I suppose one might need some background for the two videos posted below to make any sense. Sir Anthony Blunt, the Master of the Queen’s Pictures, was a member of the Cambridge Spy Ring which worked for the Soviet Union and was eventually uncovered after having penetrated deep into the establishment in general and the security services in particular. Blunt was identified but not punished or exposed in exchange for assisting the authorities with their inquiries. Eventually (perhaps because it was suspected that he was only feigning assistance, perhaps as a shot across the bows of the establishment by Thatcher) Blunt was exposed and disgraced. In the scene below he unexpectedly encounters the Queen while attending to his duties in Buckingham Palace. The Queen appears in her normal fashion as the devoted Constitutional Monarch with modest interests and abilities but it slowly emerges that she is in fact highly intelligent and knows all about Blunt’s treason and that the ‘chat’ is a sophisticated mechanism for controlling her interactions with her subjects and exploring their personalities.
>
Personally I can’t stand Bennett who seems quite as sinister a figure as Blunt. In fact, I suspect the similarity of spirit between the two is key to the success of the play. The reason I don’t like him is because of his agenda which has recently turned to the normalization of Pederasty. He is a key bridging figure between the new and old establishments. Nevertheless, he is undoubtedly talented even if he is among the many working to destroy the society of which he is an ornament.
>
I dearly hope that the Queen really is as depicted in this scene. I find it very reassuring in the same way as ‘Yes Minister’ is reassuring (and ‘The Thick of It’ so depressing). It gives you the impression that behind the hustle and bustle of inept and narcissistic politicians there is a functioning core to the British State that does its best to preserve the essential architecture. It may do this for self-interested reasons and there may be much to object to in that architecture but give me Sir Humphrey and institutional sclerosis rather than Alastair Campbell and a blank sheet of paper.
>
The Queen’s religious views are hard to fathom she seems to be a moderately liberal low church Anglican. She put a stop to Mass being said in St John Fisher’s cell at the tower. I am told she secretly disapproves of clerical marriage and when newly appointed Anglican ‘bishops’ are invited to Windsor for the weekend their wives are not. She also seems to have rather liked Cardinal Hume. Whether that is a good or bad sign I shall not speculate.

Advertisements