Did “The Crown” Shortchange Its Heroine?

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Oookay, let’s get into this. We’ve spent the last month recapping the first 10 episodes of The Crown, but there’s one issue I’ve been saving up for a separate post because, well, I think it warranted more than a tacked on graf somewhere else. Since the show premiered last November it has prompted considerable criticism for how much attention it pays to its male characters at the expense of its supposed central figure: the Queen herself. Following an interview the creator, Peter Morgan, gave, in which he said the second installment would delve more heavily into the psyche of Prince Philip, the (fabulous!) FUG girls went so far as to write up a post denouncing the decision as sexist and tone deaf to its core demographic.

They’re not the only ones and, indeed, as early as its premier it attracted criticism from publications like New York Magazine for the same issue. I had a visceral response to this argument when I was first watching, but after deciding to recap the first season a year later, I decided to hold on delving into it to see if my opinion changed. My friends, it has not, and thus I’m overjoyed to offer this up as an endorsement for making snap judgments whenever you can. As quickly as possible, really.

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Albert Victor, Mary of Teck & Jack the Ripper

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The brief relationship between Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Mary of Teck is a nice little tale of what could have been, except that how events unfolded was better for all. Albert Victor was the eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and, as such, second-in-line to the throne on which his grandmother, Queen Victoria, sat. Born two months prematurely on January 8, 1864, he grew into a young man of questionable virtue and value, a fact which opened the opportunity for a penniless young woman with fading ties to the British monarchy to find herself primed to become the UK’s next queen consort.

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William & Kate Attend the Children’s Global Media Summit

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand in Manchester today for the Children’s Global Media Summit. The event started yesterday and is expected to go through tomorrow, featuring a host of speakers, panels and events focused on the role and impact of media on children, including the future of programming and its role in education, mental health and changing technology. Three guesses on which topic William, who delivered a keynote speech, tackled.

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The RF Brings the Bling at the BP Diplomatic Reception

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I must admit, this event was not on my radar with everything else going on with our favorite family, so these pictures caught me by surprise when they popped up late today. Nevertheless, here we are! It’s tiara time. Tonight was the annual Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace, a marquee event for the Royal Family and the largest reception held at the Palace each year (1,500 people from roughly 130 countries). The event is private, though, and we are usually only privy to arrival photos of members of the RF entering BP gates.

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When the Kennedys Met the Windsors

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The visit of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, to London in 1961 has been picking up some headlines recently thanks to it being featured in the trailers for The Crown’s second season. Most of the stories are framed around the question of how the Queen and Jackie got on, particularly in light of Kennedy’s famous womanizing and rumors swirling around ’60s about Philip, so today I thought it would be worth taking a look at what really went down – at least, according to the Queen’s biographers.

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Let’s All Freak Out About Christmas

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There have been a lot of headlines over the last few days as to whether or not Meghan Markle will join the Royal Family for Christmas at Sandringham later this month. Traditionally, only royals’ spouses have been invited to join, while significant others and even fiancés/fiancées have not. Thus, if Meghan joins Harry at Sandringham it’s being touted as quite the break with protocol, however I would reiterate that Kensington Palace has declined to comment thus far and nothing is known for certain.

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When Anne Neville Was Lancastrian

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Anne Neville is a curious figure in history because she is essentially a blank canvas who happened to be at the epicenter of intrigue throughout the Wars of the Roses. She was a queen consort of England, but one who wore the crown for less than two years and is understandably overshadowed by her more famous peers: Marguerite of Anjou, Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth of York. She is dynastically insignificant – her only son died during childhood. She was not born into royalty, but rather married into a conquering family. And she did not hold power long enough to have any lasting impact on England.

And yet, she is an intriguing figure. For nearly 12 years she was married to one of England’s most famous (and infamous) monarchs: Richard III. She was in the eye of the mysterious storm that surrounded the disappearance of Edward V and Richard, Duke of York (aka the Princes in the Tower). And she was the only figure to have married into both royal houses at war: Lancaster and York. Anne was born a Yorkist and died a Yorkist, but from December 1470 until May 1471 she was the Lancastrian Princess of Wales.

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Mary Adelaide of Cambridge’s Slow Walk to the Altar

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[Note: This post was up on the site for a couple hours on Monday morning, but after all the activity surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement, I yanked it to save for another day. So, for those of you who already read it, surprise! Here it is again on a calmer day :)]

Mary Adelaide of Cambridge is a bit of a forgotten figure within the British Royal Family, but she was an interesting character in her day and dynastically important. She was Queen Mary’s mother and, as such, a direct ancestor of the current Queen and her descendants. In many ways she’s an interesting parallel to her first cousin, Queen Victoria – both came about from the royal marriage push after Princess Charlotte of Wales’s death, both battled very Hanoverian appearances and both became matriarchs of their own branches of the family.

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Alexandra of Denmark & the Father-in-Law of Europe

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Queen Victoria is rightfully known as the “Grandmother of Europe” thanks to how many of her descendants found themselves on European thrones by the dawn of World War I. The role of her junior male counterpart rightfully belongs to King Christian IX of Denmark. Less well-known than his British peer, four of Christian’s six children would end up crowned heads, while the remaining two played equally as important roles in the makeup of Western Europe as it careened into the 20th century.

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