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SilverStormm

S02.E05: Entente Cordiale

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I think he was fully aware of her interest in him, and was actually being "cruel to be kind". He knew that she was a young woman looking for a husband, and while he liked her, he knew he wasn't that guy. If he hadn't put her down that way, she likely would have spent a great deal more time mooning (and wasting her time)over him.

I took it that way as well. He'd been nice to Miss Coke but that backfired as she is a young, impressionable girl who probably sees herself in love with him.  He's at least got enough good in him to act that way rather than lead her on and possibly end up luring her into something disastrous for her reputation.  He was certainly never going to marry her so best to nip it in the bud.

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On 1/30/2018 at 2:20 PM, iMonrey said:

The show makes a constant and obvious distinction between Albert and Ernst - one is broody, sober, proper and upright. The other is a bounder, a cad, a ladies man, a drinker, a philanderer. I find it rather telling that so many people seem to prefer Ernst just because he seems like he'd be more fun or because he's cuter or something. I'll take the nice dependable guy over the guy who's going to give me the clap any day, thanks very much.

For me, most of my favorite characters in any show or movie or book are not people I would like or want to be around in person, which is what is appealing about them in a fictional setting. You can enjoy them without putting up with their BS.

So, I agree Ernst is not someone you'd want to be married to, but that doesn't mean he's not a lot more fun for me to watch.

Edited by Zella
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33 minutes ago, Zella said:

The show makes a constant and obvious distinction between Albert and Ernst - one is broody, sober, proper and upright. The other is a bounder, a cad, a ladies man, a drinker, a philanderer.

Well, doesn't that follow history as it was written?   Ernst had venereal disease for years because of his promiscuity.  And think of all the women he passed it on to.  Charming.

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26 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Well, doesn't that follow history as it was written?   Ernst had venereal disease for years because of his promiscuity.  And think of all the women he passed it on to.  Charming.

Oh I agree! Not sure why the quote is showing that as my words since it was something I was quoting. I think the show has actually been quite a bit more flattering to Ernst than he ordinarily would have been depicted. 

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34 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Well, doesn't that follow history as it was written?   Ernst had venereal disease for years because of his promiscuity.  And think of all the women he passed it on to.  Charming.

The real Ernst had Syphilis and he must have received successful treatment for it eventually. Since he didn't go insane and died of old age.  The treatment was almost as horrible as the disease. Shudders.  And if he passed on the disease to women, at one point a woman had passed it on to him.  So I don't go for vilifying or shaming people who were unlucky or ignorant enough to get VD.  Especially since society didn't condone or encourage the use of what they used to call "French letters".

Not only was the medical "cure" for Syphilis horrid it was also dispensed in a very unfair way.  Somebody like Ernst - a rich male - would have had the sympathy and support of his doctor, while countless poor women seeking treatment  were turned away and shamed as immoral.

Heck, I am not defending real Ernst, he seems to have been a cad. But the fictional version here has been likable and charming so far.

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4 minutes ago, magdalene said:

And if he passed on the disease to women, at one point a woman had passed it on to him.  So I don't go for vilifying or shaming people who were unlucky or ignorant enough to get VD. 

Well, this is a chicken/egg conundrum since we don't know what was the gender of the first infectious case. 

Because of his high social status and access to health care, it's way more likely Ernst knew he had it than, say, a prostitute he visited.  And since women without support or jobs often were forced into prostitution (a very real possibility for Skerrett if she had been booted out of the palace without references) I do have tend to vilify someone like Ernst who knowingly infected some unfortunate woman.

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Come on PBS! Finally a chance to see some cute butts and you pixel it out. There was no need. I'm glad Albert finally told Victoria and I loved her reaction. I liked the culture differences between the two countries. I loved that Victoria wasn't upset at the skinny dipping as it looked like she would be. I did like her with make up on. But Jenna looks beautiful with or without.  

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5 hours ago, TVForever said:

I think he was fully aware of her interest in him, and was actually being "cruel to be kind". He knew that she was a young woman looking for a husband, and while he liked her, he knew he wasn't that guy. If he hadn't put her down that way, she likely would have spent a great deal more time mooning (and wasting her time)over him.

Thats what I figured even back when they were talking at the piano last time they saw each other. He knew that she was very interested in him, but she is looking for a husband, while he clearly isn't the marrying kind. Its sweet, that he recognized that she needs to move on from him soon to more marriageable pastures. Like when he was getting drunk with Albert after their father died, Ernst can be a cad, but he does try to be decent to the people around him, in his own way. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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7 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Thats what I figured even back when they were talking at the piano last time they saw each other. He knew that she was very interested in him, but she is looking for a husband, while he clearly isn't the marrying kind. Its sweet, that he recognized that she needs to move on from him soon to more marriageable pastures. Like when he was getting drunk with Albert after their father died, Ernst can be a can, but he does try to be decent to the people around him, in his own way. 

Ernst (in this series) is portrayed as a very kind man with very little self-control when it comes to fleshpots.  It's not so much that he didn't find the untitled daughter of the English upper class an eligible bride as it was that as a German Royal he could not make a marriage with someone of non-royal status (it would have been morganatic (sp?)), and he therefore ended it really kindly.  Such marriages did occur, a lot of them in the nineteenth century, but the German Hochadel were very much required to marry within their class, and most of them paid careful attention to their respective ranks in excruciating detail, especially to maintain their rank and precedence.   Harriet, as a widowed duchess, was still not high enough ranked but she was older, more experienced, and apparently willing to take on the role of morganatic wife or mistress en titre - Ernst was stopped by the details of his disease, syphilis, the potential effects on the women he passed it on to, and the (really horrific) effects on possible children (I think the sterility the disease frequently caused was a mixed blessing).

And this is where I can't speculate further, as I know the subsequent history of Ernst and the actual history of Harriet, which

Spoiler

was never together.

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Well, this is a chicken/egg conundrum since we don't know what was the gender of the first infectious case. 

Because of his high social status and access to health care, it's way more likely Ernst knew he had it than, say, a prostitute he visited.  And since women without support or jobs often were forced into prostitution (a very real possibility for Skerrett if she had been booted out of the palace without references) I do have tend to vilify someone like Ernst who knowingly infected some unfortunate woman.

He wouldn't have known though until he had certain symptoms and that could take years.  The disease could be dormant for a while.

Anyways, I feel very sorry for anybody who got Syphilis back then and viruses and bacteria that will kill you don't know and care about your morality. It makes me uneasy to conflate morals and STDs because it reminds me of the hysteria and shaming surrounding AIDS back in the day.

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Ernst wasn't required to sleep around as his father did.  He could have behaved like Albert and looked seriously for a wife much earlier.  Then, perhaps, he could have avoided diseases.

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22 hours ago, CousinAmy said:

I was searching for a description of Mumbly Albert but Emo works, too. He is exceedingly unattractive at this point. 

Deep, whispery voice:   The rouge, I can not tolerate it.  Please take it off immediately.

Ugh  Doesn't he die soon?  ;-)

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8 hours ago, iMonrey said:

 

I'm not sure I understand this attitude. Is he just supposed to suck it up and get over the bombshell he's just learned that affects not only his very identity but his position and his children? That's a lot to absorb. 

 

Yeah, I think Emo Albert should have sucked it up on an official state visit and quit acting like an ass to his French hosts.

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1 hour ago, Razzberry said:

Deep, whispery voice:   The rouge, I can not tolerate it.  Please take it off immediately.

Ugh  Doesn't he die soon?  ;-)

No, he does not.  Remember when he does, Victoria will be absolutely devastated.

7 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

Yeah, I think Emo Albert should have sucked it up on an official state visit and quit acting like an ass to his French hosts.

He may have been stiff but not overtly rude as the Duchess was "humorously" portrayed as being.

A couple of things that stood out on rewatch.  When the French court notices that Victoria is wearing make-up one comments that she is "going native".  That seemed an odd phrase to use, as it generally implies that one has gone from a "superior" civilization to a "lesser" one.  It would have been more appropriate to state the obvious that Victoria was trying to "be French".

Where was Louis Philippe's wife Maria Amalia (Marie Amalie) or his sister Adélaïde ? (interesting behind the scenes political stuff there)  And did I hear correctly, the woman who was showing Albert the paintings was called de Berry? 

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1 hour ago, Notwisconsin said:

Legitimate ones at any rate. >|D

yeah, he was. Royals were required to have mistresses in the unwritten rules of the day. In some cases, the sovereign's wife would pick one out for him. Vic and Albert were the exception.

If Ernst had confined himself to a (non-prostitute) mistress or two, he might have avoided disease.  He was likely sleeping with any passerby who caught his fancy.

Even though illegitimate children could not have inherited his titles, it would not have been unusual for Ernst to have acknowledged them if they had existed, especially since he had no legitimate offspring.  Yet, there is no record of any.  This isn't proof that he was sterile, but it does lend credence to that theory, unless all of his flings were of very short duration.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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6 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

This isn't proof that he was sterile, but it does lend credence to that theory, unless all of his flings were of very short duration.

It only takes once!

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2 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

It only takes once!

Right, but the woman might have moved on to other partners by the time she knew she was pregnant, so no associating the biological father with the child.

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On 1/29/2018 at 1:41 PM, Razzberry said:

I find Albert somewhat less charming than Victoria did.  

As annoying as he was, I think it was probably true to life.  Real-life Albert was a mope.  Outside of his family, he wasn't terribly popular.

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Re: Ernst's poor treatment of Miss Coke.

Couldn't find a speculation thread so here's mine:

Spoiler

Hope I'm wrong, but I think they plan to have Miss Coke enter a "lavender marriage" with Lord Alfred or Drummond, and caddish behavior from her crush would be another clunky push to get there. 

Edited by Razzberry
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The Frenchwoman that mocked Victoris’s Dash purse is now on my list of hated TV characters. We will probably never see her again, and good riddance!

I thought it was very fashion-forward!

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On 1/30/2018 at 3:20 PM, iMonrey said:

I'm not sure I understand this attitude. Is he just supposed to suck it up and get over the bombshell he's just learned that affects not only his very identity but his position and his children? That's a lot to absorb. 

The show makes a constant and obvious distinction between Albert and Ernst - one is broody, sober, proper and upright. The other is a bounder, a cad, a ladies man, a drinker, a philanderer. I find it rather telling that so many people seem to prefer Ernst just because he seems like he'd be more fun or because he's cuter or something. I'll take the nice dependable guy over the guy who's going to give me the clap any day, thanks very much.

(It's also weird that Ernst and Albert seem to have completely different accents.)

I'm willing to believe she was just happy to give Albert news she knew would cheer him up.

I agree with this a million times!

I love Albert because of his humbleness and integrity. He's supportive, dependable and doesn't mind letting you take the reins but wants to prove his worth without having to overshadow you in the process. He's quiet and serious but in a calming way and I think those traits are paramount for having a strong-willed and stubborn wife like Victoria.  Not to mention carrying around the childhood trauma and abandonment issues he's dealt with from his mother his whole life, I was glad he felt comfortable enough to release those pent-up emotions instead of going down a self-destructive path. More importantly, he's self-aware about situations and challenges Victoria's perspectives and sheltered worldview for the better.  I believe Ernst does the same thing for Albert, that's why Ernst is one of the few people can share his vulnerabilities with (love the brother dynamic), and so makes a better supporting character rather than an ideal romantic partner.

Edited by Eri
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On ‎29‎.‎1‎.‎2018 at 8:36 AM, twoods said:

Thank you for the bathing scene, BBC. 

It was indeed hilarious.

However, one can't stop thinking that when men spy on naked women, it's nowadays resented. But with women spying on naked men it's just the opposite, obviously in orderd to compensate that the men had centuries done so.  

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: adding clearfication to make my purpose clearer
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On ‎30‎.‎1‎.‎2018 at 10:20 PM, iMonrey said:

The show makes a constant and obvious distinction between Albert and Ernst - one is broody, sober, proper and upright. The other is a bounder, a cad, a ladies man, a drinker, a philanderer. I find it rather telling that so many people seem to prefer Ernst just because he seems like he'd be more fun or because he's cuter or something. I'll take the nice dependable guy over the guy who's going to give me the clap any day, thanks very much.

I think that since Samuel Richardson's Pamela in the 18th century, we are used to love stories where an innocent girl converts a rake to a faithful husband. 

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen was more probable: even in love with the heroine Fanny, Henry Crawford who is used to charm all women can't resist to break resistance of Fanny's cousin Maria Bertram with whom he had earlier flirted and given over without remorse and who now, married with another man, is with a reason cold towards him. That Henry is intelligent and fun, is to many readers reason enough to think that he should have married Fanny although he is without solid qualities.      

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On ‎31‎.‎1‎.‎2018 at 12:18 AM, Zella said:

For me, most of my favorite characters in any show or movie or book are not people I would like or want to be around in person, which is what is appealing about them in a fictional setting. You can enjoy them without putting up with their BS.

So, I agree Ernst is not someone you'd want to be married to, but that doesn't mean he's not a lot more fun for me to watch.

I also like Ernest. 

However, a love story that ends in the wedding and a story about marriage are essentially different. Ernest could be a hero in the former story, but not in the latter one - at least if it's realistic. Which Victoria of course isn't - it's a fairy tale. 

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Was the King offering the Duchess de Barry (spelling?) to Albert for Albert’s “entertainment?” I did not get the point of her character. She seemed like a professional mistress of sorts. She was knowledgeable in things (like art and languages) that powerful men are interested in. Then, she was sitting at the table next to Albert later. And her friend became Ernest’s companion. Obviously, Albert was not interested, but I was wondering if I was reading this right?

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On 2/24/2018 at 2:27 PM, Eri said:

I agree with this a million times!

I love Albert because of his humbleness and integrity. He's supportive, dependable and doesn't mind letting you take the reins but wants to prove his worth without having to overshadow you in the process. He's quiet and serious but in a calming way and I think those traits are paramount for having a strong-willed and stubborn wife like Victoria.  Not to mention carrying around the childhood trauma and abandonment issues he's dealt with from his mother his whole life, I was glad he felt comfortable enough to release those pent-up emotions instead of going down a self-destructive path. More importantly, he's self-aware about situations and challenges Victoria's perspectives and sheltered worldview for the better.  I believe Ernst does the same thing for Albert, that's why Ernst is one of the few people can share his vulnerabilities with (love the brother dynamic), and so makes a better supporting character rather than an ideal romantic partner.

I totally agree. And I think Victoria’s words in this episode could not have made it more clear about her feelings for Albert. Victoria knows what Albert is like, warts and all, and she loves him for who he is. In fact, while she teases him about his seriousness, I think she deep, down inside wants that serious part of him to counterbalance her less than serious nature. I also think that Albert very much needs and wants the unstructured, chaotic part of Victoria. While he is reserved and controlled on the surface, underneath his is a very passionate young man. He can let loose with Victoria, and I think it is very intoxicating for Victoria that she is the one person who can get him to let loose. And Albert sharing his deep, dark secret with her regarding Uncle Leopold only deepened Victoria and Albert’s bond as this showed Victoria how much Albert trusted her with one of his greatest fears. (I am not a Vicbourne fan. I like Lord M and Victoria as good friends, father/daughter bond and think any romantic angle is creepy with the age difference. That said, I think this episode shows why Victoria and Albert are a much better match than Lord M and Victoria. Lord M is a brooding, emotional vault, who is always available with nice words of wisdom, but he never really let Victoria in emotionally, which I think is everything to Victoria. She is a very emotional woman. Albert, in contrast to Lord M, opens up emotionally to Victoria. Thus, Victoria and Albert’s relationship is much deeper). Although on paper Victoria and Albert may not seem a good match, I think in reality their personalities work really well together.

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