home > this article
My Pilgrimage, Chapter Thirty-Eight: The English-Speaking People’s Unashamed Father Figures Part Two
By Michael Moriarty
The Crown is, to put it most simply and, yes, boldly, A Sacred Television Series.
For me, a lapsed Catholic, attending it, watching it, hearing it is more like experiencing a TRUE Mass than anything I lived through in HIGH Mass offered by my Jesuit high school instructors.
“Could I borrow the Crown?” offers Queen Elizabeth to one of her advisers, “For a couple of days?”
He replies, “Yes… but from whom? If the Crown is not yours? Whose is it?!”
And she’s not a King!
She can’t possibly be a father-figure of any kind.
She’s the Mother of the Commonwealth!
And what used to be called The British Empire!!
The infamous Edward, the Duke of Windsor? Played with the most impressively shameless style and divinely subtle panache by Alex Jennings.
His equally infamous mistress/wife?!
Wallis Simpson, played by Lia Williams with a frighteningly profound lack of concern for the health of the Commonwealth. Both giving lust an almost inalterably bad name. Edward, with a most un-amorously smug smile, “Shall we f**ck?” Vengeance boiling within every syllable and in every narcissistic ounce of flesh within his lips.
Just another of the great actors in the cast of this television triumph.
Another of his perfect line-readings: “This is COOKIE’S work!”
Cookie is the Queen Mother.
Edward’s own mother. She wants neither her American daughter-in-law, now the Duchess of Windsor, nor her son, the Duke of Windsor, to attend the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
She has sent, of all people, the Archbishop of Canterbury and his Parliamentary thugs, to deliver the profoundly unforgiving and, yes, blatantly un-Christian message.
This is where Bonnie and Clyde Windsor, to my mind, become Romeo and Juliet! And Shakespeare, the Romantic Historian, begins to enter the drama. At this point, I am now on the side of the Windsor’s.
And on the side of Edward’s eloquence.
To the Archbishop, Edward unloads this brief quote from his brother, the former King:
“My Lord Archbishop,
Apparently, George VI, had written that about the present Archbishop’s predecessor.
No wonder the Archbishop storms out of the room!!
Hypocrisy at its most undeniable!
Not just royal hypocrisy but Holier-Than-Thou Sacred Hypocrisy.
Subsequently we hear Edward narrating, referring to Queen Elizabeth as “Shirley Temple”.
Nothing and no-one, in my experience with the England of a Monarchy, now a Matriarchy under Queen Elizabeth, has embodied so complete a picture of British Aristocracy as Alex Jennings’ Duke of Windsor!
Neither extreme of blistering intelligence and eloquence nor cruelly narcissistic self-adulation are left out of this Duke of Windsor’s arsenal.
The best and worst of British Aristocracy: Edward, the Duke of Windsor.
Captured in the exquisitely eloquent letters he had written to his one, true and apparently ONLY love, Wallis Simpson, his companion and Duchess of Windsor. Offered up by Alex Jennings with what should have been recognized as award-winning perfection.
Oh, well… to quote someone or other, “Life can be a bitch!”
Elizabeth II wants her husband Phillip to supervise her Coronation.
Or will the Queen submit to those who, as they themselves declare, “know better”?!
Phillip is now, before my eyes, supervising the entire Coronation of his wife, the Queen.
However, “the Establishment” is upset.
Winston Churchill is sent to deliver yet another negative message to the Queen.
Subsequently, the Coronation happens! Not entirely as Phillip would want it to but… yes… according to the Queen’s wishes!!
The cynical and bitter commentary by Edward, Duke of Windsor?!
His contempt for “the Magic”?!
One cannot resist wanting to know how such suicidal magic can persist without the entire Fall of the House of Windsor.
You won’t regret it.
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 email@example.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.