The Crown: The Official Podcast

Episode 5: Fagan

Episode Summary

Host Edith Bowman discusses the fifth episode of the fourth season of The Netflix series The Crown, with three very special guests.

Episode Notes

It’s 1982 and ordinary citizens are suffering under Thatcher’s economic policies. One such person is Michael Fagan, who decides to break into Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to step in and help people like himself. Elizabeth is left feeling more remote from her subjects than ever as security is stepped up and her concerns over the impact of Thatcher’s policies are ignored as the Prime Minister basks in the glory of winning the Falklands war. 


In this episode, Edith Bowman talks with ‘Fagan’ Co-Writer Jonathan Wilson, Director Paul Whittington and The Crown’s Royal Protocol Consultant Major David Rankin-Hunt.

The Crown: The Official Podcast is produced by Netflix and Somethin’ Else, in association with Left Bank Pictures.

Episode Transcription





Clip – Opening.


And finally from here in London under the heading is nobody safe anymore? A Royal ruckus has started over the man who had an audience with queen Elizabeth…


The incident left Royal commentators asking two questions. How did he get in? And what did they talk about?



Series intro


Welcome to the Crown: The Official Podcast. I'm Edith Bowman and this show will follow the fourth season of the Netflix original series The Crown episode by episode, taking you behind the scenes, speaking with many of the talented people involved, and diving deep into the stories. 



Episode intro


Today we're talking about episode five of season four, titled Fagan.


It's 1982. And while Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is enjoying renewed popularity due to the success of her Falklands military campaign, ordinary people are suffering under her economic policies at home. One such person is Michael Fagan, who decides to break into Buckingham palace to ask queen Elizabeth to step in and help people like himself.


Elizabeth is left feeling more remote from her subjects than ever, as security is stepped up and her concerns over the impact of Thatcher’s policies are ignored as the prime minister basks in the glory of winning the Falklands war. 


We will cover specific events and scenes that feature in the episode. So if you haven’t watched episode five, yet, I suggest you do it now or at least very soon.



Edith v/o


Coming up later, we will hear from director Paul Whittington.




Clip from Paul Whittington


It's both intimate and epic at the same time. And I think that's what this show does brilliantly. It kind of makes the intimate, epic and the epic intimate. 

Edith v/o


We will also hear from The Crown’s royal protocol expert, Major David Rankin-Hunt




Clip from Major David R-H


All those little details, which I think just are so important. I felt it was my job to try and minimize the opportunities for people, the anoraks out there, to find something to criticize. 



Edith v/o


But first I spoke with Jonathan Wilson, who co-wrote episode 5 with show creator Peter Morgan. I asked Jonathan what it was that drew him to collaborate with Peter on this episode. 






Jonathan Wilson 


















J: When I came on board, Peter had already written the out lines for the whole series. So I'd read them. And what Peter had latched onto was this idea of an ordinary person going into the Queen's bedroom and explaining what it's like to be him at that time. I think there was a quote from Fagan, ‘I just wanted her to know what it's like to be me and to, to be a person struggling, to make ends meet.’


It's just such an interesting idea. And so much of the Crown is about what happens in, in rooms, conversations we can never know about. And this is a particularly unusual conversation in a room that we can never know about. The joy of speculating on what that was is always great. But just, you know, the whole world of 1982 and Thatcher’s Britain and the ins and outs of the welfare state, the time and Fagan’s struggles with engaging with that machine. 


E: And then the Falklands war, as well as bubbling away in the background and-


J: Yeah, yeah. And very much driving. I mean, that's part of his frustrations, why he feels the need to go over the wall and into the palace. The interesting thing about the Falklands, the invasion of the islands themselves was a kind of diversionary tactic by Galtieri and the Junta to take focus away from a terrible economic situation there to kind of drive up some nationalistic fervor and take away from their own failings.


But it became that for Thatcher and in the end, that kind of distracted from, again, a pretty dire economic situation. There'd been a recession in 80, 81, unemployment obviously soaring, 3 million at that time. It plays into that, the Falklands and Fagan’s frustration that this is distracting people from what is a really dire situation at home, and he sees this.



5:23Clip: Fagan visits his MP.

It says here you're currently unemployed. What do you do normally? 


Why would you spend over 3 billion pounds on a war against total strangers, rather than looking after your own family. 




6:01Jonathan Wilson

E: It's one of the very few episodes that majority of it is not based within that world of The Crown. Very much a lot of it is based within Fagan's world to give us a real indication and a real insight into where he is and how he's struggling and what he has to go through and what he's faced with. Was that a lovely opportunity to create something a little bit different for this episode?


J: Oh yeah. Completely. I mean, it is such, such a different world. You do feel always these two worlds are pointed at each other. Even those shots of Fagan going past Buckingham Palace on the bus, you feel like this is a bullet pointed at Buckingham Palace, that he's pulling in that direction. It's almost like the Prince and the pauper or something, it's these two completely different contrasting worlds. Some brilliant cuts Paul has from the job centre to, to the garden party and it's a joy to see it come to life. 


We had to really delve into that world. We spoke to people who had worked in areas of housing benefits and things like that.


And just what it was like to navigate that system


7:04Clip: Fagan home improvements Application

Application for single payments to cover home improvements?



Have you tried talking to the council?


No, they told me speak to you.






































































Jonathan Wilson

J: There's a lot of loneliness in this episode from Fagan. I think Elizabeth is slightly feeling it too. This idea of security reviews and that she's being kept away from the people, or fears, she's talks about Buckingham palace being like a prison. And there's something nice about these two people who feel a bit alone and they're coming together.


And then obviously a lot of the episode from Elizabeth's perspective is about understanding or coming to a new realization about Thatcher, and her growing power and.. what that might represent.


E: We mentioned about the kind of relationship between Elizabeth and Thatcher in this victory parade and this power struggle that we're seeing unfold as well in front of our eyes.


J: Yeah. Uh, I mean, there was a big thing at the time that she took the salute, Thatcher, at the victory parade and that the Royals weren't invited. 


E: What's it like working with Peter on this. And how does that work? 


J: On this particular episode, he’d written the outline. I did a first pass it then goes back to him. He makes it a lot better. He it gives it back to me with notes and then I do another pass and again goes back to him and he makes a better again…


E: I think you’re being a little bit hard on yourself here…


J: But he’s great, and he’s so generous, in terms of he always wants new ideas and he's such an incredible writer, and the characters in The Crown are, they're difficult to know. They're all hidden behind this wall or wear a kind of shell, a title. Then you get these scenes come through. And it's just these incredible insights into them. So that's what you're striving towards. You're trying to get under the skin and understand them better and, and tie it into the bigger questions of the constitution and the country and where the country is at that time.


E: So obviously this is a dramatization, but you are totally rooted in a real event here. Where is the line between staying true to the research of what really happened with the break-in and writing a drama. 


J: It was such a tricky thing with the break-ins because it's all, it's all so implausible in some way, how he got in and you think uh -


E: You do scratch your head a bit going yeah-


J: Yeah when you read it again again, and you know, it was something we all struggled with, are people just gonna go, come on?! But it's real, you know, and it's one of those examples where truth is stranger than fiction, and his account had changed at various points.


E: What his account had changed of how he got in?


J: Details of what happened when he got there. And there were times where he said, one time he went into the stamp room, which is on the ground floor, but most other times he said he shimmied up a drain pipe and climed through a window. We had to piece a lot of the first break-in together from what was known about the second, which was the one where he was actually captured obviously. The first one he was spotted by a maid and there was a kind of investigation, but they weren't really sure she hadn't been seeing things. I think one of the researchers found the police report in the national archives and you get a bit more detail in there. He said that he basically followed the same route each time.


So you're putting together details. And obviously he talks about the bottle of wine, pushing the cork in, and that was like valued at six pounds. We know little details like that, that this was that cause that was ultimately what he was prosecuted for. Because trespassing wasn’t a crime erm, at that time. So they had to prosecute him for something. So the only crime was the theft of a six pound bottle of wine or half, half of a six, by the way, not even the full bottle. 


E: Did he say how long it took him from when he got in to ending up in her room, bedroom.. because it's a massive place.


J: He wasn't on some kind of furtive mission. As we show, you know, he kind of wandered around. He says, he went into the throne room, had a little seat in the throne. He just wandered around unchallenged. And he, I think he wandered around for quite a while. So, so when you think about that, that he's not… you know…


E: He doesn't know exactly where he's got to get to. 


J: He just happens upon a and I guess maybe you, you just start follow this corridor looks nicer, so that's probably, I’ll go down this one, then maybe there was some reason why you end up outside the Queen's bedroom because it gets a bit grander. But yeah, I mean, it was all chance seemingly.



11:45Clip: Queen told of break in

…The evidence suggests he…

…valued at six pounds…



Edith v/o


In this episode, we not only get to experience Michael Fagan’s world, but the contrasting environment of the royals, from the pomp and ceremony of the Queen’s Birthday Parade and garden party, to the corridors and back rooms of Buckingham Palace inhabited by the royals and their staff. 


As we’ve heard many times on The Crown: The Official Podcast, getting the details right i very important on the show. So I sat down with Major David Rankin-Hunt, who’s unique insight into the royal world has been invaluable since season 1. I asked David about his role on the show.   





Major David Rankin-Hunt 

















































16: 14















































































































D: Well my Official title is protocol consultant rather than historical consultant, but inevitably the role cuts across many different aspects from history to protocol, to even etiquette. I get involved in all sorts of things. So, um, Jack of all trades and master of none.


E: You undersell your position because it's been wonderful to hear over the two seasons from speaking to so many people involved, both in front of the camera and behind, the importance of what you do. How did you first come to be involved with The Crown? 


D: Well, it was quite funny. I had literally a month previously just retired from the Royal household and I was sitting at home and the phone rang and, a week later I went to Elstree and that's how it all started. It was a wonderful new opportunity.


E: How, erm, long had you worked for the…


D: 33 years at the palace. And prior to that, I was in the army and I was in a regiment that did amongst other things, of course, in addition to operational work, public duties at the palace. And I suppose it was a combination of my experience in the army, my experience in the palace, plus my experience as a Herald, because one of my responsibilities, I was a secretary of the working group set up to organize the Queen's funeral. And also a certain event that follows that seem to make me suitable to become an advisor.


E: For people who are listening, can you explain what a Herald is, the job of a Herald? 


D: Yes. Well, there are two types of Herald. The Heralds In Ordinary who are responsible for designing coats of arms and do doing genealogical research into your family tree.


And then the Harolds Extraordinary who have other jobs they're appointed because of expertise in a particular field. And we all have our little specialties in my case, I advise on military heraldry. So I regulate badges, colours, guidons and standards for the army and state ceremonial. So ceremonially, we turn out for the state opening of parliament wearing our funny outfits. Uh, you it may have seen a photograph of the tabard and knee britches, all that stuff. And also the Garter service, procession of the Knights of the Garter and things like the Thanksgiving service for Jubilees. So. There there's a sort of ceremonial attached to it. 


E: And within the palace, what was your role there? Or Roles?


D: I started off in the Lord Chamberlain's office, which is the department responsible for ceremonial state visits of Heads of States, Investitures, when people get their MBEs OBEs, garden parties, Royal funerals, swan-upping? 


E: No, no, I'm not familiar with swan-upping…


D: I won't go into it's so complicated, and a whole range of other things. And I did that for eight years. I was the Registrar. And then the Royal collection, which was always part of the Lord Chamberlain’s office, became a department in its own right. And so I moved from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office to the Royal Collection, which was the Queens art collection. And I was the person really that kept the Royal Collection show on the road. So it was exhibitions, staff, all sorts of jobs. And I did that for 20 years. So in total it was 33.


E: When you got the job on this production, what was your expectation of what was going to be asked of you? 


D: I thought that my involvement would be to go through scripts and, uh, you know, make suggestions and so on. And then occasionally go on set. But as it turned out, I was on set for probably sort of 70% of the time.


E: Wow. Did you enjoy that? 


D: Which I loved. I loved because the best part of course was meeting all the people. And I felt very privileged to meet some very talented, very able, very charming people of all ages. Obviously on a film set, predominantly they're fairly young. And I think, you know, as you get a bit older, it's rather nice to work with younger people because you learn so much from them, not least what's going on in the world, the modern world. And having worked in an environment that is perhaps quite sort of restricted in that regard, it was nice to be introduced to the real world. I don't mean that in a disparaging way of the Royal household, but, obviously it's an institution that, is perhaps a tiny bit old fashioned in some ways. So it was a great priviledge to learn so much from all these people.


E: How was it for you to see this kind of dramatization of a world that you were part of? 


D: Yes, well, as I said to Claire and, and later Olivia, sometimes I had to pinch myself that they weren't the real person because they were so good at the mannerisms and, I'd had a session with all the actors beforehand, giving my view on you know, you may wish to make note of the following. And of course, on top of that you had the props. I mean, I was just absolutely bowled over. I mean, how on earth these people managed to produce such excellent work, I mean, you really did feel you were in the palace.


E: I love that coming from you who spent so much time there, that's extraordinary.


D: And I was able to say in terms of props, tell them anout dispatch boxes and wicked baskets and season calendars, all those little things that add authenticity and realism to the production so that when you're in the private secretary's office, you've got a sofa chair and you've got certain things on his desk, which he would have had and what sort of telephone and all those little details, which I think just are so important. I felt it was my job to try and minimize the opportunities for people, the anoraks out there to find something to criticize. 


E: What for you has been the biggest challenge working on the show?


D: When they were filming a take you couldn't for moments just read your book call or make a telephone call. It was constantly being attentive to make sure that every time they did something, they were as good as the last time. So when the private secretary was doing a neck bow, the next time he did it, it was equally smart. And for the actors who were playing private secretaries, I would say, well, Colonel so and so would have been in the army. Therefore you've got to be very particular about looking military all the time. It was being attentive and just not letting them down because if I wasn't paying attention and something slipped through, I mean, I can think of plenty of examples of things that one needed to sort of pick up. Uh, I've got a whole list of them, but.. 


E: Go on then, name me some…


D: Well, at garden parties, for instance, umbrellas are always tightly furled, but props were asked to produce an umbrella. So they produce an umbrella or lots of umbrellas, and some of them were, do you know what I mean by Mr. Magoo umbrellas? You know, once it go like Charlie chaplain’s umbrella?


E: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah!


D: In the household, you don't have an umbrella like that. You always have a very tightly furled. It's almost a badge of office. So we'd go around and go around sort of furling the umbrellas very tightly. And also, when it rains, you don't open your umbrella. If you're on duty, the garden party, you get wet, you don't unfurl your umbrella. It's a badge of office.


It sounds ridiculous, but it's just one of those things that you don't do. So I was always keeping an eye on that sort of thing. I remember one occasion, we had an investiture and the, the chap right at the front who's an SA was wearing household cavalry uniform. And he was sort of looking like a sack of potatoes standing there. And I thought, well, this looks awful. So I mentioned it to the director who then said, we'll get rid of him, get rid of him. So he was moved to the back somewhere. He gave me dirty looks the rest of the day, you know, his one opportunity to shine. And he'd been shifted to the back. 


E: Serves him right for slouching! 


D: And they said, well, who's the best one to have? So there's one very tall, smart looking SA. So he was put to the front and looked more realistic. Also pocket flaps? The Prince of Wales almost invariably has his flaps of his pockets tucked in. It's a sort of military thing. So I was always going round stuffing flaps back into pockets. Again, the man in the street wouldn't necessarily know it, but as a lot of my old colleagues watch The Crown, they would pick those things up.


E: Being part of that, that world for so long, have you had discussions with people that you worked with and what they think about it? And if they’ve watched it and -


D: Yes, I've had very many unsolicited comments from people saying, Oh, we've been watching The Crown, isn’t it marvellous. We're really enjoying it. And from some pretty senior people in the palace and a lot of other colleagues of mine have watched it and made favourable comments. I think that reflects well on the production because it’s no skin off their nose to say, well, actually that's not very good, is it? But on the contrary, they've always been very complimentary and for people to want to watch it must mean we've got it right. 


E: Mmmm. There's a kind of heightened emotion with this season as well, obviously because of the Diana side. And so it's, I found it an incredibly emotional experience watching this season. It must've been quite difficult for you to watch having been part of-


D: Well particularly at the time of her death. I mean, it was, it was a very difficult time to be in the Household because there was a lot of uncertainty about how things were going to develop and the lead up to that and the sad business of the, the marriage breakdown.

I think she played the part beautifully and, um, with great sensitivity. And of course, what was uncanny is, or was her resemblance. She was, she was quite amazing. There was no question, when you saw her on set, who she was. 


E: That silhouette again. Absolutely. Yeah.


E: I was talking yesterday to Paul, one of the directors about how wonderful the tone is within the episodes. Like for example, when Thatcher curtseys, I can't not laugh when I, when I think about it. Cause I think Gillian, just, uh


D: She was almost on the floor wasn’t she?


E: So great, it's a very light, comedic moment, but, but based, based on reality in that she 


D: Yes, she did. She did. Um, she really did curtsey, you know… 


E: Down to the floor…


D: Almost literally that's something I do remember. And, uh, yes, you're quite right. The, the balance between providing a bit of humour, but at the same time, it being a serious matter because I don’t think you would necessarily burst out laughing, but you, you might, you might think, Hmm, God. Look at that! 



Clip: Thatcher and Queen after break in.


It is a national embarrassment that the queen of the United Kingdom should be subjected to troublemakers and malcontents who feel at Liberty to resort to violence…

…do we not have a collective duty to help them? What of our moral economy?





Edith v/o


As we heard from Jonathan Wilson earlier on this podcast, prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s policies were having radical effects on British society in 1982. This episode of the Crown explores this idea through the experience of Michael Fagan, and I asked the episode’s director Paul Whittington about this. 





Paul Whittington 



































































































P: It's an intimate story. I think when Peter first talked about using Fagan as the personification of Thatcher's Britain and what the Thatcherite economic experiment, cost to great swathes of society, to the working class in this country. It's brilliant to distil that into the experiences of one man, into a very intimate story that speaks universally about the experience of millions. It's both intimate and epic at the same time. And I think that's what this show does brilliantly. It kind of makes the intimate, epic and the epic intimate. And it certainly did feel like that with Fagan. That, Okay, we’re telling a very, very personal story here and concentrate on that and get the truth and make that feel authentic and real and truthful. And then hopefully the rest will take care of itself. We don't need to make the big political soap box statement. Let's be with this guy and let's care about him and let's understand what's going on in his life. And then the rest will follow. 


E: And part of that was done out of context with The Crown, with lots of the episode set in his world rather than that of the royals. And so it was important to really show his world and his environment, really.


P: And I think so I think to do it properly. And I think it's quite unique in terms of Crown episodes as to how much time screen time we spend away from the Palace or Downing street. And we talk a lot about Fagan world. Okay. We're in Fagan world now. Meaning, I guess kind of the real world in a way, not the rarefied world of the palace and to commit to that and to go, yeah, we are going to spend this time here because in order for us to engage, you know, to understand this struggle, we have to be on this journey with this individual.


E: So when you are creating the royal environment of the crown, there are all these incredible sets and grand locations that we’ve heard a lot about on this podcast, but for creating Fagans’ world, which is of course very different, you filmed on an actual housing estate. Was that important to have an authenticity to that world and to his world?


P: Yeah very much so. You have the luxury to build sets on the Crown as you know, if that's what's required. But the very first decision I think we made about Fagan's world was that we don't want to build. We don't want to build a flat for Michael Fagan. There's something about let's find a real place in terms of just authenticity, be truthful, find an estate, find a flat, and let's go there and film it. And you just know, somehow, even though Martin Childs would build a brilliant set, he would be the first to say: let's go and find the real thing. There's something there's a sort of indefinable quality about that, that when you're there, it's in the fabric of the walls, it's the views that you see out of the window. It was interesting. What, what I was looking for was to, was to find an estate on that sort of scale, where all the horizons were concrete blocks. 


E: Yeah. 


P:Whether you're out on the walkways of the estate or whether you're inside the flat. 


There is an estate in South London that we filmed on. And interestingly for me, there's something about Fagan’s story that still has a very contemporary relevance I think it's as relevant now as it was in 1982. 


E: Yeah. 


P: This feels like this guy could have come out and gone over the palace walls in the here and now for similar reasons. 


E: Yeah. 


P: So we found this estate and they were very incredibly welcoming to us. Interestingly, the only thing we had to change about the estate was in visual effects we had to remove satellite dishes from the facade, but other than that, it hasn't changed in 40 years. We spent a lot of time on that estate and we found a flat. And so it was vitally important to get the texture, the fabric, the feel of that world right and real. That world is still, still there.


E: It's bonkers to think though, isn't it, that he was actually able to, to break into the palace on…two occasions?


P: Yeah, two occasions, if it weren't true, you just would never believe it. I mean, if you wrote it as a piece of fiction, it's nuts.


E: Yeah, that’ll never happen! 


P: And when you look at the detail of how we got in and how we went undetected it's gobsmacking. When we were shooting it, and when we were planning it, I was thinking, is this going to look too easy? But it was, he gets off the bus hops over the fence, 10 minutes later, he's in her bedroom. 


E: He has a little bottle of wine on the way. 


P: Yeah. Exactly. Again all true, you know.


E: And how the tone is just dealt with to precision. Like after the first break in, when he has the bottle of wine and Philip makes that comment about him you know, having them, and it's just, there's these little reliefs of tiny little bits of dialogue that just allow you to take a breath.


P: And again, very human. You know, I think that it just makes all the characters so accessible. The cumulative effect of those small moments is that it just grounds the whole piece. I feel it just makes you feel an authenticity and a truth and an honesty about everything. 


E: Did she ever talk about it? 


P: No. And that's, what's interesting again about, of course, what Peter takes this character and, there's an imagination about this story now about how he wants to use this character, but Michael Fagan has told his story obviously numerous times, sometimes the story differs. It’s not always consistent. And then the only other person who knows what happened in that room that morning has never, ever spoken about it. 


E: I love the way Olivia plays it. I think it's just, like you say, there's a human, there's a real…


P: There’s a human and there is a connection. They really make a connection at the end and she plays it so skillfully as she always does, but of course, underlying for Elizabeth in that scene, there's an intruder in her room and this could go very wrong. And so there's a fear and there's a terror in that situation that she has to overcome and she has to try and control it and she has to try and control him and take control of this situation and in doing so, then she makes a connection with him, and it ends with something quite profound and a personal connection, the like of which I don't think she's ever had before. 



Clip: Queen + Fagan


Last time was you too? What is the matter with you? This is private property!


….Save us all, from her!


























Paul Whittington

E: Now you’ve Tom Brook playing Michael Fagan and I have to say his performance is absolutely fantastic. And I wondered what conversations you had with him in preparing for the character and the complexities, especially for that two header with Olivia when he finally does get in and speak to the Queen.


P: Tom's a very, very clever actor. We talked that actually, Michael's needs and objectives are simple ones. Actually, he starts out, his journey starts out with, yes, he wants a job, but actually first and foremost on his mind is that he needs money to fix a leaking pipe in his flat, which in turn will allow his children to visit the flat because he's been told his children can't visit the flat until he fixes it up. So they're very simple needs. And he's a working man who wants to work and wants to support his family. So we talked about the simplicity of those needs and the frustration and the depression that comes along with that when the system is against you. And he's a very intuitive actor, Tom, a very intelligent, we, we talked a lot about Michael might not be an educated individual, but he is very intelligent man. And he understands his predicament in a wider sense. He understands what's doing this to him about what political agenda has put him in this place. And he gets to the heart of that. And so when it comes to that scene, he comes with a message. He knows what he's got to say, but then when he's in the moment and he's confronted there that that doesn't happen easily, he has to calm himself down. He has to try and calm her down. There's a really interesting shape to that scene, that's maybe 10, 12 minutes long that they both kind of have to feel their way with it. And then he comes to the point where actually he starts opening up. And he starts confessing and he makes his political point, but then he opens up about the fact that he's now been they’re saying I've got mental health issues, he says, and he's open about that. And that sort of raw emotion opens him up for her somehow makes him less of a threat, or it gives her an opportunity to then take control of the situation and to connect with him. 



35:17Clip: Queen + Fagan

When you've been in my position, as long as I have you see how quickly and how often and nation's fortunes can change….

… they say I have mental health problems now. I don't, I'm just poor.



























Paul Whittington

P: In my head, a lot of that conversation would take place on the bed because that's the image we have of that scene, when we think back, when we read about it. Peter was there on set that day and he was interested in exploring a bit more movement with it. So we kind of threw that over to Tom and Olivia. And it organically found its shape in a way once-


E: It’s like a dance.


P: Yeah, very much so. And he's kind of prowling round to a degree and she's very cautious of having this kind of cornered animal in the room, but then Tom very naturally found his way to a chair. This wasn't planned, this just happened in rehearsal, found his way to a chair, in the middle of the room and very naturally sat down in there, and that was the moment it felt natural for him to make the confession about his mental health issues. And at that point, Olivia instinctively makes a move to go and sit with him. Again, all happened very intuitively in the moment and what we saw coming together, which was quite brilliant that once they're in these two chairs, we're looking at it and we think, Oh, we've got an audience scene.


E: Absolutely. I was just about to say it's the most human audience she's ever had in all those audiences. 


P: Exactly. So we've got the image then of the queen, she's there in a nightie in her dressing gown and he's in his greasy old Parker, but they are…it's an audience scene. And that happened incredibly naturally and organically and then she's having a conversation the like of which I don’t think she's never had before. He makes the point earlier that you don't really meet real P - yes, you meet real people, but everybody's been vetted and everybody knows they're meeting the queen and everybody's on best behaviour, but I'm here to tell you who I am, how I feel and how it is out there. And it's incredibly powerful. 


Peter was there on the day. He added a line on the day towards the end of the exchange between them and the maids come in and the maids now running for security. And Peter said to Olivia, ask him if he wants, he wants to ask you anything else. So he added this line. “Is there anything else you'd like to tell me?” And in that moment, the way Tom reacted to that, that was Fagan realising she's listened. She's heard. She understands. And the way the space, the two of them give around those couple of lines for me, is the most powerful, the most kind of profound moment in a way, because that's where the connection is. And it's quite beautiful. 


39:01Clip: Queen + Fagan ending

Are you all right, ma'am…


…Is there anything else you'd like to say to me?


No. Thank you.


40:00Edith Outro

I'm Edith Bowman and my special thanks to our guests on this episode, Jonathan Wilson, Major David Rankin-Hunt and Paul Whittington.


The Crown: The Official Podcast is produced by Netflix and Somethin’ Else, in association with Left Bank pictures. 


40:17Edith v/o

Join us next time when we go behind the scenes of the episode six of season four of The Crown, called Terra Nullius. 


Charles and Diana’s marriage is on the rocks, but can a royal tour of Australia, free from Camilla’s influence, rekindle their romance and win over the Ausralian public? 




Throw to 406


Which is why the two of you are perfect for each other. So where do I fit in?...





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