The Crown Recap : Episode 5, Season 2 : Marionettes


Queen Elizabeth and her queenly crowd are going to get dragged into the modern age whether they like it or not. (They don’t.) The dragger in this episode is journalist and editor of the National and English Review, Lord Altrincham. After Her Majesty delivers an insensitive speech with an outdated perspective, Altrincham publishes an article giving examples of EXACTLY how she is living in the past and ways for her to high tail it to the present before she becomes irrelevant and the monarchy dies off.

Yes, like that Elizabeth. Dead. (Metaphorically, of course.)

But he does it out of love. No, really. He WANTS her to improve her image and spends most of the episode convincing her.

Lord Altrincham is victim of a bait and switch.

Of course this rolling-with-the-times theme runs the course of this show, but in this case we get it told by one-off “normal people” characters that really did have an impact on the image of the monarchy.

The real Lord Altrincham


Phillip Burbridge, the guy who smacked Altrincham, really did have several medals, here’s his record. National Archives


This music would be great to play whenever you do anything wonderful, or simply bring another tuna casserole to the table for dinner. “Alexa, Play Zadok the Priest” (It’s the official coronation music)

Along the way we follow Elizabeth as she gets a new, birth control ‘do…

Take that Phillip, she keeps the hair forevermore!

…as she gives that horrendous speech at the Jaguar factory…

It’s a floating Queen head!

…to her not-normal-people castle…

Balmoral on the left, Not-Balmoral- Ardverkie Estate– on the right. Close enough.


… and mucking through in the fields.

In her happy place

We also get to see her making history with her first televised Christmas speech that was one of Lord Altrincham’s suggestions!

HBH dress. Beckett’s least favorite and Susan’s favorite garment


Beckett had to look hard to find a favorite outfit


Speaking of least favorites, here’s the Brain Hat


Always a Best Dressed…and only in one short, very funny scene. We love you Margaret!


Dressing the Queen Mum must be so fun! Gloriously Ugly!

You can read the whole of Pilgrim’s Promise online at Project Gutenberg, learn the history of the underground in London and why we didn’t venture into the land of Bagpipe regalia.

To see Altricham’s Impact with Robin Day interview, you have to click on over to Getty Images, but here is Queen Elizabeth meeting Marilyn Monroe.


History of the underground in london


A man and his hounds

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

The Crown Recap : Episode 4, Season 2: Beryl

“Beryl” (It rhymes with “peril.”)

This episode was a delightful Margaret-a-thon! She goes from sad and lonely to the pit of despair and back up to the hopeful elation of a new relationship. We do get a peek at Elizabeth and Phillip celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and Prime Minister and Mrs. Macmillian’s…unusual marriage, too, but really? It’s all about Margaret.



There is a secondary storyline about the Macmillans’ relationship status: it’s complicated

Surprisingly, we disagreed on her wardrobe, but agreed that the music was amazing and set the tone as Margaret is miserable at a wedding:

It is a bit wrinkly


When Margaret bottomed out after her engagement was called off:

Lovely dress (especially when it moves) but the end of an engagement.


And as Margaret got her groove back!

Nope, he’s not. Well… that’s a discussion for another day.



Margaret was smart to get out of a yoking with ol’ Billy Wallace!

Yes, at duel is a time honored,gentlemanly way to settle a dispute, uh huh, tell us more Billy about how brave you were. (He was totally dragged out of someplace where he had been naked.)


The song that should have been playing but it would be over 50 years before it was written so….


We got to play a couple rounds of Identify the Tiara, but if you want to play at home, here is another place where you can keep up with the jewels of Queen Elizabeth II, From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault and how does one wear a tiara? What are the rules? Royal Splendor: Tiara Rules

And we picked our most and least favorite outfits.

Beckett (eventually) picked a favorite outfit ( more like she picked a least not-favorite)


Susan loved this one


Beckett’s most least favorite outfit, it does look like a bathrobe.


Susan’s least favorite (the tiara is pretty, though)


Horrendous dress in its very own special category: ET Ugly

Beckett did, at one time, wear a strapless dress. Once. (With Mr. Graham)

“The” Portrait. The Crown’s version of Princess Margaret’s racy birthday portrait is the subject of much debate. Was it an attempt to recreate the actual portrait that Anthony Armstrong-Jones took of her for her 29th birthday or was it a recreation of one he took years later? Here is an article that lays out all the images for you to decide, and here is just the 1969 portrait. What it definitely is not is Cecil Beaton’s Fairytale Princess portrait, that one they did pretty well copying (adding the Cartier Halo Tiara.) 

We talked about more of Tony’s work through the many years that he photographed the Royal Family (including ones pre-dating the “meeting” shown in this episode.) There are spoilers about his life here (he photographed them for many years including photos of Charles and Diana) but it’s a nice collection of his work (no strippers, though.) Daily Mail Online Snowden Photography

The art video Beckett was talking about:

In Westminster Abbey by John Betjeman can be found here at All Poetry.

Want to track the very long history of the word “queer”? Dazed Digital

Maybe you want to fall down a history of the space age? NASA has a place for you to start.

When Margaret got to define her own brand with her birthday portrait, the reactions were mixed:

The Queen was not amused

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

The Crown Recap : Episode 3, Season 2: Lisbon

Episode 3: Lisbon

Things are getting good on The Crown: All those questionably proper moves of Anthony Eden and the fellows on Phillip and Mike’s Excellent Adventure are resulting in payback time. There are consequences, Gents! Plus, our heroine, Queen Elizabeth, is starting to show her tougher and smarter side even though *cough*men are still trying to water situations down and play her.

Phillip doesn’t like wearing hats, but he’s okay with this one?


Things We Promised You During the Episode


The real video from the guys’ Antarctic adventure with penguins at the end and Mike Parker’s real news of the time (and the reality of Phillip’s beard):

More background on the conscript soldiers during the Suez Crisis, and why those young men at the train station may have been so very upset at Anthony Eden.

Prince Phillip is actually a painter, here is an article about the “I’ll paint you painting and you paint me painting” session that he had with Edward Seago.

Quite possibly the only time we’ve ever linked up to a Wikipedia article anywhere on this site, but this one has a nice graphic about coronets. Here is our favorite site for all things royal jewels (this link will take you to all of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras.) Beckett was right, she was wearing the Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik tiara and here is more info on that one specifically at The Royal Jeweller.

Beckett was right.


Bonus tiara points for naming these two beauties (their tiaras, not the women, we all know who they are.)


The real royal reunion, smiley faces, flirty eyes and lots of hoopla.

The BBC show that Beckett was talking about where a family eats meals from different eras is BBC’s Back in Time for Dinner, the entire show isn’t on YouTube right now (at least here in the US), but you might be able to find it someplace else…like on television. Here is a preview:


Side-by-side comparison of actual footage and show footage from Season Two. *****CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASON TWO*****



Our Best and Worst Dressed episode winners are…

Susan was a fan of this coat (It’s the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel coat–see Amazon Streaming.)


Beckett (unenthusiastically) chose this as her favorite


We both agree that this is a no.


Eileen! What were you thinking? (Beckett’s least favorite)


Yeah, yeah, royal garb, whatever…it’s a runner up for least favorite for Susan

Thanks for joining us this week, we’ll be back with episode 4:Beryl next week. If you liked what you heard, please tell a friend and follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

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

The Crown Recap : Episode 2, Season 2 : A Company of Men

A Company of Men

Written by Peter Morgan

This episode takes place during Phillip’s five month long, 1956 time out  Goodwill Tour that includes the opening of the 1956 Olympics in Australia. Not unrelated to that tour, Eileen Parker DIYs the investigation into her husband, Mike’s, affairs so she can get a divorce and just because he’s a hot mess at this point in time, Anthony Eden deals with his pharmaceutical demons.

As the title screams, there are a lot of men in this episode:

-All those Navy guys on-board the Britannia

-Phillip and his wingman/personal secretary/BFF Mike Parker

-Prime Minister Anthony Eden and his job-affecting addictions and eagerness to run away while other men clean-up the mess from his Suez Canal blunder

This is the REAL Anthony Eden. Wikicommons

-The threesome of Eileen Parker’s divorce attorney and two of the Queen’s personal secretaries- Michael Adeane and Martin Charteris-who try to keep that divorce as far away from the Royal family as possible.

-Bonus men: Dickie Mountbatten and a fisherman whose story arc lets Phillip realize that there’s no place like home.

But the women have power in this episode:

-A new character, Cake Waitress, has the power help another woman out of  a rotten situation, keep her own job and stick it to the tush-smackers. 

This is a lovely dress on Cake Waitress (Lily! Her name is Lily!)


-Eileen Parker has the power to take control of her own damn life despite the “put on something pretty” advice from her loose-lipped lawyer (solicitor…but we’re American so…)


-Helen King, an Australian reporter who has a different definition of “interview” than the Duke does, has the power to make him relive a past he wanted to keep buried.


Phillip’s childhood was far from a cushy, royal upbringing.

-The Queen who has the power to see right through her PMs’s cut-and-run plan, and to create a platform that allowed her and Phillip to communicate even though he was on the underside of world.

Margaret and the Queen Mum have the power to make mulled wine appear. We would like that power. Very much.

Instead we’ll just give you this recipe for Mulled Wine from Ina Garten to make your own like all of us common folk must.

Of course, we’re all about the actual history:

The 1956 Olympic opening ceremonies in Melbourne:


The history of women journalists in Australia. Helen King (as far as we can tell) was a fictional character, but based in reality.

The real Christmas Message 1956 is a little off from the one we heard in this episode, but pretty close.

We can’t embed it, but here’s a link to the video of ANTHONY EDEN AND LADY EDEN LEAVING FOR HIS “REST”–watch her face for the highest level of entertainment.

You can visit the Britannia! If you do and reenact any scenes from The Crown, get us photo or video evidence and we’ll…we don’t know but it will be cool. For more about the ship that flies the flags of two countries, USS Winston S. Churchill 

There is more on Phillip’s story later this season, but if you want to spoil that a bit, here’s some reading to get you started: Phillip’s very sad and tragic youth

She walked SIX FEET and took her bag…what is in that thing!?

What is in the Queen’s handbag? Here are some items spotted by really nosey observant people.

We didn’t mention this, but we will direct you in future episodes—this site, Tom and Lorenzo, recap the CLOTHES of each episode. They did it last season as well, and it’s brilliant.

We’ll leave you staring at the sea with Phillip although you’re probably not dressed in such a dashing sweater.

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

The Crown Recap : Episode 1, Season 2: Misadventure

We start out our brand new show, The Recappery, with coverage of the Netflix series, The Crown, season two!


We were both so very excited for the season to start that we got up at 2:00 A.M. to watch the first episode as soon as it dropped.



Written by Peter Morgan

(spoiler alert: they are ALL written by Peter Morgan. He’s the show creator, producer, and writer.)

We give a brief recap of season one, to refresh all of our minds, before we talk scene-by-scene and fill in all the historical bits. For most of this episode Elizabeth is dealing with two crisis: Phillip is off on a five month time-out  goodwill tour that will take him to Australia, Lisbon, the South Pacific and Antarctica; Anthony Eden, the new Prime Minister, is handling a situation in Egypt where a new President has taken control of the Suez Canal from Great Britain and France.

Both of these stories started at the end of season one and even before the opening credits we know that things aren’t going to play out smoothly for Phillip, and we know from history that the Suez Canal Crisis isn’t going to work out well for Eden. Nope. Not at all. So we’ll get to watch that train wreck over the next few episodes.

Speaking of train wrecks, Elizabeth’s younger sister Margaret has let the chip she got on her shoulder last season ferment into a deeply entertaining bitter streak. She’s in her Party Years and she’s doing them very well, much to Elizabeth’s dismay. But the Queen’s life isn’t without personal drama when she finds good reason to suspect that Phillip is cheating on her with a famous ballerina.

Phillip is leaving on a jet plane…the green so-long, dry-peck on the cheek suit.

As far as historical accuracy goes, we point out the tiny oopses (and the examples of narrative economy), give you some background on the things that actually did occur…and Beckett plays Identify the Crown very well.

Official Poster…and, oh hey, that’s the dress from the ballet and it sure does look greenish-blue.

We’re going to be recapping an episode a week (yes, we know, you watched the whole season in  a 10 hour marathon) but to keep you busy here are the links that we talked about for even MORE background intel.

The Court Jeweller covered the jewels of season one, and we can only hope they do that again because they know their jewels over there, but here is a post about all of Elizabeth’s tiaras

12 Juicy Bits from Prince Phillips biography

Details of the Suez Crisis and President Nasser

What is the deal with British Orders and sashes? 

Paaartaay Princesss…Some of the antics of Princess Margaret

The real Anthony Eden meeting the real President Nasser:


While there is ZERO evidence that an affair happened in real life (with anyone, those Windsor-Mountbatten’s are quite skilled at keeping that kind of thing invisible) here is the beautiful ballerina, Galina Ulanova dancing Swan Lake.