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The Crown: Part Seventeen

By Michael Moriarty
web posted July 27, 2020

Greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Wilson, Lady Margaret, following her triumphal tour of America and her successful negotiation with the President for a “bailout” of Great Britain, the PM congratulates her with, “Well played, your Royal Highness! Very well played!”

Later we learn, he is also planning to write a letter of admiration to our new heroine of The Commonwealth.

Incidentally, in light of Helen Bonham Carter’s brilliant portrayal of Princess Margaret, few have any idea what such an actress and artist goes through to capture the soul and identity of another human being.

For those who know, it is quite a breathtaking thing to witness.

However, and back to the central matter, Princess Margaret, now “home”?! And with a new appreciation of herself as ambassador, and with her growing popularity in England, she wishes to be given more such diplomatic duties.

Disappointingly, the sibling rivalry again overtakes the Queen and she tries to diminish Margaret’s achievement.

Quite sanely, Margaret points out to her sister that the Queen has far, far too much responsibility to cope with completely and Margaret herself far too little.

“It is soul destroying,” adds Margaret. “All I’m asking is are you prepared to share a little more? For both our sakes!”

After what is undoubtedly a pain-filled pause, the Queen says, “Let me think about it! I’ll see what I can do.”

She discusses it with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who ruthlessly reminds the Queen, and in fierce detail, about the Royal Family’s Rules of the Game: Don’t encourage ambitious relatives! Don’t feed their daydreams about becoming YOU, the King or Queen of England!

In short and bluntly, keep the relationship with Margaret as it is!

Forever distrustful.

The slow motion glimpse of the highest of royal couples walking seemingly toward Margaret?! A lost but ambitious sister who reads the faces of this pair and knows the news will be worse than heart-breaking!

The Queen and the Duke don’t even speak to Margaret!

This is, most painfully, when the divine ghost of William Shakespeare appears and seems to write this ruthlessly Royal Lecture to Princess Margaret:

“What you’re suggesting is unthinkable!
The order of succession to the throne
Is determined by the Act of Settlement
Of 1701! Not the wild and irresponsible
Whims of young princesses! The principle
Of undisturbed heredit’ry descent is a pillar
Of stability and perpetuity for the nation.
Princess Elizabeth’s destiny is to accede to the throne!
Yours is to serve and support! I would urge you
To accept your position in life! And dismiss
Forthwith any childish notions about rewriting
The rule books that it might better suit your character.
We all have a role to play!  
Princess Elizabeth’s will be center stage!
And yours, ma-am, will be from the wings.”

The above is all being lectured to a very young Margaret, who takes the scolding, passes her sister’s presence right by and goes off to shed her utterly justified childhood tears.

Cut to the elder Margaret putting on her pearl necklace.

Then back to her childhood’s tear-stained face.

Now back to her adulthood’s removal of false eyelashes!

I tear up immediately!

Not knowing exactly why!!

But that is, perhaps, solely a female thing that is never, ever completely understood but only comprehended emotionally.

In short, there are no words really.


Pure theatrical genius. ESR

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 rainbowfamily2008@shaw.ca. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty




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