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S04.E09: Avalanche

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15 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Its really a problem with the show that, when they only have so much time to tell a very complicated life story that shoves several years into a few episodes, we kind of get the cliff notes version that is supposed to tell one kind of narrative for the story. This season they decided they wanted to tell the "Charles was only invested in Camilla and is a neglectful husband and father towards sad long suffering Diana" story, especially in the back half, which goes along with the seasons other theme of "The Windsor's are terrible miserable people who cant stand each other" even if the actual story is more complicated. Charles being a good parent and showing him and Diana actually getting along from time to time outside of Australia doesn't fit into the dysfunctional Windsor story of the season, even though from most accounts Charles was a pretty good and involved father towards his sons, and that it was important to him and Diana that they both spend time with their sons instead of just pawning them off on nannies and boarding schools. I feel like so often this show is cutting so much stuff that we aren't getting the whole story, just the angle the show wanted to go with, even if a lot of the things they cut would make for a great story. Which, yeah Charles is certainly at fault for his marriage becoming such a disaster, and I don't even know if he doesn't deserve to be treated like The Bad Guy here, but they seem to be ignoring a more interesting and complicated story for a less interesting and simpler one, which makes for less engaging television. 

You are probably right. But that would demanded that the whole season would have concentrated on Waleses. Would we really managed look at those endless ups and downs of their marriage until Harry's birth? 

That said, there should have been some nuances. One can feel sorry for Diana and still think that it wasn't easy for Charles to live with her. One can understand her jealousy and still think that making a row was the dumbest way.  

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On 11/17/2020 at 4:22 PM, Spartan Girl said:

I’m sure there are plenty of men that wouldn’t have minded the Uptown Girl dance. Okay it did upstage Charles, but Charles is also a needy immature man baby who got pissy about Diana being in the spotlight even when she wasn’t trying to upstage him, like on the Australia tour. Lots of other men would have been flattered and turned on by the dance.

But the Phantom performance? Yikes, that was extra. But she still didn’t deserve the mocking behind her back.

The thing is, plenty of men would have loved the dance because it would have made them more attractive because this gorgeous woman was dancing for him. But Charles was too jealous to understand that she was sharing per popularity with him and not against him.

The anniversary gift - wow they got Andrew Lloyd Webber’s permission to use a song from Phantom! I can imagine the original version was sung more badly than what we saw because it is not easy to sing Christine. 

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There was a little moment where Philip gave Diana a little wink at the beginning of their meeting that made me smile.  It also kind of says everything that after two minutes of Diana being confessional and promising to try (with no reciprocal agreement from Charles) and Elizabeth is ready to declare success and call it a day. 

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I don't think she was a revolving door adulterer. Maybe just that Hewitt guy. 

Yeah, I think that was Margaret being Margaret in her reporting of the comings and goings at Diana's apartments at Kensington.

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On 11/17/2020 at 6:22 PM, Spartan Girl said:

I’m sure there are plenty of men that wouldn’t have minded the Uptown Girl dance. Okay it did upstage Charles, but Charles is also a needy immature man baby who got pissy about Diana being in the spotlight even when she wasn’t trying to upstage him, like on the Australia tour. Lots of other men would have been flattered and turned on by the dance.

But the Phantom performance? Yikes, that was extra. But she still didn’t deserve the mocking behind her back.

I bet you the David/Edward/Duke of Windsor would have loved it! 

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Honestly, I felt like the episode missed a beat there...they should have Charles joining Diana and the children in the pool after staring wistfully at them, showing them to have a fun time together and THEN have the awkward moment with the gift exchange. I think it would have been more impactful if there had been a moment of connection over the children followed by the realisation that they are simply to different to truly make each other happy.

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I guess Uptown Girl must have made an unusually large impact for an American pop song in the UK in the 1980s? This is the second time I’ve seen an English 80s period show throw it in along with all the actual homegrown tunes of the time. (The other show that comes to mind is Ashes to Ashes, which actually did a dream sequence of the music video. That show had a top notch soundtrack, but I can’t think of another American artist they included besides Cyndi Lauper.)

(I know from googling now that Diana’s dance to the song really did happen.)

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6 hours ago, swanpride said:

Honestly, I felt like the episode missed a beat there...they should have Charles joining Diana and the children in the pool after staring wistfully at them, showing them to have a fun time together and THEN have the awkward moment with the gift exchange. I think it would have been more impactful if there had been a moment of connection over the children followed by the realisation that they are simply to different to truly make each other happy.

I agree. I think showing that there were good times in the marriage, would give the audience a better understanding as to why Diana fought so hard to keep it. As it played out here, she just looks sort of pathetic, continually groveling over a man who clearly doesn't want her. 

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9 hours ago, BitterApple said:

I agree. I think showing that there were good times in the marriage, would give the audience a better understanding as to why Diana fought so hard to keep it. As it played out here, she just looks sort of pathetic, continually groveling over a man who clearly doesn't want her. 

Exactly. They shortened the time scale (all was over when they returned from Australia) instead of showing that until Harry was born, there were ups and downs in their marriage. It's probable that Charles was right when he said in the TV interview that they both tried (in their way at least).

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Roseanna said:

Exactly. They shortened the time scale (all was over when they returned from Australia) instead of showing that until Harry was born, there were ups and downs in their marriage. It's probable that Charles was right when he said in the TV interview that they both tried (in their way at least).

 

 

They should have shown some more of the good times. Or show that they did in fact go up and down, not just that they had ONE good time in Australia and that was it. 

I think we needed to see a little more of the "up," especially at the beginning. For Diana to have feelings for him at all he had to have shown her something. Again, I can't believe they never even kiss in any of these episodes. They made it seem like he married this poor girl without ever having kissed her or anything!

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On 11/19/2020 at 11:41 PM, bijoux said:

I have to say I interpreted Elizabeth’s advice to allow each other freedoms to mean they can both mess around, only do it more discretely and for fuck’s sake, reach an agreement and don’t cause scandals.

Perhaps in other situation, but after she said to Diana that she had broken her vows and knew Charles had done the same and they don't even talk to each other? No.

Her whole sermon was rather about respect: accept that you are different and have different needs, try to find ways to be together that you like but also accept that sometimes the other needs something else (like country/city).  

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: adding a word
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4 hours ago, Gareth3 said:

If Diana was Christine, who was the Phantom?

Diana was singing both parts of a duet.  The song "All I ask of You" is Christine and Raoul declaring their love while The Phantom watches unbeknownst to them.   I have no idea if this is something that actually happened IRL.  That song is really on the nose for what Show Diana wants from Charles, "love me, that's all I ask of you."

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4 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

I have no idea if this is something that actually happened IRL. 

It didDiana rented the set of Phantom in the West End for her performance. But she danced to the ballad rather than sang it, with movement provided by the show's choreographer. Lloyd Webber was present at the taping.  

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20 hours ago, kieyra said:

I guess Uptown Girl must have made an unusually large impact for an American pop song in the UK in the 1980s? This is the second time I’ve seen an English 80s period show throw it in along with all the actual homegrown tunes of the time. (The other show that comes to mind is Ashes to Ashes, which actually did a dream sequence of the music video. That show had a top notch soundtrack, but I can’t think of another American artist they included besides Cyndi Lauper.)

(I know from googling now that Diana’s dance to the song really did happen.)

This reminds me of this awesome graph.  Billy Joel starts to appear at 0:30.

 

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 11/16/2020 at 5:20 AM, vibeology said:

I don't entirely believe the "revolving door" comment that was passed along from Margaret to Anne to Elizabeth. Margaret is overdramatic and Anne was jealous. I can absolutely believe that a few men where there were long-term affairs would be conflated with "she'll sleep with anyone." And the show made it clear that her affairs were in response to Charles cheating on her and ignoring her. She doesn't get to be around friends, she doesn't have her husband around, the rest of the family does their best to stay away from her. She's super lonely and it's hard to look at that and not understand why she went outside of her marriage for companionship.

I agree with all of this. As clearly as Anne was able to describe Charles and Diana's relationship problems, Anne was still jealous of all the positive press that Diana got. And she was not really in a position to be judgmental about Diana having affairs when she herself and her brother were both fucking around on their spouses. But of course it's more slut shaming to describe Diana the outsider as someone who will sleep with anyone.

For two people in a loveless marriage like Charles and Diana is it worse to be in love with someone else who you can't be with or to sleep with multiple people? For me the answer is NEITHER. But of the two people, I felt much worse for Diana who was so young and naive that she went into this relationship actually believing that it would work. A 19 year old girl realizing that she was trapped in a very public relationship with someone who doesn't love her is heart breaking. Charles, on the other hand, went into this relationship knowing that he was still in love with Camilla, which is a shitty thing to do.

As for the people who Diana slept with, I am not going to judge. She had such limited access to people in general and no friends in the royal circle so it's not like she had a lot of choices in terms of who she could sleep with.

On 11/17/2020 at 5:54 AM, poeticlicensed said:

Diana's "gifts" to Charles for his birthday and their anniversary were all about Diana. What was she thinking? Charles is probably the most repressed person on earth, with a strict idea of what is proper and what is not. Did she really think dancing on a stage to a Billy Joel tune is what Charles wanted for his b-day? He strikes me as the kind of guy who would have liked a book or watch or good bottle of congac. And the Phantom song gave me major eyerolls. 

I gave her a pass on this for multiple reasons. First of all, the fact is that even after all these years, she still didn't know Charles very well. Secondly, she was not like him at all. She has been shown throughout the season to love dancing, continuing to take classes at the palace (and she later told him before showing him the Phantom video that dancing and the arts are the way she feels she can really express herself).

The mistake that many people make is what they discussed in their earlier reconciliation - she said that if one of them needed something, they should give it to the other person. Unfortunately if you are with someone who is not like you, that doesn't work very well, which we saw here. Diana would have loved a surprise like that from Charles so she thought that he would love a surprise like that from her.

She was still going with that "give the other person what you want" agreement with the Phantom song. She just wanted HER HUSBAND to tell her that he loved her and would protect her and take care of her, none of which he had done throughout their marriage. It made me sad when both Elizabeth and her mother said that OF COURSE there will be affairs but you just have to turn a blind eye. That's a fucked up idea of what marriage should be.

On 11/17/2020 at 12:38 PM, Helena Dax said:

Ah, finally, a bit of Queen (the band)! And if I'm not wrong, the dancer who danced Uptown Girl with Diana was one of Freddie Mercury's friends, as well, and he appears in the Living on my Own video.

Princess Diana’s Dance Partner Wayne Sleep Remembers Their Dazzling ‘Uptown Girl’ Performance

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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18 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

It made me sad when both Elizabeth and her mother said that OF COURSE there will be affairs but you just have to turn a blind eye. That's a fucked up idea of what marriage should be.

Not if both parties agree to it. I doubt Diana would have agreed anyway, but I don't think she and Charles ever really talked about what they wanted their marriage to be. How could they? They had 13 meetings before they got married. They barely had time to talk about their favorite flavor of ice cream, let alone how to arrange their marriage.

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I loved this episode, but, boy howdy, Charles is just awful.

The highlight for me was Anne telling Charles the cold hard truth about marriage. For all her flaws, Anne was absolutely right. The best marriages in the world aren't perfect and are based in reality. Diana is (not wrongly) criticized for her immaturity, but Charles is just as bad,  if not worse, and he's definitely old enough to know better. Charles has deluded himself that Camilla is the princess locked in a tower by Andrew the evil dragon, and Charles is unable to rescue her because he's being held captive by Diana the evil witch. He's the victim, and the rest of the world is conspiring against him.

Dude, wake the hell up. Unlike you, Camilla entered her marriage with eyes very much wide open. She knew Andrew was a jerk, but loved him enough to chance it. She's not some helpless damsel pining for you, she's a 40-year-old mom who's plenty able to either live with the supposed mess she's in, or clean it up herself. You could learn a lot from her. If Camilla wanted to leave Andrew, she would have already.

 

On 11/21/2020 at 7:43 AM, Sir RaiderDuck OMS said:

What a total fucking ass. Your wife takes the time and the trouble to learn that song, then goes to all the further trouble to stage and costume it that way, all because she wants to give you something special that 99.99% of men in the world would NEVER receive: a custom-made, professionally-shot video of their wife singing a famous song with a world-class orchestra, and your reaction is to mock it to your jealous sister???

I actually had to hit Pause because I was shouting at the television until Mrs. RaiderDuck calmed me down.

Listen here, you pompous self-centered twit: the quality of the end product is not remotely the point. The point is the love and the thought and the effort that went into the gift. Who goddamn motherfucking CARES if it's no good??? You still respect the gift and the person who gave it to you.

Asshole.

Ha! Well said.

Here's my take on the video: Being an amateurish singer myself, I would never give Mr. Fitch a gift like that. However, if I had access to the London Symphony Orchestra, the actual costumes from Phantom of the Opera, and Andrew Lloyd Webber himself there to watch... well, you couldn't blame me for at least considering it!

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:35 PM, Renee in CA said:

The thing is, plenty of men would have loved the dance because it would have made them more attractive because this gorgeous woman was dancing for him. But Charles was too jealous to understand that she was sharing per popularity with him and not against him.

She really wasn't sharing her popularity with him. The audience looked at her and applauded her for a long time. They weren't thinking about Charles. She didn't make any effort during the dance to look up where he was, she only threw him a brief gesture after it was all over and then turned back to the crowd's applause.

It's very different from that scene in the earlier episode where Charles and Camilla told a story together to the party at the house. We can see how Camilla knows how to be an active participant without pulling all the focus from Charles, and in return he gives her some of the best lines of the story. They're a team in the way they tell it together, they both shine, and it's apparent why they were popular in their social circle.

Someone mentioned upthread Megan's dance for Don on Mad Men. Don hated it too.

I'll say this for Charles, who has truly behaved badly: He's not the kind of person to privilege youth and beauty above other considerations. Youth and beauty fade, after all. Some get around that by trading in their partners for younger models every few years, but he's never done that either. Under different circumstances, that'd be praiseworthy.

It was amusing to think of Charles's remark to Andrew in the last episode about how he'd never be king, and then Charles nearly dies in an avalanche, which would have moved Andrew up the line in the succession. One just can never know for certain; see Elizabeth I of England. But for all Charles's flaws and sins, the Royal Family's lucky that it's still him and not Andrew who's first in line.

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Phillip's face when Elizabeth popped off with the "You had the ballerinas for that." To quote Chris Rock, "How in the fuck did we get here?"

Then when Elizabeth arched her eyebrow and Charles folded like origami. I knew Olivia Colman was something special when I saw Broadchurch, but damn if she doesn't astound me often.

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If only "The Five Love Languages" had been out then...

Those two clearly didn't understand what made the other happy.  He was impressed by performances, but professional ones, not modern rock or musicals.  Both performances gave me the impression of showcasing Diana instead of directing attention to Charles, though she may not have meant it to come off that way.   She should've given him a book and her a grand gesture, as others have mentioned.

No doubt Charles loved the boys.  Remember in the early season when Charles reached out to shake his father's hand and Philip told him that they were alone, then got a hug.  They were raised to be hugged, just not in public.  My guess is that Charles expected the same procedure with his children; Diana didn't go along and regularly showed affection to her children in public.  

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I'll say this for Charles, who has truly behaved badly: He's not the kind of person to privilege youth and beauty above other considerations. Youth and beauty fade, after all. Some get around that by trading in their partners for younger models every few years, but he's never done that either. Under different circumstances, that'd be praiseworthy.

Yeah, and in his defence, he actually was kind of faithful. Just not to his wife. But Charles and Camilla have been together for a long time, so whatever connects them seems to be pretty deep.

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18 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Someone mentioned upthread Megan's dance for Don on Mad Men. Don hated it too.

Yes and when Joan asked Lane how Don reacted to Megan's dance he said, "I saw his soul leave his body."  That's what I thought I saw when Charles was watching Diana.  

According to the fact checkers, it wasn't Charles birthday either.  Diana called up the dancer and told him her idea to dance with him on stage at the gala to "Uptown Girl" and of course he couldn't say no to a Princess, even though, since he was very short, he knew he would look ridiculous dancing with a 5'11' woman.  

The "Phantom of the Opera" thing was also arranged and paid for herself, but she danced in that one. too, no singing.  Diana really seemed to love to dance on stage.  I wonder that people always call her, "shy."  I think that was just based on her habit of holding her head down and looking coyly up through her bangs.

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7 hours ago, swanpride said:

Yeah, and in his defence, he actually was kind of faithful. Just not to his wife. But Charles and Camilla have been together for a long time, so whatever connects them seems to be pretty deep.

Yeah no one doubt Charles actually loves, respects and has a deep loyalty to Camilla. But she seems to be the more pragmatic of the two. From everything we’ve been shown thus far, I don’t doubt she does love Charles, but he’s WAY more into her than she’s into him. 

 

3 hours ago, Roseanna said:

I don't think that Camilla was exactly happy with her serial adulterer for husband,  but she accepted the situation: it was better for children to have a safe home (unlike William and Harry,  they heard their parents quarreling)  and It was better for her socially not to be a divorced women.

Yes. And since she could get her emotional and sexual needs met by Charles (not like Andrew was pulling a double standard), why rock the boat?

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On 11/16/2020 at 5:27 PM, Roseanna said:

And Anne summed up Charles and Diana's marriage quite well: she fell in love with him but he loved someone else who loved someone else and all were unhappy; the age gap, different characters, hobbies and friends. And finally the best part: there comes in every marriage a moment when one stops trying and realizes it as a mistake and then only lets herself be driven along the river.

I agree.  The Queen gave them an out.  Charles had prepared a speech, but Diana wanted to safe the marriage when there was no marriage to be saved. 

And no to that Phantom of the Opera "performance."  Yikes.

Loved hearing "Love is a Stranger" though.

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The marriage was over but the Princess could have had a fulfilling life with her charities and girlfriends and children maybe taking up golf or tennis.   I think she had to just give up on the love part. 

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On 11/23/2020 at 7:26 AM, Black Knight said:

Someone mentioned upthread Megan's dance for Don on Mad Men. Don hated it too.

I was trying to think of a pop culture equivalent for it, and I forgot the Mad Men dance. All I could think of was Bart's play on The Simpsons. "'Tis, replied Aunt Helga..."

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On 11/15/2020 at 9:47 PM, peridot said:

I loved when the queen made the crack about ballerinas to Philip.  He was no saint during their younger years, either.

That was hilarious!  Philip's expression cracked me up.  He really didn't want to bring up the past.

On 11/16/2020 at 6:48 PM, Lillith said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around Phillip have a single clue about who Billy Joel is. 

I'm saying.  Tobias Menzies is killing it as Philip this season. 

On 11/16/2020 at 9:22 PM, Ellaria Sand said:

THAT was the best moment in that entertaining breakfast scene. First, Phillip’s crack about why the Queen never danced like that for him. (Meanwhile, I’m imagining Olivia Coleman in her frumpy Queen garb jumping around on stage.) Then she shoots back with the “ballerina” comment. Never a dull moment with Phillip.

Hee-hee.  Still a winner.

On 11/17/2020 at 5:27 PM, greekmom said:

Actually I get her point.  Her point is look at me, fall in love with me. I am younger and more beautiful with that cow you care about. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me and I understand her point.

Charles has checked out that marriage since before the wedding vows. I feel very sorry for Diana as she would have been happy if Charles threw her the occasional bone while boning Camilla in more of a discreet manor.  Charles was very open with his relationship with Camilla to the point he was rubbing it in Diana's face.  He could have made more of an effort and broke it off with Camilla.

You have a point about Diana's POV.  Poor Diana was robbed.  BP should have left her alone and let her go about her regular life, find a regular guy who would be in love with his wife.  Their marriage was a train wreck and while Charles and Diana both bear blame, that whole royal family machine did not make the situation easier.  

On 11/17/2020 at 7:00 PM, Umbelina said:

It's the opposite for me.

I mean, all along we've seen Charles grow up, unloved, sensitive, lost, inadequate, his only true ally bodyguards and uncle Dickie.  The school scenes alone make me have pity for him, no admiration, but definitely sympathy.  We know the reasons he's turned into the navel gazing self absorbed pathetic ninny he is.

Camilla on the other hand?  She absolutely does not have my sympathy (maybe she would if I knew she'd never had affection or love from her family, but I doubt that is even remotely true.)  From most accounts I've read, she's always been popular, many friends, and basically lived a pretty great life.  Her only fly in the ointment (or main one) seems to be that she is utterly in love with her husband, a man who cannot be faithful.

However, filling that gap of "being the only one" to someone is not fair, not when that other person is married.  It is even worse to hear them laugh about "the wife."  It's just disgusting to me.

Ugh, it's just so awful, to not just cheat, but cheat openly with most of his circle in on it, and everyone in the palace knowing.  Even as a middle-aged experienced woman, which obviously Diana was not?  It would crush me, especially knowing that everyone knew.  She didn't even get to cope with it all privately.  Fuck them both.

Perfectly said.

On 11/18/2020 at 7:07 AM, Roseanna said:

Irl the Queen made clear her disapproval quite early: she ceased to accept Camilla as a guest. 

"That woman" was also how Wallis Simpson was called.

Yeah, being referred to as "that woman" was never a good thing.  Might as well be called doggy do. 

On 11/21/2020 at 7:43 AM, Sir RaiderDuck OMS said:

What a total fucking ass. Your wife takes the time and the trouble to learn that song, then goes to all the further trouble to stage and costume it that way, all because she wants to give you something special that 99.99% of men in the world would NEVER receive: a custom-made, professionally-shot video of their wife singing a famous song with a world-class orchestra, and your reaction is to mock it to your jealous sister???

I actually had to hit Pause because I was shouting at the television until Mrs. RaiderDuck calmed me down.

Listen here, you pompous self-centered twit: the quality of the end product is not remotely the point. The point is the love and the thought and the effort that went into the gift. Who goddamn motherfucking CARES if it's no good??? You still respect the gift and the person who gave it to you.

Asshole.

YES!

2 hours ago, whatsatool said:

The marriage was over but the Princess could have had a fulfilling life with her charities and girlfriends and children maybe taking up golf or tennis.   I think she had to just give up on the love part. 

Diana was never going to give up on the love part.  And there was no reason why she should.  I don't know RL Charles, but he can never wash away the stink clinging to him for the way he conducted himself in his marriage to Diana.  And Camilla is a non-starter.  Can't stand her.  Never will.   Barf!

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4 hours ago, taurusrose said:

Diana was never going to give up on the love part.  And there was no reason why she should. 

But was she capable of love? I don't mean *feeling* love, but *doing* loving deeds. That requires that you can see the other person different from yourself.

 

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: correcting a word
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On 11/23/2020 at 6:48 AM, JudyObscure said:

Someone mentioned upthread Megan's dance for Don on Mad Men. Don hated it too.

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.

Edited by WatchrTina
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3 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

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.  

I think what bothered him was that it wasn't private.  It was done on a stage in front of hundreds of people and in real life it wasn't even his birthday so there was no pretense that it was for him.   I think he was embarrassed to have his wife showing off her mediocre dance skills in front of an audience, when the royalty have always tried to conduct themselves with dignity in public.

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On 11/17/2020 at 6:41 AM, swanpride said:

The gifts were still self-indulgent. They were about HER having a moment on stage, not about giving Charles something he would enjoy. Not that Charles gift was in any way better. The only positive thing I have to say about Diana's gift is that they required a little bit more effort than just picking up a book, but sadly all the effort mostly went into fulfilling one of her own fantasies. Basically if the gifts had been switched (if Diana had gifted Charles a rare book about history or plants or whatever and he had gifted her a stage appearance or an evening together at a musical or something like this) they would be both happy.

Very true over all. But in his defence, Charles' gift WAS about Diana. It was a first edition (valuable) of a book outlining HER Royal ancestry - which went back much farther in English history than his!  But, of course, she really wasn't into that kind of thing and if they'd gotten to know each other at all  he would have known that (get your equerry to write up crib notes on her interests, like your mum did for her children in Favourite)! 

What the show indicated (for what it is worth) was that Diana was more enthralled with her Phantom of the Opera Performance than in his reaction to it. They showed us several shots of her beaming while watching it as he side-eyed her. 

The whole thing just makes me sad because as individuals they each had redeeming qualities. Just not to each other. 

On 11/23/2020 at 4:48 AM, JudyObscure said:

The "Phantom of the Opera" thing was also arranged and paid for herself, but she danced in that one. too, no singing.  Diana really seemed to love to dance on stage.  I wonder that people always call her, "shy."  I think that was just based on her habit of holding her head down and looking coyly up through her bangs.

Bolded part. A lot of successful performers identify as introverts. Performing (including gracious acceptance of public adoration) allows them to get outside of themselves and be somebody different - at least for a while.  A lot of them have also admitted that the external approval counter-balances their own inner self criticism. It just doesn't make it go away. Self acceptance does that and it's not an easy attitude switch. 

Edited by Anothermi · Reason: Typo
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10 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

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.

Besides all else, the timing was wrong: they weren't even sleeping together any more. Diana began her campaign to win Charles back with wrong means. Her gift shows that she was a romantic. But he was already in his 40ies.

Instead, it was a clever move to bring their sons with her. "The mom card" was her only ace and she should have used it more. A video about boys? A photo album about their family when they were happiest?

The second good alternative would have been a gift that would have showed that she understood and valued Charles. A new or rare book of gardening? A new set of flies for fishing? A photo album about his best performances?  

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I was watching Olivia when they announced Charles was missing. Did I see a moment of her thinking her favorite child was about to get promoted to Regent for a good long time?

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Phillip actually probably does know Billy Joel. I have a friend who belongs to the Grand Order of the Water Rats. Its an organization of actors and musicians with members ranging from Bob Hope and Charlie Chaplin to Niko McBrain from Iron Maiden and Jimmy Osmond. Prince Phillip is a “friend of “ and has been at many meeting and is actually pretty versed in popular culture. Behind closed doors he can be quite fun..at least according to my friend.  The queen also showed up to a meeting unexpectedly once and was very friendly. 

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On 11/18/2020 at 8:53 PM, txhorns79 said:

There was a little moment where Philip gave Diana a little wink at the beginning of their meeting that made me smile.

I really loved that because it was such a tiny gesture, but must have meant a lot to Diana considering how coldly and disdainfully the rest of the RF treated her. I criticize Philip a lot, but he does have some redeeming moments.

On 11/21/2020 at 6:30 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I agree with all of this. As clearly as Anne was able to describe Charles and Diana's relationship problems, Anne was still jealous of all the positive press that Diana got. And she was not really in a position to be judgmental about Diana having affairs when she herself and her brother were both fucking around on their spouses. But of course it's more slut shaming to describe Diana the outsider as someone who will sleep with anyone.

I thought it was especially rich of her to make the "revolving door" and "in and out" comments considering that earlier in the season she begged the Queen not to reassign the equerry with whom she, Anne, was having an affair while still married to Mark Phillips.

I thought both of Diana's performances were cringeworthy. They would have been somewhat acceptable if she had been a world-class dancer or singer whom to watch perform would be considered a gift, but she wasn't very good at either. I wonder what the professionals (dancers, orchestra, Lloyd Webber) *really* thought about having to work with her.

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On 11/17/2020 at 12:09 PM, monakane said:

They did not send them to that godawful school that Charles attended. 

...which they made a point of adding to the end of that particular episode. While it seems like very little, Charles kept his sons close by him (at Eton), and went to their events. Giving William a "well done" is far more than Philip ever did for him. Small things (like, slowly the Ice Age ended) but better parenting than he received. And he genuinely seemed to enjoy watching the boys play in the pool. HE's a sad sack who grew up into an ass, but he still proved to be a better father than his own.

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On 11/28/2020 at 8:44 PM, buttersister said:

I was watching Olivia when they announced Charles was missing. Did I see a moment of her thinking her favorite child was about to get promoted to Regent for a good long time?

No, I don't think so because Andrew would only have the potential to become regent if the Queen herself died (as well as Charles) while Charles' children were still minors.  It seems extremely unlikely that the Queen would think favorably about a scenario that could only arise in the event of her own untimely death.  I also doubt that she secretly would have preferred Andrew to be the heir.  It's much more likely that she favored Andrew over Charles precisely because he was NOT her future replacement, waiting in the wings (which is how one could view the heir apparent.)

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After watching the season 3 finale, I think the royal’s double standard with Diana’s cheating is pretty consistent when compared to Margaret’s cheating scandal. No one cared when Tony/Charles treated their wives like crap and cheated but when Margaret/Diana cheated they got reamed out. And Margaret was a born royal, yet her family STILL didn’t take her side! Geeeeeeeeeeez!

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6 hours ago, swanpride said:

That was the general attitude back then, especially between nobles. Men were allowed to cheat, but not women.

Actually, high born ladies cheated just as much as the men did.  They just had to wait until they produced the heir and a spare.  When you marry for reasons other than love, the relationship has different rules.  In fact, married women were the first choice for a royal mistress because if the affair resulted in a child the husband would be responsible and not the royal.  They just had to be discreet.  Margaret and Roddy were together for years before the tabloids found out.  And they found out because Anne Glenconner's son sold incriminating pictures to them.  Charles and Camilla were an open secret for years because their friends and their friends' staff did not go running to the tabloids.  Then you have Louis Mountbatten and his wife Edwina who famously had affairs.  

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On 11/23/2020 at 7:48 AM, JudyObscure said:

The "Phantom of the Opera" thing was also arranged and paid for herself, but she danced in that one. too, no singing.  Diana really seemed to love to dance on stage.  I wonder that people always call her, "shy."  I think that was just based on her habit of holding her head down and looking coyly up through her bangs.

Some shy people love to perform--it's a way of them getting to step outside of themselves. I knew a guy in high school who was pathologically shy--like literally could not bear to hold a conversation with people. But he loved doing theater.

My thoughts while watching this episode:

For all of Charles's predictable churlishness about Uptown Girl--did he consider that Diana's success likely vastly increased the take for that particular charity (the Royal Ballet)? It was a Gala, after all. I bet donations went through the roof that night.

God, he's despicable in the car afterward. I know this is more Show Charles than IRL Charles (who was cool in a small reception afterward but didn't dress her down--yes, the Uptown Girl duet really did happen) but FFS dude...It's okay for you to perform Shakespeare but not for her to perform dance? He's so jealous and threatened.

Philip and Elizabeth's repartee at the breakfast table was priceless.

The avalanche sequence seemed so abruptly edited (in contrast to, say, the Aberfan disaster last season which was perfectly paced)--I looked it up and apparently the show had to end filming early due to the COVID lockdown in March.

Olivia Coleman's and Tobias Menzies's acting in the scene when they're told the preliminary news about the accident is *fantastic.*

Very impressed by Anne's efficient ticking off of the salient points of her debriefing to the Queen. She would've made a good intelligence officer.

The "suitors park outside of her office...in and out, in and out" seems...off, and kind of slut-shame-y (in an episode that truly demonizes Charles, at that). It may be that is Anne's incorrect assessment of the situation, because later on Diana says to her therapist (I'm guessing that is who he was) "no more little flirtations." So she makes it seem as if Hewitt was the only one with whom she truly crossed the line.

Philip's conspiratorial wink to Diana was sweet. I am loving Tobias Menzies in this role.

The spectacular hypocrisy of Charles raging *to his mistress* about Diana "even thinks about straying...ambushing me like that" is so rage-inducing, I can understand why IRL Charles and Camilla have turned off replies to their Twitter accounts. FUCK YOUUUUUUUU CHARLES. You're an incredibly privileged person and yes, there are challenges to your life but the few things you HAVE to do aren't that hard. You had to marry; you had to beget an heir. Is it *that* fucking hard to try to make your marriage work? *That* beneath you? You're not even trying.

The sadness of that string score during Diana and the kids singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"...that poor kid.

I will say, I'm super impressed at Charles's gift to Diana. That goodwill is immediately erased at his shitty reaction to her gift, even if it's behind her back. Charles, Diana probably didn't want a book, even if it was about her family seat. But she was gracious about it because she recognized the intent. Why do you have to mock her to your sister, and assume bad faith? She goes out of her way to explain to you where she's coming from, that this gift isn't "public." Sure, it's a little cheesy but it's mostly incredibly sweet to go to all this effort. Why can't you recognize that? Why do you have to call it "monstrous. Awful"?

Charles, LISTEN TO ANNE. It's especially rich that you're complaining about a lack of kindness when just a minute ago you were complaining about having to be kind.

Diana had studied ballet for a long time and was considered a strong dancer (her height was what killed a possible career in ballet). I'm pretty sure she could execute a clean pirouette! (That was probably the actress maybe not having much of a background in dance.)

 

 

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43 minutes ago, CeeBeeGee said:

Some shy people love to perform--it's a way of them getting to step outside of themselves. I knew a guy in high school who was pathologically shy--like literally could not bear to hold a conversation with people. But he loved doing theater.

I did theater, speech, and debate starting in grade school and continuing all the way through college. Wasn't too terrible at it and always loved it. I am also shy to a point that is pathetic (I'm even reluctant to post this because it feels like I'm interrupting). For some reason, public speaking was never a problem. It actually felt like I had a reason to have someone's attention and wasn't being a bother.

 

1 hour ago, CeeBeeGee said:

Olivia Coleman's and Tobias Menzies's acting in the scene when they're told the preliminary news about the accident is *fantastic.*

 

I thought so, too.

 

 

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3 hours ago, CeeBeeGee said:

Diana had studied ballet for a long time and was considered a strong dancer (her height was what killed a possible career in ballet). I'm pretty sure she could execute a clean pirouette! (That was probably the actress maybe not having much of a background in dance.)

That’s interesting.  I was wondering if the show was trying to portray Diana as untalented or if the actress was just not a good dancer.  It’s really not something that someone who lacks training can fake very convincingly.  But I did see a still photo of Diana in that “In Her Own Words” documentary that showed Diana in an arabesque as a teenager, and her form didn’t look fabulous.  But regardless of any of that, just so that there is no doubt, Team Diana all the way.  The more I think about this episode (and this season), the sorrier I feel for that poor young woman.

1 hour ago, Rosiejuliemom said:

I did theater, speech, and debate starting in grade school and continuing all the way through college. Wasn't too terrible at it and always loved it. I am also shy to a point that is pathetic (I'm even reluctant to post this because it feels like I'm interrupting). For some reason, public speaking was never a problem. It actually felt like I had a reason to have someone's attention and wasn't being a bother.

Totally agree.  Painfully shy kid through college, but ballet is where I could really express myself, and I loved performing.  When Diana said that performance was the one way that she could truly express herself:  boy did that hit home.

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Ballet is great to express yourself. Though I am not sure if I would want to do it in front of so many people. I always loved ballet, I didn't really love going on stage.

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It was rich, Charles talking about how he had set his spies on Diana and that if she cheated he would bust her.   He was telling HIS MISTRESS this.   Irony much?   He had to be reminded he couldn't go fuck his mistress on his wedding anniversary.  That's how checked out he was.

Anne laying the smack down of reality will never get old.   Good for her telling Emo Charles to get his head out of his arse and accept that marriage is not perfect -- for anyone.   

When they were informed the Prince of Wales might be lost in an avalanche, I though both the Queen and Philip looked shocked, just trying to process it.   No one handles news their child might be dead well.   there was so little news they just had to sit and wait.   It came out best when the Queen was explaining why they were all bridges -- "it's to signal the connection between this life ... and the next."   She got choked up at the last bit that's why the pause.   Realizing that her son might be on to the next life.   

One thing they missed or just didn't want to address -- Sarah Ferguson was on that ski trip but like Diana was not skiiing that day.   Also injured was Patricia Parker-Tomlinson -- mother of the infamous Tara Parker-Tomlinson.    Patricia was severely injured and spent 4 months in the hospital recovering.

Like everyone else I loved Diana singing in the car with young William and Harry.   

 

 

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On 11/16/2020 at 7:09 PM, leighdear said:

Lord, could they have chosen an actor for Charles that looks MORE like a hunchback turtle?  He looks SO ridiculous, like a cartoon character.  I find him the absolute worst casting choice in the entire series. 

And they are making him out to be such a supreme tool in every single situation involving Diana, plus being so needy and desperate.  This has got to piss him off beyond belief IRL, even if it was all accurate.  

 

On 11/17/2020 at 5:27 PM, greekmom said:

Actually I get her point.  Her point is look at me, fall in love with me. I am younger and more beautiful with that cow you care about. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me and I understand her point.

Charles has checked out that marriage since before the wedding vows. I feel very sorry for Diana as she would have been happy if Charles threw her the occasional bone while boning Camilla in more of a discreet manor.  Charles was very open with his relationship with Camilla to the point he was rubbing it in Diana's face.  He could have made more of an effort and broke it off with Camilla.

 

On 11/17/2020 at 6:09 PM, tennisgurl said:

Don't you mean Billy Joelle? 

Charles has been consistently horrible in his marriage, but I was mostly on his side about Diana's performance at the ballet and that cringy as hell anniversary gift. Diana had to know that Charles would hate a big public showing like that, and that it would go from being Charles birthday to being The Diana Show and all anyone would talk about would be Diana. That really screamed of her wanting to bask in the attention of her adoring crowds, and while I get why she seeks the attention from others that she isn't getting in her marriage, that was very clearly All About Diana even if it was Charles birthday. And that video of her singing all alone in full costume with the whole orchestra for their anniversary present was so ridiculous and extra, this was clearly just another performance of The Diana Show where she had an excuse to live out one of her performer fantasies. Really, their gifts were so indicative of how ill suited they are to each other, and how little they know about each other even after years of marriage, they basically gave each other the gift that they themselves would want. Charles would love an old book full of history, and Diana would love a big display or love through a lavish musical number. The two of them still just don't understand each other, and apparently have gone past the point of really trying. Diana was still trying to at least make some token efforts, but Charles is clearly all done. 

Charles is just being so insufferable, its clear that Diana just cannot win with him no matter how much she tries to reach out, all he wants to do is whine and pine away after Camilla and be pissed off. He treats Diana like garbage then gets all offended when she is having affairs because he wont give her the time of day because he is busy with his affair, its just so hypocritical. Not only that, but he gets on his high horse about Camilla's husband cheating on her, while he is also cheating on HIS wife and Camilla is cheating on him as well. He cant even have a real honest talk with her anymore, he just wants to whine to Camilla or Anne about how much Diana sucks while taking no responsibility for his own faults in their relationship. What an absolute mess this is. Of course, if they had just let Charles marry Camilla in the first damn place none of this would even be an issue. 

 Diana singing in the car with the boys was really cute, a very nice little break in a rather depressing episode. 

 

On 11/18/2020 at 10:42 AM, Umbelina said:

I dunno, the show spent years showing us the hell Charles went though as a child, and then they gave us Wales last year, to just drum it in more how much his mother hated him, and his father thought him a wet useless ninny.

For him to turn into this not only makes perfect sense, but also, there is background to why he is this way.

They are skipping fast through history, hitting a few high points, skipping other important, monumental things

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like the wall coming down and Germany reunifying, and for a group of Royals that all all mostly German, that's a big skip!

So just giving us representational highs and lows of their relationship to this point fits right into the rest of the show.

 

On 11/18/2020 at 11:35 PM, Renee in CA said:

The thing is, plenty of men would have loved the dance because it would have made them more attractive because this gorgeous woman was dancing for him. But Charles was too jealous to understand that she was sharing per popularity with him and not against him.

The anniversary gift - wow they got Andrew Lloyd Webber’s permission to use a song from Phantom! I can imagine the original version was sung more badly than what we saw because it is not easy to sing Christine. 

I think Diana has unwittingly come to represent everything that Charles hates about his family. He looks at her as the woman that they literally forced down his throat.

He then has placed Camilla on a pedestal that she is everything he wants and can not have. Camilla almost straight out said that she loved Parker-Bowles but needs Charles to adore and desperately need her. I honestly think if Charles was not the Prince of Wales, she might of tired of his neediness and gone on to another man (probably not her husband) who was more exciting.

He not only does not like his wife but actively loathes her at this point. Add to that the insult that she has the beauty, charm, and connection with the public that he never possessed.

Of course, this is horrible for poor Diana. She really loves Charles (or what she thinks Charles is in her dreams) and this constant rejection is devastating to someone who already had huge self esteem issues.

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Stick to discussion of the episode, please. Discussion or mention of future events is NOT ALLOWED in episode topics, including mention of 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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