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The Crown: Hope Street

Prince William: I'm not in two minds. She might be in two minds.
Queen Elizabeth: Why? Have you aimed high?
Prince William: Impossibly high. She could have anyone.
Queen Elizabeth: Some might say you're a bit of a catch too.

Episode description: “Reeling from loss and wary of her Golden Jubilee, the Queen bonds with William, who finds his footing between normality and life in the royal limelight.”

In this episode, Prince William and Kate Middleton finally decide to go steady. I liked the way The Crown handled it; it didn’t waste too much time on getting the pair together. Prince William learns that Kate is currently available, then Kate models a risqué dress (it was surprising The Crown thought it necessary to let us know what the word risqué means); she says she wore the dress to get his attention. Both admit they are interested in each other, they kiss, and that’s pretty much that; they become a couple. Of course, Prince William’s duties get in the way, but they also move the story along.

Queen Elizabeth’s mother dies. Well, she was 101, so it was expected, but losing your mother is always hard.

Mohamed Al Fayed has been on all the talk shows claiming that the royals were behind the deaths of his son and Princess Diana. Now, I can understand that some – many, according to the polls! – would think her death was just too convenient for the royals, especially for Prince Charles. We’re reminded of the fact that she once did wonder if her brakes had been fiddled with. However, there’s a huge difference between murder and thinking you wouldn’t mind reading an obituary. This time Prince William is asked to give a statement, which drags it all back up for him. An inquiry is made and the commissioner gives a definitive statement. Al Fayed also makes a statement, leaving the country. Again, easy to tarnish his reputation, as he is dead. On the other hand, his claims were illogical.

We get to see a sweet relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince William. She mentors him because he has no mum and also he is in the direct line for the throne. He tells her that he’s making progress with Kate, and they laugh at the Middleton family that spends time in the kitchen just because they like to spend time in the kitchen. During the jubilee – which goes well despite the Queen's trepidations – when Prince William is watching it with the Middletons, I appreciated his commentary and how most of the royals – now that the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are dead – don’t always know what she is thinking. It’s also a sign of his growing up when he changes his mind and returns to the palace so he can support her during the dreaded balcony scene.

Title musings. “Hope Street” refers to the place where Prince William and Kate Middleton take up residence (with two others) during their university years, and is a reminder of how Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth had a normal life in Malta for a while. Besides, who doesn’t like the word hope? It’s a fine title; I like the fact that it’s not as deliberately obscure as other title choices this season.

Bits and pieces

The idea that the British royal family murdered Princess Diana was always absurd. Even if some members of the royal family found her death was in some ways convenient, a car accident is just an unreliable way to kill someone. If she had been wearing her seatbelt she would have survived.

Mohamed Al Fayed, who was refused British citizenship twice, makes a bit of a point of saying he was leaving the UK for a country in which he was a citizen and not a subject. On the other hand, Wikipedia says he died in London in 2023, so he must have returned.

Note I also reviewed Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which covers how Alex Murdaugh murdered his wife and son. Something that they never mentioned, at least in the documentaries and articles that I watched and read, is how Alex asked Maggie and Paul to change their plans to be with him that night. The fact that he did this shows he was planning the murders, and the last-minute nature would make it difficult for anyone else to have executed them (unless he had help). The same goes for the deaths of Dodi and Diana.

Apparently Prince William and Kate Middleton were not a couple when they moved in together but became one afterwards. That means much of the romance in this episode must be fiction. Interesting tidbit: the owners of the Hope Street place did not want to rent to male students – they had had unfortunate experiences in the past – but they made an exception for Prince William. They didn’t even feel as if it was necessary to meet him before he moved in (although they did at his insistence) because they assumed his credit was excellent.

I didn’t talk about it above, but the invasion of Iraq was horrible. I expect that lying to start a war is how many, if not most, wars get started, but it’s still one of the worst things a president can do. I was always surprised that Blair fell for the lies of the Bush administration, and I’m glad Queen Elizabeth did not approve.


Carole Middleton: Does he know you're back on the market?
Kate Middleton: Mum!
Carole Middleton: Well, maybe find a way of letting him know.
Kate Middleton: Honestly, you're worse than Mrs. Bennet.
Note I referred to Mrs. Bennet in the last Prince William-centric episode. Well, the likeness is too obvious to ignore. Besides, as much as we laugh at her, Mrs. Bennet succeeded in marrying her two oldest daughters to rich men.

Prince William: I've always been interested.
Kate Middleton: Really?
Prince William: Bordering on obsessed.

Tony Blair: But I stressed that, while Britain always stands ready to support her number one ally, in the case of regime change, our involvement would be contingent on securing a second UN Security Council Resolution. Saddam must allow the weapons inspectors back in. Only if he fails to do that would he be forced to face the most severe consequences.
Queen Elizabeth: War.
Tony Blair: Yeah.
Queen Elizabeth: The problem with telling someone you will always back them and then making it conditional is they tend to hear only the offer of support and not the conditions.

John Stevens, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police: The most significant factor in the crash was the assignment of Henri Paul as driver. Not only was he drunk, but he was unqualified to drive the vehicle and driving at twice the legal speed limit. And to add to the safety risk, none of the passengers wore a seatbelt. Mr. Al Fayed has repeatedly insisted that responsibility for the princess' death lies with the British establishment and has amassed a vast legal team to attempt to prove as much. But this reaction must be viewed in the light of the immense personal heartbreak and trauma involved in the loss of a son. Yet the facts remain that on August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana was in Paris, being driven in an Al Fayed car by a member of Mr. Al Fayed's staff with bodyguards paid for by Mr. Al Fayed and acting on a last-minute change of plan instigated by Mr. Al Fayed's son. This was a series of unfortunate incidents leading to a tragic accident in a tunnel, and it is the recommendation of this inquiry that the princess should finally be allowed to rest in peace.
Suspect this was verbatim but did not check.

Overall rating

One indicator of how much an episode sticks with me is the length of my review; another indicator is whether I watch an episode again. This did well. Three out of four seatbelts.

Victoria Grossack loves math, birds, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.


  1. he was leaving the UK for a country in which he was a citizen and not a subject

    Feh. He may have been a British 'subject' when he was born in the Kingdom of Egypt, but he certainly wasn't after it became independent in 1936. He applied for UK citizenship twice and was turned down, so he was never a citizen. The categories 'subject' and 'citizen' have specific meanings in UK immigration law, and very few people are considered 'subjects' any longer, and haven't been since the mid 1980s.

    He was a shady operator, in any case; small wonder his applications were rejected.

  2. I agree, really shady. And so illogical in his conviction that the royal family was behind the accident.

  3. The investigation of the crash and the conclusion reached were really well done. Based on the questions asked Charles and everything that was mentioned, Stevens' took it seriously and, therefore, was able to issue his statement with a gravitas and a sense of truth that must have been incredible to listen to live.

    Your comment that we get to watch William grow up resonated with me. The look on his face as his grandmother talks about a life of service was lovely.


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