My series review is here. Or read my episode recaps: episode 1 (Gold Stick), episode 2 (The Balmoral Test), episode 4 (Favourites), episode 5 (Fagan), episode 6 (Terra Nullius), episode 7 (The Hereditary Principle), episode 8 (48:1), episode 9 (Avalanche), and episode 10 (War).
“I’m all for sharing.”
Windsor Castle, 1981: Diana is leaving in her mini metro, and drives back to London (listening to Upside Down by Diana Ross). Charles watches her go from a window, looking thoughtful. The pendulum on a clock moves from side to side.
Everyone is watching their telephones: the Queen, Margaret having her nails done (watch the mouse run across the floor), the Queen Mum, Anne is on a sofa with one of her dogs. Charles phones the Queen and tells her ‘It’s done. I did it.”
The queen relays the news to everyone in different phone calls, including that he didn’t get down on one knee because in terms of rank he should only kneel before the Sovereign. The family are aghast at this.
Diana tells her flatmates then goes dancing in London with them. In pearls!
The Queen invites Diana to choose her own engagement ring from a selection – some owned by the Crown, some for sale – and eventually selects her ring because it reminds her of her mother’s engagement ring. Charles looks bored.
Going to dinner at Clarence House with the royals, Diana gets her curtseying order all wrong.
The engagement is announced to the public. A crowd of photographers are there and a reporter tells the pair they look very much in love. To Diana’s “Absolutely!” Charles adds “Whatever ‘in love’ means”.
Straight afterwards he goes to Highgrove to collect things for his upcoming foreign tour. The next day she sees him off at the airport; all the reporters are clamouring for her. He’s leaving for six week.s He tells her he ahas asked Mrs Parker Bowles to contact Diana.
Diana has moved into Buckingham Palace until the wedding, and in her suite of rooms she’s already lonely.
Lady Fermoy teaches her Royal etiquette and is a stern taskmistress. Vast numbers of letters and bouquets of flowers start arriving.
They start with the “sink or swim rules”: rank and precedence.
Diana has a ballet lesson in the palace, and later rollerskates round the corridors to Girls on Film by Duran Duran.
The lonely Di calls Prince Charles’s Private Secretary Mr Adeane, but he’s unavailable. She then tries to speak to the Queen who is also busy. On TV, the arrangements for the wedding are laid out.
AT night, she goes down to the kitchens and binges on the creamy puddings she finds in the fridge then makes herself sick in her bathroom.
Margaret is adamant the wedding shouldn’t go ahead.
Lady Fermoy teaches Diana not to gesticulate when giving speeches: our gestures reveal us too much she states. She ties Diana’s hands together which immediately diminishes her when she tries to rehearse her speech again.
Charles hasn’t spoken to Diana for three weeks. Camilla invites her to lunch at Ménage à Trois. Camilla admires her ring. The restaurant only offers starters and desserts (puddings surely?!) – I suspect the lack of main courses is a metaphor though.
Camilla makes very clear to Diana that she knowns Charles so much better, and is surprised at how little Diana knows of him. He is, Camilla tells her, “fussy and set in his ways”, hates garlic, doesn’t eat lunch and has a soft boiled egg with everything.They call each other Fred and Gladys and they talks most days.
They decide to split the bill: “good idea, Im all for sharing” says Camilla. After the lunch, Diana makes herself sick again in her bathroom and cries.
Diana goes to visit Adeane, Charles private secretary, asking to speak to Charles ASAP. He tells her Charles is unavailable as he’s flying back at that moment. Charles had told her he was flying back the next day, so presumably he has a tryst planned with Camilla. She finds a bracelet design while talking to Adeane in his office – she thinks it must be for her, then sees the engraving will be Fred and Gladys.
In her rooms filled with bouquets, while a clock loudly ticks in the background, she phones the Queen to tell her the marriage cannot go ahead but she is unavailable.
Diana dances on her own, to Song For Guy, which turns into frantic disco dancing, before she collapses on the floor.
Charles returns from abroad and goes to see Camilla.
Crowds greet him as he arrives at St Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding rehearsal. She and Charles meet with the rest of the family for the wedding rehearsal in St Paul’s Cathedral. “Everything alright in Gloucestershire?” (Camilla’s home county) she asks him tartly and informs him she knows about the bracelet. He tells her he went to Gloucestershire to end it with Camilla and collect a Prince of Wales signet ring for Diana. Princess Margaret watches them.
Later, Philip, Margaret, the Queen and Queen Mother discuss the reversal. Margaret, exasperated, comments: “How many times can this family make the same mistake?” Philip says Charles will eventually fall in love with Diana. Margaret asks if they’ll juggle both women, with the Queen Mother retorting that that is how it’s always worked. Margaret says they have to stop them marrying, and the Queen walks off.
As fireworks explode outside th windows, she goes to see Charles and tells him about his great grandmother Queen Mary, betrothed to one charming royal son who then died before the wedding, and then married the charmless other brother – and yet they made it work. Charles is told to follow Mary’s example, focus on duty and work: “love and happiness will surely follow”. Charles is tearful and the Queen looks shocked.
On the wedding morning, Diana is in her pyjamas; everyone in the palace is getting ready. We see Diana in her dress, and walk away out of the state room, though we don’t see the actual wedding.
“Here is the stuff of which fairytales are made,” intones the Archbishop of Canterbury.