The Crown (TV series)
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The Crown (2016–present) is an English historical drama airing on Netflix about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, starting with her marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 and ending sometime in the early 21st century.
Season 1 (2016)
Wolferton Splash [1.1]
- King George VI: You understand, the titles, the dukedom. They're not the job.
- Prince Philip: Sir?
- King George VI: She is the job. She is the essence of your duty. Loving her. Protecting her. Of course, you'll miss your career. But doing this for her, doing this for me, there may be no greater act of patriotism. Or love.
- Prince Philip: I understand, sir.
- King George VI: Do you, boy? Do you really?
Hyde Park Corner [1.2]
- Prince Philip: Oh, like the hat.
- Queen Elizabeth II: It's not a hat. It's a crown.
- Anthony Eden: Much of this is just a function of age. He focuses almost entirely on issues relating to America and the Soviet Union, so important domestic matters are falling behind.
- King George VI: What do you suggest I do?
- Anthony Eden: Well, as sovereign, of course, there is nothing you can do from a constitutional standpoint. But, as a friend, as Albert Windsor, you are the one person I can think of to whom he might listen.
- King George VI: Well, that is where we run into difficulties, I'm afraid. I no longer am Albert Windsor. That person was murdered by his elder brother when he abdicated. And, of course, Albert Windsor would dearly love to say to his old friend, Winston Churchill, "Take a step back. Put your feet up. Let the younger generation have a go now." But he is no longer with us and that void has been filled by George the VI who, it turns out, is quite the stickler, and no more allow the sovereign to interfere with the Prime Minister than stand for office himself.
- Anthony Eden: Even when it's in the national interest, sir?
- King George VI: The national interests? Or Anthony Eden's interest?
- Martin Charteris: Though, it would help if we could decide here and now on your name.
- Queen Elizabeth II: My name?
- Martin Charteris: Yes, ma'am. Your regnal name. That is the name you'll take as queen. Your father took George. Obviously, his name is ... was Albert. Before he abdicated, your uncle took Edward. Of course, his name was David.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What's wrong with my name?
- Prince Philip: Nothing.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Well, then let's not overcomplicate matters unnecessarily. My name is Elizabeth.
- Martin Charteris: Then, long live Queen Elizabeth.
- Queen Mary: Dearest Lilibet, I know how you loved your papa, my son. And I know you will be as devastated as I am by this loss. But you must put those sentiments to one side now, for duty calls. The grief for your father's death will be felt far and wide. Your people will need your strength and leadership. I have seen three great monarchies brought down through their failure to separate personal indulgences from duty. You must not allow yourself to make similar mistakes. And while you mourn your father, you must also mourn someone else. Elizabeth Mountbatten. For she has now been replaced by another person, Elizabeth Regina. The two Elizabeths will frequently be in conflict with one another. The fact is, the crown must win. Must always win.
- Winston Churchill: When the death of the King was announced to us yesterday morning, there struck a deep and somber note in our lives, which resounded far and wide, stilled the clatter and traffic of 20th century life, and made countless millions of human beings around the world pause and look around them. The King was greatly loved by all his peoples. The greatest shocks ever felt by this island fell upon us in his reign. Never, in our long history were we exposed to greater perils of invasion and destruction. The late King, who assumed the heavy burden of the Crown when he succeeded his brother, lived through every minute of this struggle with a heart that never quavered and a spirit undaunted. In the end, death came as a friend. And after a happy day of sunshine and sport, and after a goodnight to those who loved him best, he fell asleep, as every man or woman who strives to fear God and nothing else in the world, may hope to do. Now, I must leave the treasures of the past and turn to the future. Famous have been the reigns of our queens. Some of the greatest periods in our history have unfolded under their scepters. Queen Elizabeth II, like her namesake, Queen Elizabeth I, did not pass her childhood in any certain expectation of the Crown. This new Elizabethan age comes at a time when mankind stands uncertainly poised on the edge of catastrophe. I, whose youth was passed in the august, unchallenged and tranquil glories of the Victorian era, may well fill the thrill in invoking once more the prayer and anthem, God Save the Queen.
- Queen Mary: I've come to make a final representation. And to beseech you not to do this.
- David, Duke of Windsor: I wish to address my people. It's my right.
- Queen Mary: You have forfeited that right.
- David, Duke of Windsor: There are things I wish to say.
- Queen Mary: In which capacity? You're no longer their king.
- David, Duke of Windsor: As a private individual.
- Queen Mary: Oh, no one wants to hear from a private individual.
- David, Duke of Windsor: Well, I beg to differ. The newspapers are for me.
- Queen Mary: The best thing for everyone would be if you said your goodbyes quietly, privately, and disappeared into the night.
- David, Duke of Windsor: Preferably never to return.
- Queen Mary: I didn't say that.
- David, Duke of Windsor: But you thought it. Admit it.
- BBC Radio Announcer: This is Windsor Castle. There follows an important announcement from his Royal Highness, the Duke of Windsor.
- David, Duke of Windsor: A few hours ago, I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor. And, now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart. You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love. This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother has one matchless blessing enjoyed by so many of you and not bestowed on me-a happy home with his wife and children. And now we all have a new king. I wish him, and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all. God save the King.
- Prince Philip: What kind of marriage is this? What kind of family? You've taken my career from me, you've taken my home. You've taken my name. I thought we were in this together.
Act of God [1.4]
- Peter Townsend: You sure about this, sir?
- Prince Philip: When I got married, my in-laws made me marshal of the Royal Air Force. As a result, I'm the most senior airman in the country, and I can't bloody well fly.
- Queen Elizabeth II: In your letter that you sent me, you said, "Loyalty to the ideal you have inherited is your duty above everything else, because the calling comes from the highest source, from God himself."
- Queen Mary: Yes.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Do you really believe that?
- Queen Mary: Monarchy is God's sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth, to give ordinary people an ideal to strive towards, an example of nobility and duty to raise them in their wretched lives. Monarchy is a calling from God. That is why you are crowned in an abbey, not a government building. Why you are anointed, not appointed. It's an archbishop that puts the crown on your head, not a minister or public servant. Which means that you are answerable to God in your duty, not the public.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I'm not sure that my husband would agree with that. He would argue that in any equitable modern society, that church and state should be separated. That if God has servants they're priests not kings. He would also say that he watched his own family destroyed, because they were seen by the people to embody indefensible and unreasonable ideas.
- Queen Mary: Yes, but he represents a royal family of carpetbaggers and parvenus that goes back what? Ninety years? What would he know of Alfred the Great, the Rod of Equity and Mercy, Edward the Confessor, William the Conqueror or Henry the Eighth? It's the Church of England, dear, not the Church of Denmark or Greece.
- Queen Mary: To do nothing is the hardest job of all. And it will take every ounce of energy that you have. To be impartial is not natural, not human. People will always want you to smile or agree or frown. And the minute you do, you will have declared a position. A point of view. And that is the one thing as sovereign that you are not entitled to do. The less you do, the less you say or agree or smile...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Or think? Or feel? Or breathe? Or exist?
- Queen Mary: The better.
Smoke and Mirrors [1.5]
- Prince Philip: Gentlemen, I'd like to start by saying how very honoured I feel to be working with all the great minds and talents here in this room today as we come together to organize the very best coronation for my wife, the Queen. We all know the scale of the challenge that faces us. The eyes of the world will be on us, Britain will be on show and we must put our best foot forward. In such circumstances, the temptation is to roll out the red carpet and follow the precedents set by the grand and successful coronations of the past. But looking to the past for our inspiration would be a mistake in my view. Britain today is not the Britain of past coronations. Assumptions made at the time of my father-in-law's coronation seventeen years ago cannot be made anymore. That is why I think we should adapt this ceremony. Make it less ostentatious. More egalitarian. Show more respect and sensitivity to the real world. We have a new sovereign, young and a woman. Let us give her a coronation that is befitting of the wind of change that she represents, modern and forward-looking at a moment in time where exciting technological developments are making things possible we never dreamt of.
- Duke of Windsor: Oils and oaths. Orbs and sceptres. Symbol upon symbol. An unfathomable web of arcane mystery and liturgy, blurring so many lines no clergyman or historian or lawyer could ever untangle any of it.
- Party Guest: It's crazy.
- Duke of Windsor: On the contrary. It's perfectly sane. Who wants transparency when you can have magic? Who wants prose when you can have poetry? Pull away the veil and what are you left with? An ordinary young woman of modest ability and little imagination. But wrap her up like this, anoint her with oil, and hey, presto, what do you have? A goddess.
Scientia Potentia Est [1.7]
- John F. Dulles: [referring to Anthony Eden slumped in a chair] That is not a sleeping man. That is a sad metaphor. The second greatest man in what used to be the greatest nation in the world.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You were my private secretary for two years before Martin Charteris.
- Jock Colville: I was.
- Queen Elizabeth II: And it was my impression that we always had a good understanding and we were able to speak openly with one another.
- Jock Colville: Yes, of course.
- Queen Elizabeth II: And trust one another, speak plainly when matters of real importance came up.
- Jock Colville: And before Her Majesty says anything else, let me just say how sorry I am. It's been agony. I tried to stop them. I told them my opinion, but they were so insistent we keep it from you. After the second one, I really was of a mind to let you know the truth.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Second what?
- Jock Colville: Stroke, Ma'am. But they insisted again, everyone keep it quiet, say nothing.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I see. And who was it that was doing the insisting?
- Jock Colville: Lord Salisbury, ma'am. And the Prime Minister himself. On the rare occasions he was conscious. I see. That is what you asked me here to discuss?
- Queen Elizabeth II: No. I asked you here to discuss whether I should take Michael Adeane for my private secretary rather than Martin Charteris. But what you've just told me is far more important.
- Queen Elizabeth II: It has come to my attention that for a period of time last week, my Prime Minister was incapacitated. And the Foreign Secretary, too. And that you colluded in keeping that information from me.
- Lord Salisbury: Your Maj...
- Queen Elizabeth II: No, it is not my job to govern. But it is my job to ensure proper governance. But how can I do that if my ministers lie and plot and hide the truth from me? You have prevented me from doing my duty. You have hampered and bamboozled the proper functioning of the Crown. How could you? My own late father valued you greatly. He believed the phrase, "History teaches, never trust a Cecil." Deeply unfair. Perhaps not.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Winston. I am just a young woman, starting out in public service. And I would never presume to give a man, so much my senior, and who has given this country so much, a lecture. However ... You were at my Coronation.
- Winston Churchill: I was.
- Queen Elizabeth II: And you therefore heard for yourself as I took the solemn oath to govern the people of my realms according to their respective laws and customs. Now, one of those customs is that their elected Prime Minister should be of reasonably sound body and mind. Not an outrageous expectation, one would've thought.
- Winston Churchill: No.
- Queen Elizabeth II: But it seems that you have not been of sound body and mind these past weeks. And that you chose to withhold that information from me. A decision which feels like a betrayal, not just of the covenant of trust between us and the institutions that we both represent, but of our own personal relationship. [Queen Elizabeth rises from her chair, moves to the writing desk and pulls out her old notebook. She resumes her seat and begins to read from the book] In 1867, Walter Bagehot wrote, "There are two elements of the Constitution: the efficient and the dignified." The monarch is the dignified and the government the efficient. These two institutions only work when they support each other, when they trust one another. Your actions, your breaking of that trust was irresponsible and it might have had serious ramifications for the security of this country. Is your health better now?
- Winston Churchill: It is.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Good. But is it sufficiently better? Fit for office better? I would ask you to consider your response in light of the respect that my rank and my office deserve, not that which my age and gender might suggest.
- Winston Churchill: Ma'am ... I look at you now and I realize that the time is fast approaching for me to step down. Not because I am unwell or unfit for office, but because you are ready. And therefore I have discharged my duty to your father. With your blessing and your forgiveness, I shall continue to serve as the leader of Your Majesty's government.
Pride & Joy [1.8]
- Winston Churchill: Never let them see the real Elizabeth Windsor. The cameras, the television. Never let them see that carrying the crown is often a burden. Let them look at you but let them see only the eternal.
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: I don't want to sound self-piteous but loss has followed loss. First and foremost, the loss of a husband. Then the loss of a home, having to leave the palace. The loss of motherhood, as daughters become adults. Loss of a routine, a sense of purpose. The loss of a Crown. Imagine, seventeen years' experience as Queen and being the head of the family. Bertie was a wonderful husband and father, but he needed a great deal of help as King. And then we lose him and, at precisely the moment when they should be giving me more to do, stop me falling into despair, they take it all aw... They take it all away... They put it all into the hands of a girl who's totally unequipped for it.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I am aware that I am surrounded by people who feel they could do the job better. Strong people with powerful characters, more natural leaders, perhaps better-suited to leading from the front, making a mark. But, for better or worse, the Crown has landed on my head. And I say we go.
- Winston Churchill: That is not a painting. It's a humiliation. "How shall I paint him today? Ah! Sitting on a chair, producing a stool. A broken, sagging, pitiful creature, squeezing and squeezing!"
- Graham Sutherland: That's not how it's being seen.
- Winston Churchill: That is how it is. And I will not accept it.
- Graham Sutherland: I don't think it's wise to reject it. It was commissioned by the members of the joint Houses of Parliament as a sign of respect.
- Winston Churchill: Well, then they should have commissioned an artist who is respectful, instead of a Judas wielding his murderous brush. Look at it! It is a betrayal of friendship. And an unpatriotic, treacherous, cowardly assault by the individualistic left.
- Graham Sutherland: As regards the friendship...
- Winston Churchill: Clearly there is none.
- Graham Sutherland: I accepted this commission because I admired you and I came through the experience admiring you even more.
- Winston Churchill: You make monsters of everyone you admire?
- Graham Sutherland: It's not vindictive. It's art. It's not personal.
- Winston Churchill: Well, you are a lost soul. A narcissist without direction or certainty.
- Graham Sutherland: Please, sir. Don't overreact. Give it time. I showed those sketches to your wife throughout the process. She remarked on how accurate they were.
- Winston Churchill: That is the whole point. It is not a reasonably truthful image of me!
- Graham Sutherland: It is, sir.
- Winston Churchill: It is not! It is cruel!
- Graham Sutherland: Age is cruel! If you see decay, it's because there's decay. If you see frailty, it's because there's frailty. I can't be blamed for what is. And I refuse to hide and disguise what I see. If you're engaged in a fight with something, then it's not with me. It's with your own blindness.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I have nothing to hide from you. Nothing. Porchey is a friend. And yes, there are those who would have preferred me to marry him. Indeed, marriage with him might have been easier. Might have even worked better than ours. But to everyone's regret and frustration ... The only person I have ever loved is you. And can you honestly look me in the eye and say the same? Can you?
- Queen Elizabeth II: My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear Winston and Lady Churchill. My confidence in Sir Anthony is complete. And I know he will lead the country on to great achievements, but it would be useless to pretend that either he or any of those successors who may one day follow him in office, will ever, for me, be able to hold the place of my first Prime Minister, to whom my husband and I owe so much. And for whose wise guidance, during the early years of my reign, I shall always be so profoundly grateful. I will remember you always for your magnanimity, your courage at all times. And for your unfailing humor. Founded in your unrivaled mastery of the English language. I take comfort from the fact, that in losing my constitutional adviser, I gain a wise counsellor to whom I shall look for help and support in the days which lie ahead. May there be many of them.
- Cecil Beaton: "All hail sage Lady, whom a grateful Isle hath blessed. Not moving, not breathing. Our very own goddess. Glorious Gloriana." Forgetting Elizabeth Windsor now. Now only Elizabeth Regina.
Season 2 (2017)
- Anthony Eden: In the early hours of this morning, the Israeli army launched an attack into Egyptian territory, the Sinai Peninsula, and is rapidly approaching the Suez Canal. The Egyptian army has mobilized a retaliatory force and is about to engage. Her Majesty's government has now issued a deadline to both Israel and Egypt to halt all acts of war and to allow Anglo-French forces into the country to preserve the peace. The Israelis have expressed a willingness to comply if the Egyptians do, but alas ... President Nasser has thus far refused.
- Queen Elizabeth II: When does the deadline expire?
- Anthony Eden: Tomorrow morning, ma'am.
- Queen Elizabeth II: And the next step, in your view, would be?
- Anthony Eden: Military intervention, ma'am.
- Queen Elizabeth II: War?
- Anthony Eden: Indeed. But to keep the peace. It is the correct thing to do, ma'am. Nasser is playing roulette with the stability of the whole world.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Well ... Thank you for your explanation. [Eden rises to his feet and turns to leave] Before you go, I do have one or two questions. [Eden, caught off guard, stops and faces Elizabeth] When you mentioned that the Israelis had launched an attack, you didn't seem surprised.
- Anthony Eden: Why would I seem surprised?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Unless I'm mistaken, the Israeli position has always been that they would, under no circumstances, launch a full-scale attack by themselves for fear of diplomatic isolation. And yet they've gone on to do precisely that, indicating that either they changed their mind, or there'd been some kind of collusion. Have we?
- Anthony Eden: Have we what?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Colluded with Israel? In any way?
- Anthony Eden: Six days ago, this government met with representatives of the French and Israeli governments in a small village on the outskirts of Paris, where a document was signed. The Sèvres Protocol, which outlines plans for a coordinated offensive against Egypt, whereby the Israeli army would attack the Egyptian army near the Suez Canal, thus allowing the intervention of Anglo-French forces.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Who else knows about this?
- Anthony Eden: Individual members of Cabinet. Senior members.
- Queen Elizabeth II: But not Parliament?
- Anthony Eden: No.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Or the United Nations? [Eden remains silent] When does all this begin?
- Anthony Eden: Airstrikes begin tomorrow.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You don't want to give it more time?
- Anthony Eden: No, ma'am. The right thing to do is to go in now and to go in hard. I was right about Mussolini, I was right about Hitler, and I am right about this fella! Do I have your support?
- Queen Elizabeth II: The Prime Minister always has the sovereign's support.
A Company of Men [2.2]
- Anthony Eden: First of all, I must thank you for the way in which you have all carried on without me ... and for the manner in which Rab has very competently stood in for me in my absence. You've kept me informed of all the major decisions that had to be taken. In all these months, we have been a united government. And we shall remain a united government.
- Harold MacMillan: But we're not a united government, are we, Anthony? The war you insisted on has left us as divided as Caesar and Pompey and the country in chaos. There is no petrol in the pumps. There are no tins on the shelves. Our allies are aligned against us. Our international reputation is in tatters.
- Anthony Eden: How adroitly your weather vane spins, Harold. You were for the war, as I remember.
- Harold MacMillan: Only as long as it was legal.
- Anthony Eden: You ... liar! [Eden slams his fist down on the table] Liar! You wanted it every bit as much as I did! You'd have torn off Nasser's scalp with your own fingernails given the chance, taken the oil from that canal and set the Middle East ablaze!
- Harold MacMillan: You've lost the trust of the people and of the party. It's the end of the road.
- Anthony Eden: A road which you willingly led me down!
- Anthony Eden: I'm sorry if I, uh, disappointed you.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Did I suggest that you had?
- Anthony Eden: No, but I, I think you thought it.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I ... I did think that the decision to go to war was rushed. And I was sorry to see you lie to the House, when you told them that you had no prior knowledge of the Israelis' intentions. We both know that to be untrue. But, wrong though it was, I did have sympathy for you. To have waited in the wings for so long and to have supported a great man like Winston so patiently, so loyally. And then to finally have your opportunity to measure yourself against him. To do nothing is often the best course of action, but I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be. History was not made by those who did nothing. So, I suppose it's only natural that ambitious men, driven men want to go down in history.
- Anthony Eden: Or make history by going down.
- Harold MacMillan: With Eden's war, we've discarded the moral advantage or any goodwill we once held. Not to mention the dire economic situation. It's really been quite ruinous.
- Queen Elizabeth II: But it wasn't just Eden's war, was it? It was a war prosecuted by a government of which you, as chancellor, were a major constituent part. I also seem to remember that you were one of the loudest voices in support of the war in the beginning. One always has to accept one's own part, I believe, in any mess.
- Princess Margaret: You pathetic, weak, contemptible fool. I never even wanted to marry you. You were only ever an act of charity. Or desperation. And now you insult me? You? People like you don't get to insult people like me. You get to be eternally grateful. You've quite the way with women. Take a look at this face. A picture of disappointment and disgust. This is the look that every woman you ever know will come to share. This is what the next forty years of your life will look like.
- Princess Margaret: It was the first room I've ever been to where nobody got up, bowed, curtsied. Some just carried on having conversations, as if I wasn't there at all. Those that did talk to me did with such indifference or nonchalance, it verged on impertinence. There was this one in particular. Tony.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Anthony, surely?
- Princess Margaret: No, he insisted. Tony. Armstrong-Jones. He's this photographer.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Like Cecil?
- Princess Margaret: Oh, no, nothing like Cecil. Couldn't be less like Cecil. Well, maybe a bit like Cecil, in that he's obviously queer. Though interestingly, Elizabeth denies it.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Elizabeth who?
- Princess Margaret: Cavendish. I called her when I got home last night and interrogated her. "What are the five most important things I need to know about that man?"
- Queen Elizabeth II: Why five?
- Princess Margaret: I don't know. Felt like the right number.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Why not three?
- Princess Margaret: He's more interesting than three.
- Queen Elizabeth II: So, what did she say?
- Princess Margaret: One, that he's Welsh.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Is that interesting?
- Princess Margaret: No, not particularly. That he had polio as a child. That he has a passion for inventing things. And he would never dream of being anything as straightforward as "simply queer."
- Queen Elizabeth II: What on earth does that mean?
- Princess Margaret: I'm not altogether sure. But I'm also not incurious to find out.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What was number five?
- Princess Margaret: That was five.
- Queen Elizabeth II: No, Margaret, that was four.
- Princess Margaret: All right. Five is ... I liked him.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Yes, I can tell that.
- Princess Margaret: There's a contempt in him.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What for?
- Princess Margaret: For me. For us. For everything we represent. I actually think you'd like him. That's what's so dangerous about him.
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The history of the monarchy in this country is a one-way street of humiliation, sacrifices and concessions in order to survive. First, the barons came for us, then the merchants, now the journalists. Small wonder we make such a fuss about curtsies, protocol and precedent. It's all we have left. The last scraps of armor as we go from ruling to reigning to...
- Queen Elizabeth II: To what?
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: To being nothing at all. Marionettes.
- King George VI: We all suspected it.
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: These papers must never see the light of day, Winston. Ever.
- Winston Churchill: Publication could do grave harm to the national interest.
- King George VI: The gravest. What is written here brings the greatest shame upon this family. Our people would, rightfully, never forgive us.
- Tommy Lascelles: Before you make your decision, ma'am, I believe you should be in full possession of the facts.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I've read the Marburg Files.
- Tommy Lascelles: So have I. I said full possession.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You mean there's more.
- Tommy Lascelles: Yes, ma'am. The Duke of Windsor made his loyalties clear as soon as he became King. Surrounded himself with a new breed of courtier, men such as Carl, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, a renowned Nazi. He also shared classified Allied documents with the Duchess of Windsor, who was herself, we believe sharing a bed ... forgive me, ma'am ... with the German ambassador, Herr Ribbentrop. It became so bad that the government had to stop putting secret and sensitive papers in his red box. But we needn't have worried, because then we had the abdication. Having promised to retire from public life, we now know that he had no such intention. Why else would the pair of them decide to visit Hitler in Germany? The Führer labeled the trip an unofficial state visit, so it is unsurprising that it was on that same trip, at the home of Herr Hess, that the plan was hatched. A plan to reinstate the Duke of Windsor as King of England, effectively betraying and dethroning your dear late father in return for German forces being given free rein across Europe. German troops were even promised to quell a colonial rebellion, if necessary. And there were visits to SS training schools and early versions of the concentration camps. Now, of course, the full horrors were yet to come. Nonetheless, he visited. Shall I continue, ma'am? [Elizabeth keeps her gaze averted, saying nothing] When a German aircraft crashed in Belgium carrying Hitler's entire military plan for the invasion of France, the Duke wasted no time in letting his Nazi friends know that Allied forces had, indeed, recovered this priceless information, which gave Germany time to change its plans. And, in less than a month, Paris fell to German occupation. But perhaps worst of all, the Duke told the German government that resolve in the United Kingdom in the face of the German aerial bombardment was weakening and that continued bombing ... that is, the continued slaughter of his fellow countrymen and former subjects ... would, I quote, "soon make Britain ready for peace."
- Queen Elizabeth II: We all closed our eyes, our ears to what was being said about you. We all dismissed it as fabrications, as cruel chatter, in light of your decision to give up the throne. But when the truth finally came out ... The truth! It makes a mockery of even the central tenets of Christianity. There is no possibility of my forgiving you. The question is: how on earth can you forgive yourself?
Dear Mrs Kennedy [2.8]
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Didn't you say how unhappy she was? In the marriage?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Yes. That's the thing about unhappiness. All it takes is for something worse to come along and you realize it was actually happiness after all.
- Louis Mountbatten: You may hate him now, but one day, God willing, you will be a father yourself. And you will fall short, as all parents do. And be hated. And you will know what it is to pray for the forgiveness from your own son.
Mystery Man [2.10]
- Harold Macmillan: I hope you haven't come to dissuade me. The situation is quite hopeless.
- Queen Elizabeth II: That's not my understanding. The doctors told me that the tumor was benign.
- Harold Macmillan: It was the size of an orange.
- Queen Elizabeth II: While that causes inconvenience and discomfort that largely...
- Harold Macmillan: I'll still require a long period of convalescence, not be in a fit state to undertake the arduous duties as PM. I'm afraid my decision to resign is final.
- Queen Elizabeth II: That's very disappointing, especially after our conversation.
- Harold Macmillan: As to who should succeed me, as sovereign you have the prerogative to consult, but there's only one man, in my opinion. The Earl of Home.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Alec? Yes, we're all very fond of him, but...
- Harold Macmillan: He's the right man. A decade younger than me, steel painted as wood, and the old governing class at its best. I would call Alec to the palace right away, ma'am. No sense dragging things out.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Is that an order, Mr. Macmillan?
- Harold Macmillan: It would be my advice, ma'am.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Do you know, I've been Queen barely ten years. And in that time, I've had three Prime Ministers. All of them ambitious men. Clever men. Brilliant men. Not one has lasted the course. They've either been too old, too ill, or too weak. A confederacy of elected quitters.
- Prince Philip: There are two types of people in life. Those whom one imagines to be trustworthy and reliable, who turn out to be treacherous and weak, like Mr. Macmillan. And those who appear to be complex and difficult, who turn out to be more dependable than anyone thought. Like me. I know exactly what my job is. Your father made it perfectly clear. You are my job. You are the essence of my duty. So here I am. Liegeman of life and limb. In, not out.
Season 3 (2019)
- Michael Adeane: Everyone at the Post Office is delighted with the new profile, ma'am, which they feel to be an elegant reflection of Her Majesty's transition from young woman to...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Old bat?
- Michael Adeane: Mother of four and settled sovereign. The Postmaster General himself commented that the two images, the young and the slightly older Queen, are almost identical.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Postmaster Bevins is very kind. He's also a barefaced liar.
- Michael Adeane: Just the tiniest changes, in the hair...
- Queen Elizabeth II: A great many changes. But there we are. Age is rarely kind to anyone. Nothing one can do about it. One just has to get on with it.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You were my guardian angel. The roof over my head. The spine in my back. The iron in my heart. You were the compass that steered and directed me. Not just me, all of us. Where would Great Britain be without its greatest Briton? God bless you, Winston.
- Prince Philip: The very least you could do is quietly crawl away, not force us to live with you under the same roof. But doing the, the right thing, the decent thing, the honorable thing ... You wouldn't have the faintest idea what that was. Well, I am going to be watching you, and one wrong step, you treacherous snake, and I will expose you and have you thrown in jail.
- Anthony Blunt: I would think long and hard before I did that, sir. You would do well to reflect on your own position.
- Prince Philip: What are you talking about?
- Anthony Blunt: You may remember, at the height of the Profumo sex scandal, there was talk of a member of the royal family being involved. No one knew who, but it was rumored to be a senior member of the royal family. Very senior. When the osteopath at the center of the scandal, Stephen Ward, took his own life, there was speculation that a number of portraits of that senior member of the royal family had been found in his apartment. Naturally, a great many people were keen to get their hands on those portraits. Mercifully, someone respected and well connected in the art world was able to make sure they didn't fall into the wrong hands.
- Prince Philip: I never saw Stephen Ward in any capacity other than as an osteopath. If he made drawings of me, he would have done so from photographs.
- Anthony Blunt: We all tell ourselves all sorts of things to make sense of the past. So much so that our fabrications, if we tell them to ourselves often enough, become the truth. In our minds and everyone else's. And believe you me, I'm happy for your truth to be the truth. It would be better for everyone. Imagine how awful it would be, for example, if those pictures saw the light of day now. The storm it would create. And for what? It's the past.
- Tommy Lascelles: What you are 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 hereditary 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 to 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.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Churchill would have had the character to do it face to face. Come to think of it, so would Anthony Eden. And Harold Macmillan. Each of them would have had the courage to express their anger to me directly. None of them would ever have resorted to going behind my back like that. I have it on authority you tipped off journalists that I was letting the side down by not going to Aberfan.
- Harold Wilson: Never.
- Queen Elizabeth II: It wasn't you?
- Harold Wilson: No, ma'am. But ... Perhaps one or two of my colleagues, concerned at the anger being directed at the government...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Broke ranks? Took matters into their own hands?
- Harold Wilson: It's possible.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Perhaps they're right. The people of Aberfan deserved a prompt response. They didn't get one. They deserved a display of compassion, of empathy from their Queen.
- Harold Wilson: And they got it yesterday.
- Queen Elizabeth II: They got nothing. I dabbed a bone-dry eye, and by some miracle, no one noticed. After the Blitz, when we visited hospitals, I saw what my parents, the King and Queen, saw. They wept. I couldn't.
- Harold Wilson: Well, you ... You were a child. What do you expect?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Not just as a child. When my grandmother, Queen Mary, whom I loved very much, when she died ... Nothing.
- Harold Wilson: Well, she had been ill a long time. It had been expected.
- Queen Elizabeth II: When I had my first child, a moment of such significance for every mother ... I have known for some time there is something wrong with me.
- Harold Wilson: Not wrong.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Deficient, then. How else would you describe it when something is missing?
- Harold Wilson: These meetings are confidential, yes? I have never done a day's manual work in my life. Not one. I am an academic, a privileged Oxford don, not a worker. I don't like beer. I prefer brandy. I prefer wild salmon to tinned salmon. Chateaubriand to steak and kidney pie. And I don't like pipe smoking. I far prefer cigars. But cigars are a symbol of capitalist privilege. So, I smoke a pipe, on the campaign trail and on television. Makes me more ... Approachable. Likable. We can't be everything to everyone and still be true to ourselves. We do what we have to do as leaders. That's our job. Our job is to calm more crises than we create. That's our job, and you do it very well indeed. And in a way, your absence of emotion is a blessing. No one needs hysteria from a head of state. And the truth is, we barely need humanity.
- Michael Adeane: [after hearing Philip calling for "sweetie" on the tannoy and assuming he wants to speak to Elizabeth] His Royal Highness the Duke of...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Not me, I'm afraid. I'm "darling" or "cabbage." "Sweetie" is someone else.
- Prince Philip: I owe you an apology.
- Princess Alice: Whatever for?
- Prince Philip: My faithlessness. All this time, I've been trying to keep you out of sight of the cameras, when, quite clearly, you should have been center stage.
- Princess Alice: If anyone owes anyone an apology, we both know it's the other way round. At least your sisters had something of their mother. When we were forced to leave Greece, I couldn't cope. I needed care. I needed help.
- Prince Philip: But that, that wasn't help that they gave you. It was torture.
- Princess Alice: They tried their best.
- Prince Philip: No. The treatment they gave you was barbaric. And your courage in rising above it was remarkable.
- Princess Alice: I didn't do it alone. I couldn't have. I had help every step of the way. Now, Bubbikins, you mentioned faithlessness. How is your faith?
- Prince Philip: Dormant.
- Princess Alice: What?
- Prince Philip: Dormant.
- Princess Alice: That's not good. Let this be a mother's gift to her child. The one piece of advice. Find yourself a faith. It helps. No, not just helps. It's everything.
- Louis Mountbatten: Why are you doing this? Why would you protect a man like Wilson?
- Queen Elizabeth II: I am protecting the Prime Minister. I am protecting the constitution. I am protecting democracy.
- Princess Margaret: But if the man at the heart of that democracy threatens to destroy it, are we supposed to just stand by and do nothing?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Yes. Doing nothing is exactly what we do, and bide our time, and wait for the people that voted him in to vote him out again, if indeed that is what they decide to do.
- Princess Alice: One of the few joys of being as old as we both are is that it's not our problem. It's not really our country, either.
- Louis Mountbatten: What are you talking about? Of course it's our country.
- Princess Alice: We Battenbergs have no country. Our family might have kings and queens in its ranks, but we're mongrels, too. Part-German, part-Greek, part-nowhere at all.
- Louis Mountbatten: Well, this is my country. It gave me a home, it gave me a name, and in return, I've given it my life. And to see it like this breaks my heart.
Tywysog Cymru [3.6]
- Queen Elizabeth II: I've had the opportunity now to read the translation of what you actually said, and the inferences you made. The similarity between Wales's suffering and yours was clear.
- Prince Charles: Was it?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Unmistakable.
- Prince Charles: Only to you.
- Queen Elizabeth II: To all Wales, apparently. [Elizabeth stands up, walks over to her bed and picks up the translated copy of Charles' speech] "If this union is to endure, then we must learn to respect each other's differences. Nobody likes to be ignored, to not be seen or heard or listened to."
- Prince Charles: Well, am I wrong? Isn't there a similarity between my predicament and the Welsh? Am I listened to in this family? Am I seen for who and what I am? No. Do I have a voice?
- Queen Elizabeth II: Rather too much of a voice for my liking. Not having a voice is something all of us have to live with. We have all made sacrifice and suppressed who we are. Some portion of our natural selves is always lost.
- Prince Charles: That is a choice.
- Queen Elizabeth II: It is not a choice. It is a duty. I was a similar age to you when your great-grandmother, Queen Mary, told me that to do nothing, to say nothing, is the hardest job of all. It requires every ounce of energy that we have. To be impartial is not natural, it's not human. People will always want us to smile or agree, or frown or speak, and the minute that we do, we will have declared a position, a point of view, and that is the one thing, as the royal family, we are not entitled to do. Which is why we have to hide those feelings, keep them to ourselves. Because the less we do, the less we say or speak or agree or...
- Prince Charles: Think. Or breathe. Or feel or exist.
- Queen Elizabeth II: The better.
- Prince Charles: But doing that is perhaps not as easy for me as it is for you.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Why?
- Prince Charles: Because I ... have a beating heart. A character. A mind and a will of my own. I am not just a symbol. I can lead not just by wearing a uniform, or by cutting a ribbon, but by showing people who I am. Mummy, I have a voice.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Let me let you into a secret. No one wants to hear it.
- Prince Charles: Are you talking about the country or my own family?
- Queen Elizabeth II: No one.
- Prince Philip: My mother died recently. She, she saw that something was amiss. It's a good word, that. A-Amiss. She saw that something was missing in her youngest child. Her only son. Faith. "How's your faith?" she asked me. I'm here to admit to you that I've lost it. And without it, what is there? The, the loneliness and emptiness and anticlimax of going all that way to the moon to find nothing but haunting desolation. Ghostly silence. Gloom. That is what faithlessness is. As opposed to finding wonder, ecstasy, the miracle of divine creation, God's design and purpose. What am I trying to say? I'm trying to say that the solution to our problems, I think, is not in the, in the ingenuity of the rocket, or the science or the technology or even the bravery. No, the answer is in here. Or here, or wherever it is that ... that faith resides. And so, Dean Woods, having ridiculed you for what you and these poor, blocked, lost souls were, were trying to achieve here in St. George's House, I now find myself full of respect and admiration and not a small part of desperation as I come to say... Help. Help me. And to admit that while those three astronauts deserve all our praise and respect for their undoubted heroism, I was more scared coming here to see you today than I would have been going up in any bloody rocket!
Dangling Man [3.8]
- Prince Charles: Dear Uncle David, I want to thank you again, and Wallis, for having me at your home in the Bois de Boulogne. It's a rare thing that fate should allow a former king and a king-in-waiting to meet. To tell the truth, it opened my eyes to a few things. To the nature of kingship, the nature of love and all the difficulties that go with both. I'm sure you know the family would have preferred me not to visit you. Afraid, perhaps, I might recognize myself in you, sympathize with you. Well, let me confess that I do recognize myself in you. Your progressiveness and flair. Your individuality and imagination. What a king you would have made in a kinder world. What a king we were denied. It makes me so sad to see you living in exile, when all you did was take a stand for principle, and love one woman completely. You were cruelly denied your right to reign alongside the woman that you wanted by your side. But I give you my word. I will not be denied what you have been denied. The Crown is not a static thing resting forever on one head. It is moving. Alive. Divine. The changing face of changing times, and if, God willing, it has been ordained that I should wear it, then I shall do so on my own terms and hopefully make you proud.
- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor: I'm sorry not to see your girlfriend.
- Prince Charles: Well, she's picking me up after this. We're spending the evening together before I return to Dartmouth. But don't tell anyone. It's a secret. She's not official, yet.
- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor: Is she the one?
- Prince Charles: Yes. I think so.
- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor: Then if I may offer two pieces of advice. Never turn your back on true love. Despite all the sacrifices and all the pain, David and I never once regretted it.
- Prince Charles: Thank you. And the second?
- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor: Watch out for your family.
- Prince Charles: They mean well.
- Wallis, Duchess of Windsor: No, they don't.
Cri de Coeur [3.10]
- Queen Elizabeth II: Ask yourself, in the time I've been on the throne, what have I actually achieved?
- Princess Margaret: You've been calm ... and stable and...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Useless and unhelpful. This country was still great when I came to the throne, and now look. So much for the Second Elizabethan Age, which Winston talked about. All that's happened on my watch is the place has fallen apart.
- Princess Margaret: It's only fallen apart if we say it has. That's the thing about the monarchy. We paper over the cracks. And if what we do is loud and grand and confident enough, no one will notice that all around us it's fallen apart. That's the point of us. Not us. Of you. You cannot flinch. Because if you show a single crack, we'll see it isn't a crack, but a chasm, and we'll all fall in. So you must hold it all together.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Must I do that alone?
- Princess Margaret: There is only one queen.
Season 4 (2020)
Gold Stick [4.1]
- IRA Lieutenant: Why are the English still with us? Why, after everything we've thrown at them, does the British presence in Ireland still endure? So many sacrifices have been made. So many of our brothers and sisters have given their lives in resistance to that occupation, but we are still ignored. We are still denied our basic right to self-determination, and our sons and brothers, husbands and fathers are still held in British jails. Well, if nothing has changed, then, my friends, it is time for a new approach. That is why our leadership has issued a new directive. This is from the very top. Today, the Irish Republican struggle for freedom enters a new phase. The time has come to escalate our efforts, redouble our militancy, spill more blood, so that the Crown retreats and leaves Ireland forever.
- Prince Philip: That's the last thing this country needs.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What?
- Prince Philip: Two women running the shop.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Perhaps that's precisely what this country needs.
- Louis Mountbatten: My dear Charles, there exists no greater compliment than to be called a "prince among men." Such a person earns his title with his ability to lead and inspire. Elusive virtues, to which you must reach and rise. And it grieves me to say that you are not working hard enough to reach and to rise. The choice of a woman was the issue around which the last Prince of Wales came to grief. And it's astonishing to me that, forty years after the abdication, you are making so little attempt to conceal your infatuation for another man's wife. How could you contemplate such ruin and disappointment to yourself, to your family, to me? Must I remind you again of the importance of building your destiny with some sweet and innocent, well-tempered girl with no past, who knows the rules and will follow the rules? Someone with whom you can make a fresh start and build a new life. One that people will love as a princess and, in due course, as queen. This is your duty now, your most important task. You are more than a man, more than a prince, and one day, dear boy, you shall be king. But now, to the sea. I miss you enormously. There is no one whose company I enjoy more. But I think you know that. Your ever-loving honorary grandpa, Dickie.
- Princess Diana: Royal Highness, I just wanted to offer my condolences. It must have been completely devastating for you. And your reading at the Abbey, how you held it all together under the circs, I don't know how you did that. It was utterly brilliant.
- Prince Charles: Thank you. I'm sorry. We haven't met.
- Princess Diana: We have. I was in costume at the time. Sarah Spencer's younger sister.
- Prince Charles: Oh, the mad tree.
- Princess Diana: Diana.
- Prince Charles: Yes.
- Princess Diana: Sarah told me how close you were to Lord Mountbatten, that he was like a father to you.
- Prince Charles: Yes.
- Princess Diana: It must all be unimaginably awful.
- Prince Charles: Thank you. It has been.
The Balmoral Test [4.2]
- Queen Elizabeth II: While stalking, the trick really is to disappear into nature. To preserve the element of surprise. So next time you might not wear bright blue. It means the stag can see you. Or wear scent. It means he can smell you. [Thatcher stumbles and loudly gasps] Now he can hear you, too.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Always a mistake to assume just because people are privileged, they lack grit. And a dangerous game, I think, to make enemies left, right, and center.
- Margaret Thatcher: Not if one is comfortable with having enemies.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Are you?
- Margaret Thatcher: Oh, yes. Inspired by the words of the Chartist poet Charles Mackay. "You have no enemies, you say? Alas! My friend, the boast is poor. He, who has mingled in the fray of duty, that the brave endure, must have made foes! If you have none, small is the work that you have done. You've hit no traitor on the hip, you've dashed no cup from perjured lip, you've never turned the wrong to right, you've been a coward in the fight."
- Archbishop of Canterbury: Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made. The prince and princess on their wedding day. But fairy tales usually end at this point with the simple phrase, "They lived happily ever after." This may be because fairy tales regard marriage as an anticlimax after the romance of courtship. As husband and wife live out their vows, loving and cherishing one another, sharing life's splendors and miseries, achievements and setbacks, they will be transformed in the process. Our faith sees the wedding day not as the place of arrival, but the place where the adventure really begins.
- Margaret Thatcher: The very idea that the first time a prime minister should break down in this room and it be a woman.
- Queen Elizabeth II: It is by no means the first time a prime minister has broken down in here. Over the years, this room has been part-office, part-drawing room, part-confessional, and part-psychologist's couch. We even have paper hankies. [She gestures to the box on the table next to Thatcher] Or a brandy?
- Margaret Thatcher: Whiskey, if you have one.
- Carol Thatcher: Why is Mark so obviously your favorite?
- Margaret Thatcher: What?
- Carol Thatcher: You have twin children, and you clearly prefer one over the other.
- Margaret Thatcher: Carol, that's not true.
- Carol Thatcher: It is indisputably and painfully true. And what I want to say to you is ... is that just because you had a difficult relationship with your mother ...
- Margaret Thatcher: Darling, I really don't have time for this.
- Carol Thatcher: You cannot let it affect your relationship with all women. Most of all, your own daughter.
- Margaret Thatcher: Darling, you do pick your moments. I am busy. In a few minutes, I have the chiefs of staff coming.
- Carol Thatcher: Then give me one of those minutes. You disregard me. You overlook me. And you favor Mark.
- Margaret Thatcher: Because he's stronger. Like my father was stronger. Yes. You are right. I did struggle with my mother, but it had nothing to do with her sex. It had to do with her weakness. I could not bear how she was prepared to just be a housewife.
- Carol Thatcher: Because her husband treated her as such.
- Margaret Thatcher: That is not true! Your grandfather, my father, was wonderful with women. Wonderful. He encouraged me. He taught me. He made me who I am. He was determined my ambition be limitless. And he tried with your grandmother. But there is a limit to what one can do if people are themselves limited.
- Margaret Thatcher: On behalf of the government and the Metropolitan Police, I am so sorry. It is a national embarrassment that the Queen of the United Kingdom should be subjected to troublemakers and malcontents who feel at liberty to resort to violence.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Oh, but he wasn't violent. In fact, the only person Mr. Fagan hurt in the course of his break-in was himself. And while he may be a troubled soul, I don't think he's entirely to blame for his troubles, being a victim of unemployment, which is now more than twice what it was when you came into office just three years ago.
- Margaret Thatcher: If unemployment is temporarily high, ma'am, then it is a necessary side effect of the medicine we are administering to the British economy.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Shouldn't we be careful that this medicine, like some dreadful chemotherapy, doesn't kill the very patient it is intended to heal? If people like Mr. Fagan are struggling, do we not have a collective duty to help them? What of our moral economy?
- Margaret Thatcher: If we are to turn this country around, we really must abandon outdated and misguided notions of collective duty. There are individual men and women, and there are families. Self-interested people who are trying to better themselves. That is the engine that fires a nation. My father didn't have the state to rely on should his business fail. It was the risk of ruin and his duty to his family that drove him to succeed.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Perhaps not everyone is as remarkable as your father.
- Margaret Thatcher: Oh, you see, that is where you and I differ. I say they have it within them to be.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Even someone like Mr. Fagan?
- Margaret Thatcher: Mr. Fagan is another matter. Two different doctors have reached the conclusion he is suffering from a schizophrenic illness. If he is spared criminal prosecution on account of his condition, then a nice, secure mental hospital will ensure he will not be a danger any longer. Now, if you will excuse me, I really must go.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Where to?
- Margaret Thatcher: To the victory parade at the City of London.
- Queen Elizabeth II: A victory parade?
- Margaret Thatcher: Yes, ma'am. We have just won a war.
Terra Nullius [4.6]
The Hereditary Principle [4.7]
- Princess Margaret: Five. Five, Mummy! Five members of our close family locked up and neglected!
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: What do you expect us to do?
- Princess Margaret: Behave like human beings.
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Oh, don't be so naive. We had no choice.
- Princess Margaret: They're your nieces. Daughters of your favorite brother!
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: They were unwell. Aunt Fenella was overwhelmed. And then the way things suddenly changed for all of us, none of us could have foreseen it.
- Princess Margaret: It? What's it?
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The abdication...
- Princess Margaret: No! Not everything that is wrong with this family can be explained away by the abdication.
- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Well, the abdication did change everything. You were too young to understand. Everything. It's complicated.
- Princess Margaret: No, it's not! It's wicked, and it's cold-hearted, and it's cruel. And it's entirely in keeping with the ruthlessness I myself have experienced in this family. If you're not first in line, if you're an individual character with individual needs, and God forbid an irregular temperament ... If you don't fit the perfect mold of silent, dutiful supplication, then you'll be spat out, or you'll be hidden away, or, worse, declared dead! Darwin had nothing on you lot. Shame on all of you.
- Margaret Thatcher: Before coming today, I checked with the Cabinet Secretary, and it turns out that in the seven years I have been Prime Minister, we have had 164 audiences, always the model of cordiality, productivity, and mutual respect. So it is perhaps not unreasonable to expect an isolated hiccup.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What hiccup?
- Margaret Thatcher: I was under the impression that Her Majesty never expressed her political views in public.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I don't.
- Margaret Thatcher: That there was an unbreakable code of silence between Sovereign and First Minister.
- Queen Elizabeth II: If you're referring to the Sunday Times, I had nothing to do with that story. I've always advised my prime ministers against reading newspapers.
- Margaret Thatcher: I don't, ma'am.
- Queen Elizabeth II: They misunderstand, misquote, and misrepresent. Then everybody gets into a fluster.
- Margaret Thatcher: But my press secretary does, and he has working relationships with all of the editors, and the editor in this case assured him that the sources were unimpeachable. Close to the Queen. Unprecedentedly close.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Well, I'm sure a clarification will soon be forthcoming. In the meantime, should we make a start on the business of the week? Only I am mindful of the time.
- Margaret Thatcher: This is the business, ma'am. The only business. I think we have enough respect for one another personally to ask ourselves some of the bigger questions, woman to woman. We are the same age, after all.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Are we?
- Margaret Thatcher: Just six months between us.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Oh? And who is the senior?
- Margaret Thatcher: I am, ma'am. [Thatcher pulls a copy of the Sunday Times from her handbag] "Uncaring, confrontational, and socially divisive." That's how these sources so close to the Queen describe me.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Prime Minister...
- Margaret Thatcher: That I lack compassion. And that my government has done irretrievable damage to the country's social fabric. My responsibility, for the time I have in office, is to put sentimentality to one side and look after this country's interests with the perspective of a cold balance sheet. And while I greatly admire your sense of fairness and compassion for those less fortunate than us...
- Queen Elizabeth II: Do you? Really?
- Margaret Thatcher: Let us not forget that of the two of us, I am the one from a small street in an irrelevant town with a father who could not bequeath me a title or a Commonwealth, but only grit, good sense, and determination. And I don't want people's pity or charity or compassion. Nothing would insult me more. My goal is to change this country from being dependent to self-reliant, and I think in that, I am succeeding.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I have had to learn many difficult lessons as sovereign...
- Margaret Thatcher: Britons are learning to look after number one, to get ahead, and only then, if they choose, to look after their neighbor.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Of those...
- Margaret Thatcher: No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions. You see, he had money as well.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Perhaps the hardest is that I am obliged to support my prime ministers on any position they take, even yours, regarding sanctions against South Africa. My question is, given the lack of impact it has on your day-to-day political fortunes, yet how important it is to me ... Could you not have supported me just once? My fellow Commonwealth leaders, many of whom I consider to be friends, now feel that I have betrayed them on an issue most important to them.
- Margaret Thatcher: Well, they need only read the Sunday Times. It will give them no doubt as to your position.
- Princess Anne: I'm going to be frank with you. No one wants your marriage to end, not a single person. Not Diana, not your children, not your mother or father, not me, not a single one of your friends, and, most importantly, not even the woman you think loves you.
- Prince Charles: Oh, what rubbish!
- Princess Anne: No, listen! Listen to me. No one can bear to watch the mess you are making, and someone needs to explain things to you. I'm close to Camilla's husband, as you know...
- Prince Charles: Yes, I'm aware.
- Princess Anne: ...and speak to Andrew regularly. And while theirs is not a perfect marriage...
- Prince Charles: Understatement.
- Princesss Anne: ...it is a long-lasting marriage. And, in its own way, a happy marriage.
- Prince Charles: She's not happy.
- Princesss Anne: She's happier than you think.
- Prince Charles: That he's bedding most of her friends?
- Princess Anne: It's complicated! The majority of marriages survive because the majority of people aren't fantasists. They are realists and accept the imperfect reality of being human. And although Camilla doubtless has feelings for you, deep feelings, it is maybe not quite the great Romeo-Juliet thing you imagine.
- Prince Charles: What? You're lying.
- Princess Anne: No, I'm not. I'm trying to protect you.
- Prince Charles: I come here seeking comfort from my sibling, and what do I get?
- Princess Anne: The unvarnished truth.
- Prince Charles: What does one have to do to get some kindness in this family?
- Margaret Thatcher: President Bush called to tell me he thought it barbaric. Chancellor Kohl said it was inhumane. Mikhail Gorbachev reminded me that ten years ago, it was Britain holding democratic elections whilst Russia staged cabinet coups. Now it's the other way round. What they all agree on is that getting rid of me is an act of national self-harm, which is why I've come to you, ma'am, that together we may act in the national self-interest.
- Queen Elizabeth II: How might I help?
- Margaret Thatcher: By dissolving Parliament.
- Queen Elizabeth II: What?
- Margaret Thatcher: We are on the brink of war. What kind of signal does that give to our enemies, to Saddam, if we were to change leadership now? It would make us look hopelessly weak and divided.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I agree it's not ideal. Have you consulted Cabinet on this matter?
- Margaret Thatcher: I have not, ma'am.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Surely that would be the normal course of action?
- Margaret Thatcher: With all due respect, the decision to dissolve Parliament is in the gift of the prime minister alone. It is entirely within my power to do this if I see fit.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You are correct. Technically, it is within your power to request this. But we must all ask ourselves when to exercise those things that are within our power and when not to. Your first instinct as a person, I think, is often to act. To exercise power.
- Margaret Thatcher: Well, that is what people want in a leader. To show conviction and strength. To lead.
- Queen Elizabeth II: I'm merely asking the question. Whether it is correct to exercise a power simply because it is yours to use. Power is nothing without authority. And at this moment, your Cabinet is against you. Your party is against you. And if the polls are to be believed, if you were to call a general election today, you would not win. Which suggests the country is against you. Perhaps the time has come for you to try doing nothing for once.
- Margaret Thatcher: The difference is you have power in doing nothing. I will have nothing.
- Queen Elizabeth II: You will have your dignity.
- Margaret Thatcher: There is no dignity in the wilderness.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Then might I suggest you don't think of it as that. Think of it as an opportunity to pursue other passions.
- Margaret Thatcher: I have other loves. My husband, my children ... But this job is my only true passion. And to have it taken from me, stolen from me so cruelly ... What hurts the most is that we had come so far. And now to have the opportunity to finish the job snatched away at the very last ...
- Prince Charles: I have done my best. My very best, and I am suffering!
- Queen Elizabeth II: No, you are not suffering. We're suffering having to put up with this! Let me make something clear. When people look at you and Diana, they see two privileged young people who, through good fortune, ended up with everything one could dream of in life. No one, not a single breathing, living soul anywhere, sees cause for suffering.
- Prince Charles: They would if they knew.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Knew what? They know that you betray your wife and make no attempt to hide it. They know that thanks to you, she has psychological problems and eats or doesn't eat or whatever it is she does or doesn't do. They know you're a spoiled, immature man, endlessly complaining unnecessarily, married to a spoiled, immature woman, endlessly complaining unnecessarily. And we are all heartily sick of it. All anyone wants is for the pair of you to pull yourselves together, stop making spectacles of yourselves, and make this marriage and your enormously privileged positions in life work.
- Prince Charles: And if I want to separate?
- Queen Elizabeth II: You will not separate or divorce or let the side down in any way. And if one day you expect to be king...
- Prince Charles: I do.
- Queen Elizabeth II: Then might I suggest you start to behave like one.
- Princess Diana: Although we are both outsiders who married in, you and I are quite different.
- Prince Philip: Yes. I can see that now. You're right to call me an outsider. I was an outsider the day that I met the ... the 13-year-old princess who would one day become my wife. And after all these years ... I still am. We all are. Everyone in this system is a lost, lonely, irrelevant outsider apart from the one person, the only person, that matters. She is the oxygen we all breathe. The essence of all our duty. Your problem, if I may say ... is you seem to be confused about who that person is.
- Claire Foy (seasons 1–2, featured season 4) and Olivia Colman (seasons 3–4) - Queen Elizabeth II
- Matt Smith (seasons 1–2) and Tobias Menzies (seasons 3–4) - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Vanessa Kirby (seasons 1–2) and Helena Bonham Carter (seasons 3–4) - Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
- Eileen Atkins - Queen Mary (season 1)
- Jeremy Northam - Anthony Eden (seasons 1–2)
- Victoria Hamilton (seasons 1–2) and Marion Bailey (seasons 3–4) - Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
- Ben Miles - Group Captain Peter Townsend (season 1, featured season 2)
- Greg Wise (seasons 1–2) and Charles Dance (season 3, featured season 4) - Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma
- Jared Harris - King George VI (season 1, featured season 2)
- John Lithgow - Winston Churchill (season 1, featured seasons 2–3)
- Alex Jennings (seasons 1–2) and Derek Jacobi (featured season 3) as Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor
- Lia Williams (seasons 1–2) and Geraldine Chaplin (season 3) - Wallis, Duchess of Windsor
- Anton Lesser - Harold Macmillan (season 2)
- Matthew Goode (season 2) and Ben Daniels (season 3) - Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon
- Jason Watkins - Harold Wilson (season 3)
- Erin Doherty - Princess Anne (seasons 3–4)
- Jane Lapotaire - Princess Alice of Battenberg (season 3)
- Josh O'Connor - Charles, Prince of Wales (seasons 3–4)
- Michael Maloney - Edward Heath (season 3)
- Emerald Fennell - Camilla Parker Bowles (seasons 3–4)
- Andrew Buchan - Andrew Parker Bowles (season 3, recurring season 4)
- Gillian Anderson - Margaret Thatcher (season 4)
- Emma Corrin - Diana, Princess of Wales (season 4)
- Stephen Boxer - Denis Thatcher (season 4)