The Crown - Is that really how Brits think of Edward and Phillip?

As Americans viewing the British aristocracy from the outside, we enjoyed Downton and we’re enjoying The Crown. I understand that The Crown is a fictionalized account but it does seem to portray Edward in a more sympathetic light than was my impression and Phillip - my favorite Dr. Who, by the way - as a bit of an ass even given the extreme circumstance of marrying a sovereign. So, is that the general impression? Is your opinion determined by your take on the modern monarchy? A little context would be appreciated by this Colonial unschooled in the modern history of the Windsors.

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Philip with one L :wink:

Many Brits regard them as a complete waste of space and wouldn’t bother watching a film a film about them.


Not a Royalist, then. Is that typical of expats?

I don’t know whether it’s typical exactly. I’ve always thought that the RF were generally well respected, and indeed loved by many.
I don’t have any thoughts about them myself, but I would rather pull my own toenails out, than watch an episode of Downton…


Tell me how you REALLY feel…:smiley:

Not then ,not now, not ever. I suppose that some of my fellow immigrants are Daily Mail reading,Union Flag waving, fans of the Battenbergs but then they probably think the British Empire still exists.


Well let’s face it they aren’t exactly a bunch of charismatic, luminous intellects are they, nor do they do anything particularly useful, they are decorative if you like kitsch and tweeness but otherwise what is the point of them.

As for those series, the real people they are based on are all desperately boring so the televised ones can’t be interesting either, and the actors’ necessary woodenness and their ghastly put-on-smart voices just put me right off.

Not my cup of tea.


Oh, are you saying the Empire doesn’t still exist ?

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Don’t read the DM, or have a flag to wave and I know there is no empire just the Commanwealth-however I like the Royal Family and I’d rather have them than some elected Head of State. Look what that can get you!


I’m afraid I have not had an opportunity to watch The Crown so I cannot comment on that series. As for the Royal Family, I love our Queen and I love my country. They are human beings with common faults just like the rest of us. They did not choose to be born a Royal but must live their lives in full public view and are constantly ridiculed and criticised, damned if they do, damned if thye don’t. I would hate their life. Whatever people think of the Queen she has served her country well and continues to do so.

Thanks for that. It seems that there is passion on both sides concerning the royals and I suppose that passion must color the ways that they are portrayed on screen.

We see and know precisely what we are allowed to see and know, which is basically froth and ceremonial; that’s all, and that’s fine.
We have no idea what the monarch thinks about anything, hence all the speculation, invention and attribution of thoughts/feelings etc in films/series such as The Queen and The Crown.
I think saying one ‘loves the Queen’ is an interesting use of a verb because how can you love or have a personal attachment to someone or something you don’t really know? Loving monarchy as an institution is another question altogether. What most people buy into is a kind of national myth-cum-personality cult.
It really got going with the Tudors, Elizabeth I carried on the personality cult started by Henry VIII (think of the Armada portrait, for instance) and was very clear about the dichotomy between the body politic and the body personal (the speech at Tilbury, the bit about the body of a weak and feeble woman but the heart and stomach of a King), so the not marrying was for all sorts of reasons but mainly because marriage would have made the woman come to the fore and be subordinate to the husband, whoever he was & obv at the time the monarch would have had to follow suit, dissociation of the two no longer possible (cf William and Mary). By the time of Victoria’s accession things had changed… oops I have digressed.


Thanks for that. The Crown certainly dwells at length on the difference between a royal as a person versus a royal as a personification. And I suppose that your answer is ultimately the answer to my original question: How are Edward and Philip perceived? The answer is probably that, since one can never really know, they are perceived through the personal lens of the onlooker.

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Yes, and there’s the carefully orchestrated PR which tells us that yes here’s the Queen in her crown sitting in the State Coach etc etc BUT LOOK she’s a normal middle-class hardworking mère de famille at heart - see her poking a sausage on the barbecue or pouring tea, except that that is of course complete nonsense, and saying the queen works hard at her job, while true, doesn’t in any way correlate with the way other people with jobs work hard at their jobs, they simply aren’t comparable.


I think that one only has to read about the things that Philip has said to know that he’s an absolute arse. I have been watching the programme, but only because it’s rather well made and “possibly” more accurate than most people would like to believe. As far as the Royal family is concerned, you can take them or leave them, my only complaint is that those of us who would rather leave them still have to pay for them.

I respect your point of view, however, while she has done the job that is required of her (by some) very well, she has cost us an absolute fortune and doesn’t pay the taxes that her income demands that she pay. Furthermore, countries without a monarch do not suffer because they haven’t got one.

As someone from a country that doesn’t have a monarch, there are times that I wish that there was some personification in which the collective history of the country might reside, a reminder that one should consider history and tradition rather than just the exigencies of the political moment. It’s a passing fancy but one not without some interest to this Colonial.

The Royal family earns money for the UK. That has never been in dispute.

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It does David and, as you write, that has never been in dispute. The Royal Family costs everyone who pays tax in Britain a fortune and this removes money that could be used for other purposes, that has never been in dispute. The Royal Family pays a tiny proportion of the taxes that it should, pay that also has never been in dispute. Personally, I’d rather give the money to the needy and the infirm, you may disagree with me; it would be your right, but I’m pretty sure that the people in Britain who agree with me are increasing exponentially.