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