Episode #21: The (Second) Christmas Special


Emma and Charlotte get festive by watching The Crown before discussing the problematic humanisation of the royal family, racism and modernisation, dramatic licence and what honour and obedience is really about. Plus: our favourite Reese Witherspoon films.

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Spoiler alert: We assume you have watched both seasons of The Crown before listening to this – if you haven’t, we hope you’ll still enjoy it (both the podcast and the show)

…Here is an original photo…


….And here’s Margaret Thatcher dancing with Kenneth Kaunda:

  • The Radio Times has a handy guide to Lord Altrincham, the man credited with helping the Queen modernise the monarchy in season 2;

  • ‘High Society: Whatever happened to the last of the debs?’ The Independent, 24 September 2006;

  • Ngaio Marsh’s Death in a White Tie was published in 1938;

  • Theresa May is the 13th Prime Minister to serve under Elizabeth II. The others were: Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron;

  • The third season of The Crown is coming to Netflix at some point in 2019. Radio Times has a bit of insider gossip about that;

  • Are there any historians out there who haven’t read Eric Hobsbawm’s long-19th-century trilogy, The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875 and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914? Or the 20th-century follow-up, The Age of Extremes? We don’t think so… David Kynaston’s ‘Tales of a New Jerusalem’ series includes Austerity Britain 1945-51 and Family Britain 1951-57 so far;

  • Here’s a bit of Lady Amanda Ellingworth gossip from the Daily Telegraph, the woman Prince Charles proposed to in the aftermath of the murder of Lord Mountbatten in 1980;

  • Vulture published a handy day-by-day account of how the pay gap scandal evolved in March 2018 – read that here;

  • Claire Foy on the corsets: “[The Queen] just wore girdles really, but I had to wear a corset because I had quite a lot of baby weight in the beginning. (…) It took about kind of 18 months to get back to sort of [normal]. But the thing I really noticed, looking back now, I’ve got quite a significantly padded brassiere on because the first series it was all my own work. I’ve never known anything like it. But the second time round they were like, “Ha, where have they gone?” And I was like, “I know. They’ve gone.” So, yeah, the first one I did a lot of my own kind of Queen breastwork, I suppose. Oh, she’d be so ashamed of me.” From ‘The Crown's Claire Foy On the Struggles of Being a New Mom and an Actress’ W Magazine, 12 July 2017;

  • We discussed pregnancy and professionalism in episode #7 – listen to that here;

  • Charlotte is quoting Elizabeth II by Ruth Stacey:

In today’s correspondence a poetry book
detailing the lives of British Queens—
with a note enclosed and a question:
what does it mean to be a Queen?

I could reply and say—
this precious stone set in a silver sea:
a symbol, like a banner, for mens’ love.
But these are not my words.

Read the whole poem here;


  • Emma recommends two classics - the Johnny Cash-June Carter Cash biopic Walk the Line from 2005 and Election from 1999, both available on DVD or through streaming services;

  • Charlotte recommends Home Again from 2017, which is currently available on Netflix.


…Will be available in the early spring, as Emma is on parental leave from mid-October. Can’t wait till then? Catch up with all 21 TNK episodes here!


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Emma Lundin