Here’s to a year of toil—a year of struggle and peril, and a long step forward towards victory. May we all come through safe and with honour!”
Somewhere east of Ottawa, a special train bore the Prime Minister of Great Britain toward Washington, after he had addressed Canada’s Parliament. In Ottawa he had spoken of the French in 1940:
When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone, whatever they did, their generals told their prime minister and his divided cabinet, “In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.” Some chicken!…
The Crown, 2016. Produced for Netflix by Left Bank Pictures, created and written by Peter Morgan. Ten episodes released 4 November 2016. A second season is commissioned.
N.B. Since writing this, more false trails emerged. Consulting 1952 documents at the Hillsdale College Churchill Project and Churchill Archives Centre, we found no evidence for the film’s implication that the Duke of Windsor bargained with Churchill to persuade the Royal couple to move from Clarence House to the Palace, in exchange for restoration of his allowance. Nor is there anything to suggest Churchill postponed the Coronation 18 months for his own political purposes.
No sooner had I admired the fair, mostly balanced and accurate PBS docudrama Churchill’s Secret (on the Prime Minister’s June 1953 stroke) than I was grumbling through Netflix’s The Crown, which is, sadly, as often misleading as Churchill’s Secret was honest.…
Seventy-five years ago today, Winston Churchill was pondering survival. Hitler gripped Europe from France to deep inside Russia. Nazi U-boats were strangling British shipping; Rommel’s Afrika Korps was advancing on Suez. Britain’s only ally beside the Empire/Commonwealth, the Red Army, was fighting before Moscow. America remained supportive…and aloof.
Eighteen months earlier he had become prime minister. No one else had wanted the task. “God alone knows how great it is,” he muttered, his eyes filling.…