occurrence would most likely be slim to none, but that level of responsibility is what Margaret was asking for. It would be difficult for her to be satisfied with ribbon cuttings and the like following this. Philip was absolutely correct in his advice to Elizabeth.

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Please stick to the episode; future events, as always, are not to be discussed in the episode topics. Posts have been removed. Thank you.

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I don't like Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. I actually don't really like the actress but decided to give it a chance and... I still would like someone else to play this role.

The episode and the story is quite interesting. I think it was a big coincidence that Margaret behavior at the dinner party with the president was a success. She actually did the exact opposite from what she was asked, so I can see why she was denided "a bigger role". Prince Philip was 100% right. And Tobias Menzies is great in that role. 🙂

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I wonder if Margaret had any inkling about how LBJ was really like.  Otherwise I'm sure she wouldn't have dared...

(I know, this is a fictionalized show of real-life events, and Margaret probably never said the word "arsehole" in public, much less a state dinner, but one wonders...)

I liked HBC, but I really dug the casting of Young Margaret.  She looked a lot like Vanessa Kirby.

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On a completely different note, the way Johnson described he Brits as always looking down on their nose to everyone but then turning up with the begging bowl made me laugh. Not much has changed, has it?

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I did like Helena Bonham Carter in the role.

I think it's because she's just chewing the scenery here, and honestly I think Margaret loved the chew the scenery as well, so it worked for me.

I did keep thinking that Vanessa Kirby must be quite jealous that, though she certainly got to go off the rails as Margaret several times, didn't get to keep in this role, as Margaret's marriage falls apart, and she begins to throw caution to the wind even more than she did when she stood in for the Queen before.

2 minutes ago, JustDucky said:

I wonder if Margaret had any inkling about how LBJ was really like.  Otherwise I'm sure she wouldn't have dared...

Oh I'd be completely shocked if she wasn't thoroughly briefed.

Whether that briefing would have made a single bit of difference to Princess Margaret, especially after several drinks?  Doubtful.  She was famously blunt, as well as famously rude and completely full of herself, even while sober.  

She did love to shine and be the center of attention though, as QEII said in the Kennedy episode "a born Queen, at least in her own mind."

My mother adored her, she fit with the whole 50's/60's swinging "rat pack" vibe of those times, she was cool, she was clever, she was beautiful, and she wasn't stodgy and boring like "The Queen."  Also, she had great sympathy for her being denied her true love, and yes, at least in my American mother's mind, that was her sister's fault.

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

My mother adored her, she fit with the whole 50's/60's swinging "rat pack" vibe of those times, she was cool, she was clever, she was beautiful, and she wasn't stodgy and boring like "The Queen."  Also, she had great sympathy for her being denied her true love, and yes, at least in my American mother's mind, that was her sister's fault.

My elderly aunt - who passed away at 99 in April - felt the same way about Margaret. Her words: "They (meaning the Queen, the Queen Mother, Churchill) ruined her life."

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7 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

This episode had a lot of great things going on.  From the return of The Mustache,  to Margaret's fabulous shoes, to the casting of Clancy Brown as LBJ, topped off with great performances from all the cast.

   I do wonder though if there is historical evidence that LBJ conducted state business while taking a piss.  That scene felt off and unnecessary. Yes, LBJ grew up poor in Texas, but that felt too crude. 

Yup, just search the web for "Lyndon Johnson vulgar", he was really like that and also gave a nude press conference on Air Force One (at least) once:

https://www.cnn.com/2016/02/29/politics/most-historic-air-force-one-sam-26000/index.html

Margaret's story lines feel repetitive but I'm not sure how much the real Margaret ever really grew up, so the writers might be a little stuck?

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7 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

This episode had a lot of great things going on.  From the return of The Mustache,  to Margaret's fabulous shoes, to the casting of Clancy Brown as LBJ, topped off with great performances from all the cast.

   I do wonder though if there is historical evidence that LBJ conducted state business while taking a piss.  That scene felt off and unnecessary. Yes, LBJ grew up poor in Texas, but that felt too crude. 

I had my doubts when I heard Clancy Brown was playing LBJ, but he was really good. 

I've seen a couple of movies about LBJ (one with Woody Harrelson and one with Bryan Cranston) and in each of them he carried on business while sitting on the toilet with the door open to his office.  It's too specific a thing to have been made up.  By comparison, this was tame.  

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2 hours ago, lorbeer said:

I don't like Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. I actually don't really like the actress but decided to give it a chance and... I still would like someone else to play this role.

I agree with you, and while I'm sure this is an unpopular opinion, I really don't care for HBC in the role either.

Full disclosure: I've never really been a fan of Helena Bonham Carter, but aside from that, HBC's just way too old for the role, at least at this point. Princess Margaret was only 35 at the time of her visit to D.C.  HBC is 53 and IMO looks her age. Also, this may sound shallow, but it's also the truth: Part of Margaret's charm was her beauty. Just my opinion, but HBC, neither now nor when she was 35, is enough of a beauty to effectively portray Margaret's charms. And, like a few others, I think her performance is OTT.

More than any of the other actors, the one I miss the most is Vanessa Kirby. I definitely wasn't expecting that to be the case.

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Read anything about LBJ and you will quickly realize he was just that crude.  An example:  he would make people report to him as he was on the toilet having a bowel movement.  

I'm not a big fan of the re-casting.  Both Margaret and Elizabeth seems years older than they actually were at this point.  

When Margaret said she had nothing to do, I thought someone might suggest she spend some time with her children.  They would have been very young at this point.  

The scene with a young Elizabeth telling Margaret that she tell Lascelles that Margaret should be Queen was completely ridiculous.  Didn't the time stamp say 1943?  Elizabeth would have been 17 then, not the young child as she was portrayed.

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23 minutes ago, Calvada said:

I'm not a big fan of the re-casting.  Both Margaret and Elizabeth seems years older than they actually were at this point.  

Yeah, I have to agree, at least for this season it almost seems that it would have been better to use the original cast.  It's pretty easy to make people look older, harsher lighting, a few wrinkles, a bit of padding perhaps.  By next season I'd think they'd have to recast, but...

Honestly, I looked my very best in my early and mid forties, but maybe it's more of today's world bias?  It long stopped that women were "over the hill" at that age.  BUT, at that time, they pretty much were, so perhaps that's the reason.  

Still Colman is certainly close to the "right" age for this. 45., but HBC is definitely too old to be Margaret, even though I think she looks great and certainly seems to have captured Margaret's spirit well.  Margaret drank quite a bit, and that can age one.

Margaret in 1966, and several more at this link from that time period:  https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/princess-margaret-1966?mediatype=photography&phrase=princess margaret 1966&sort=mostpopular

24th-march-1966-princess-margaret-arrivi

Edited by Umbelina
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I wasn't impressed with the choice made of the actor who played LBJ.  I was 10 when Kennedy was assassinated and remember the Johnson Presidential years very well. He was very rough and crude for sure.  And what is it with British casting not being able to cast someone with the correct American accent? Kennedy was awful, Jackie wasn't much better, but Johnson is the worst.  At this time period Texans (especially ones who grew up poor) still had heavy twangy accents.  The actor playing LBJ sounds practically urbane compared to the real LBJ.  Just something that irritates me.  Along with changes in characters eyes from childhood to adulthood...  (I cant get over that!) 

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14 hours ago, Helena Dax said:

Tobias Menzies is amazing as Philip. My new theory is that he's the spiritual heir of Alan Rickman.

Yes!

giphy.gif

Two days ago I texted, "Though we've lost Alan Rickman, we still have Tobias Menzies to smolder from the brains on down."

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13 minutes ago, stcroix said:

At this time period Texans (especially ones who grew up poor) still had heavy twangy accents.

Having an entire side of the family that has been in Texas since the early 1900s, not a single one from that time period spoke with a heavy, twangy accent.  Mind you, there was some twang, but nothing too heavy.  And yes, they were from Dallas, but it was not the city it is today.     

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21 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Having an entire side of the family that has been in Texas since the early 1900s, not a single one from that time period spoke with a heavy, twangy accent.  Mind you, there was some twang, but nothing too heavy.  And yes, they were from Dallas, but it was not the city it is today.     

On rereading my post I realized I left out that I am a native born and bred Texan and my family has been living in different parts of Texas since 1810 (my husband does genealogy)  I certainly wasn't cutting Texans and hope you didn't think I was! 🙂 I don't know how old you are-- I'll admit to being 65-- and I remember how Texans spoke with a much heavier accent back then than now.  With all the people moving in adding their accents (or no accent) to ours I know we sound much less 'twangy' nowadays. Again, hope I didn't offend you-- now back to the show! 

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LBJ casting didn't bother me nearly as much as the American cast for The Kennedys, which didn't get anything right, both JFK and RFK sounded and acted like thugs, and while the actress playing Jackie grew on me, she was not a hit either, not to mention the idiocy of them getting the whole thing wrong with the introductions to the Queen.  

I think the no curtsy in public, or head bow may have been accurate though, there used to be, and perhaps still is, a general objection to American leaders bowing to show deference to the government we fought and died to overthrow.  That actually might have been a discussion had before they went, and a deliberate choice.  Jackie doing it in private at Windsor Castle was fine, but not at a public occasion.

LBJ had the bluster and enough of a twang for me, and he certainly looked the part.  I was fine with him.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: s
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I know that it is kind of difficult to handle some of the characters, because they are quite static, but really, we covered the whole "little sister jealously" thing extensively already. Why not focus more on her marriage? Instead the marriage is pretty much forgotten then moment she is called to this meeting.

Though, for the record, I have a hard time to believe that Johnson would just give in and spit out the money just because he liked Margareth. Did that really happen?

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54 minutes ago, swanpride said:

I know that it is kind of difficult to handle some of the characters, because they are quite static, but really, we covered the whole "little sister jealously" thing extensively already. Why not focus more on her marriage? Instead the marriage is pretty much forgotten then moment she is called to this meeting.

Maybe Margaret never got over the jealousy, I think that may be the case, that it was a lifelong resentment, along with refusing to allow her to marry Townsend unless she gave up her title and income.

Anyone who knows anything about Margaret's marriage, (and honestly, who doesn't?)  knows it's

Spoiler

too juicy and racy not to be exploited or explored in upcoming episodes.

  At least I'd be shocked if it's not.

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Eh, I have looked up the story with Townsend, and apparently THAT story was mostly made up by the show. Apparently they simply drifted apart on their own. Plus, they could portray the resentment without making it the main theme of an episode. Exploring her marriage would at this point be more interesting.

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I dont know how much of this was based on true events, but from what I have heard about them, I can totally see Princess Margaret and LBJ hitting it off. The bathroom thing was totally a thing he did, his whole imagine was very based around being a rough and tumble Texas good old boy who has a LOT of off quirks, like telling dirty jokes at state dinners, taking meetings in the bathroom and his bedroom, and carrying his dog around by the ears during press conferences. It is kind of funny how much they play LBJ as being self contiguous about being compared to JFK, especially as JFK was so sophisticated while LBJ was so down home, when in the (pretty awful and bizarre) episode last season about the Kennedy's had tons of bits about how informal, unused to British formalities, and weird the Kennedy's were. This version of LBJ was certainly a LOT, but he was certainly an improvement on that episode. I can definitely see brash, sassy Margaret being the kind of royal that LBJ would have liked hanging out with.

Princess Margaret is someone I both feel bad for, and frequently get annoyed with. It does such that for all of her intelligence, charm, and desire to be the center of attention, Margaret was always going to be sister of the Queen, and she was stifled by both having tons of duties, and yet nothing really substantial to do, where she felt she was wasted and not intellectually challenged. At the same time though, Margaret did have some options, like being more involved in charity or the arts or planned events or any of the other many things that non major rulers spent their time doing. But she loves being the center of attention and being the "cool, fun" sister, that she wouldn't really commit to doing things where she would have to do more of the nitty gritty planning and working. A Quintessential Margaret moment to me was in I think season two where she was at a bohemian dinner party where she made a big deal about her being there and then told people not to call her Princess and treat her with any of the royal formalities, and then got pissed when people really didnt make a big deal about her being a princess. She wants her titles, but she also doesn’t want to give up her princess perks, despite being the “modern” princess. She wants to be cool and hip, but also thinks that she is the best thing to happen to the UK since Elizabeth I, and wants to remind people of that. Plus, I dont think she has ever gotten over being forced to lose her first love, and that her sister asked her to give him up for the royal family, even though Margaret is bitter about her place in the family. Granted, I do know real Margaret did do some charity work and patronized the arts and other such things, but she just seemed so bored no matter what and, no matter how much she was prepared, confused about her place in life. 

Margaret really does thrive in the swinging 60s, and I can see why even Elizabeth would feel that fun, exciting, extroverted, glamorous Margaret would be a better queen than serious, responsible, quiet Elizabeth, but I agree with Philip that Margaret would be a bad queen, no matter what Margaret says. She is just always gonna be Margaret, no way could she put that away to be the serious face that a nation needs, especially in hard times, or find a way to balance being a person and being a leader. And while getting drunk and dancing might work with LBJ, I cant imagine that working so well with everyone, and I cant imagine Margaret being very interested in the pomp and circumstance of being the queen, at least the way that Elizabeth is. I think that, while Margaret might be more fun at a party, I would want the symbolic leader of a nation to be a person I actually trusted would show up to state ceremonies without a hangover. She has to turn herself off to be the queen sometimes, and I dont think Margaret could do that. 

It was also funny when Philip was saying how the Windsor family always seems to have one responsible quiet relative next to a wild and raucous relative, because its something I've noticed as well!

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HBC was the one I wondered most if I could get used to her as Margaret, after liking her so much as the Queen Mother in the King's Speech. It really didn't take to long. I'm not surprised at all that she and LBJ got along so well. Their both crude enough and bonding over the two people they resented so much.  

Everyone has already said it so much better. Margaret would have made a lousy Queen. She wants all the attention and none of the work. She wants to be recognized, attention and fussed over as Princess and gets mad when that doesn't happen even when she requests it. There's a lot Margaret could do. Join a charity, an arts and do something. She won't because that's work. She can't and won't listen to advise of anyone. She didn't when she stood in for her sister in the first season and not at the dinner with LBJ. The former she thought went really well until it was pointed out to her it hadn't and all the people she offended. The latter only worked because it was LBJ. If it had been anyone else it wouldn't have. Its just really hard to feel sorry for her. She's in her 30s now married with kids and her focus is still completely being the center of attention. She's a spoiled brat who never really grows up.

I'm still ticked they won't show us that evening with Philip, Tommy and the Queen Mother getting drunk together. But I liked what he said to Elizabeth via what Tommy told him. It was well said and true. The dull and boring Kings and Queens lasted in the UK most had a more dazzling sibling or son but created problems and would have made terrible rulers. 

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Well, there is a reason why I consider being "flashy" or "charismatic" an overrated feature for leaders. I prefer "competent". Thing is, I am not sure if "competent" is the right word for Elizabeth either. She is more a living puppet. And if you compare her reign with some of her counterparts in Scandinavia, I am not sure if that would end up in her favour.

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21 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

I do wonder though if there is historical evidence that LBJ conducted state business while taking a piss.  That scene felt off and unnecessary. Yes, LBJ grew up poor in Texas, but that felt too crude. 

I don't think so. LBJ was a talented politician, but he completely lacked manners of a civilized person. When LBJ visited Finland as a Vice President in September 1963, a University rector commented: "Don't bring us any more such vagabonds."

Even the US anbassador paled when he watched Lynda Bird sharing balloint pens with the VP's name and arms in the War Heroes' Cementary.  

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As an American viewer, I found the White House exterior jarring.  Few trees on the grounds, and no porte cochere at the front entrance where the cars arrive.  It was just all... off.  Similarly, the interior conference room scene with LBJ felt off.  The Cabinet Room (where I’d expect such a meeting to take place) looks nothing like the set we saw.  In fact, it looked more like the Residence hallway than anything else.

Now, I know this isn’t a documentary, but it makes me wonder if UK viewers don’t look at some of the Windsor Castle / Buckingham Palace / Downing Street scenes and have the same reaction.

Trivia - Clancy Brown’s father and grandfather were both Republican Members of Congress from Ohio.

Loving Season 3!

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Margaret as queen would have likely been the equivalent of Henry VIII was as king.  "Off with (his) head" if any of her multiple partners or courtiers displeased her.  It would be maddening for "the mustaches" to try to figure out which "Queen Margaret" they were dealing with on any given day.  

But the kid glove industry in Great Britain would have flourished as everyone who came into contact her would have had to be wearing them.

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I loved the first two seasons and was really looking forward to bingeing this one, but I am having trouble getting into it now. I think it is a combination of casting, plot, and focus. First, unlike others, the casting transition has not been seamless for me, especially for Elizabeth and Philip--I keep remembering the previous actors and have a hard time accepting the new ones as the same people. Second, compared with the first two seasons, the historical events do not seem as interesting and do not seem to have as much effect on Elizabeth and Philip. Which leads to my third problem--the focus on Margaret. I'm just not really interested in watching a narcissist and spoiled brat, and would like to see more of Elizabeth and Philip and their children. I'm assuming that will come later, but meanwhile I had trouble staying awake for this episode.

I was a teenager during LBJ's presidency, and I do remember in subsequent years reading about his reputation for crudeness, so the urinal scene is not hard to believe.  But I did find it hard to believe that Lady Byrd (I assume that was who the woman in the green dress was) would be laughing uproariously at the dirty limericks at a WH dinner. Then again, I never really knew much about her so it's possible she was not so "lady-like."

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12 hours ago, stcroix said:

 And what is it with British casting not being able to cast someone with the correct American accent?

The San Francisco reporters shouting questions at Margaret had awful American accents! They were sort of stereotypical "portray a naive Midwesterner in a musical" accents -- made my ears hurt.

Menzies is doing a great plummy accent. I'm glad to see Tommy a bit. I don't know why they couldn't have used the original Adeane and Harry Hadden-Paton as Charteris. They are only picking up one year after we saw Elizabeth and Philip reacting to JFK's death.

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56 minutes ago, Guy Caballaro said:

As an American viewer, I found the White House exterior jarring.  Few trees on the grounds, and no porte cochere at the front entrance where the cars arrive.  It was just all... off.  Similarly, the interior conference room scene with LBJ felt off.  The Cabinet Room (where I’d expect such a meeting to take place) looks noting like the set we saw.  In fact, it looked more like the Residence hallway than anything else.

Now, I know this isn’t a documentary, but it makes me wonder if UK viewers don’t look at some of the Windsor Castle / Buckingham Palace / Downing Street scenes and have the same reaction.

Trivia - Clancy Brown’s father and grandfather were both Republican Members of Congress from Ohio.

Loving Season 3!

Yes! I worked in an administration, and this took me right out of the story. That room where they were having the dinner!!! Horrid. 

11 minutes ago, Paloma said:

  But I did find it hard to believe that Lady Byrd (I assume that was who the woman in the green dress was) would be laughing uproariously at the dirty limericks at a WH dinner. Then again, I never really knew much about her so it's possible she was not so "lady-like."

I agree -- she would not have done that. LBJ did conduct business during his bodily functions. I remember reading someone's recollection of him at his ranch where they were out walking, and LBJ whipped it out (he was fond of referring to "Jumbo") and let out "a stream like a horse" according to the account.

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20 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

I don't see why Elizabeth couldn't have told Margaret that she could have represented the Crown at certain public events.  There was plenty of precedent going back to Victoria, and it's standard for the extended Royal Family now.  They wouldn't be sharing duties, but it would be important work nonetheless.

But Margaret didn't want to do the ribbon-cutting and shaking hands. She wanted to be part of the international diplomacy that the Queen had a hand in. They did give Uncle Nazi the governorship of Bermuda, didn't they? But he, of course, turned out to be Uncle Nazi. Margaret wanted the fun, but not the responsibility. 

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   I do wonder though if there is historical evidence that LBJ conducted state business while taking a piss.  That scene felt off and unnecessary. Yes, LBJ grew up poor in Texas, but that felt too crude. 

RIght? I've read a lot about LBJ (the entire Caro series and others) and he really did do that! Apparently it was to intimidate whoever he was talking to "I'm so important you're going to listen to me while I piss". Reportedly, he also liked to show off what he was packing down there! It was indeed was a true caveman style pissing match. 

I like HBC, and this episode was fun, but it was way too strongly telegraphed with that flashback to them as children. It wasn't needed. Also, I didn't especially notice it but the comments above are right about HBC being too old to be playing Princess Margaret in the early 60s. I miss Vanessa Kirby too.

For a second I thought Phillip was going to explicitly mention Margaret's drinking--but I suspect in that day, that social class (including Phillip himself) they are ALL heavy drinkers. Margaret's wildness probably gets more attention than her drinking per se....but if she wasn't so famous and in such a unique position where servants (HOWLED at "where's the other one? the fat one?") take care of you she might be called a functional alcoholic. 

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This episode simply took my breath away. 

I was apprehensive about HBC at Princess Margaret.  I love HBC, but I just couldn't quite see it, but now I'm convinced.  I think that, as an actress, she's identified by her "stranger" roles, although she really seems to shine in more "normal" roles (you know, ones not in Harry Potter or Tim Burton movies).  I do hope she gets the recognition she deserves for this role.

 I never expected an episode of this show to make my double over with laughter, but the entire sequence that cut between Wilson and the Queen and Margaret and LBJ did just that.  This LBJ may not have been nuanced but it was a home run after seeing the Kennedy's last season.

What really got me was how well the complex relationship between the two sisters.  And none of that was scripted, it was all acting.  I think the show hit the home run with Olivia Coleman and HBC.

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Another great episode.  Strong performance by HBC and Clancy Brown was a lot of fun as LBJ.  I was pleasantly surprised with the latter considering the complete miscasting of Michael C. Hall as JFK and how badly and misinformed they portrayed him.

I know that LBJ is the only president since Eisenhower that Queen Elizabeth didn't host.  Reading online and acknowledged here, LBJ was ill and that's why he wasn't at the Churchill funeral.  He surprisingly didn't send his VP though and the U.S. delegation was represented by Chief Justice Earl Warren.  You can read about it here.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/upshot/churchills-funeral-and-the-perils-of-staying-home.html

The reception was a lot of fun though and HBC and Clancy Brown worked well with each other.  It's unlikely Margaret said something like that about JFK publicly (many of Kennedy's family were in attendance) but I can see her and LBJ saying that in private.

Tobias was tremendous in that scene where he discusses the Windsors.

I think Margaret overplayed her hand.  She should have just thanked Elizabeth and told her she would always be there to help if she was asked.

It was nice seeing the Tommy Lascelles actor return but I can't imagine a scene with Margaret like that every happening.

One other knock...the recreation of the outside of the White House looked terrible.

Season 2 is off to a great start so far.

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Upon reflection, I wonder if Margaret would have felt differently had her father, George VI, lived longer. If he had lived as long as father or elder brother, Elizabeth wouldn't have become Queen until the late 60s or early 70s. Margaret would have spent much less of her adult life in Elizabeth's shadow, or at least the Queen's shadow

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17 hours ago, ProudMary said:

I agree with you, and while I'm sure this is an unpopular opinion, I really don't care for HBC in the role either.

Full disclosure: I've never really been a fan of Helena Bonham Carter, but aside from that, HBC's just way too old for the role, at least at this point. Princess Margaret was only 35 at the time of her visit to D.C.  HBC is 53 and IMO looks her age. Also, this may sound shallow, but it's also the truth: Part of Margaret's charm was her beauty. Just my opinion, but HBC, neither now nor when she was 35, is enough of a beauty to effectively portray Margaret's charms. And, like a few others, I think her performance is OTT.

More than any of the other actors, the one I miss the most is Vanessa Kirby. I definitely wasn't expecting that to be the case.

More unpopular opinions:  

I don't care for HBC in this role either.   Although, I am a fan of hers, I agree with you she's a bit too mature for this role.   IMO Princess Margaret was a blue eyed bombshell, and HBC just does not have that feel to her.  (nor the blue eyes!)  I also agree the performance is OTT.   And thirdly,  I agree about Vanessa Kirby ! I feel she was more Princess Margaret-y; a beautiful/complicated and tragic figure.

I'm not really feeling OC as QE2 either.  (although I ADORE her in other roles!) Only one killing it for me so far is Tobias Menzies, which I totally wasn't expecting !

So funny that her fans were called Margaretologists.  Heh.  

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It's hard to feel sorry for someone who's an actual princess and has the money and fame to go with it. But in some respects I can appreciate how frustrating it must be to know you were one birth short of becoming the monarch. I mean, that's really got to do a number on you.

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit but it does feel like retread. We've covered Margaret's desire to be Queen before this.

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15 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

It's hard to feel sorry for someone who's an actual princess and has the money and fame to go with it. But in some respects I can appreciate how frustrating it must be to know you were one birth short of becoming the monarch.

It also had to do with how little education the Princesses were given. At least Elizabeth got to go to tutoring sessions about the Constitution, and was able to have "tutorials" in the first season. But Margaret, who seemed to have some intelligence to her, was basically "the spare" until Elizabeth married and had children, and was not given any kind of chance to put her energy to use (at least with boys, they'd throw them in the military.)

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A reminder that discussion/mention of future events is not allowed in episode topics. This includes mentioning individuals who have not yet appeared, or events that occur in future decades. Posts will be removed; repeated violations may incur further sanctions.

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