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S04.E06: Terra Nullius

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On a tour of Australia, Diana struggles to balance motherhood with her royal duties while both she and Charles cope with their marriage difficulties.

Dropping on Sunday, November 15, 2020.

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Wow, Elizabeth and Charles do not come across well in this episode at all.  Now I'm remembering why they were so unpopular in the early 90s.  (And Anne, who I normally like, recoiling at the idea of a hug?  Yikes.)

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Ok, I loved the joke Charles & Camilla told.....*LOL* But I have to mute my TV every time the screaming baby is on.  I just cannot take it.  But the closed captions are really good & accurate for this series!

The Australian Bob Hawk is really hamming up the accent to an annoying level.  He's a real Aussie, he can just speak normally and we'd get it.  

And Diana's hair isn't blonde enough, long enough or layered enough.  Production didn't get it right enough.  

Edited by leighdear
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And this episode highlighted how much both Charles and Diana needed to be built up by other people. Both needed to be number one and the star and while I don't think Charles is like that now. Back then he was. He wasn't ready for marriage and she wasn't ready for it either because she had this idealized version of it and who wouldn't? They were both just so needy.

And that is exactly what Charles didn't need. He needed someone who didn't need reassurance and Charles was very much like Diana in needing reassurance and hugs and acceptance and love. They both needed warmth and weren't getting it from each other because they were at war trying to ignore that they didn't know each other and Charles was at fault for marrying her and not knowing her and having Camilla as his best friend. And yes a man needs a confidante as a woman does and I know he was forced into doing the right thing, but it made it worse.

Edited by toodywoody
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Honestly, I always felt that this portrayal of Camilla was kind of unfair. Nothing about the situation was in any way okay, but if Camilla was trapped in an unhappy marriage of her own, it's understandable that she wouldn't give up on Charles, especially if real feelings were involved. Plus, HE could have ended it all along, and he obviously didn't do it. Maybe the show is right and he was also in love with his own fantasy, but in his case, it was romeo and Juliet and not Cinderella. I guess Diana was mostly picked because she was as someone put it once "the last virgin left".

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8 hours ago, leighdear said:

Ok, I loved the joke Charles & Camilla told.....*LOL* But I have to mute my TV every time the screaming baby is on.  I just cannot take it.  But the closed captions are really good & accurate for this series!

The Australian Bob Hawk is really hamming up the accent to an annoying level.  He's a real Aussie, he can just speak normally and we'd get it.  

And Diana's hair isn't blonde enough, long enough or layered enough.  Production didn't get it right enough.  

I think that's his natural accent to be honest- if you watch Rake his accent seems pretty similar 

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8 hours ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

The more Anne displays jealousy of Diana, the more she looks and sounds dour. Keep it up princess 

I can understand and sympathize Anne - she worked hard for charities the press told about Diana's new dress. But she failed to understand that the press makes news about the matters that sells best.   

Most of all, it's different to tell your family who are the only people whom you can absolutely trust how you really feel, than show it to the press which Anne did irl.  

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: adding a word
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2 hours ago, Ellaria Sand said:

Was Charles' secretary, Edward Adeane - son of Michael Adeane, according to Wikipedia - out of line in his reprimands to Diana? Maybe. I understand why he said it but I didn't agree with any of it. Lecturing a mother on how to handle her son is not acceptable. 

One would think that lecturing an HRH about anything would be unacceptable.  We've seen several private secretaries to the royal family throughout this series, and none of them were anything but obsequious to the royals.  

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1 hour ago, poeticlicensed said:

"this was supposed to be MY tour"- Charles. Wah wah, no one wants to see you Charles. I was sure they were going to do the bit about how the people on Charles side of the street were complaining that they got the short end of the stick. Charles was acting like a baby man about Diana's popularity instead of trying to figure out how to capitalize on it. What a self-entitled twerp. 

Not entirely. What kind of people laugh when somebody falls from the horse?

Charles wasn't just ill-treated by her parents, he had also been pampered by his staff and adored by the press - he felt that he was entitled to be the star because of his status.

That said, nowadays Kings and Princes understand that their wives steal the show - simply because women are beautiful to watch and have different dresses. And they accept it because they married for love.      

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The Australian Prime Minister was shown in a rather bad light when he wanted Charles no more to be King of Australia, but having read Upheavals of Jarred Diamond I believe he may have been right. Diamond thinks that the Australians had an identity problem (they used to think themselves as British subjects although they lived near Asia and sent soldiers to fight in wars that concerned in no way Australian interest whereas Britain had been unable to defend Singapore in WW2). 

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: adding two words
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Was he shown in a bad light? I felt that it was portrayed fairly neutral. How you feel about him basically depends how you feel about the notion of the Commonwealth, specifically about Australia being part of it. He actually came off as pretty smart...including smart enough to realise when he had lost.

Plus, there were a lot of reasons to move towards more independence back then. When the Brits joined the EU (back then still the EC), their trade interests shifted, which left Australia and co in quite a lurch, forcing it to look for alternative trade partners closer to home. And yes, it was a pretty one-sided relationship from the get go.

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This episode gave me whip-lash.  The middle parts where Charles and Diana are being successful and enjoying one another's company (along with William) are lovely.  I especially love the moment when they are dancing and decide, together, to really give the crowd a show.

And I'm aware that -- historically -- Charles became jealous of the way the crowds on this trip showed a clear preference for Diana.  (Or so it's been reported.)

But in this episode the swing from the two of them being co-triumphant to the downward spiral that follows is so abrupt as to make no sense to me.  Diana's request to the Queen -- which I did not really understand -- followed by the world's most awkward hug, was similarly confusing.

Edited by WatchrTina
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6 hours ago, poeticlicensed said:

"this was supposed to be MY tour"- Charles. Wah wah, no one wants to see you Charles. I was sure they were going to do the bit about how the people on Charles side of the street were complaining that they got the short end of the stick. Charles was acting like a baby man about Diana's popularity instead of trying to figure out how to capitalize on it. What a self-entitled twerp. 

I did wonder about that polo match.  Why would people show up with signs making fun of him?  It made me think of that old Simpsons episode where Lisa has a nightmare (where she is in the second best band in America made up of the less popular partners in famous groups (like Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel) and she ponders why the crowd would pay to attend their concert just to boo them.

And God, that meeting between Diana and the Queen, where Elizabeth looked as though she was pondering throwing herself out a window to escape Diana.  I get that it really is not the Queen's place to solve Diana's issues with Charles or make the family nicer to her, but jeez woman, even a modicum of comfort would have gone a long way. 

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4 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

And God, that meeting between Diana and the Queen, where Elizabeth looked as though she was pondering throwing herself out a window to escape Diana.  I get that it really is not the Queen's place to solve Diana's issues with Charles or make the family nicer to her, but jeez woman, even a modicum of comfort would have gone a long way. 

I'm not sure about that.

Isn't it part of the Queen's duty to ensure the future King is emotionally stable enough to take over when she dies?  In addition, that the future Queen be both reasonably happy, trained, and able to raise healthy children who will be the future of the monarchy?

She, above all people presently alive, should know that training the future King and Queen is one of her primary duties, and also to understand the challenges that will face them both.  She should also be concerned about publicity.  She's been trying to keep that (IMO ridiculous) monarchy going for most of her adult life.  Does she only care about it until her life ends, or does she wish it to continue?

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2 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

 

Isn't it part of the Queen's duty to ensure the future King is emotionally stable enough to take over when she dies?  In addition, that the future Queen be both reasonably happy, trained, and able to raise healthy children who will be the future of the monarchy?

No.  I think her job is to ensure she has an heir, that he understands what duties come with being the Sovereign and that he is as prepared as he can be to take over those duties when the time comes.  I can also agree that she would be responsible for ensuring Diana was ready to act as a consort when the time came.  I don't think she would see it as her duty to ensure Charles' emotional stability (not that she could actually do that anyways).  In fact, I would go so far as to say her opinion would be that the Crown always comes first and any emotional outbursts he might be having are not to get in the way of acting as King.                 

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2 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

No.  I think her job is to ensure she has an heir, that he understands what duties come with being the Sovereign and that he is as prepared as he can be to take over those duties when the time comes.  I can also agree that she would be responsible for ensuring Diana was ready to act as a consort when the time came.  I don't think she would see it as her duty to ensure Charles' emotional stability (not that she could actually do that anyways).  In fact, I would go so far as to say her opinion would be that the Crown always comes first and any emotional outbursts he might be having are not to get in the way of acting as King.                 

Or she wants him to fail, to ensure her legacy.

He is obviously unprepared, a blind person could see it.  Who trains and prepares him, if not her?

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Frankly, I don't think Bob Hawke sounded anything like Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee or a commercial for Fosters.  Maybe Yanks get fed a different diet of what Australians sound like.

I am somewhat curious to know if that dance by Charles and Diana really happened.  What a King and Queen of England they could have been.  

 

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14 minutes ago, PeterPirate said:

Frankly, I don't think Bob Hawke sounded anything like Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee or a commercial for Fosters.  Maybe Yanks get fed a different diet of what Australians sound like.

I am somewhat curious to know if that dance by Charles and Diana really happened.  What a King and Queen of England they could have been.  

 

Apparently they did, it gets a brief mention here, as does the "feeling faint" excuse (her dress was flying open.)  https://www.vogue.com/article/princess-diana-and-prince-charles-fateful-tour-of-australia

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Did the show not get the rights to play the original song by Franki Valli? Because that so wasn't him singing that song! Even in the ending credits, it wasn't Franki. Yet all other songs were by the original artists.

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1 hour ago, DarkHorse said:

Yeah they did, although they both look awkward and clumsy. Charles is going much faster than Diana would like. I would have figured they would have had dance lessons given they both come from the upper classes.

I can attest that one can go through cotillion and still be awkward and clumsy.  It's interesting that in reality that dance was very awkward, but for the show, they were great and it was held up as a pinnacle of their happiness. 

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22 hours ago, swanpride said:

Honestly, I always felt that this portrayal of Camilla was kind of unfair. Nothing about the situation was in any way okay, but if Camilla was trapped in an unhappy marriage of her own, it's understandable that she wouldn't give up on Charles, especially if real feelings were involved. Plus, HE could have ended it all along, and he obviously didn't do it. Maybe the show is right and he was also in love with his own fantasy, but in his case, it was romeo and Juliet and not Cinderella. I guess Diana was mostly picked because she was as someone put it once "the last virgin left".

Why couldn't Camilla not get married, or leave her husband?  

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Why couldn't Charles marry her early on instead of wanting to play the bachelor for longer might be a better question. And why should she wait around for him? And why should she then leave her children just to be with him?

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What confuses me a little bit...why exactly couldn't Diana live with the other royals and have meals with them?

Regarding the real live dancing: Charles is actually not that bad of a dancer, minus his posture, if nothing else he is pretty good in leading the lady. The main problem in this awkward dance is Diana, because her legs are too stiff. A big part of dancing is to go into your knee and to use your feet to go up and down.

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So, the conversation that Diana and Charles have in this episode was odd to me, if only because up until that moment we have not seen Charles express one OUNCE of affection or interest in Diana whatsoever. Now suddenly we're supposed to buy that he loves her and actually has recognized her beauty/radiance all this time?

It would have been more believable if they had added at least some scenes before this of him genuinely expressing attraction or desire towards her at SOME moments, where he wasn't completely wrapped up in Camilla. 

Also, are they not allowed to kiss??? What's with that? Why have they not kissed this entire season? I find that really strange

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4 minutes ago, ruby24 said:

So, the conversation that Diana and Charles have in this episode was odd to me, if only because up until that moment we have not seen Charles express one OUNCE of affection or interest in Diana whatsoever. Now suddenly we're supposed to buy that he loves her and actually has recognized her beauty/radiance all this time?

It would have been more believable if they had added at least some scenes before this of him genuinely expressing attraction or desire towards her at SOME moments, where he wasn't completely wrapped up in Camilla. 

Also, are they not allowed to kiss??? What's with that? Why have they not kissed this entire season? I find that really strange

I think they were trying to show that, when Camilla was completely removed from the picture (1/2 a world away really) Charles and Diana stood a chance.  As soon as the weak Charles got near Camilla again?  It all fell apart.

Interesting point on the kissing.

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One thing that the episode left completely out is how exhausting the tour was, unlike with Elizabeth and Philip in S1. Diana was only 21 and all was completely new to her. 

Although Philip was wrong to call the Waleses as secondary players, some days' tour would have been better in the beginning.   

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They shouldn't have married, that's obvious. I guess Charles felt he had to do it because of Dickie's last letter to him.

But judging only by the show, I don't have the feeling that Diana wanted to be part of the team.  Or knew how to be part of the team. And I don't mean it as a criticism. Some people are just too themselves and as Margaret said, they might break, but they'll never bend.

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29 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

They shouldn't have married, that's obvious. I guess Charles felt he had to do it because of Dickie's last letter to him.

But judging only by the show, I don't have the feeling that Diana wanted to be part of the team.  Or knew how to be part of the team. And I don't mean it as a criticism. Some people are just too themselves and as Margaret said, they might break, but they'll never bend.

I think the first person on your "team" should be your spouse though.  Without that, and with a cold mother in law, and a jealous sister in law, honestly, what more could she do?  If she shone, they hated her.  If she had failed?  They would have hated her for that as well.  Talk about a stacked deck...

Charles' team member was Camilla, and he didn't even try to pretend it wasn't, to anyone.  Obviously, neither did she.  

One thing that doesn't get mentioned much is Diana's lack of sexual experience.  Tonight I remembered the boy I loved when I was a teenager (and still a virgin.)  He was eventually stolen away by a woman older than both of us by 7 years.  It's a long story, but tonight I remembered that feeling when I first met her, that I was somehow gawky and young and couldn't compete with her sexual knowledge, and "tricks" or skills because I simply didn't know how.   In the end, that wasn't the real reason at all, (it was actually worse, she had trapped him) but when you are so inexperienced?  All I could think of is I didn't know enough, stupid girl, not a sex pro like her.  I think it's very possible Diana felt that same inadequacy or insufficiency.  It's a terrible feeling, probably much worse for a young bride with all eyes on her, and everyone knowing and laughing at her.

ETA

In this episode, with Camilla and all the people who "knew" back home 1/2 a world away, they looked like they might make it as a couple.  The minute they returned though, Charles returned to his willing addiction, and poof, it was all gone, and possibly even more painful for Diana because, for a little while, she thought she had her dream of a happy marriage.  As soon as he can have Camilla though?  She's irrelevant to him, a cumbersome bother again.  That had to hurt.

Edited by Umbelina
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3 hours ago, Roseanna said:

One thing that the episode left completely out is how exhausting the tour was, unlike with Elizabeth and Philip in S1. Diana was only 21 and all was completely new to her. 

IIRC they showed Diana faltering from exhaustion at Ayers Rock/Uluru, and then Charles bitching about it to Camilla on the phone later. It seemed like the episode was structured in a way that Diana was sad and exhausted and overwhelmed until she was reunited with William, and then also began to bask in the adoration of the huge crowds. Add in the temporary reconciliation with Charles and she perked right up. 

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58 minutes ago, kieyra said:

IIRC they showed Diana faltering from exhaustion at Ayers Rock/Uluru 

Yes, she couldn't climb because of heat.

But I meant that they had a program from morning to night for weeks. Always new city, occasions of same kind, endlessly new people, one had always to look interested, smile and shake hands... Remember, Elizabeth got pain in her face for constant smiling!     

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Watching Charles and Diana actually connecting and having some fun together and with William was so nice to see, but also sad considering we know that it was going to fall apart soon. Charles and Diana are just so poorly matched, they have all the worst things in common and the worst things that make them different. They are both massively insecure and sad while also craving attention and validation that they feel they don't get in their personal lives, but their differences keep them from really connecting. Of course, while Diana has her own issues, a lot of this is due to Charles not only being clearly and obviously in love with another woman, but also a rather toxic combination of insecurity and entitlement. He is such a shy awkward person by nature who has always felt pushed around by bigger forces then himself, but has also been raised as the heir to the throne and the most important person in the family, so he also feels like he is the star of every show and everyone else is just the supporting cast. Being so insecure, of course he gets really mean and angry when he feels like he is being upstaged by his wife, when this is supposed to be "his" tour. 

Diana probably was showboating more than a bit in Australia, but isn't that what she was supposed to do? They kept saying how important this trip was and how the royal family needed it to be a success, and she pretty much single handedly saved the trip and kept Australia in the fold, but now they get mad at her for doing what she was supposed to do? It certainly was a change from the start of the trip, where she could hardly pretend to give one single fuck during the first interview, but then when Charles gave her some positive attention, and she really lit up. 

I think that Philip and Elizabeth have slightly rosier memories of that trip to Australia than we might, I remember Philip and Elizabeth had some big fights during that trip, although I suppose you could say that it did bring them closer together when they were forced to work out their stuff and work together. 

I know that the royal family is known for their stiff upper lip and not being overly emotional, but are they really this ridiculously cold? That they react to a hug like someone is trying to toss acid on to them? That scene with the Queen and Diana was so awkward and hard to watch, no wonder the butler or whoever turned away. 

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9 hours ago, swanpride said:

What confuses me a little bit...why exactly couldn't Diana live with the other royals and have meals with them?

Yeah, that was odd.  Diana was, essentially, staying at Buckingham Palace as the guest of the Queen.  So presumably she DID occasionally dine "en famile" with the Queen and Prince Philip, but if she did, we sure didn't see it.

But, on the other hand, the royals were used to sharing palaces with people while not actually being in contact with them.  Kensington Palace is, after all, a sort of royal apartment building with the various royals who live there leading VERY separate lives.  And Buckingham Palace is more of an office building than a family home.  So I guess we're supposed to think that the Queen, having offered Diana a "safe haven" in which to live during her engagement, thought of the act as more of a granting of a temporary grace-and-favor apartment than as an invitation to a guest.

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It's just so odd because the show constantly shows the Queen having a meal with her mother, her sister and Anne. Granted, if Anne weren't there I would just assume that married women simply are expected to have and stay in their own households, but since Anne is married and nevertheless around all the time, it is kind of odd that Diana has next to no contact with anyone from the family outside of Balmoral.

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8 minutes ago, swanpride said:

It's just so odd because the show constantly shows the Queen having a meal with her mother, her sister and Anne. Granted, if Anne weren't there I would just assume that married women simply are expected to have and stay in their own households, but since Anne is married and nevertheless around all the time, it is kind of odd that Diana has next to no contact with anyone from the family outside of Balmoral.

I find that odd, too. Certainly back in that day, HM and Princess Anne usually had plenty of official appearances on their calendars during the week, and wouldn't have had much time for regular leisurely chatty lunches at the Palace with Margot and the Queen Mum. I assume it's just dramatic license as a setting for the Windsor women's chats. They probably talked to each other on the phone more than over lunch, given their schedules.

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4 hours ago, swanpride said:

It's just so odd because the show constantly shows the Queen having a meal with her mother, her sister and Anne. 

Elizabeth was very close with her mother and sister. Philip understood that and stayed away because he would be an outsider. 

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11 minutes ago, DarkHorse said:
17 hours ago, swanpride said:

Why couldn't Charles marry her early on instead of wanting to play the bachelor for longer might be a better question. And why should she wait around for him? And why should she then leave her children just to be with him?

She didn't love Charles.  She loved Andrew.  Even if Charles had proposed when he had the chance, I doubt she would have accepted.  Anne is right.

11 minutes ago, DarkHorse said:

I don't think Camilla was seen as Royal material and if I remember correctly she was also not a virgin/her virtue was in question. 

Everyone knew Camilla slept around, and yeah, back then, they really did have a doctor come in to check Diana's virginity.

10 hours ago, kieyra said:

IIRC they showed Diana faltering from exhaustion at Ayers Rock/Uluru, and then Charles bitching about it to Camilla on the phone later. It seemed like the episode was structured in a way that Diana was sad and exhausted and overwhelmed until she was reunited with William, and then also began to bask in the adoration of the huge crowds. Add in the temporary reconciliation with Charles and she perked right up. 

I posted an article that said the real reason Diana didn't continue the climb had nothing at all to do with the heat.  The dress they'd given her was blowing up, and she was about to flash the entire photography crew, she was desperately trying to hold the flimsy dress down. (probably memories of the horror of her see through dress photo disaster at the school.)  

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On 11/16/2020 at 8:57 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

Did the show not get the rights to play the original song by Franki Valli? Because that so wasn't him singing that song! Even in the ending credits, it wasn't Franki. Yet all other songs were by the original artists.

The music during the ball was diegetic. There was a live band with three white-clad singers.

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Charles behavior is atrocious although I can't say I sympathized with Diana's fit in Australia.  But it was great seeing the two of them get along so well...which of course didn't last.

Did they actually film in Australia for this episode because the location shooting was gorgeous.  I enjoyed getting a look at Australian politics as well.

Sorry, Di, "Mummy" doesn't really do the whole compassion thing.  If you want cold stare, harsh judgment and side-eyes, Elizabeth can do that in bunches!

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2 minutes ago, benteen said:

Did they actually film in Australia for this episode because the location shooting was gorgeous

I think it's Spain with a lot of added CGI.

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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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