The Crown (2016) s06e06 Episode Script


[footsteps echoing]
[bells tolling]
[woman whoops]
[laughter and chattering]
[newsman] And so,
Coronation Day is upon us
for the first time since 1953.
[stately music playing]
A three-day people's festival
has been declared
with concerts and street parties
up and down the country.
[indistinct excited chatter]
The former queen is
understood to be devastated
and is unlikely to attend the service.
O God, The Crown and the Faithful.
[newsman] Many had been unable
to imagine life without Elizabeth II,
but after almost 50 years on the throne,
it's out with Queen Elizabeth
and in with King Tony.
New Britain has a new royal family.
The Labour Party.
[crowd] God save the King!
God save the King! God save the King!
[newsman] The King leaves the abbey
to the strains of the new national anthem.
You can walk my path ♪
You can wear my shoes ♪
Learn to talk like me ♪
And be an angel too ♪
I'm singing it now ♪
Things can only get better ♪
Can only get better ♪
Now I've found you ♪
Things can only get
Things can only get better ♪
[newsman] news of the usual rows
and controversies of political office.
The prime minister's
personal satisfaction ratings
rose by one point
to an extraordinary 66%
[newswoman] In a moment, we'll join
our colleagues at the World Service,
but in the meantime, on behalf
of everybody at Broadcasting House,
good night.
[distant choir singing]
God save our gracious Queen ♪
Long live our noble Queen ♪
[voices amplify] God save the Queen ♪
Send her victorious ♪
Happy and glorious ♪
Long to reign over us ♪
God save the Queen ♪
[singing ends]
Thank you.
I'd like to talk briefly
about the prime minister, if I may.
Historically, I've not worried too much
about prime ministers' popularity.
It tends to come and go very quickly.
But I've a feeling
that could be different with Mr. Blair.
People really do seem to love him
and see him as a true son of England,
and a unifying national symbol
in a way they used to see,
well, me.
And with Mr. Blair scoring higher than me
in every survey one can find,
perhaps now is the time.
[Fellowes] Ma'am?
To find out what seems to have gone wrong
and how we could
I could do better.
I understand the impulse,
but I'm not sure it's a good idea.
The Crown doesn't ask
existential questions of itself.
- Perhaps it should.
- It suggests a loss of confidence.
- It's putting blood in the water.
- It's just information, Robert.
[Janvrin clears throat]
I agree.
And I think, finally,
I'm ready to hear it.
[indistinct chattering]
Thanks. Name?
- Name?
- Simpson.
Upstairs, third floor.
[man] Hi, folks, in you come.
If you'd like to find a seat.
Anywhere you like.
Take a seat, quick as you can.
Loos are on the right.
[Janvrin] The focus groups you asked for,
ma'am, have now been conducted
in Edinburgh, Leeds, London,
Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff,
Manchester, and Liverpool.
The British royal family.
[scoffing laugh]
Professional layabouts.
[Janvrin] More than 2,000 subjects
over the age of 18
were asked a series
of yes or no questions about the monarchy.
[woman] I consider the royal family to be
an important part of British society.
- I'd go along with that.
- You're being disrespectful.
[Janvrin] Followed by some,
at times, spirited debates.
Let's keep it civil, please.
[Janvrin] Having reviewed the data,
the pollsters have now
presented their findings.
Asked if the royal family were
out of touch with ordinary people,
69% said yes.
Badly advised,
62% said yes.
Asked if they were wasteful
of public money, 54% said yes.
Asked if they lacked compassion,
53% said yes.
Asked if they had failed
the Princess of Wales
as badly in death as in life,
a sobering 66% said yes.
Asked if Britain should have
a smaller, more informal monarchy
like the Netherlands or Scandinavia,
54% said yes.
[Margaret sighs]
And when asked if the monarchy
should continue in its present form,
the proportion that agreed was just 10%.
I'd like to propose my own survey.
How many of us think that polls
are a daft idea in the first place?
[Queen Mother] I don't see why
we should have to listen to these people.
[Charles] Because we might
actually learn something.
The sample, as I understand it,
is selected to represent
society as a whole, isn't it?
It's still a folly to subject something
as enduring as the monarchy
to the whims of marketing men.
I do think it's significant
that our low numbers come at the same time
that we have a prime minister
of conspicuous popularity.
Only Winston at his height
had this kind of support.
[Queen Mother] Have you learnt nothing
in the time you've been on the throne?
Prime ministers come in
on a blaze of popularity and goodwill
And leave on a stretcher
a few years later with their reputations,
and usually their health, in tatters.
Yes, that's it, exactly.
Well, I think this one might be different.
[theme music playing]
- [man] There he is.
- [reporters clamoring]
[Blair] Good evening.
We hoped never to see war
in Central Eastern Europe again
in our lifetimes.
[distant gunfire]
Sadly, it has come,
and it has consequences
for the whole world.
NATO allies launched an offensive
against Serb military targets.
[explosions rumbling]
Slobodan Milosevic is
a monstrous dictator,
carrying out the systematic
and violent persecution
of innocent civilians.
He has to be stopped.
We have a moral duty
to ensure he does not succeed.
To all of us in free countries
who think this is a remote conflict
and someone else's problem, I say this.
If you value your freedom,
you cannot remain neutral.
This is your war too.
[uplifting music playing]
[music fades out]
It's encouraging that our NATO partners
have come together against the Serbs
but, well, moral purpose is one thing.
Military success is quite another.
Every bombing target
has to be approved by committee,
which makes decisions agonizingly slow.
We thought this aerial campaign
would be over in days. Instead, two weeks,
and little or no progress has been made.
The the Serbs are laughing at us.
I read that the problem was cloud cover.
American stealth bombers need
good conditions to see their targets.
The most sophisticated weaponry
in the world,
and it can't handle the weather?
Which is why
we ultimately need ground troops.
I proposed to President Clinton
a limited invasion of 80,000 troops,
which would drive Serb forces
out of Kosovo
and create safe havens
for refugees to return,
but he said most Americans
can't point to Yugoslavia on a map,
so why put US servicemen's lives at risk?
- Yes.
- It's most frustrating.
But I won't give up. Morally,
this is the right thing.
[Elizabeth] Mr. Blair was
unusually resolute today.
In my experience,
prime ministers tend to be
either domestic or foreign policy focused.
At this early stage, I'd say Mr. Blair
falls very firmly into the latter camp.
Statesman syndrome.
Which am I, do you think?
A domestic or foreign policy queen?
Good question, ma'am.
And it's not immediately obvious.
The Commonwealth of Nations is
such an article of faith to you.
- One'd be inclined to say foreign.
- [man] For you, sir.
Thank you.
Who else off the top of their heads
would be able to reel off
the name of the president of Malawi?
[Elizabeth] Bakili Muluzi.
And the next member state
to have general elections?
Fiji. Their first since readmission.
Despite all that, it's your interest
in every part of the British Isles
that, I think, ultimately makes you
a domestic queen.
Take today's engagement
at the Women's Institute.
Composing the speech yourself with,
if I may say, evident enthusiasm.
Of course.
The uncomplaining, hardworking
countrywomen of Middle England,
you underestimate them at your peril.
And did those feet in ancient time ♪
Walk upon England's mountains green? ♪
And was the holy Lamb of God ♪
On England's pleasant pastures seen? ♪
And did the countenance divine ♪
Shine forth upon our clouded hills? ♪
And was Jerusalem ♪
The Women's Institute movement
came to Britain in 1915.
Since its humble beginnings
in a Welsh garden shed
[women chuckle]
our membership and our goals
have reached new and remarkable heights.
[women murmuring]
I've been a member of the WI
for longer than I've been queen.
[women exclaiming]
Many of you will remember
how vital we were to the war effort,
from growing produce to hosting evacuees.
I have fond memories
of collecting rose hips
for rose hip syrup.
- Do you remember the rose hips?
- [women] Yes.
- For vitamin C deficiency.
- [exclaiming quietly]
There are approximately
250,000 members of the Women's Institute
in the United Kingdom.
Roughly the population of Hull.
[women laughing]
Can you imagine a city
run and populated entirely by the WI?
[women] Yes.
It would have
the tidiest streets in Britain.
[women] Yes.
- Everything would run on time.
- [women] Yes.
And we would take all the men's jobs.
[laughter and applause]
[indistinct voice on phone]
No, I'm not trying to patronize you.
I'm not trying to make you look Yeah.
[man speaks indistinctly]
Yeah, yeah. No, I understand.
All right. Okay, bye-bye.
[exhales deeply]
[Blair] And then he said,
"Answer me this, Tony"
Oh, no, please don't do the accent.
"How many ground troops
are y'all prepared to commit?"
So I say, "Look, Bill, um,
we can talk about numbers all day."
"This is about the bigger picture.
What if Milosevic wins?"
"NATO's credibility is at stake."
To which he said
"NATO's credibility is
already a busted flush."
- So you're allowed to do the accent.
- I do it better.
He knows the fact
you're coming to him like this
means that NATO's air campaign has failed.
But he still won't do what it takes.
Commit American ground troops.
It's he's worried about it
looking like another Vietnam
with no political upside
for him domestically.
Well, you're never going to persuade
the White House
by appealing to their interests.
So do what you do best.
Appeal to their consciences.
[Blair] While we meet here
in Chicago this evening,
terrible things are happening in Europe.
No one who has seen what has happened
in Kosovo to those refugees
can be in any doubt
that NATO's military action is justified.
But we must do more
than simply make our case.
We must also succeed.
For that,
we depend on you,
the United States.
You are the most powerful country
in the world,
and the richest.
You are a great nation.
And it must be
difficult, and sometimes irritating,
to find yourself
the recipient of every demand.
To be called upon in every crisis.
To be expected always and everywhere
to do what needs to be done.
The cry, "What's it got to do with us?"
must be heard fairly regularly.
Yet those nations which have the power
have the responsibility to use it wisely.
We need you.
We need America engaged.
And so I say to you,
never fall again
for the doctrine of isolationism,
because the world truly cannot afford it.
Stay, please, a country outward looking.
With the vision and the imagination
which is the very best of your nature.
And realize, too, that in doing so,
you will find in Britain
a friend and an ally
that will stand with you.
Work with you.
Fashion, with you,
the design of a future
built on peace and prosperity for all,
which is the only dream
that makes humanity worth preserving.
Thank you.
[man shouts] Bravo!
[Blair] Thank you.
[indistinct shouts]
[man] What a speech!
[Fellowes] A resounding success
for the prime minister in America.
The New York Times says
the prime minister has a new nickname.
King Tony.
The Wall Street Journal
has come out in emphatic support
of his attempts to persuade
a reluctant White House,
but I think the best summary
is from the Chicago Sun Times.
It claims Mr. Blair has beguiled the city
with his charms,
leaving Americans pining
to have him as their president instead.
[Fellowes] I gather President Clinton
is now considering ground war,
which would leave Milosevic
and his Serb forces
with the option to either fight
and face total annihilation
or else withdraw.
And I suspect even they are
sensible enough to choose the latter.
the prime minister pulled it off.
So it seems.
This is an extraordinary political feat.
[exhales deeply]
[bell ringing]
- The prime minister, Your Majesty.
- Your Majesty.
[door creaks shut]
I hope you didn't slip on the way here.
[Blair] Ma'am?
It can't be easy
walking on water. [chuckles]
[Blair chuckles] Hmm.
[Elizabeth] Please, do sit down.
you insisted the West
no longer stand by
while genocide and slaughter take place.
And pulled it off
without a single NATO casualty in combat.
Great credit must go to the Americans.
When they signaled
their openness to a ground invasion,
Milosevic realized the game was up.
But Clinton's change of heart
is in great part thanks to you.
It's one thing to have popularity.
It's quite another to have influence.
So I offer you my congratulations.
You are, at this moment, by some margin,
the most celebrated leader
on the world stage,
with remarkable instincts.
And so,
in the light of that
it's no secret that the Crown has not had
the best time of it in recent years.
Often, our values and those of the country
have not been perfectly aligned.
You, on the other hand,
since you entered Number 10,
you've shown an uncanny ability
to read the mood of the country
better than anyone.
And so I can't help but ask
what would you do
to turn things around for us?
If you were in charge.
If I were in charge of the monarchy?
If you were in my shoes.
If I were king?
For someone who so rarely
puts a foot wrong,
this seems to be
a dangerous loss of judgment.
She's asking for advice.
She doesn't need to take it.
But who is she asking?
- The prime minister.
- An avowed reformer and modernizer.
Her chief advisor.
I'm her chief advisor.
Actually constitutionally, Robert,
I think you'll find he is.
Can we walk through the five big changes
that we wanna make?
[man] Modernization.
We reduce expenditure.
Everyone's doing it.
It's only fair that the Queen
is doing it as well. Right?
- Some examples.
- Listen to this.
Royal train, fifteen hundred pounds
for catering per journey.
[woman] Time to get them
in line with New Labour.
Honestly, it's an anachronistic,
unrepresentative feudal system
based on a thousand years
of hereditary privilege.
You'd be better off
trying to modernize Stonehenge.
Let's do the monarchy first, and then
we can get round to prehistoric monuments.
Aren't those two things the same?
[Blair chuckles softly]
Okay, I know it's unexciting,
but administrative reform.
We run the royals
like we run the civil service.
- [woman 2] Yes!
- [man] Accountability.
There's nothing else that matters.
It's just that.
[Cherie Blair] I mean, not being allowed
to marry a Catholic.
The Human Rights Act states people have
the right to marry whoever they want.
Says the Queen's counsel.
Well, that's wrong too.
I should be called senior counsel.
[man] I think we can spin it like this.
It would look really good
if it came from the Palace that they're
prepared to tighten the purses.
She knows that there has to be a change.
Yes, yes! The voters
don't wanna take down the monarchy.
Can you put a version of that
in the dossier?
[Cherie Blair] It's all wrong, Tony.
Seriously. Wrong.
Needs changing.
[Blair] I'd like to start by thanking you
for giving me the opportunity to do this.
Most of the time, we don't think seriously
about the monarchy in this country.
We just subject you all
to a lot of hurtful and frivolous gossip.
Really? I hadn't noticed.
[chuckles softly]
But, uh, having consulted with
my closest advisors,
we do all agree that the institution
is in need of some reform.
That much was clear after the death
of Diana, Princess of Wales
when we saw an outpouring of grief
turn into a mass movement for change.
So I thought we might start with something
I know you're already considering.
Demoting eldest daughters
in the line of succession,
I think we can all agree,
makes little sense in a modern society.
As an eldest daughter myself,
I don't object to that in principle.
But to turn over centuries
of royal legislation is no small task.
You'd have to consult with
the 15 other countries
where I'm head of state.
Where the will is there, these things
can usually change quickly. Um
Another area is transparency.
My government will soon be introducing
a Freedom of Information Act.
I believe the monarchy
might benefit from something similar.
An annual report setting out performance,
assets, salaries. Total accountability.
Think of the Crown
as a public limited company
and the people of Britain
as shareholders, not subjects.
I see.
[Blair] The, um
It's now nearly 300 years since
William III signed the Act of Settlement
to a secure a Protestant monarchy, and
there have been growing calls
for a a review
of some of
the more anti-Catholic provisions,
which surely have no place
in a plural society like ours.
I can understand permitting members
of the royal family to marry Catholics,
but for Catholics to be
in the direct line of succession
would open the way to a Catholic monarch.
Well, of course
there'll be technical issues.
Slightly more than technical issues.
It would be the disestablishment
of the Church of England.
We have to be willing
to look at the big questions.
It's no use nibbling around the periphery.
Should it be the monarch's role
to appoint the prime minister?
Of course. It's a government
in the sovereign's name.
But to be able to dissolve Parliament,
to give laws royal assent
They don't in Sweden.
These functions can be carried out
by the speaker of the House of Commons.
Should the monarch be
commander-in-chief of the armed forces?
They aren't in Sweden, in the Netherlands,
which brings me to the
to the matter of pomp and splendor.
I've been looking at
some of the ceremonial offices
in the royal household, and they include
a hereditary Grand Falconer.
Dear Murray. What about him?
Does the job
really need to depend on birth, not merit?
Um, the Queen's Herb Strewer
and the Washer of the Sovereign's Hands.
That is only once per reign,
and only when I'm in residence
at Holyroodhouse.
Still, a Royal Bargemaster
and 24 watermen,
even though there hasn't been
a royal barge since 1849.
A Warden of the Swans?
Someone has to oversee the swans
in England's inland waterways,
over which the Crown has
an ancient prerogative right.
But is that prerogative right?
I understand that the role
dates from the 12th century
as a way to claim swans
as delicacies for royal banquets.
Now that the swan has, one imagines,
fallen out of the culinary repertoire,
how does one justify the role today?
Kings and queens
might not be eating them anymore.
Someone has to care for them.
We check them for injuries.
Maintain their habitat.
Ring them with tags
from the British Trust for Ornithology.
And that's before
we get to the most anachronistic of all.
The State Opening of Parliament.
Do we really need ten heralds?
Including the Rouge Dragon Pursuivant
and the Maltravers Herald Extraordinary?
The Gold Stick in Waiting.
The Silver Stick in Waiting.
The Gentleman Usher of the Sword of State?
I think what we're suggesting is
a purge of honorifics,
a a bonfire of sinecures
might be a useful concession
and PR victory.
[bell rings]
[door opens]
I obviously need to give
all this careful thought.
Your Majesty.
[door creaks shut]
[Cherie Blair] So, how was it?
[indistinct news report on TV]
- A little frosty.
- [Cherie Blair] I'll bet.
But she promised to give our proposals
some further thought.
Oh Well, If she doesn't,
and the people get fed up with them,
she'll only have herself to blame.
Britain is mature enough
as a country and a democracy
to live without this nonsense.
The preservation of the monarchy's
her life's work.
She must know that they have to change
in order to survive.
No, they don't want to change, Tony.
I mean, she probably thinks
the only way to survive
is to double down on the madness.
Like the Catholic Church.
- Let's not bring the church into this.
- Well, they modernized.
And the old guard
has never forgiven them for it.
Why? Because they got rid of the Latin
and the incense and the miracles
and the mystery,
and people stopped coming.
This is different.
Is it?
- [bells tolling in distance]
- [man huffing]
Mr. Hawkins next, please.
[Hawkins clears throat]
[Elizabeth] Please,
make yourself comfortable.
That's it. I'm the Warden of the Swans.
It says here your role is
one of the oldest in the household.
That's right, sir.
We've gone through several incarnations
over the years.
The Keeper of the King's Swans,
the King's Swan Master,
and now the Warden of the Swans.
[somber music playing]
[Fellowes] And what is your precise title?
I am the Queen's Herb Strewer.
The Queen's Guide to the Sands.
Yeoman of the Glass and China Pantry.
Could you tell us what your role involves
day by day?
[yeoman] It's my job to supervise
the glassware and earthenware
across all the royal palaces.
I oversee stocks.
I guard against any damage and breakages.
[Elizabeth] What have you got there?
Lawes, Orders and Customs for Swans.
The authoritative text
for the Keeper of the King's Swans.
It's been guiding us for centuries.
Since 1482, by my reckoning,
and the reign of Edward IV.
[guide] Seen the bay change
in all manner of ways.
Years of high tides and heavy rainfall
will change sands beyond recognition.
Believe me, I've seen shallow gullies
turn into deep ravines.
[Elizabeth] What is your official title?
Astronomer Royal.
Piper to the Sovereign.
Lord High Admiral of the Wash, ma'am.
[yeoman] And my responsibilities
also include
folding all 170
of the embroidered white linen napkins.
- [Elizabeth] Oh, that's you!
- Yes, ma'am.
[Elizabeth] You are clever.
How on earth do you do that?
Few have truly mastered
the Dutch bonnet napkin fold.
[Elizabeth] "The swan
is a pure and graceful beast."
How is your 15th century calligraphy,
A little rusty. Let's see
"Her feathers are white as snow
and as brief in duration."
"For she signifieth
the passing nature of fair things."
"For though we wish our splendor
to be everlasting,
no thing must remain of what is passed."
[somber music fades out]
The longer it went on,
the heavier my heart became.
I agree.
A sense of pride in the tradition.
I think my favorite
was the Yeoman Bed Hanger.
[Fellowes chuckles] Yes.
Or the Lord High Admiral of the Wash.
[Queen Mother] So they don't want
Black Rod knocking on the door
or the Lord Great Chamberlain
walking backwards?
They've also suggested
getting rid of the cap of maintenance,
presumably on the grounds that it can
only be worn by a peer of the realm.
[Queen Mother] But it's so full
of color and character
and a glorious sea of vermilion.
[Charles] Well, I think,
from a PR standpoint,
it might be sensible
to make one or two concessions.
Leave us less open
to charges of elitism and grandiosity.
But that's missing the point.
The whole purpose of the State Opening
is to humble the monarch.
The Crown's representative, Black Rod,
knocks on the door of the House of Commons
and is rebuffed three times.
Because the last time a king
overstepped the mark
and entered the Commons,
Charles I,
it led to civil war and his execution.
Parliament is warning the monarch.
"Never forget,
we are in charge."
She still arrives in the Irish state coach
with an escort of household cavalry
and hundreds of guardsmen
lining the route.
It doesn't immediately feel like
a lesson in humility.
Are we really being lectured on humility
by the Prince of Wales?
[Anne] We are.
I just don't feel there's anything wrong
with running the monarchy on more
rational and democratic lines.
But monarchy isn't rational.
Or democratic or logical or fair.
Haven't we all learned that by now?
People don't want to come to a palace
and get what they could have at home.
When they come for an investiture
or a state visit,
when they brush up against us,
they want the magic and the mystery.
And the arcane and the eccentric
and the symbolic.
the transcendent.
They want to feel like
they've entered another world.
That is our duty.
To lift people up
and transport them into another realm,
not bring them down to earth
and remind them of what they already have.
Hear, hear.
[newswoman] The world has been gripped
as the race for the White House
has boiled down to a recount
in the battleground state of Florida.
Many in the Labour Party
had hoped for a victory
for Vice President Al Gore.
But, in a dramatic late-night ruling,
the US Supreme Court voted 5-4
to stop the recount,
effectively handing the presidency
to Texas governor George W. Bush.
Blair's closest international ally will be
a man he has never spoken to or met.
[Blair] It couldn't have been
more awkward.
The Clintons were making
their farewell visit to the UK
and staying with us at Chequers
while the the ruling was being made.
So there we all were,
watching CNN in the middle of the night
as the election is being decided
Oh dear.
The following day,
President Clinton had to deliver a speech
at the University of Warwick
with me giving the opening remarks.
Well, I had no choice
but to offer warm congratulations
to President-Elect Bush
in front of my good friend.
Will it be challenging for you?
To have a Republican White House?
I see no reason not to be optimistic.
Let's not forget,
I'll be the senior partner now,
so I hope to be able
to influence President Bush.
[Elizabeth] Mm.
Your Majesty.
Prime Minister.
[Blair clicks tongue] Uh
My office sent suggestions
ahead of the State Opening of Parliament.
I wondered if you had a chance
to look at them?
Rather more than that.
I discussed them with my family.
Believe it or not, for my first child,
it was still custom
to summon the home secretary
to witness a royal birth.
My father put a stop to it,
with my consent,
so I'm not against reform.
The question is, what is worth preserving
and where to draw the line.
Thank you.
We have now conducted a thorough review
of all the offices in my household,
and what we discovered
was not indefensible extravagance
or luxury or a collection
of empty Ruritanian titles,
but an extraordinary array
of precious expertise,
skills that had been passed down
for generations,
all from within the same families.
And the vehicle for that continuity
is the Crown.
The spell that we cast,
and have cast for centuries,
is our immutability.
Tradition is our strength.
Respect for our forebears
and the preservation of generations
of their wisdom and learned experience.
Modernity is not always the answer.
Sometimes antiquity is too.
Very good. Very good.
Are you ready? Are you ready?
- [toy squeaking]
- All right, there.
- [knock at door]
- [door opens]
Am I disturbing, ma'am?
Oh, Robert. No, not at all.
I just wanted to express my relief, ma'am.
That I came to my senses?
For a moment, we risked compromising
the very things that make us distinctive.
Which leads me to think
that it might be best
if I personally were to move on.
It's true, ma'am.
At crucial moments, the Palace
has failed to read the public mood.
And much of the blame rests with me.
- Surely not.
- It's a question of temperament.
Knowing when to be flexible.
My problem is, I'm an old stick.
I'd rather not change anything at all.
I tend to see things as binary.
Either you keep things as they are
or it's closing time
in the gardens of the West.
But you can make alterations
without tearing down the building.
My deputy, Robin Janvrin,
is far better placed to do that.
He's much more attuned.
And deserving of a step up.
Of course Robin will make
an excellent private secretary,
but he's still a young man.
Is there nothing I can do
to persuade you to stay?
Sometimes it's helpful to offer a scalp.
This way everyone benefits.
The public gets sent a signal.
You get better advice
than I could ever possibly give.
I get to play more cricket. [exhales]
[somber music playing]
I don't know how I'll manage.
I shall be utterly lost.
No, ma'am, you won't. You'll be just fine.
You've navigated this latest matter
perfectly without my help.
Every minute has been an honor, ma'am.
[door shuts]
And finally, ma'am,
your visit to Brighton and Hove
as one of the government's
designated Millennium Cities.
I have drafted a program of engagements
that I hope preserves the traditional
but adds a somewhat modern sensibility.
On the one hand, lunch at the Pavilion,
in tribute to your
great-great-great-great uncle George IV.
On the other,
a visit to the Sussex Innovation Center
to see a demonstration
of an insectoid robot called Maggie.
One last thing
you might be interested to know.
The prime minister
uh, has chosen to address
the Women's Institute,
as part of his mission
to consolidate support in Middle England.
I wouldn't have said
they were his sort of crowd.
But his unerring judgment is what one
has always had to admire him for.
And his ability
to win over seemingly anyone.
I'm sure this will be no exception.
[gentle piano tune playing]
[exhales slowly]
[women singing] And did those feet ♪
In ancient times ♪
Walk upon England's mountains green? ♪
And was the holy Lamb of God ♪
On England's pleasant pastures seen? ♪
- And did the countenance ♪
- [Blair] A modern voice for women.
It is a clear and admirable
statement of ideals.
But what does it mean
to be modern in a new Britain,
driven by change and innovation?
Make no mistake, there are
many traditions we can be proud of,
but we must never cling to tradition
for its own sake.
In the 21st century,
we must ask ourselves
what kind of values we want to promote.
We must take what's best from the past
but never be in thrall to it.
Old-fashioned practices
can sometimes hold progress back.
I believe, and the Labour Party believes,
that a new, updated concept
of community is needed
to keep up with the fast pace of change
in the modern world.
I was elected leader of the Labour Party
because I understood
that we had a radical mission
to change not just
the politics of this country
but the constitution of this country.
The soul of this country.
[light murmuring]
"Radical" is not a word
to be frightened of.
It is a word to embrace.
[light murmuring]
Because I fear that if we are not radical,
we will not succeed in our mission.
Look at what we've done
in the House of Lords, taking
[loud clap]
taking drastic action
against hereditary privilege.
- Thank you very much.
- [clapping in unison]
Look, the world is changing fast.
- [clapping in unison]
- Oh, okay, right. [chuckles softly]
And change is tough. We know that.
[clapping continues]
It's no wonder people feel worried
and wish to hold tight to the old ways,
[newsman] A run-in
with the Women's Institute
was surely not what
the prime minister had in mind
as he made his return
to the political fray.
The chairwoman of the WI says
that she had urged Mr. Blair
not to make his speech party political.
take on the forces
that prevent vital change, the very
[woman] Let the prime minister speak!
[women] No!
- [clapping intensifies]
- I'm glad we're having a good debate.
[scattered jeering]
[Elizabeth] He can charm America,
indeed, the whole world,
but comes up short
with the Women's Institute.
I'm getting stick for it from my aides,
who all advised against doing it.
You were political with the WI,
the one thing
we pride ourselves on never being.
Well, as far as criticisms go,
being too political is
one I think I can live with.
It would be like someone
describing you as being too royal.
I think I've come to realize
there's no such thing as too royal.
If you're doing it, do it properly.
And unapologetically.
I understand.
[somber music rises slowly]
I'm sure you're aware,
the EU has just published a draft
of its new Charter for Fundamental Rights
ahead of the forthcoming summit
in Portugal.
[voice fading] Our hope is that it will
reflect the original remit of the EU,
merely to summarize existing rights.
However, if it
[somber music fades]
[choral version
of "Things Can Only Get Better" playing]
[music fades out]
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