The Crown: Part Three
By Michael Moriarty
This episode, titled Vergangenheit, begins in Germany.
Germany of World War II. A wooded section of it occupied by American forces. With one captured Nazi officer leading the Americans to something… but what?
A hiding place?
The Nazi – later we learn was Hitler’s personal translator - points and the American soldiers dig.
A box is found. It is then carried, by this convoy of soldiers, back to Allied Headquarters in what is known as Marburg Castle. The sight of English-speaking soldiers in battle uniform, all over some obviously historic German sight bring tears to my eyes.
Why? I’m not sure but I know they are a God-send.
Battling angels doing what must be done!
There “The Box” is opened. At an inspector’s location, the micro-film found in the box is examined. Back in London, the documents printed from the micro-film are clearly filled with, need I say, volatile information.
It is being carried, with great urgency, to the “higher-ups”! Ultimately, that means to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Churchill, in turn, “needs to see the King!” A title page is seen: “Marburg File Vol, X”
Cut to King George VI and Queen Mary.
She declares, “These papers must never see the light of day! Ever!!”
The contents of the file?! As George declares, “They bring the greatest shame upon this family!”
“Our people would rightfully never forgive us!”
Meanwhile, back at Buckingham Palace, in, we learn, another World War II year, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary are discussing the relative merits of a very young Reverend Billy Graham.
Suddenly we cut to the infamously renowned Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Hunting duck! Playing Bridge!
The Duke napping. Both bedecked for a costume party.
And then, dressed up as not only royalty… but!
As the Duchess says, “I get to be Queen at least once!”
Frequent glimpses, in between, of the Duke of Windsor’s lost and profoundly unoccupied and apparently worthless but very handsome face.
Amidst the party they are attending as King and Queen of England, their worthless lives are matched by either his empty or her bitter faces.
“What we did for love!”
He regards his luncheon guests that day as “people of no consequence.”
Actually summoning up the worth of both he and his wife.
“A life of pleasure”, he adds, “really has its limits.”
“Try a life,” responds the Duchess, “spent living with you!”
He, however, now dreams of returning to public life! To return to being someone of some increasing importance!
My God, the acting in this series is so divine!
Now we cut to Queen Elizabeth requesting that a meeting with Reverend Billy Graham be arranged! The Queen is cautioned by her ever-present adviser that a meeting with the Evangelist not be seen as an “endorsement of his crusades!”
Apparently such would not be “compatible with the Queen’s role as head of the Church of England.”
Now comes, from the adviser, The Request!
From the Duke of Windsor. That he be allowed to re-enter the country to research a book. The Queen agrees.
Her Prince says “No”!
Whaddon Hall, Buckinghamshire!
Captured German War Documents, Publication Unit. The truth of a Nazi living amidst the Royal Family! If the Brits don’t tell the truth about it, the Americans will!!!
Now back in England, the Duke attempts to pose as a “scholar”. A Historian!
In a letter to his wife?!
The Duke of Windsor disparages almost everyone he has encountered in his return home.
Oh, before I conclude with this “RETURN OF THE ENGLISH NAZI TO GERMANY”?
The title of this episode, Vergangenheit, which literally means “past”.
Apparently it can be used as an inference to a rather dark past.
The dark ghosts surrounding the Duke of Windsor’s dark past will, I imagine, be revealed within the remainder of this episode. How unrelentingly ironic that someone else’s mistakes and misery can provide some of Mankind’s best entertainment!
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.