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S03.E02: Margaretology

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Well, she didn't stay a child forever. It's not like there weren't options for education available. Or things to put her mind to.

The way she is portrayed in the show, she keeps reminding me of those teens whose main goal in life is to be "a star". Not to be particularly good in anything, but to get adoration from the world. I never quite "got" this mindset. I mean, yeah, we all would like to be famous or to leave our mark on the world somehow, but I never got people who are more interested in the applause than in the quality of their own skills or just in doing something they enjoyed.

And even if Margareth was really into getting attention, why not pick some cause and then put her energy behind supporting it? Or do something which would gain her attention. I mean, compare this with Anne,

Spoiler

who served as equerry (guess she could be what her mother was never allowed to be), got attention for her successes in sport, and is now taking over a lot of duties from her mother.

Margareth is at the end of the day just a spoiled brat how constantly wants to be in the spotlight.

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I enjoyed this episode.  I do agree that HBC is too old for Princess Margaret however I think they'll catch up soon enough.  I do hope they keep her in the cast through the next time jump.

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On 11/17/2019 at 8:03 AM, 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. 

Oh he did much worse than that when he was in office! As people upthread have mentioned, he had no problem talking to his advisors while sitting on the toilet. He was as crude as could be when he wanted to be - he often used this as an intimidation tactic. But he was an interesting character - he was certainly a bullying SOB much of the time, but was also capable of thoughtfulness and sensitivity. And his observations on the domestic side of politics were often bang on. I'm okay with the actor portraying him, even though he does not resemble him much (save for the way he looks in silhouette).

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20 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

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.

Yep, that, in a nutshell is the problem with Margaret. It might be easier to sympathize with her if she actually attempted to do meaningful things with her money and time, or if she had displayed a kind nature, but she was basically a dissolute narcissist.  Although she resembles her in no way, (other than height) I am supremely entertained by HBC's portrayal of her - she is certainly capturing her personality! 

Edited by Cheezwiz
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15 hours ago, Constantinople said:

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

Yes, if her father had lived, Margaret's affair with Peter Townsend wouldn't happened or at least become more serious than flirtation.

On the other hand, it was just her father who made the most serious mistake by spoiling her too much, in compensation that she wouldn't feel to be in the second place because of her birth. Maybe he could have given her some lessons of her duties like Tommy Lascelles did?  

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Margaret still wants what Elizabeth has, without ever pondering what prize her sister has to pay for her exalted position. Would she really want to read boring state papers every day and to be polite towards endless unknown people?  

Margaret has always wanted all, never been able to give up something in order to get what she wants most. 

She wanted to marry Peter Townsend but didn't want to give up her priviledges and live as a Group Captain's wife. She married Tony because Townsend found and married somebody else and because at 30 she felt that she had to marry someone and there was almost nobody suitable men left, he was excitingly different and sexy and, without really learning what kind of man Tony was and he married her to show his mother.

She is a talented singer but again, she could have pursued a career in musicals only if she gave up her position and lived abroad - and probably she wouldn't have been ready for competion and have mental resources to carry on after disappointments. 

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: abandoned one word and added two in order make more clearly
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On 11/18/2019 at 3:21 PM, jschoolgirl said:

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.

It's funny reading American viewers being upset at bad American accents and complaining about the casting for this British show when most American productions are incapable of casting proper actors who actually speak the language they are supposed to be speaking. For instance, casting Québéquois actors to portray French people or simply having Americans portray various nationalities while speaking English with an "accent" (why? just why?). I guess when the tables are turned, it's jarring, right?

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Don't get me started on when they feature people speaking in a foreign language...there is a reason why Germany dub ALL the actors, including the ones which supposedly speak German.

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To be fair, when American actors attempt British accents and do them less than perfectly, they usually end up getting ripped to shreds. I think it's only fair to subject them to the same standards!

I'm amazed at how the makers of this show will spend an absolute fortune on making sure that certain costumes and certain sets are perfect - and yet they'll be so slapdash about other types of details. How on earth did they think it made sense to set this episode's flashbacks in 1943?

That was roughly around the time Elizabeth was working as a mechanic during WW2. She looked young enough to be playing with an old-timey Easy-Bake Oven instead.

And even if they'd set those scenes earlier, it would still have been painfully obvious to even a young Elizabeth that she couldn't just duck out of the line of succession. If the writing decisions were up to me, and I felt like we really needed to explore this territory yet again, I would have had a (very young) Margaret ask if she could be queen, in spite of Elizabeth telling her it was impossible.

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On 11/17/2019 at 4:18 PM, 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.

I'm with you when it comes to HBC.  So the opinion is not unpopular for this poster.

On 11/18/2019 at 1:17 AM, swanpride said:

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.

Since her job is to be a dignified puppet, I think Elizabeth has been fairly competent at her job. I'm not sure what type of constitutional roles the Scandinavian royalty are set up to perform, so I don't know enough to compare her with any of them. She seems particularly powerless, imo.

On 11/18/2019 at 5:25 AM, Roseanna said:

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."

I think some of it may have been a power play - being so crude is a way to have people underestimate him by making assumptions about his intelligence - and definitely a way to keep people off balance and gain the upper hand.

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2 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

I think some of it may have been a power play - being so crude is a way to have people underestimate him by making assumptions about his intelligence - and definitely a way to keep people off balance and gain the upper hand.

A Finnish diplomat, Max Jakobson, who prepared LBJ's visit in Finland and then followed all od it wrote that the Vice President only wanted to make an impression to the home audience, but the visit couldn't offer anything for this purpose. 

Jakobson ended his story by saying that the relationship between Finland and the US were so good that they couldn't be weakened even by the VP's visit.

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Well, this is my third favorite episode for the season, after the two Wales episodes.

I loved Kirby in the role, but I'm not unhappy with HBC at all, and I love her vitality and verve.  She shone in this one, and brought some VERY MUCH needed fun to this season.

Margaret, Charles, and Anne are saving this one for me.  I'm not saying Kirby wouldn't have done as well, but I do doubt she would have done better.

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Yep, that, in a nutshell is the problem with Margaret. It might be easier to sympathize with her if she actually attempted to do meaningful things with her money and time, or if she had displayed a kind nature, but she was basically a dissolute narcissist.  

Could be worse...she could've been as mean as Bellatrix LeStrange! 😉

...I'll show myself out...

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I find HBC's acting not unlike that of Patty Duke's in 'Valley of the Dolls' which, oddly enough, was released in 1967. Also, Olivia Coleman at times reminds me of Carol Burnett. It's kind of a wonky ride, this season of The Crown.

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I think Margaret could relate to LBJ as he was also an outsider his comments about why he wasn't going to accept the shooting invitation said it all and was understandable too. Margret picked up on that feeling at the dinner and played to his working class roots. 

I don't see her as a great diplomat though as she seems to only have one speed she just got lucky really. 

I think the conversations between the young Liz and Marg were more for our benefit than anything else. I am skeptical as to whether or not they really happened. 

I don't like HBC in general and I don't think she was a good choice for the character. I am also still a little bemused as to why they just couldn't age up the existing cast. Obviously the children would have to played by older people at some point but the adults could have remained, 

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I think that Margaret kind of likes being angry and bitter about being the Not Queen. She just seems like the type who isn’t happy unless she’s complaining about something. 

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Just now, tennisgurl said:

I think that Margaret kind of likes being angry and bitter about being the Not Queen. She just seems like the type who isn’t happy unless she’s complaining about something. 

I just can't get into Margaret. She does seem like a bit of a Debbie Downer.  Everyone on this show is just one *thing* from being the queen. If it really is true that she spent her life essentially being a green eyed monster I feel bad for her and get annoyed at her mother for not checking her earlier and making her daughter do something productive with her life but I am getting tried of the show sort of making it as if Margaret had a legitimate beef. 

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On 11/17/2019 at 7:18 PM, 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.

I agree and really miss Vanessa Kirby. This episode especially really made me wish they kept the other cast for season 3.

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3 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I think that Margaret kind of likes being angry and bitter about being the Not Queen. She just seems like the type who isn’t happy unless she’s complaining about something. 

Exactly.  In spite of that, I thought this episode was pretty entertaining.  I'm not feeling Olivia Coleman as QEII, though.  I usually like her, but she seems less real than Claire Foy.  Claire could do a lot with an eyeroll or just an eyebrow lift.  Plus, they've got OC looking more dowdy than QEII looks at 90. 

Clancy Brown was even worse casting than the guy who played JFK.  Brown didn't sound a thing like LBJ.  If they couldn't get a real Texan, they should have used a Brit.  Usually, British actors fake southern or Texas drawl better than American actors do.

Edited by Magnumfangirl
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10 hours ago, Blakeston said:

How on earth did they think it made sense to set this episode's flashbacks in 1943?

That was roughly around the time Elizabeth was working as a mechanic during WW2. She looked young enough to be playing with an old-timey Easy-Bake Oven instead.

That was so bizarre, that I actually wondered if they made an whopping error on the title screen - I wonder if it was meant to say 1933 instead of 1943? Anyone who knows anything about their timelines knows the princesses were almost grown up during WWII. Maybe this is the Crown's version of the accidental Starbuck's coffee cup visible in that GoT episode!

7 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Could be worse...she could've been as mean as Bellatrix LeStrange!

I think at times Margaret was capable of being much meaner!

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This episode was very entertaining, but perhaps short on historical accuracy and maybe overly sympathetic to Margaret. Regarding historical accuracy, while its certainly true that Margaret and company traveled to the US and met with Johnson, its far less certain what, if any, effect her visit had on any change in US policy toward the UK, This episode portrays her visit as the singular reason President Johnson recanted his hostility toward the UK and approved the IMF loan sought by the UK. Also, Johnson is portrayed as a pliable buffoon susceptible to the charms of the British princess. Johnson was a master at manipulating others and it is hard to see him as being so easily and openly manipulated here by Margaret. He had many flaws, but he was not the fool portrayed here. Also, though Margaret was not without her charms, she just wasn't that smart. None of them are, and they are in general poorly educated. They may know what fork to use and which wine is best, but that's about it. While it is plausible that her visit may have played some minor role in Johnson softening his position on some UK-related matter, portraying her visit as the singular basis for the critical US policy change portrayed here is untenable and incredible. See Caro's Johnson books if you want a more fulsome explanation.

Regarding the presentation of Margaret here as overly sympathetic, as a counterbalance to this, I would suggest viewing:

https://youtu.be/GKgGeq-lk98

This is a Tracey Ullman skit from many years ago that is just as entertaining today as it was back in the day. Whatever her reasons for being the way she was, Margaret was, by almost all accounts, insufferable, petty and obnoxious. Too little of that, however, came through in this episode.

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18 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I think that Margaret kind of likes being angry and bitter about being the Not Queen. She just seems like the type who isn’t happy unless she’s complaining about something. 

And if she became Queen she would soon complain about being Queen and very quickly become just like Liz who she always thought wasn't doing it as well as she could.

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19 hours ago, Kfir said:

I think Margaret could relate to LBJ as he was also an outsider his comments about why he wasn't going to accept the shooting invitation said it all and was understandable too. Margret picked up on that feeling at the dinner and played to his working class roots. 

I don't see her as a great diplomat though as she seems to only have one speed she just got lucky really.

Exactly. This was not a master diplomat reading the room and acting accordingly; rather, it was a loud, bawdy princess with no filter being lucky enough to visit a President with many of the same qualities. The presidents surrounding LBJ (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford and Carter) would all have been left cold by her act.

15 hours ago, Magnumfangirl said:

If they couldn't get a real Texan, they should have used a Brit.  Usually, British actors fake southern or Texas drawl better than American actors do.

As an example, Irish actor Michael Gambon was exceptional as Johnson in the HBO movie Path to War (also starring Alec Baldwin as Robert McNamara).

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9 hours ago, ahpny said:

They may know what fork to use and which wine is best, but that's about it. While it is plausible that her visit may have played some minor role in Johnson softening his position on some UK-related matter, portraying her visit as the singular basis for the critical US policy change portrayed here is untenable and incredible. See Caro's Johnson books if you want a more fulsome explanation.

Regarding the presentation of Margaret here as overly sympathetic, as a counterbalance to this, I would suggest viewing:

https://youtu.be/GKgGeq-lk98

This is a Tracey Ullman skit from many years ago that is just as entertaining today as it was back in the day. Whatever her reasons for being the way she was, Margaret was, by almost all accounts, insufferable, petty and obnoxious. Too little of that, however, came through in this episode.

Applause! And YES to all of this! Johnson had a cornpone image in the media, but he was certainly no dummy.  I do think it's possible that he and Margaret may have hit it off, given their outsize personalities, but unlikely that it resulted in an abrupt policy shift. Caro's biography on Johnson is excellent - Johnson was one complicated dude, and historical dramas that feature him often miss this. Despite his often boorish public behavior, he was not the uneducated hayseed the media portrayed him as. He came from a well connected political family, and knew backroom wheeling and dealing inside and out.  If you like American politics and history, he's a fascinating character to read about. Oh, and Ladybird was kind of awesome - too bad she was just in the background in this episode.

Any cursory research on Margaret will reveal that she was just an awful awful person. 

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7 hours ago, Sir RaiderDuck OMS said:

As an example, Irish actor Michael Gambon was exceptional as Johnson in the HBO movie Path to War (also starring Alec Baldwin as Robert McNamara).

Not to take the thread off-topic, but I have always wanted to see Bryan Cranston's portrayal of him in "All the Way" which was originally a stage play. Cranston is a superb actor, and made-up, actually had a significant resemblance to the real Johnson. 

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9 hours ago, Sir RaiderDuck OMS said:

As an example, Irish actor Michael Gambon was exceptional as Johnson in the HBO movie Path to War (also starring Alec Baldwin as Robert McNamara).

Gary Sinise also had an uncredited role as George Wallace, sounding just like Gary Sinise.  The Scottish actor who played Johnson's aide must have listened to Forrest Gump a bazillion times to get the accent down.   

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11 hours ago, ahpny said:

This episode was very entertaining, but perhaps short on historical accuracy and maybe overly sympathetic to Margaret. Regarding historical accuracy, while its certainly true that Margaret and company traveled to the US and met with Johnson, its far less certain what, if any, effect her visit had on any change in US policy toward the UK, This episode portrays her visit as the singular reason President Johnson recanted his hostility toward the UK and approved the IMF loan sought by the UK. Also, Johnson is portrayed as a pliable buffoon susceptible to the charms of the British princess. Johnson was a master at manipulating others and it is hard to see him as being so easily and openly manipulated here by Margaret. He had many flaws, but he was not the fool portrayed here. Also, though Margaret was not without her charms, she just wasn't that smart. None of them are, and they are in general poorly educated. They may know what fork to use and which wine is best, but that's about it. While it is plausible that her visit may have played some minor role in Johnson softening his position on some UK-related matter, portraying her visit as the singular basis for the critical US policy change portrayed here is untenable and incredible. See Caro's Johnson books if you want a more fulsome explanation.

Regarding the presentation of Margaret here as overly sympathetic, as a counterbalance to this, I would suggest viewing:

https://youtu.be/GKgGeq-lk98

This is a Tracey Ullman skit from many years ago that is just as entertaining today as it was back in the day. Whatever her reasons for being the way she was, Margaret was, by almost all accounts, insufferable, petty and obnoxious. Too little of that, however, came through in this episode.

Oh that video was fantastic!

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Tommy Lascelles!

I feel bad for Margaret and Elizabeth because sibling rivalry sucks. It feels terrible to be jealous of a sibling who you also love, and that's even without it playing out in the spotlight.

As much as Elizabeth wanted to make Margaret feel good by giving her something that her sister desperately wanted, as she said in the previous episode to Wilson, it is the queen's duty not to have preferences. Would it be in the best interest of the crown and the country to send her wild sister to situations where she might offend people or cause an incident? Philip usually annoys me, but he was correct when he pointed out that having one successful dinner party was not enough reason to give her that kind of responsibility.

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I'll have more later when I read everyone's comments, but I just have to say, the hats oh the hats.    This was the time period when the Queen, Margaret and the Queen Mother wore the most hideous hats.     The silver thing Margaret was wearing on the plane doubled the size of her head.

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44 minutes ago, merylinkid said:

I just have to say, the hats oh the hats.    This was the time period when the Queen, Margaret and the Queen Mother wore the most hideous hats.

Agree! The show's costumers are really nailing it. This was a really bad era for the female royals in terms of headgear. They all seemed to favour unflattering hats that looked like exaggerated floral swim caps or tulle encrusted poufs that sat on top their heads. I do think the Queen is wearing much more flattering hats these days than back then!

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9 hours ago, PeterPirate said:

Gary Sinise also had an uncredited role as George Wallace, sounding just like Gary Sinise. 

At the risk of going massively OT, Sinise had played Wallace in the earlier HBO film George Wallace, also directed by John Frankenheimer. So his inclusion in Path to War was a nod to that earlier film.

Back to the show: Tommy may have been awfully curt with Margaret, but I could see his goal. There was no way hundreds of years of royal tradition were going to be changed because of the wishes of a couple of gradeschoolers. Best to get that thought out of both of their heads immediately.

Edited by Sir RaiderDuck OMS
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On 11/17/2019 at 3:07 PM, WatchrTina said:

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.)

I'll have to watch again. I didn't get the sense that Margaret and Elizabeth confided to Lascelles, but it's quite possible I'm wrong about that.

It was my understanding that their plan (or Margaret's plan since we may be seeing Elizabeth's reaction through Margaret's eyes) came to light somehow and Lascelles, since he's so good at playing the bad cop, was tasked with telling Margaret to wake up.  But even if that's how it occurred in the show, I'm torn about whether it could have happened in real life. Part of me thinks it's wildly improbable. Part of me thinks the Royal Family so weird that maybe it could have happened.

In any case, I'll use any excuse I can get to see more of Lascelles being bitchy.

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3 hours ago, Constantinople said:

In any case, I'll use any excuse I can get to see more of Lascelles being bitchy.

I've been dying to see more of Tommy and his big-ass Deerhounds watching telly. Too bad this was only in flashback. Hope they sneak him in somewhere else before the season (or the whole show) ends!

Edited by Cheezwiz
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If anyone has any doubts about LBJ's crudeness, here's the legendary recording of him ordering pants from the Oval Office:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RftQDvnyDPE

The funniest thing about the whole matter is that LBJ had every phone call from the Oval Office recorded, and then decided after making each call whether it was worth holding onto for posterity. And he decided that this phone call was worth preserving.

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On 11/19/2019 at 9:02 PM, Cheezwiz said:

That was so bizarre, that I actually wondered if they made an whopping error on the title screen - I wonder if it was meant to say 1933 instead of 1943? Anyone who knows anything about their timelines knows the princesses were almost grown up during WWII.

Elizabeth would have been 16 or 17, and Margaret 12 or 13, in 1943.  They are using the same actresses from seasons 1 and 2, and to me they appear a couple of years younger on-screen than those ages.  

15 hours ago, Constantinople said:

I'll have to watch again. I didn't get the sense that Margaret and Elizabeth confided to Lascelles, but it's quite possible I'm wrong about that.

It was my understanding that their plan (or Margaret's plan since we may be seeing Elizabeth's reaction through Margaret's eyes) came to light somehow and Lascelles, since he's so good at playing the bad cop, was tasked with telling Margaret to wake up.  But even if that's how it occurred in the show, I'm torn about whether it could have happened in real life. Part of me thinks it's wildly improbable. Part of me thinks the Royal Family so weird that maybe it could have happened.

In any case, I'll use any excuse I can get to see more of Lascelles being bitchy.

I've watched this part several times and this is my take.  Elizabeth knew that Tommy was going to deliver the bad news to Margaret.  Indeed, she may very well have been the one to give the assignment to Tommy without even informing their parents. 

Elizabeth was right there in the hallway when the meeting ended, and after Margaret ran past her, she and Tommy exchanged a knowing look before he closed the door between them.  Elizabeth didn't need to ask Tommy what he said that made Margaret so upset because she already knew the answer.  Verity Russell's facial expressions in those few seconds are amazing.  

I will even speculate that this first royal decision by Elizabeth is what hardened her to the job of being the sovereign.  She killed off her sister's spirit and she cannot allow herself to cry about that, or anything else, because the Crown must win.  

*****

Also, I have a rant.  In the episode, right after the bathroom scene, Margaret flies from to Oakland from San Francisco.  Nobody flies to Oakland from San Francisco.  It's only 20 miles, and there has been a perfectly serviceable bridge connecting the two cities since the 1930s.  More importantly, nobody travels to Oakland from San Francisco on holiday.  Nobody travels to Oakland from anywhere on holiday.  There is no there there.  

Edited by PeterPirate
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2 hours ago, PeterPirate said:

I've watched this part several times and this is my take.  Elizabeth knew that Tommy was going to deliver the bad news to Margaret.

Definitely. Elizabeth came up with the idea of Margaret's taking the notion to Tommy, then hugged her sister and got some sleep.

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8 hours ago, PeterPirate said:

Also, I have a rant.  In the episode, right after the bathroom scene, Margaret flies from to Oakland from San Francisco.  Nobody flies to Oakland from San Francisco.  It's only 20 miles, and there has been a perfectly serviceable bridge connecting the two cities since the 1930s.  More importantly, nobody travels to Oakland from San Francisco on holiday.  Nobody travels to Oakland from anywhere on holiday.  There is no there there.  

Margaret took a hovercraft from SF to Oakland (and arrived at Oakland Airport - you can see this in the newsreel footage below)

While they were in the East Bay, they visited Lawrence Berkeley. According to this old article, Margaret and Tony stayed at the Huntington Hotel (the top floor was redecorated for their visit) and some of the places on their itinerary were the San Francisco Club, Grace Cathedral, and Monterey.

I wasn't alive back then, but these days people definitely come to SF for vacation and then come to Oakland and Berkeley. I know several people who have done so in the past decade.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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5 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Margaret took a hovercraft from SF to Oakland (and arrived at Oakland Airport - you can see this in the newsreel footage below)

While they were in the East Bay, they visited Lawrence Berkeley. According to this old article, Margaret and Tony stayed at the Huntington Hotel (the top floor was redecorated for their visit) and some of the places on their itinerary were the San Francisco Club, Grace Cathedral, and Monterey.

I wasn't alive back then, but these days people definitely come to SF for vacation and then come to Oakland and Berkeley. I know several people who have done so in the past decade.

Yes, Oakland has definitely changed since Gertrude Stein dismissed it with "there's no there there."

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Yes, Oakland has definitely changed since Gertrude Stein dismissed it with "there's no there there."

Bur are there still hovercraft???

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10 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Margaret took a hovercraft from SF to Oakland (and arrived at Oakland Airport - you can see this in the newsreel footage below)

While they were in the East Bay, they visited Lawrence Berkeley. According to this old article, Margaret and Tony stayed at the Huntington Hotel (the top floor was redecorated for their visit) and some of the places on their itinerary were the San Francisco Club, Grace Cathedral, and Monterey.

I wasn't alive back then, but these days people definitely come to SF for vacation and then come to Oakland and Berkeley. I know several people who have done so in the past decade.

Frankly, I'm amazed.  They used part of that video in the episode, but cut out the hovercraft and spliced in a shot of an airplane. 

Berkeley is not Oakland.  They would have been cut the travel distance in half by driving from San Francisco to LBL than to use the hovercraft.  My guess is the handlers wanted to use the British hovercraft so it would be in the newsreel footage, and they chose LBL as the destination on the east side of the bay.  Aside from landing at the airport, there's no indication Margaret did anything in Oakland.  

Edited by PeterPirate

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20 hours ago, Blakeston said:

If anyone has any doubts about LBJ's crudeness, here's the legendary recording of him ordering pants from the Oval Office:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RftQDvnyDPE

The funniest thing about the whole matter is that LBJ had every phone call from the Oval Office recorded, and then decided after making each call whether it was worth holding onto for posterity. And he decided that this phone call was worth preserving.

That's hilarious.  After hearing about his nuts and bunghole issue, we can only imagine the tapes he erased.

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There was some terrible CGI in this episode. At first I thought the White House was the US embassy in London. Someone mentioned the lack of portico, and that was definitely a huge omission. The other glaringly bad CGI for me was when the secretary (or whoever he was) met Margaret and Tony at the landing strip in Arizona to catch the plane to Washington. The background was so obviously fake.

I love HBC as Margaret. I don't mind she's too old for the role.

I like that the show isn't shying away from the common resentment Elizabeth and Margaret had for each other. I think Margaret would have gotten bored doing more work for the Crown/government, but I also think she could have been deployed more effectively. There was a lot of baggage on both sides.

The dancing at the state dinner was hilarious. Oh, '60s! 

It was great to see the Hammer and his glorious mustache again.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

There was some terrible CGI in this episode. At first I thought the White House was the US embassy in London. Someone mentioned the lack of portico, and that was definitely a huge omission. The other glaringly bad CGI for me was when the secretary (or whoever he was) met Margaret and Tony at the landing strip in Arizona to catch the plane to Washington. The background was so obviously fake.

That was possibly the worst background I've ever seen in modern television.

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On 11/19/2019 at 8:32 AM, swanpride said:

Was the real Margareth a talented singer?

By all accounts Margaret both played the piano and sang well. She was also an accomplished mimic. She was very entertaining and amusing at parties. A discontented woman who would probably have been discontented no matter what her station in life. She very much wanted to be treated like a princess, and got salty even if old friends lost sight of that and became over familiar.

On 11/20/2019 at 11:34 PM, Cheezwiz said:

Applause! And YES to all of this! Johnson had a cornpone image in the media, but he was certainly no dummy.  I do think it's possible that he and Margaret may have hit it off, given their outsize personalities, but unlikely that it resulted in an abrupt policy shift. Caro's biography on Johnson is excellent - Johnson was one complicated dude, and historical dramas that feature him often miss this. Despite his often boorish public behavior, he was not the uneducated hayseed the media portrayed him as. He came from a well connected political family, and knew backroom wheeling and dealing inside and out.  If you like American politics and history, he's a fascinating character to read about. Oh, and Ladybird was kind of awesome - too bad she was just in the background in this episode.

Any cursory research on Margaret will reveal that she was just an awful awful person. 

I knew intellectually that they had to throw in that dialog about Johnson not knowing what fork to use, but it rubbed me the wrong way. He'd been in politics all his adult life. He knew how to act. That he chose to be crude and vulgar was, as others have pointed out, a power play.

And Lady Bird was a lovely, refined woman who LBJ knew he didn't deserve. I can't see him disrespecting her at a state dinner by behaving so crudely, or her so wholeheartedly enjoying those limericks, oh my god.

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On 11/22/2019 at 2:43 PM, dubbel zout said:

There was some terrible CGI in this episode. At first I thought the White House was the US embassy in London. Someone mentioned the lack of portico, and that was definitely a huge omission. The other glaringly bad CGI for me was when the secretary (or whoever he was) met Margaret and Tony at the landing strip in Arizona to catch the plane to Washington. The background was so obviously fake.

I love HBC as Margaret. I don't mind she's too old for the role.

I like that the show isn't shying away from the common resentment Elizabeth and Margaret had for each other. I think Margaret would have gotten bored doing more work for the Crown/government, but I also think she could have been deployed more effectively. There was a lot of baggage on both sides.

The dancing at the state dinner was hilarious. Oh, '60s! 

It was great to see the Hammer and his glorious mustache again.

Agreed about the CGI.  How can they not do a convincing White House exterior?  Especially with the money they spend on this show.

Edited by benteen
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The most amusing line of the whole season for me was when the PM was reluctantly conveying the dirty limericks from the White House dinner and paused at a particularly filthy line, and the Queen just said very dryly, “You’ve made it this far.” 

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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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