15 thoughts on “The Crown: “Smoke and Mirrors”, The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

  1. I echo your grumble. That was one thing they should have concentrated on. BTW, wasn’t the Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Devonshire’s mother-in-law?

    1. Good catch. Mary Cavendish, who was Mistress of the Robes for the coronation, was by this point the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. The title had passed to her daughter-in-law Deborah in 1950.

    2. And specifically relating to this episode, I can’t really understand why there wasn’t more done with the Coronation from Elizabeth’s perspective. This episode is really about Wallis & Edward and the emotional mess they got themselves into when he abdicated, which I guess is fine if all you want is to end the episode with a teary-eyed Edward playing bagpipes alone in his palace garden.

      Much tragic. Such pathos.

      1. Walls and David, by the,n were old news. I found myself nodding off during these scenes. What I wanted was more Coronation: prep work, fitting The Queen in her gown, more on choosing the attendants, shots of their clothes, more of the Coronation. I’m sure you get the picture.
        At least Victoria has Coronation coverage. Lots.

        1. YES. YES. YES.

          They really punted on this episode, IMNSHO. I get that there’s only so much you can cram into an hour, but COME ON. IT’S THE BLEEDING CORONATION.

          That said, I am planning on doing a post about Wallis’ gowns. They cut so fast through most of them, but they’re all fabulous. I need to do a little more digging to see if they were based on any actual gowns of hers.

          1. No matter what your opinion is of Wallis Duchess of Windsor, you cannot deny that she was a style icon and her taste in clothes and jewels was impeccable.
            Please post her clothes as soon as you find out if they were based on actual garments.

            1. I’ll post about it no matter what. It’s too early for The Crown, but the Dali/Schiaparelli collaboration on the lobster dress is one of my favorites.

              The scandal behind those photos was SOOO good, too. Vogue totally knew what it was doing.

    1. I read that Hartnell specifically avoided a zipper because it would be too difficult for the Mistress of the Robes to fiddle around with while wearing gloves. The thing is, though, you can see in the video above that the Mistress of the Robes has pulled her hands through the wrist opening of her gloves, leaving her hands free, so… Dunno.

      Also, in the gif I posted of the colobium sindonis going on, you can see what looks like snaps along one edge for just a second. Could be great-honking hook & eyes, though.

        1. Typical!

          I tried to dig up photos of the colobium sindonis because it’s been on display recently for the Diamond Jubilee, but everything I’ve turned up only shows it from the front. Also, I know it’s in the Royal Collection, but they’re pretty iffy on how much detail they include on the collection website.

          Until I started researching for this post, I had always thought the Queen had to do a costume change between the coronation gown and the colobium sindonis, which would have been the most amazing quick change routine in the history of mankind. Imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury swirling his cope around Elizabeth and BOOM! NEW OUTFIT.

          Then when I found out it actually went over her gown, but didn’t look like it was being worn over anything, I was REALLY impressed with Hartnell’s construction of the coronation gown. That thing must have fit like it was spray painted on her!

      1. I’ve read this too. As I recall it had large buttons with roomy button holes and went on like a pinafore (completely open back). The hooks and zip were on the Coronation gown itself, the hooks being backup in case of zip failure.

  2. I actually loved this episode. Believe me, there’s no love lost between me and Wallis & Edward, but I thought their commentary throughout the coronation was a brilliant screenwriting move. Most adaptations would have shown the whole coronation ad naesuem, trying to show off with fancy camera angles in order to make their view “unique”, but this one did something truly original. It gave us a narrator in the form of a snarky, annoyed uncle and humanized the whole process, which gave the audience a different appreciation for it than if we had seen it all from Elizabeth’s pov. And luckily we did get to see the anointing from Elizabeth’s perspective, and that was the most important part of the entire coronation. Thank you for your analysis of the coronation gown–I had no idea about all the symbols it contained!

    1. What bothered me was that the promotional stuff that went out ahead of this episode really hyped the coronation with shots from Elizabeth’s perspective, so I had serious expectations of getting to see a lot more of the costumes (it’s always about the costumes). When I watched the episode, it was a let-down because there’s barely any costume-action.

      That said, Alex Jennings is FABULOUS as Edward. The guy is the spitting image, and just such an engaging actor.

  3. So true. And I agree that Alex Jennings is David. He has his mannerisms down to a tee. Re the Schiaparelli Lobster and Vogue shoot, I will have to look it up.

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