The Crown Recap: Episode 10, Season 2 : Mystery Man

Mystery Man

We’re sad that The Crown, season two, is coming to a close. As we discuss throughout this episode, we’re also a little sad that it had to end this way. We gave up trying to reconcile the timeline to reality, wondered why Prince Philip had to get wrapped up in the Profumo Affair and Susan tried to make Curtain Call Easter Eggs a thing. 

We give you trivia right out of the gate with surprising facts about Keds


Stephen Ward, Osteopath, (back when no one knew what osteopaths were) and a guy who likes connecting people which is not as innocent as it could be.



Elizabeth is pregnant (with Prince Edward) and we had a really hard time following the next 9 months (see:timeline issues.) But we did find some real Queen Elizabeth pregnant and with babies photos! 

If you would like to fall down a rabbit hole with Beckett, here is the American Society of Hematology.


Margaret is pregnant, too! Margaret is pregnant in the 1960s when no one knew that drinking could be bad for the baby. Also, Susan liked this ensemble, but Beckett was once again disappointed in Margaret’s outfit.

Is this the stand in for Kensington Palace? We think, “yes.”


Christine Keeler getting interrogated about her relationship with the Soviet spy and the British Minister of War, a mystery man in a photo that could be one of them or could be Prince Philip, and Stephen Ward, the man who introduced them all.


Beyond the Fringe, Dorothy Macmillan thought it was hysterical.


Dorothy Macmillan needs to step aside because we really must know about that painting behind her.


The Prime Minister only felt this way during his evening at the theater.


Stephen Ward (he’s not sleeping). He really did do sketches of Philip but he had been commissioned by a magazine, here is one of them.


Our most favorite shot in, maybe, the whole series (it’s way more impressive in motion.)


Macmillan making an entrance to confirm his resignation. (He’s fiiiine, the guy lives another 25 years.)


A confederacy of elected quitters…and a really strong brooch game.


Tony is too cool for furniture.


Philip hunts down Elizabeth who is hanging out with some out of season roses.


If someone runs across this candelabra, grab it for Susan? Thanks.


They fight, they make up and then they sit like this for too long.


Our final scene of season two and all these actors…this is sad, we’ll miss them.


Some parting links:

A history of pregnancy tests

Life got really rough for Christine Keeler (although not for John Profumo or Harold Macmillan), here is her obituary from the New York Times.

The Royal Jeweller website recaps this series by talking about the jewelry!

The final performance of Beyond the Fringe:


Photo credit: Netflix; Stills: The History Chicks






The Crown Recap: Episode 9, Season 2 : Paterfamilias


This is easily the most serious episode of the season, and it focused on male relationships; fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, school boys and more school boys with some father figures thrown in for good measure.

This episode compares and contrasts young Philip’s arrival at a rugged new school, Gordonstoun, to young Charles’ arrival at the same school many years later. It begins by establishing that Charles isn’t the most athletic of kids and that Philip wants to toughen his son up by attending his alma mater.

Charles spends a lot of time in the mud


Charles thinks he’s going to Eton, EVERYONE goes to Eton, it’s right down the street and he can wear lots of snazzy clothes there.


But no. He’s going to Gordonstoun and wearing this outfit–the same one his dad wore– like, exactly the same one.


Philip forgot that he, too, hated this outfit but, for some reason, he saved it for his son.


Philip’s drop-off day was with his favorite sister, Cecile, who hates flying.

Prince Charles’ drop-off day had more people than Philip’s. The real Charles on that day looks a lot happier than The Crown Charles.


Charles got the same room as Dad! The same bed! The same broken window! Ahh, Gordonstoun never changes (although people who actually went there said it was clean, nice and well kept.)


Yup, still broken.


Charles dealt with his rough entrance into Gordonstoun life by having Uncle Dickie come up for a picnic.


Philip dealt with his rough time at Gordonstoun mourning the tragic death of his sister and her family. This is so very sad…but this imagination scene was surreal and very well done.


She looks like Duckface, right? AKA Anthony Armstrong’s mum? It’s not, it’s an actress named Sophie Stone who should play Anna Chancellor’s sister in a movie! (Here Sophie plays Princess Alice, Philip’s mother.)


Philip attends the funeral of Cecile and her family…her husband was a Nazi officer.


But Charles has it pretty bad, too, when he fails an annual endurance race that his father excelled at.
Philip gave awards out… but that’s not too weird, to be standing under your own portrait, right?


Philip built a gate as therapy and as a metaphor for him rebuilding his life from nothing with a little help from his friends.


Charles ending the school year with some well intentioned but really bad parenting.

It was a very emotional episode and we, of course, compare and contrast what played out on the screen and what played out in reality.

Gordonstoun looks like a lovely place now, and it’s co-ed. Gordonstoun School…and if you’re school shopping for your lad (no lassies admitted, we’re afraid) we’ll just leave this right here…Eton College.

For more information about Princess Cecile, her family and their horrific deaths, you could start with this blog post on History of Royal Women and more about all of his sisters in this Express piece.

Photo Credit: Netflix; Stills: The History Chicks via Netflix

The Crown Recap : Episode 8, Season 2 : Dear Mrs. Kennedy

Dear Mrs. Kennedy

This episode focuses on the (fictionalized) relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Jacqueline Kennedy. In real life the two did meet, the royals had the Americans over for dinner and they did formally hang-out one more time before the assassination of President Kennedy. Did Jackie inspire Elizabeth to make a bold move with Kwame Nkrumah, the president of Ghana? Did Jackie use Elizabeth as a Gal Pal Confessional? Was the Kennedy marriage really the abusive and drug filled union that was depicted in this episode? Did we get dizzy with this huge leap in time from 1961 to 1963 within the episode?

We go over all of that. We’ve been waiting for this convergence of our worlds!

This episode takes us from the palace in Ghana…

Little known fact, these are Gray Crowned Cranes, the national bird of Uganda. 


…to a wet rainy field in England. Ghana’s weather looks a lot nicer.

Elizabeth feeling old and useless and getting over that is a running theme in this episode.


We see a few moments of the Queen Mum…

Heavenly Mac n’ Cheese—fork tines down. Also, note the glass of pink on end table.


…and worry about what to wear to a very important formal, but informal, dinner. See the blue dress? Strapless.

It never looks like it does on the model.


Forget your constitutional crisis, Elizabeth is having a fashion crisis (while Philip nags and schemes for a seat next to Mrs. Kennedy.)

Straps added! It’s okay, Elizabeth, sometimes we’re just a little puffy.


We chat about the casting of Jodi Balfour as Jackie and Michael C. Hall as JFK (big surprise, we disagreed) but we agreed about the dress and hair that don’t really resemble what Jackie really looked like that night.

Would Jackie REALLY sit on the arm of a sofa in someone else’s house? Also…pretty dress but the very different one Real Life Jackie wore was also lovely.


Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip host a dinner for President and Mrs. Kennedy. U. S. Department of State photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.



Did they not get the protocol sheet?! Look away Martin, look away.


We’re big, super big, Porchey and now, Patrick fans. Here’s more about Patrick Plunket, the 7th Baron Plunket.

We could not love Porchey and Patrick any more than we do. As far as we can see, they are Elizbeth’s only true friends.



President Nkrumah and the Queen are daaahhhnsing!



When Jackie comes to Windsor Castle to apologize to Elizabeth, the Queen pulls out all the men with weapons.


And she also brought out all the pomp of a proper British tea.

That poor scone didn’t stand a chance.


It wasn’t until the last frame that we understood the title. Well done.

If you’re hankering for a little bit more Jackie Kennedy (a lot, this is only part one) we’re covering her on our The History Chicks bios, episode 101

A little bit more about Elveden Hall where the Ghana scenes were filmed in this blog post and from the estate’s own website, Elveden.

An article about the bells at Westminster Abbey

Want to do your own damage to a scone? Here’s a recipe for Clotted Cream:

Elizabeth and Jackie may not have been besties, but they did stay in contact, like in 1965 when the Queen invited the Jackie and the kids to a dedication of a memorial for JFK.


The Africa (and other continent) quiz. Beckett didn’t do so great the first time, but kept at it and eventually learned them all. FIND THE COUNTRIES IN AFRICA

“Be careful! It’s a rental!” Here’s more about the rental market of TVs in Great Britian in 1960.

We all might want to brush up on the proper procedures for meeting the Queen, Mental Floss

Interactive Buckingham Palace Expedition!


Windsor Castle tour!

Photo credit: Netflix; Stills: The History Chicks via Netflix

The Crown Recap : Episode 7, Season 2 : Matrimonium


Princess Margaret is going to the chapel and she’s gonna get maaaaried…except this is Margaret and she can’t do things the easy way, can she?   

She cannot. Which is great for us because it makes such good TV! When she finds out that original, one-true-love Peter Townsend, is getting hitched, she wants to beat him with a marriage announcement of her own. She finds a willing Alter-Partner (who has his some less than admirable reasons for wanting to marry her) but her sister’s reproductive properties leave Margaret flat on her face long before the finish line. (Spoiler alert, in real life he beat her to marriage by over a year but we don’t get too hung up on timelines over here.)

Here’s some background music from this episode. This site has ALL the episodes’ music curated quite nicely: TuneFind.


After that greeting, you really shouldn’t be shocked at the contents, Honey.


When one is heartbroken, one must make a desperate move. She could have just got her hair cut, but no.


Gazelli Art House is a real place and that view is pretty accurate (for the time.) Wedding planning? This place is pretty historic, Gretna Green, Scotland.


Duckface! How have you been? ( Answer: Busy acting. The wonderful actress that is so great at making us hate her characters is Anna Chancellor, here’s her IMDB page.) Want to hear what one of her other sons had to say about life with Lady Rosse as a mum? Plus there’s lots of pictures.  The 7th Earl of Rosse Speaks


We keep it PG around here so this is the only way we’ll show Jacqui Chan and Tony. Here is her IMDB page (she’s still alive as of 1/26/18.)


…and the only way we’ll show the Frys.


Why Margaret had to wait to announce her wedding? Her sister had to “pull a pint” first.



The Queen Mum has no problem embracing the modern age! Come on Elizabeth and Phillip, what’s your problem?

She does look happy…but why? We discuss that a lot (but could it be the Poltimore tiara?)

We talked about Twilight Sleep (Cafe Mom article for more) and came up with several reasons why this (spoiler alert) ill fated marriage may have happened. Here’s one version from the Daily Mail.

Finally, this is so brilliant and the video so great at showing how it works we’ll give them a little free advertising here.





Photo credit: Netflix; Still Clips, The History Chicks via Netflix




The Crown Recap : Episode 6, Season 2 : Vergangenheit

Episode 6, Vergangenheit

The past. That’s what vergangenheit means in German and this episode goes waaay back to right at the end of World War II when Nazis were making deals with the allied forces, trading information for their lives. This episode focuses on a specific file, the Windsor File, that was part of 400 tons of documents and evidence that made up the Marburg Files. The damning Windsor file? It is full of German documents (written by Germans) that detail the former King, Edward VIII’s involvement with Nazis.

The big question we all have to answer for ourselves: was this true information or propaganda and just how much was the former king wrapped up in the Nazi party? (Oh, you want us to answer that? We can’t. Historians differ on the answer.)

The question that the Queen must decide: how will the past affect her family’s future and will that future include forgiveness?

We strongly recommend you give a listen to our coverage of the life of Wallis Simpson as background to this episode, it just might give you a perspective that changes everything you thought you knew after seeing Vergangenheit. The History Chicks episodes 93 and 94.

This episode is all about the Duke of Windsor and his wife, Wallis Simpson–those Wacky Windsors (here at Trooper the Pug’s birthday.)


Their life in exile isn’t all costume parties and cards, David (we call the Duke David because we know him so well) needs porpoise…er, purpose.


Nazis, Wacky Exiled Windsors and Billy Graham, who seems very one of these things is not like the other, but it makes sense:  Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England and should, in all matters, look up for guidance (insert Billy Graham being tall joke here.).

Let’s take a moment to appreciate some accessories: Wallis’ fabulous necklace…

…the Diver Man at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance…



…Fruity’s drab little house bought with his much younger wife’s money…


…Elizabeth’s excellent posture…


…and the Queen Mum’s bold fashion statement for church.


And let’s also take a what the hell is on her head? moment

Back to our story… the whole episode deals with the truth: What is it? Who decides what version is true? And what kind of consequences and forgiveness are a result of that truth?

And Nazis…it’s about Nazis.

David on his ill fated, Don’t Call it a State Visit *wink* to Hitler’s Germany. 


The REAL David and Wallis with the very real Adolf Hitler.



In the end David is not allowed back in to England and sent back to his dull, non-purpose driven life. And cards. (And kings, yes, we get it.)


We strongly recommend you give a listen to our coverage of the life of Wallis Simpson as background to this episode, it just might give you a perspective that changes everything you thought you knew after seeing Vergangenheit. The History Chicks episodes 93 and 94.


For more information on the Marburg and Windsor files you might want to start the at the US Office of the Historian

this about the Duke of Windsor and this one in Newsweek, that has a lot of photos and comparisons to The Crown. The movie The King’s Speech addressed the Duke of Windsor and his Nazi connection from King George VI’s view, and this piece has a look into that.

A book that both of us found interesting and added another layer of intel when we were researching Wallis was 17 Carnations by Andrew Morton.

This article from the New York Times talks about the preservation of Villa Windsor in Paris. Speaking of the Duke, his letters to one of his team of plotters (who also was a newspaper owner), Lord Beaverbrook, gives a little insight into his actual thought process during his exile.

Billy Graham played a pivotal role in this episode, this is him closing out his multi-month Crusade of Great Britain at Wembley Stadium.

Historian Margaret Lambert had a very small role in this episode, but in real life she was a pretty big deal. Here is her obituary in The Independent.

Link to Whaddon Hall Gate House on the market  ( we think this would make a wonderful History Chicks Clubhouse) and a flat in Waddon hall that’s no longer available but who doesn’t like a little real estate peek?

Want to see how the odds on who is making Meghan Markel’s wedding dress? Yeah, you do… Paddy Power.

Before WWII a lot of people thought that Hitler fellow might be a positive influence Europe. The Queen Mum, her young daughters and goofy Uncle David were playing around in the back yard and were influenced by him.

Photo Credit: Netflix; Stills: The History Chicks via Netflix