The Crown (2016) s03e05 Episode Script


1 [RADIO.]
to Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his government today, as pressure on the pound Good afternoon, Mr.
- [TV.]
The damage had been done - Afternoon, Mr.
Britain's trade gap is a staggering £107 million.
It's the worst figure on record.
The government said that these figures were distorted and meaningless.
Good afternoon, Mr.
Good afternoon, Mr.
Good afternoon, Mr.
Where is it? Here.
Tomorrow's front page, sir.
- Not strong enough.
- It's the strongest headline the Daily Mirror's ever written about a Labour leader.
"Bowed head, guilty conscience"? I don't know what it's saying.
Now I know what it's saying.
It's a sad day when the Daily Mirror, a Labour-supporting newspaper, turns against a Labour leader like this.
We've done some thinking and come up with an idea for how to deflect any further criticism.
Yeah, go on.
Lord Mountbatten.
What's he got to do with anything? [THOMSON.]
I'm sure we all agree that he's a symbol of a bygone era, of privilege and inequality, empire and extravagance.
- Not to mention a pompous bloody arse.
Go on.
As Chief of the Defence Staff, he's refusing to make the defense cuts we need, cuts which you promised in your election manifesto.
One might even tolerate it if he weren't so - Vain or crooked or power-mad.
What are you proposing? That we kick him out.
But at least he's busy, and inside the tent.
You know, people like Mountbatten, meddlers, for want of a kinder word, energetic, well-connected meddlers, it's better that they're inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.
But he belongs to another time, Harold.
Kicking him out makes economic sense and shows we're tough.
And who knows? It might just buy us some good headlines.
Yes, I could do with some good headlines.
General salute! Present arms! [BOOTS STAMP.]
As Chief of the Defence Staff, you will be aware that the Treasury has been conducting a wide-ranging review of defense spending And before you go any further, the cuts you propose would leave us hopelessly vulnerable and weak, especially east of Suez.
Now, are our enemies cutting back on military spending? No, they're increasing fivefold, tenfold.
And the conclusion of the review is that we'd like to make a few changes.
One of which is to your post of Chief of the Defence Staff.
What? Are you kicking me out? Well, no, sir, I'm thanking you on behalf of the government, on behalf of the armed forces, on behalf of the whole country for your many years of remarkable service.
You are.
You're kicking me out.
Well, there we are! [CHUCKLES.]
There we are.
It's absurd.
That a man of Lord Mountbatten's achievements, Supreme Allied Commander for South East Asia, one of the chief architects of the invasion of occupied Europe, which, incidentally, won us the war, should be told by a man who's achieved what? Nothing.
Broken his promises, crippled the economy, run this great country into the ground.
that he, Mountbatten, is surplus to requirements? It's not absurd.
- It's obscene.
But where one door closes, another opens.
"There is special providence in such a fall.
If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come.
The readiness is all.
" What am I going to do, Barratt? [BARRATT.]
You'll bounce back, sir.
Before long, you'll have a hundred projects.
Cake, sir.
- [MAN.]
Hip-hip! - [STAFF.]
Hooray! Should auld acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind Should auld acquaintance be forgot And days of auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne We two have run about the hills And pulled the daisies fine But we've wandered many a weary foot Since auld lang syne [BIRD CAWS.]
Thank you.
Welcome home, sir.
Yes, of course.
I think that should be fine.
I don't think we need to worry about the stairs.
Pens down, Your Majesty.
Ten minutes to Newmarket.
Thank you, Cecil.
How is he? As good as new again.
And do you really think he's recovered from his injury? [CECIL.]
I do, ma'am.
Gelded, fired, well rested.
We won't have him breaking down on us again.
Any chance of seeing him on the gallops today? Oh, no, ma'am.
It's too wet and muddy out there.
It's been a lot like this.
Hardly been able to train him at all.
Well, we can't do anything about the weather.
Now we come to the most anticipated race of this year's Royal Ascot meeting, the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
This is Britain's longest flat race, where stamina is of the essence, and the favorite is, of course, number nine, Her Majesty's own horse, Apprentice.
And they're off with number six, Panic, taking an early lead, followed by number one, Valentine's Day, with number two, Olympic Boy, breathing down their necks.
They're on the pace now as they make their start.
Behind them at number ten, Omphialus, is far off the leaders, but number nine, Apprentice, tails behind in fifth place.
A disappointing start for last year's Yorkshire Cup champion.
And Panic is still ahead, but behind him, Apprentice is gaining ground, seeing off a challenge from number seven, Philemon, and pulling into fourth.
Your Majesty.
- Your Majesty.
- Dickie, darling.
Chin up, buttercup.
Apprentice really has the look of eagles.
- Apprentice turns up the pressure - Come on! on Olympic Boy as he moves into third place.
And in what is a fantastic recovery from a slow start, Apprentice is now level with number two, Olympic Boy, as they race uphill.
As they come up to the final turn, Panic leads by a length and a half but Apprentice is coming through with a challenge.
Now it's the home straight.
Apprentice is charging down the near side, digging deep.
Nearly, nearly, nearly No, he hasn't got it.
No, Apprentice is starting to struggle.
Panic is holding on, he's holding his lead, and Apprentice is falling behind as Valentine's Day pulls back into second.
Olympic Boy coming up from the rear, and it's a busy finish, but number six, Panic, finishes first, and closely followed by number two Olympic Boy, and What are we doing wrong, Porchey? We used to be at the top.
Now we barely compete.
It's possible that the system set up by your late father is now a little Obsolete? And might need, uh Kicking out? Throwing on the dust heap? If you want to keep up with the Aga Khans of this world, I would suggest you follow their lead.
And do what? Travel round the world and catch up with all the latest developments.
I can't just do that.
In case you hadn't noticed, I have a job to do.
It would only be France, not Timbuktu.
There are experienced people who are able to deputize for you in your absence.
As you know, this government is committed to maintaining sterling at $2.
80 to the pound.
But with every economic blow, the oil embargo, the balance of payments deficit, and the Dockers' Union strike, it's proving harder and harder to maintain.
And I'm afraid that now we have no alternative but to devalue the pound.
And I need hardly say it is a matter of overwhelming regret for me personally.
And a humiliation for the government.
It feels like a bad time to say that I won't be here for our meeting next week.
Perhaps the next two weeks.
But Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, will step in as counsellor of state.
Uh Oh.
A role she's executed many times.
Your Majesty.
Good evening.
A few days ago, the Cabinet took its unanimous decision to devalue the pound.
I can now tell you why we have taken this action, and, more importantly, what it will mean for you.
From now on, the pound abroad will be worth 14% or so less in terms of other currencies.
Now, this doesn't mean, of course, that the pound here in Britain in your pocket or your purse or your bank has been devalued.
What it does mean is that the goods we buy from abroad will be dearer.
So, for many goods, it will be cheaper to buy British.
Now, this devaluation has been a hard decision, and some of its consequences will be hard for a time.
For three years, this government has fought, as it was our duty to fight, the burden of the deficit that the previous government left us with.
But now is not the time to attribute blame.
Now is our chance to break free from that straitjacket, to seize this opportunity with both hands.
This is a proud nation.
We're out on our own now.
Now we must choose to put Britain first.
Tonight, we veterans of the Burma campaign are gathered here to renew old comradeships and to remember fallen brothers at Yenangyaung and Rangoon.
We remember how it was fought.
The old way, the honorable way.
Body to body, bayonet to bayonet.
And that swift, exhilarating sweep of victory that carried us over the Irrawaddy and into Mandalay.
And there we met the Japanese army, and we tore it apart.
Yes, gentlemen, we military men will always have our past glories to look back on.
But what of this new generation? These young men and women for whom some of the best of us gave our lives.
Hear, hear.
Decline, irrelevance, and the devaluation of pound sterling.
That is the sunless future that faces them.
For them, the white heat of revolution is not a forging heat.
It is a melting heat.
It melts the silver of our battle honors and reduces to cinders the very foundation of our economy, our currency.
- [MAN 1.]
- [MAN 2.]
Hear, hear.
So if the only glories available to this nation are its past glories, then let us cherish them now.
Hear, hear.
"Come you back, you British soldier, come you back " Who will join me? [AUDIENCE MURMURS.]
"Ship me somewhere east of Suez, where the best is like the worst, Where there are no Ten Commandments and a man can raise a thirst, For the temple bells are calling, and it's there that I would be By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea.
On the road to Mandalay, Where the old flotilla lay, with our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay.
O' the road to Mandalay, Where the flying-fishes play, And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the Bay.
What do you think? Very good.
- Lord Mountbatten? - Excuse me.
Cecil King.
I hoped to talk to you, sir, to express my sympathy at the way you've been treated by the government.
A shameful piece of political grandstanding and opportunism.
You're very kind.
Well, this country needs great men more than ever to restore confidence, inspire us, and perhaps even lead us out of the mire.
Well, it's been made very clear to me that my leadership days are over.
Oh, well, my colleagues and I don't believe that, sir.
Not for a minute.
As a matter of fact, we'd be delighted if you would have lunch with us at Threadneedle Street one day.
Bank of England? We've been working on a proposal, which we'd very much like to put to you.
- Hello.
Your Majesty.
Welcome to Haras du Quesnay.
Thank you, Mr.
But there is no need for such formality.
In the world of breeding, it is you who are king.
You are very kind, ma'am, and very indulgent.
I suspect you are flattering me.
- Henry.
Shall we? Good morning.
it was Malin Comme un Singe who came out of Lady Danjar, a magnificent stayer.
Oh! And his grandsire, White Settler.
Oh, that's right.
We had tremendous success with him.
Yes, I remember him.
A wonderful sprinter.
- Are these your stud books? - [MAN.]
Indeed, ma'am.
And I think you will find some very familiar names in there.
Yes, I bet I will.
If I'm not mistaken - this one.
- Oh, gosh, yes.
My grandfather's, one of his favorites.
- What would you say? Six months? - [PORCHEY.]
Mm, yes, I'd say so.
Nice temperament, warm-blooded, not too skittish.
- Indeed.
Look at her hocks.
- Oh, yes.
Very well proportioned, excellent line to the back.
It was extraordinary.
Not just their facilities, their entire attitude to breeding, but the fact they keep their foals and their yearlings so close [PORCHEY.]
while we send ours off to graze in Ireland.
Tell me honestly.
Is it over? Have we slipped too far behind? Not yet, ma'am.
But if you want to keep up, you, uh, you do need to act decisively now.
It'd mean rethinking the operation from top to toe, changing the personnel, - changing the approach.
- Yes.
And currently there is a drain of the best British racehorses to America.
You have to ask yourself why? You don't think I should go there, too? Obviously, from a racing perspective, it will be ideal.
Just for a day or two, but, uh won't you be needed at home? Well, they've always got Mummy.
Me being away is good for her.
She hates feeling old and superannuated and surplus to requirements.
I'm sure she's relishing being the big chief again.
- Thank you.
- Sir.
- Mr.
- Lord Mountbatten.
The Great Britain of our childhood is dying before us.
The country is bankrupt, our national security is in tatters, our allies are in despair.
And on our current trajectory, by 1970, we will be a vassal state.
A pariah.
I don't know about you, sir, but I'd sooner die than stand idly by and watch this happen.
And to that end, my associates and I have come up with a plan to put the country back on track.
Which is? Replacing the Prime Minister and installing a new emergency government.
- What? - And in his place, we would need to install an inspirational figurehead.
Someone who could unite the nation, command its respect.
Someone who had stepped into a national leadership role before.
Now, there are some obvious candidates, but, frankly, none would be as good as you, sir.
No, no, no, this is quite unthinkable.
At this point, I should close my ears.
Despite my own very profound reservations regarding our prime minister, what you're talking about is effectively a coup.
And I can have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
In peacetime, it's true, an intervention like this would be unconstitutional.
But we believe this is no longer peacetime, and the circumstances are unprecedented and quite exceptional.
In order to hijack control of the economy, Wilson and his socialist colleagues have devised a plan, Plan Brutus, which would strip the Bank of England of all its powers, freeze the sterling balances of foreign governments, and enforce crash cuts in defense spending.
The bankers cannot be allowed to run the show.
The Bank of England has known about gold pouring out of the country since Monday - and has done nothing to stop it.
- What is our response? [THOMSON.]
The imposition of exchange controls, crash cuts in defense expenditure, and the compulsory acquisition of all privately held overseas securities.
Show of hands.
It is an effective declaration of war on freedom, democracy, and capitalism.
We must act now.
Not just to save Britain, but the world.
We are proposing a radical revolution led by bankers, businessmen, and the armed forces.
Professionals who can save us from amateurism, incompetence, and Russian infiltration.
And as our interim leader, we can think of no one better than you, sir.
This is all very interesting.
May I suggest that we meet again in 48 hours? Sir.
With the pound down and the rest later, I suppose that sums it up.
Devaluation and a gigantic loan that we'll all have to pay back.
Britain now finds itself looking at a complete reversal of government policy after three years of devaluation and denial.
Wilson must go! Wilson must go! [PRESENTER.]
Outside 10 Downing Street, protesters gathered as the reality of what a devalued pound Welcome to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Your Majesty.
- Thank you, Mr.
- Please, call me Bull.
Sorry we don't have better weather for you.
It's quite all right.
We like a good watering.
- Bull Hancock.
- Pleasure to meet you.
Your shopping basket will hold less for the same money.
A whole lot of imported foodstuffs will cost more, around threepence a pound more for beef.
- This the one? - Excellent.
On Monday, after the announcement, the Stock Exchange was empty.
There was no trading.
But outside in Throgmorton Street, brokers and jobbers crowded together to try and sort out what the drop in the pound [HANCOCK.]
Morning, boys.
- Morning, sir.
- Morning, Mr.
They're testing for minerals.
Sulfur, calcium.
Correct nutrition is vital, ma'am, when it comes to the bone strength and bone formation - in the foals we're raising.
- Yes, sir.
Tommy's one of the best.
- [TOMMY.]
Thank you, sir.
- Does Tommy ever come to England? - Oh, no, no, no.
Paris woke up to find that France was on the brink of civil war.
Would the rebel generals in Algeria send paratroopers? Defense measures were quickly put into operation.
Orly Airport was closed to flights in and out.
Nobody in the capital knew the rebels' intentions, but plastic bomb outrages here and elsewhere showed that pro-rebel sympathizers were on the prowl.
They struck at the Gare de Lyon railway terminus and at the Austerlitz station, not with any serious effect, but it was [HANCOCK.]
These are veterinary students we've invited to spend time at the farm.
They learn reproductive management, neonatal and foal management, herd health management.
What we're aiming for is better integration between our practices here at the stud and the clinical research being conducted in the wider world.
Remind me of the year.
Why? 'Cause having seen what I've just seen, one might think it 2067.
In terms of technology, and their management of the pasture, and their willingness to embrace new ideas, the Americans aren't just on a different level, they're on a different planet.
And their racing manager, wasn't he impressive? When you think about Cecil by comparison - Yes, he is getting on now.
- Hmm, 150.
Well, not quite that, but certainly 80.
Dear old Cecil.
The Ben-Hur of Newmarket.
He had such success with your father.
And grandfather.
You know he was wounded at the Somme? Yes.
So, it's probably time for someone a little bit younger.
The question is, who is there? What about Gordon Richards? He's with the Weinstocks.
They'd never let him go.
- Or David McCall? - Hmm.
He's good.
But can you honestly see him fitting in? - No.
- Try that.
Would you ever consider it? - Me? - Why not? You're brilliant, and you know the family inside out.
Well, I'm honored.
- But I'm also very ambitious, so - Hmm.
I could never accept unless I felt sure we had every chance of success at the highest level.
And in terms of our research, there's still one thing that we really need to see.
- What? - Their training facilities.
If we're going to gain the edge, there's still a lot to learn from the Americans.
Porchey, how much longer is that going to take? Well [CHUCKLES.]
Do you want to try this? - Yes, please.
In the past decade alone, there have, by my reckoning, been 73 coups in 46 different countries around the world, and the success of some of these might encourage us.
In Ghana two years ago, President Nkrumah was ousted with just 500 men.
And in 1961 in South Korea, Major General Park Chung-hee seized power with 3,500 men.
And in 1964 in Gabon, just 150 men were able to arrest President M'ba and thus gain control over the levers of state power.
And, of course, it was with just one legion that Caesar crossed the Rubicon.
And perhaps we would not seek to follow his fate.
Sic semper tyrannis, gentlemen.
And what all successful insurgencies have in common are five key elements.
Control of the media, control of the economy, and the capture of administrative targets, for which you need the fourth element, the loyalty of the military.
Now, in Ghana and Gabon, this can be achieved with a handful of battalions, but here in the United Kingdom we would need to secure Parliament, Whitehall, the Ministry of Defence, and the Cabinet Office.
The Prime Minister will be arrested, of course, along with other politicians still loyal.
We would have to shut down the airports, air traffic control.
Same with the train stations.
Curfews will be put in place, martial law declared.
And I haven't even mentioned the police.
It would take tens of thousands of unquestioningly loyal servicemen, and even in my heyday, I could never command that.
Which brings me to the fifth element.
Now, our government draws its strength from long-established institutions that support it.
The courts, body of common law, the constitution.
For any action against the state to succeed, you'd have to overthrow these as well.
But in a highly evolved democracy such as ours, their authority is sacrosanct.
Which is why, gentlemen, a coup d'état in the United Kingdom doesn't stand a chance.
Unless Unless ? [MOUNTBATTEN.]
Unless we had the support of the one person not yet mentioned.
Do you see the temperament? [MOUNTBATTEN.]
The Crown has at its disposal unique constitutional powers which could still make something like this possible.
In 1834, William IV used them to dismiss his government in the face of opposition from the House.
And in 1920, the Emergency Powers Act was passed, which gave the sovereign power in certain circumstances to declare a state of emergency by proclamation.
Meaning our Queen could dissolve Parliament and appoint a new government, and a prime minister as well.
She's also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
They swear allegiance to her and not to Parliament, so could count on their support to see it through.
She is our Caesar.
And you think she might entertain this idea? The circumstances are certainly compelling.
Now, I've made a list here of exactly how compelling.
And as her second cousin, I am in an ideal position to ask.
- Not hungry? - No.
Somehow today has managed to be one of the most enjoyable days of my life.
And at the same time, one of the most depressing.
Telephone call for you, ma'am.
Lord Mountbatten.
I'll call him back.
If I tell you something, do you promise it will stay between us? Of course.
This is how I'd like to spend all my time.
Owning horses, breeding horses, racing horses.
It's what makes me truly happy.
And I actually think it's what I was born to do, until the other thing came along that someone else was born to do, that they elected not to do, which meant that first my father, and then I, had to do a job we were never meant to do.
Well, you've managed to make it look like the other thing is the only thing you were ever meant to do.
You're kind.
But it isn't.
And on days like today in places like this, in company like this you get a glimpse of what it all might have been like.
The unlived life and how much happier it might have made me.
- Not now! Oh, dear.
Did I just snap? - Slightly.
- I shall have to grovel now.
- No, it's all right.
He'll understand.
I'm so sorry, Your Majesty.
Yes, all right, I'm coming.
Honestly, only Dickie.
Yes, thank you, Martin.
I'll talk to him.
Your Majesty.
You are persistent.
Is it really so important? Yes, Your Majesty.
Prime Minister? Ma'am, I have reason to believe there is currently a full-blown plot developing against me and the democratically elected Labour government that governs in your name being led by a senior member of your family.
Who? Lord Mountbatten.
And that he, in cahoots with Cecil King, the chairman of the Mirror Group newspapers, has been attempting to overthrow this government.
Now, I feel compelled to remind Your Majesty that tolerance of the royal family is hanging by a thread as it is.
And throughout my time in office, I have done my level best to protect you.
But if members of the royal family were to interfere with the political business of the day, I would be left with no option, but to side with the republican elements of my Cabinet, which I have successfully controlled until now and take steps.
Leave it with me, Prime Minister.
Your Majesty.
Drink up, Porchey.
We're going home.
Lord Mountbatten, Your Majesty.
Your Majesty.
You asked to see me.
I did.
Well, great minds think alike.
As it happens, I was planning to drop by myself on a matter of great importance.
I'm getting a feeling that I've not had since Dieppe, that I'm walking into a trap.
I'd like to think you had that sinking feeling on another occasion recently, when going to see your friends at the Bank of England.
Is it even true? Yes, I did go to lunch at the Bank of England to meet and listen to people who are horrified by what's happening to the country.
A horror I hope you share.
But conspiring with them is not the solution.
It is the beginning of a solution.
Why are you doing this? Why would you protect a man like Wilson? I am protecting the Prime Minister.
I am protecting the constitution.
I am protecting democracy.
But if the man at the heart of that democracy threatens to destroy it, are we supposed to just stand by and do nothing? Yes.
Doing nothing is exactly what we do, and bide our time, and wait for the people that voted him in to vote him out again, if indeed that is what they decide to do.
I'm sure you find it near impossible to do nothing and to not have the role and responsibilities you've always had.
You were born to be busy and to lead.
But you still have a huge role to play in this family.
A father figure to my husband.
An uncle and a guide to me.
A king to make in Charles, not to mention a brother to your sister.
When was the last time you even visited her? Cheered her up? That would be a greater service to the Crown than leading unconstitutional coups.
Nice of you to find the time.
Hmm! These days, I've nothing but time.
And too little time.
The four of us.
- What? - The four of us.
Look at us now.
Only two left.
You're left, not me.
I'm on the way out.
There came a moment around the time I turned 70 when it dawned on me that I was no longer a participant, rather a spectator.
I've discovered that for myself.
Then it's just a matter of waiting and not getting in the way.
I hear you have been getting in the way.
- Who told you that? - There are no secrets in this place! - Hmm.
Did you get a dressing down from our doughty Queen? - Yes, I did.
Oh, what's so funny? Well, that's funny.
The little girl admonishing the grand old Admiral of the Fleet.
Well, I'm glad it amuses you.
Because the situation this country is facing is anything but amusing.
Oh Who cares? Honestly.
One of the few joys of being as old as we both are is that it's not our problem.
It's not really our country, either.
What are you talking about? Of course it's our country.
We Battenbergs have no country.
Our family might have kings and queens in its ranks, but we're mongrels, too.
Part-German, part-Greek, part-nowhere at all.
Well, this is my country.
It gave me a home, it gave me a name, and in return, I've given it my life.
And to see it like this breaks my heart.
You must sleep.
Princess Alice of Nowhere at All.
- Don't sound so surprised.
I am.
It's been so long.
So, how was France and America? Educational.
The trip was supposed to be a week.
You were gone almost a month.
With Porchey? Yes.
Was that fun? We went on racing business.
It was a fact-finding expedition.
If you have something to say, say it now.
Otherwise, if you don't mind, I'm busy.
I've heard you've appointed him as your racing manager.
- I have.
- Which means he'll be around all the time.
Yes, with any luck.
- Good for you.
- Good for all of us.
I heard about Dickie.
- A coup.
- Yes.
Can you believe it? It must be hard getting old.
I'll be up in a minute.
Oh, will you? Yes, I thought so.
Unless you'd rather I wasn't.
I'll see you in a minute.