The biggest historical events to know

Claire Foy in The crown, and Queen Elizabeth II in real life.
Photo: Amazon Studios / Getty Images

The internet is full of spoilers for all kinds of TV shows, but there’s only one that has seen its entire run ruined years in advance: The crown, who has an entire web page devoted to describing every major event in the planned six-season series. Claire Foy has already revealed that the second season of the Netflix drama would run from roughly 1956 to 1964, a time of great change for the monarchy, as well as for Britain itself. (According to the poet Philip Larkin, the nation found out what sex was near the end of this period, which will surely make a great TV.) The crown set to return for its second season on December 8, let Vulture’s official story explainer describe the major events of the period. If you need a refresher, the season two trailer is below:

According to showrunner Peter Morgan, the second season will begin with the Suez Crisis, which was announced at the end of the first season. “Suez feels like a turning point for the country,” he said Recount THR. “Britain was never the same after Suez.” So what is the Suez Crisis? The simplest explanation is that while Dunkirk is synonymous with the courageous British home front of WWII, Suez is synonymous with the nation’s post-war decline.

After Egyptian Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew his country’s monarchy and took over the presidency, he shocked the world by nationalizing the Suez Canal, through which much of the oil flowed to the Great -Brittany. Prime Minister Anthony Eden (played by Jeremy Northam in The crown) absolutely hated Nasser and, alongside France and Israel, hatched a secret plan to reclaim the canal. It was, to be honest, a terrible plan: the Israelis invaded the Sinai Peninsula, at which point the British and French sent troops to Egypt pretending to be completely neutral peacekeepers – a pretext that no was believed by almost no one, especially once the RAF started bombing. The timing was just as terrible: the Soviets had just invaded Hungary, and the West couldn’t very well complain that a superpower was interfering with a small nation while two of their own were doing the same. (It was a time when people in power actually feared they looked like hypocrites.)

Thanks to massive outcry from world leaders like Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and diplomatic and economic pressure from President Eisenhower, Britain agreed to a ceasefire. It was a total disaster on every imaginable level, and it only lasted about a week. This whole ordeal is widely regarded as the moment when Europe ceded control of the international arena to the United States.

Eden ultimately resigned in disgrace, and thanks to a loophole in the Conservative Party’s rules, the Queen was forced to help pick the men who would choose the new prime minister. If you’re wondering, it’s been said that she’s against invading Egypt in the first place, but it’s not like she can do anything about it.

The trailer for The crownThe second season hints that Prince Philip’s love life will be a key part of the new episodes, and it’s not just the show trying to have sex: Philip’s loyalty or lack of loyalty has become an issue. major in the late 1950s. Philip’s presence at the Thursday Club – a lunch of rich guys who would sit and listen to music, or throw full-fledged orgies, depending on who you ask – had been the subject of controversy in royal circles since his marriage, and he had long been harassed by a story he had had an affair with actress Pat Kirkwood while the queen was pregnant. In 1957, the Baltimore Sun reported that Philip had a mistress in hiding in London, forcing Buckingham Palace to issue a rare statement about it, saying: “It is quite wrong that there is a rift between the Queen and the Duke.”

In the decades that followed, rumors continued to circulate that Prince Philip cheated on the Queen with actresses, socialites and even their common cousin, Princess Alexandra. The Palace eventually admitted that the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed the company of the opposite sex, but they and he always denied ever having been unfaithful; as Philippe said a journalist, “How could I? I’ve had a detective with me day and night since 1947. Plus, all the women who have been linked to the Duke have argued that she was just his platonic friend. , to paraphrase a contemporary, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Group captain Townsend may be out of place, but Vanessa Kirby will have yet another scorching romantic plot this season when Matthew Goode emerges as Marg’s second great love, photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. (They fell in love after she sat down for a portrait, naturally.) As a suitor, Armstrong-Jones had almost everything: looks, charm, a good education, artistry, and most importantly. for the Church of England, he had never previously been married. (He had secretly fathered a child out of wedlock, but this story won’t come out for many years.)

The couple married in 1960, making Armstrong-Jones the first commoner to marry into the royal family in centuries, and they had many months of marital bliss like the London Toast in the early 1960s. But it did. was not to last, as the relationship turned out to have several core issues including, but not limited to, blatant infidelity by both parties, his rumor of bisexuality, and his habit of writing lists of everything. that he hated in his wife and leaving them for her to find. Surprisingly, they nonetheless remained married until 1978.

The crown often struggles to cover topics unrelated to Queen Elizabeth, but according to the season two trailer, they’ll at least try to cover the breakup of the British Empire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Thanks to a reluctance to fund an overseas empire, to growing nationalist and democratic sentiments in the colonies, and to pressure from America to open them to trade, Britain granted independence to dozens of former colonies – including Jamaica, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania – during the period. Official independence was often symbolized incredibly staged ceremonies which took place at the stroke of midnight, so maybe it will be The crownis entering.

Michael C. Hall will also join the cast of The crown this year, playing John F. Kennedy. (Caspar phillipson must have been busy.) JFK and Jackie only met the Queen once, during a visit to the UK in 1961. He gave her a signed photo of himself, which may seem odd to you and me, but it was apparently the right thing to do under these circumstances since the meeting was only a dinner party, not an official state meeting that would have called for something more elaborate . (The difference seems rather esoteric, but I’m sure The crown will go into all the protocol stuff.) Sadly, the official state meeting was postponed in the JFK presidency and ultimately never took place, for reasons I’m sure I didn’t. not to explain to you. For The crown, there was also a drama on whether or not Jackie’s sister would come to dinner too – she had married a Polish prince, but both were divorced and we all know how the queen felt about this – although this is a show that has had an entire episode of a foggy day before, so I’m sure they’ll be able to turn an argument over seating arrangement into solid gold.

Remember that line in Billy Joel “We did not light the fire” on “the sex of British politicians”? Well, it was the British politicians who had sex! The name of the scandal comes from Minister of War John Profumo, who revealed he had an affair with a model named Christine Keeler. It turns out that Keeler was too sleeping with a Soviet “naval attaché” Yevgeny Ivanov, thus turning a sex scandal into a national security scandal. Both cases were facilitated by Stephen Ward, a “societal osteopath” who threw parties where British high society mingled with young women. Besides being the Svengali / owner of Keeler, Ward was also an asset to MI5; he had set up Keeler and Ivanov as part of the agency’s plan to defect the Russian. (Profumo’s affair with Keeler was not part of the plan.)

The love triangle only became public in 1963 – long after the two cases ended – following an incident in which one of Keeler’s ex-boyfriends attempted to track her down at Ward’s home and pulled on the door. The boyfriend was arrested and things escalated from there, thanks to Keeler’s loose tongue. Alongside another Ward protege, Mandy Rice-Davies (who claimed to have slept with Lord Astor), Keeler quickly became England’s most notorious woman. For months, the UK tabloids have been filled with stories of upper-class perversions, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the combination of explicit sex rhetoric and the embarrassment of the old establishment is what really made it happen. launched the Swinging Sixties in Great Britain. Profumo tried to deny the case, then quit once the truth came out. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan has come under heavy criticism for apparently trying to sweep everything under the rug; he resigned later in the year for health reasons, although the Tories would lose the next election anyway.

The highest price was paid by Ward, who was abandoned by his old friends and scapegoat for the whole affair. He was accused of living on immoral income and put through a trial that is now widely viewed as a sting. Before being found guilty, he overdosed on sleeping pills and died a few days later. In September 1963, a government investigation revealed that no classified information had been disclosed during the case.

Speaking of the Swinging Sixties, we can’t get to 1964 without talking about Beatlemania, the first cases of which first appeared in Britain in the fall of the previous year. Will The crownthe Spring Music Supervisor for a Beatles tune? Mad Men did it, and if there is a show The crown wants to be, it is Mad Men. Sadly, the Fab Four didn’t meet the Queen until after 1965, which means we’re going to be missing out on what could have been a delightful episode of Claire Foy interacting with a Ringo lookalike.


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Patrick F. Williams

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