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I’ll watch Gillian Anderson reading the weather.

To prepare myself to see her as Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of THE CROWN I binge watched the first three seasons of the series which is easy to do as it is riveting.

That said the biggest shock watching the series is its depiction of Prince Charles. The Charles of THE CROWN is a wuss.

“Everything that is decent and good about Prince Charles comes as a shock to those who insist he is a crank or a wonk or a wuss or a doofus or a whatever. His skill at athletics, his bravery during assassination attempts (check out Google for the one in Australia in 1994 if you want a definition of sang-froid), his prophetic wisdom about ecology, his genius as a loving and wise father, his careful aim at arrogant professionals (like architects who enjoy obliterating or desecrating monuments of the past such as the National Gallery in London or the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto), his astuteness as a businessman, his support of corporate responsibility, his effectiveness in fighting social inertia amongst the young and unemployed, his inspired ability to transcend religious differences and animosity, his dutifulness to his mother and sovereign: whenever you hear about these qualities Charles possesses, they always seem to be presented as a footnote to a portrait of either an idiot savant (at best) or—more typically—a meddling, dangerous fool. And still he waits and waits.”–

THE CROWN is gossip. It’s extremely well done gossip but in the end all of our autobiographical and biographical books, motion pictures and documentaries are gossip.

Did I enjoy it? Resoundingly.

Am I look forward to Season 5.


This series has given me a tremendous appreciation for QUEEN ELIZABETH and her family.

It must be harrowing to see one’s life turned into popular entertainment.

The actors get to walk away from the show.

THE QUEEN and her family have to live with it.

That demands more courage and strength than the most of the rest of us will ever have to exhibit.

God Bless The Queen.–Reg Hartt


Breadcrumb Trail Links


BLIZZARD: The ‘Crown’ — fact or Netfix?


One question came to mind as I powered through the latest season of the streaming blockbuster The Crown: It is fact, or is it Netflix?

The series purports to dramatize the lives of the Royal Family, but in so doing, rewrites history to fit its narrative.

As a Canadian watching the episode on the bitter fight that happened within the leadership of the Commonwealth over applying economic sanctions on South Africa and its racist apartheid regime, I was shocked at the way it snubbed this country and our stand for human rights.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney led the charge getting sanctions against South Africa at a Commonwealth meeting in Vancouver in 1987, over the strenuous objections of his British counterpart, Margaret Thatcher.

Yet Netflix moves that meeting to the Bahamas and doesn’t even give a passing nod to this country’s role in freeing Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment.

I contacted Mulroney for his recollections on those events. The meeting in the Bahamas wasn’t a full meeting of Commonwealth leaders, he recalled.Along with Bahamian officials, only half a dozen leaders, among them Bob Hawke from Australia, Commonwealth Secretary General Sonny Ramphal and India’s Rajiv Gandhi attended.“The real action didn’t happen in the Bahamas. It was just a first meeting to try and figure out how the Commonwealth could handle this going forward,” Mulroney told me.

“The next meeting was at Buckingham Palace — the same five or six of us and the Queen.”

The showdown with all 50 members of the Commonwealth was in Vancouver. While it’s portrayed in the Crown as a tussle between the Queen and Thatcher, in fact, it was Mulroney who took on the formidable Iron Lady.

“I was in the chair leading the battle and Margaret was on the other side of this,” he said.

“I said to her, ‘Margaret, I’m not a member of your government. I’m the head of the sovereign nation called Canada and I’m going to place Canada on the right side of history. And I’m telling you right now, you’re placing the U.K. on the wrong side of history.

“Good day, Margaret.’”

The vote was 49-1 in favour of sanctions.

Mandela was so moved by Mulroney’s support that the Canadian politician was the first world leader he called after his release from prison

Mandela said he wanted his first speech as a free man to be in a free Parliament in a free country. That’s why Canada was the first country Mandela visited shortly after his release.
Mulroney will not speak about his discussions with the Queen or her role on sanctions.“She is above politics. I just made my own judgments on what I witnessed and I have never written about it,” he said.“All I can say is that when sanctions were applied by all the Commonwealth countries except the U.K., and Nelson Mandela walked out of jail some time thereafter, my guess is that she was a very happy woman.”

The Queen regards the Commonwealth as her most cherished role.

“She views the Commonwealth as a remarkable instrument for global understanding with the U.K. at its front,” Mulroney said.

It must have been deeply wounding for her that the one holdout against sanctions was Britain.

Mandela’s actions speak loudly about how important Mulroney’s support was.

In 2015, Mulroney was given South Africa’s highest award — the Order of the Companions of Oliver Tambo Gold Award — named for the man who led Mandela’s African National Congress when their leader was in jail. Mulroney was the only national leader at that Commonwealth meeting to receive such an accolade.

In a poignant gesture of friendship in 2004, Mandela sent a deeply moving letter to Mulroney, thanking him for his friendship and for supporting his fight for freedom.

“As Prime Minister of Canada and Chairman of the Commonwealth, you provided strong and principled leadership in the battle against apartheid. This was not a popular position in all quarters, but South Africans today acknowledge the importance of your contribution to our eventual liberation and success,” the letter says in part.

It was a proud moment for this country. Canada stood tall. We can’t let Netflix photoshop this country out of our own history.



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