17 December 2017

The Jewels of The Crown, Season 2, Episodes 1-4

The Crown on Netflix is back for Season 2, and our jewel-focused recaps are back as well!

The show picks up in the late 1950s and ends the season shortly after Prince Edward's birth in 1964, hitting along the way the trials and tribulations of Prince Philip, the trials and tribulations of Princess Margaret, and the struggle to modernize the monarchy.

To be honest, I didn't enjoy the second season as much as I did the first. The show vastly overestimated how much I care about Philip's angst (zero, I care zero) and their run through of Margaret's romantic problems wasn't backed by a very strong character development (her primary character trait seems to be a love of smoking). Claire Foy's portrayal of The Queen, however, remains impeccable. She deserves to add a few more trophies to her awards cabinet for her work here.

On to the jewels! As we did with Season 1, these recaps are mainly focused on the jewelry seen in the show. I'm focusing on those pieces that are intended to be replicas of the real deal; there are other items, brooches and so on, the show uses that seem to be pretty generic. 

Episode 1: Opening the season's premiere, in December, with the Diplomatic Reception, traditionally a December event, did make me smile. Just as they did in Season 1, the show continues to get its money out of this replica of the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, perhaps more than it was really used at this time. Combining the replicas of  the Duchess of Gloucester's Pendant Earrings an Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Necklace is spot on. There are couple brooches they might be replicating with that pearl brooch at the center of her sash, the scale and positioning being the two things that stick out as not true to life. Piling on a whole bunch of medals for The Duke of Edinburgh is just about right, although if they're replicating the Order of Merit around the neck, they're jumping the gun by a few years. (He didn't have that one until 1968.)

Episode 1: Having a solitary moment of contemplation while watching a ballerina she suspects Philip is cheating with, we've got the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara without any drops, an option we've seen in real life a few times. The cluster necklace doesn't seem to be replicating any particular piece in the collection.

Episode 3: There were several brooches shown in this episode that aren't really replicas of anything specific; this one, worn for a tense reunion in Portugal in 1957 after Philip was gone on a lengthy tour, included. It's hard to tell what brooch she actually wore for this event, but Philip really did wear a tie with hearts on it.

Episode 3: In the episode's most sparkling moment, the show depicts a baby coronation for Philip, when QEII granted him "the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1957. This is the show's first use of a replica for Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, and it's really not too bad. (Maybe too tall, though.)

The earrings could pass for the Pear Drop Diamond Earrings that have been around since at least the 1960s; the necklace could pass for the King Khalid Diamond Necklace, which wouldn't enter her collection until 1979.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother did indeed wear this jewel combination frequently: the Greville Tiara and Queen Alexandra's Wedding Necklace. Princess Margaret wears a tiara (seen last season) that could vaguely be one of a couple pieces from Queen Mary, but replicating anything she actually wore will have to wait until the next episode.

Episode 4: The show then moves from the angst of Philip to the angst of Margaret. The romantic angst, specifically. And it all seems to move rather quickly for a character that I just don't think they've nailed. For example, this dude up here half-heartedly proposes to her; then, just a few minutes later, we move directly into her great angst over the break up of the engagement, and I couldn't give it anything more than a shrug. Anyway...this necklace could pass for the diamond collet necklace Margaret received from Queen Mary, which was auctioned after her death, but they'll use a seemingly different piece to stand in for that later.

Episode 4: And here, finally, we have a tiara that Margaret actually wore: the Cartier Halo Tiara. They're portraying one of her Cecil Beaton birthday portraits, and while the tiara is out of place for that occasion, the multiple strands of pearls are exactly right.

Episode 4: The speedy engagement and un-engagement of Margaret leads to ~drama~ at a dinner for The Queen and Prince Philip's 10th wedding anniversary, where we see more of the jewel combos we've already seen in this season. Those diamond earrings on The Queen are sort of a larger version of her Diamond Pendant Earrings.

Episode 4: The episode wraps with a return to the Lover's Knot Tiara, this time paired with the Duchess of Teck Earrings. They were more of a day selection than a gala selection in real life at this time, but it works.

To be continued with episodes 5-10... 

Photos: Netflix, British Monarchy