The Crown: Part Fourteen
By Michael Moriarty
Prince Phillip, upon learning of Anthony Blunt’s treachery and astounding treason for 15 years, is appalled at the idea of letting the venomous snake that hides behind classic paintings go free, instead of executing him for cold and deliberate betrayal of his own nation’s freedom and safety?!
The Queen is scheduled to give a tribute to Blunt as the Royal Family’s art historian.
She decides to say nothing about these recent disclosures and chooses to almost “choke on her words” as she says them.
Now I, as a former student, while studying theater in the London Academy of Dramatic Art, am further upset by the legendary duplicity of the British intellect.
The smug certainty, with which they look down on those they consider their “lessors”; and, in this instance, hurl their treasonous approval of blatantly horrible, undeniably immoral decisions by the Queen and her government?! It is considered, within their almost suicidal intellects, the “worldly”, the “sophisticated” thing to do.
I don’t think this series’ recently “late Lord Winston Churchill” would agree.
He was, thank God, tastelessly half American.
The ease with which British actors play these multi-layered, poly-phrenic personalities is, in no small measure, due to the history of their ruling class.
Most unexpectedly and painfully, His Royal Highness, Duke of Snowden, steps into his own, rather painful and mildly suicidal trap, when he calls Anthony Blunt to his presence for a tongue-lashing.
Following Phillip’s indictment of Blunt, Blunt reminds the Prince of the Prince’s friendship with the late and indisputably suicidal Stephen Ward and the increasingly scandalous but hidden photographs of the Prince’s goings on.
If not checkmate?!
The concluding and printed remarks upon the television screen: “Anthony Blunt was offered complete immunity from prosecution.”
“He continued as surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures until his retirement in 1972”
We find no problem with rushing away from the seamy double standards of this episode to the next offering in the third series of The Crown.
Next, in Margaretology, we find ourselves with the two sisters, Elizabeth and Margaret, as children, discussing the news that Elizabeth is preparing herself to sit upon The Throne of England!
Here Margaret echoes what we’ve already heard: she is far more prepared to assume the crown than her sister Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, in her youth, assumes she can hand the crown to her sister Margaret, and agrees to Margaret’s request that she be Queen instead of Elizabeth.
Margaret, now much older, and, with Helen Bonham Carter portraying the elder Margaret brilliantly, prepares her lipstick most efficiently before boarding a plane with her husband Tony.
Queen Elizabeth arrives at the airport to say goodbye to her sister and brother-in-law.
The Queen offers the two of them much unwanted advice but does it anyway because she knows they need it.
On the plane, Margaret complains about the Queen’s advice to the two of them.
Tony concurs, “It was a little clumsy! But she means well. The two of us are complicated.”
“She and I are complicated”, echoes Margaret.
We North American readers, meanwhile, are only beginning to comprehend the increasing and suicidal tendencies arising in a once, anciently, “merry-old” England!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.