If you want to watch an unbiased view of country sports and shooting on television, then you need to watch this new drama about the Queen and her life.
Settling down to a relaxing evening watching TV, I decided to watch the well-reviewed new drama ‘The Crown’ which is now showing on Neflix. It depicts the Queen’s life, from a young princess climbing trees with her sister, through to the Coronation, her life with the Duke of Edinburgh and her experiences along the way.
Claire Foy is excellent as the young Queen Elizabeth II, ably backed up by Matt Smith (ex Dr Who) as the Duke of Edinburgh.
Early on, there is a pivotal scene when the then King George VI decides to go duck shooting and takes along his son-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, for his first outing into the marshes.
The two of them stand by a creek and have an important discussion about the future of the Monarchy – which I’m not going to tell you about because you need to watch the episode yourself.
Shooting scenes historically accurate
However, what is encouraging is that all the shooting scenes have been meticulously researched and put together, and if you want an insight into which guns were used on shoots in the 1950’s and what was worn (which hasn’t changed much in the intervening 60 years to be honest), then you need to get watching.
Shooting is seen an a thoroughly social event, with all the parties involved – the Guns, pickers-up, beaters – not forgetting the gun dogs – all playing an important part.
There are plenty of other country sports scenes – including days fly-fishing, on the grouse moors, pheasant and partridge shooting at Sandringham – and there’s also a scene where the Duke of Edinburgh stands his ground against an aggressive bull-elephant threatening to charge.
It’s all exciting stuff and shows what country people many of the Royal family are.
Queen’s love of the countryside
The Queen is said to have said that if she could have lived her life as she chose, she would like to have been a lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs. What does come across well in this series is the Queen’s love of the countryside and country pursuits.
So if you’re a country sports lover, then take a look at ‘The Crown’ and see what you think.
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An extract from ST's 1953 Coronation issue