The Crown (S02E04) “Beryl”

This episode we delve deep into Margaret’s (played by Vanessa Kirby) life, and see how she’s been doing since her affair with Peter ended last season.  She seems to be a woman divided, one foot firmly in the past with The Family, and the other in the modern age, a thoroughly modern 20th century woman of the ages.  She hates being a royal and all it represents, but loves the perks that come with it.

She’s at a wedding, drunk with one of her steady friends, Billy Wallace (played by Tom Durant Pritchard) when she unknowingly agrees to marry him.  He’s not her ideal image of a husband, but he’s willing to “take her on” as she puts it.  As word gets out that Margaret’s agreed to marry him, Billy’s popularity with the women skyrocket and goes to his head.  He gets caught up and called out on a duel, which he looses, but lives through, and she dumps him as he’s lying in the bed waxing poetic about how brave he was when he’s shown to be a coward through flashbacks.  There’s a heartbreaking scene where, after Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip’s ten year anniversary party (where Margaret was supposed to announce her engagement to Bobby) she’s wallowing in her pain, listening to Angel Eyes by Ella Fitzgerald, drunk, and expressing her rage.  She’s the only member of the family that actually shows any emotions at all, which makes her the most relatable.

Desperate to escape the palace walls, Margaret calls up her new lady in waiting, Elizabeth Cavandish, (played by Catherine Bailey) and asks her to find her somewhere to go where no one, in her words, “Owns land, breeds horses, or knows her mother.”  Her lady in waiting tells her she’s having a dinner party, where they might be non differential, and Margaret jumps at the chance to meet “normal people.”  This is where she meets Tony Armstrong-Jones, (played by Matthew Goode) a photographer, who apprentices with Cecil Beaton, who she thinks is gay at first because of how he describes the fellow party goers and acts.

They hit it off immediately, and she asks him to take her birthday portrait.  He invites her to his studio, and she realizes he isn’t gay after all but is still intrigued.  He seduces her just from the way he describes his photography, his general manner, but we come to find he’s definitely the non traditional type not only when it comes to photography, but with relationships as well.  The Queen’s henchman, Tommy Lascelles, (played by Pip Torrens) and her private secretary, Martin Charteris (played by Harry Hadden-Paton) find out he’s in a three way relationship with a married couple, and the woman’s in fact expecting Tony’s child.  Instead of trying to break up this marriage, however, Queen Elizabeth supports it, just encouraging Margaret to be sure Tony’s the one.  Margaret says she’s sure, and she and Tony get married.

So what did you think about the episode?  What was your favorite parts?  Did this episode make you like Margaret more, or were you like me, with her already being a favorite?  Comment down below and let’s discuss.