Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Crown, Episode 7: Elizabeth Sticks up for herself

I urge you, if you’ve got Netflix, to watch The Crown, which I’ve already written about in an earlier post. I’ve just watched episode 7, “Scientia Potentia Est”, and it’s stunning. Basically, the young queen goes into battle against the sexist jerks who hem her in with tradition.

1.) She procures a tutor. She realizes that her education has been pitiful, all protocol and the constitution. Necessary, but hardly sufficient. She cannot imagine fulfilling her duty, which she construes as seeing that governance is properly executed by those with direct authority, without knowing more about the world.

2.) The prime minister, Winston Churchill, is taken ill, and it is relatively serious. He misses two of his weekly meetings with her, and she becomes suspicious. She discovers the truth and gives him a proper dressing down. She obviously does not like being treated as an ignorant twit.

3.) She must choose a private secretary. One man is “in line” for the job, as he’s senior. But she prefers a younger man, more in tune with her view of the world. She chooses the younger man, but is over-ridden by an official concerned with propriety. He’s also a condescending sexist jerk. She finds out about this and insists on having her way.

This all may seem obvious and right, abstractly considered from a certain (American? – though obviously not necessarily so) point of view. But abstract thought is one thing. The point of the drama is to see and feel it acted out with some fullness of being. That’s different. And important. It’s why we have stories.

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