9. Smoke And Mirrors (S1E5)
The battle between husband and wife comes to the fore in this episode, with the organisation and formalities of Elizabeth's upcoming Coronation proving a major sticking point for Prince and Queen. The dramas kick off with Prince Philip making a range of 'controversial' decisions in the organisation of the coronation ceremony, with the old guard frowning at each idea that doesn't follow tradition.
The tension is further amplified by Philip's anger at the idea that he will be required to bow before his own wife. It is a tug of war of ideas that reflects the growing awkwardness of the royal couple's relationship, with the Prince struggling with the idea of being ranked below not just his wife, but his son as well. The Queen eventually puts her foot down, keeping the more traditional formalities in place while allowing for the compromise of having the event televised.
Claire Foy brings to the fore the inner conflict that the Queen faces here, attempting to fulfil her formal duties while also maintaining a healthy marriage. Matt Smith is delightfully petulant, once again displaying just how unsuited he was to the role of Queen's husband, or even just the role of husband.